“I can’t help but reflect” by Sasha in her comfy chair

Sunday October 6, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
from an email

You are looking everywhere for signs
Under the sink between the garbage bin and the compost pail
In the sky amongst the light pollution and almost there Milky Way
In the numbers on the houses where we live

The numbers of the clock when you think to look
The things we say
or don’t say
Numbers numbers numbers so many numbers
But it doesn’t add up
or if there’s a division
it’s hollow and stale

It’s become an obsession
this sign hunting
Your inner compass a rudder that you no longer trust
It’s lead you astray before but this time
things matter in a different kind of way

I humour your hunting
I nod when you tell me of something or other
I like signs too
But I don’t hold to them as the gospel
Clinging to the spindly tree in the middle of a hurricane
I don’t believe that they are the only marker
of progress
of love
of resonance

“Arrow Lakes Hospitals Auxiliary Thrift Shop” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 3, 2019
4:39pm
5 minutes
From a sign in Nakusp, BC

I was dying to go in. I always am. You
on the other hand would be happy to drive
by the little spots and comment on how
quaint they look from the driver seat.
That is the problem with riding shotgun.

And what if there is a cute lapel pin?
Ever thought of that? How cute a lapel
would be with a pin of a tiny mountain
mammal? Or a reptile if you’re freaky,
and I know you are. Remember the reptile
museum we used to drive by? All those
exclamation points on the sign. Who has
that many exclamation points about
reptiles? The freaky ones, that’s who.
As we’d pass, I would shout out
REPTILES!!! and you repeat REPTILES!!!!
and everyone, both you and me, would
laugh because it was clear how many
exclamation points we were each using.

Maybe on the way back, you would say,
and I would know that by then it meant
we are just going to keep driving without
stopping and if we see something we like
or I like, I will have to be satisfied with
shouting it out to you. HORSES! I’ll say,
and HORSES!! you’ll repeat with an extra
exclamation point but we won’t pull over
to pet them.

“the hypocrites will teach.” By Julia in her bed

Monday May 7, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

All the voices I’ve been avoiding living inside me are more alive than I’ve been letting them be, more living than I’ve been thinking they are

I was right about you
it’s written in the stars and I’ve been right so many times but I’ve been scared and so I don’t say anything with words but with worlds of voices dancing around in my head

And they are so loud that my skin crawls and maybe you can see it so you ask me what is wrong and the truth is inside nothing is wrong everything is right but it is dangerous to say out loud

It is hard to believe that I know more than I think I do
That I am bigger than I think I am

“stomach discomfort” by Julia at her desk


Thursday September 7, 2017
8:44pm
5 minutes
saje.com

It does this twisting thing it used to do after running
body’s way of kindly suggesing to stop taking hills like I’m in the army
respect the hill
walk the hill
or to please drink a glass of water today, okay, please?
It feels like birth and like preventing it
it knots me up so nothing feels good
not even breathing
no breathing can make this good
And the moon says it’s almost time
but the moon has never tried to be so in my life about it
there haven’t been warnings before
And in the middle of sleep sex it’s there, twisting
and you are sleep concerned
and I am sleep breathing in the toilet
so that nothing worse happens
like every reminder that I have done this to myself
because I’m the one who wanted the sleep sex
and to avoid the tap
and to run up the hill
and to hide the health card papers behind the TV
because no one ever looks behind the TV
nobody ever finds poetry ideas
or classical music scores
or the lipbalm that looks much better than it smell

“Welcome Home Party” by Sasha on her couch


Friday December 9, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

used to make signs that we’d stick on the yellow door with masking tape
“don’t use the kind that takes the paint off, girls!”
when did we stop being “girls”?
when did we stop making signs with bearded men and red-haired women?
when did we start counting days of the weeks in underwear rolled in the bottom of a backpack?
used to make signs for everyday stuff not just special occasions
used to make signs with crayons and magazine pieces and words i didn’t
really know the meaning of

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
10:43am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

Kay believes it is her purpose on the planet to channel heavenly love. She receives a message in her pizza, written in red pepper and goat cheese. She sees it because she’s looking for it. Have you ever thought about that? My sister tells me about a book she’s reading about signs, and how they are everywhere, and how maybe this is one for you, right now. Kay forgets her keys inside her truck and she doesn’t get angry or say “shit”. She smiles. Smiles! She smiles and walks home and it takes her two hours and twenty three minutes and they are the best ones of her life, thus far.

“I wake in the middle of the night” by Julia at Grange Park


Wednesday, July 8, 2015
3:45pm
5 minutes
from Between Gods
Alison Pick


There’s a ghost in my room and she’s been haunting me since last Wednesday. She won’t let me sleep the whole night because she’s only interested in getting what she needs. I told Cass before she slept over that she might not get a good sleep because this ghost has been haunting me lately and Cass looked at me like, “duh, there’s no such thing as ghosts.” But I’ve been feeling her while I lay there in bed when she wakes me up at the same time each night. I first feel the breeze by my face, and then I hear the laughing. Cass would have to see for herself, so I just stopped mentioning it all together. Sure enough me and Cass are sleeping soundly head to foot, then I feel the breeze. It’s 2:02am. I look at Cass and she doesn’t even flinch.

“make myself solid in this transitory world” by Julia at Source Centre for Health and Wellness


Tuesday February 3, 2015 at Source Centre for Health and Wellness
9:04pm
5 minutes
A Time Of No Place
Natalie Goldberg


If Regis (that’s the dog that I’m watching) licks my left ankle one more time, I’ll take it as a sign from the sky gods (that’s a term my friend Birdie told me about recently. Her real name is Roberta, but what fun is that?)that I’m connecting with something magical. Mirabell (that’s Regis’ long lost love) died two years ago today and he never fully recovered. Now he licks ankles but I don’t think those things are related. Tiger-Blossom (That’s my spirit animal. He’s a she and sometimes she’s a monster) says that when it’s really cold at night we must let our lives live without the halves we think they need.

“Was she already dead” by Sasha at the Dundas/Jane Toronto Public Library


Saturday April 19, 2014
12:35pm
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek


I live on Virtue St. I have a solarium filled with plants, and sometimes cats. Two of them. I have a collection of china dolls in the hutch in the dining room and a fifteen road signs stolen from a wide assortment of places that decorate the walls. My favourite sign says “MOOSE CROSSING” and Herb sound it in Jasper when he was working the Western Parks. He brought it all the way back for me, even though he hitchhiked most of the way. Herb lives in Espanola now and doesn’t come around much, but when he does, he usually brings cheese from the dairy farm close to him. That’s a real treat. Cheese that’s not purchased at a supermarket is one of life’s greatest delights. I live on Virtue St. I took over the house when Mum died. She bequeathed it to Bethany but Bethany didn’t want it so she signed it over to me without even a blink of the eye. She doesn’t come around much, either. Vancouver is far away.

“Never seen by waking eyes.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
12:29am
5 minutes
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Lewis Carroll


Only a dream or a lullaby. One your grandmother sang you. One your mother’s best friend cried about the day you buried her. It was a lot of picking up the pieces, and trying to remember. Trying to turn photographs into living incarnations so the room didn’t feel so cold; so empty. We escaped, the rest of us. The ones left to grieve. Escaped only in some ways, trapped in all the others. You said something about butterflies and visions. She’d be in one of those, maybe, or in an ice cream cone, or a baby’s laugh. No one had taken the time to agree on what she’d be and in what sign you’d look for her. Your father wanted butterflies. Your baby sister wanted angels because that’s what she thought owls were. You didn’t know. You thought both would be fine, but there’s a reason you couldn’t fully see it. Your eyes saw it slightly, but your everything else, your soul, saw nothing of the like. Dark and thick. You tried to make it out, to explain to everyone with words what words could not explain. Not a lighthouse, like her best friend suggested. Not a dove or a miracle. Just the sky. Maybe all encompassing sky would be the right one.