Blue skies spell trouble

Each new week of working from my hermetically-sealed bedroom (17 and counting, I think?) brings new absurdities. I’ve given up on trying to extract meaning from weekly office-wide calls, where weather updates, development application timelines, and vacation lists pose for guidance. I yearn for crucial conversations: to check in, to support each other and our communities, to actively reevaluate our work in the context of calls for the architecture and planning industry to reflect on their complicity in systems of anti-Black racism and the spaces in which they’re manifested. Mostly, I feel like I am shouting at the sky.

Thankfully I have time and space to fill my non-working hours with reflection, whether it’s through pranayama and asana practice, writing (oh, the notebooks I’ve filled since March), banging dissonance on piano keys, having conversations with dear friends, and listening, actively, to virtual discussions. But yes, some days, I just want to talk about the weather.

Hence: a poem about the taunting greeting of blue skies. As dusty corners light up with possibility, can we simultaneously contain our lives and indulge in moments of escapism? After months of restraint, how do we redefine our relationship to spaces that beckon careless abandon?

One solution: at the end of a desk-bound day, look out the window, choose a place in your mind-map, and move there, on your own terms. When you arrive, seek out quiet interaction: gaze up at canopies and let their lushness deepen your breath. Notice graffitied retaining walls and talk back to their enigmatic calls. Watch others’ patterns of movement and fill the spaces in between with your own dance.

An alternate world view?

Look up up up:
the skies can’t get any bluer.
Can your eyes meet its cool gaze?
Or do you
head down,
one foot meeting the other’s shadow?

The directive is to
stay small.

Worlds have collapsed
edges drawing to centre.

For now: place yourself in
a summer snow globe:
magnolia blossoms pose for flurries
rainbow-wrapped porches for mistletoe
jolly reassurances in lawn signs.
We operate in bubbles.

But we can still move!
You pedal, no hands,
down the yellow line:
no need
for more symbols of division.

You’ve forgotten the shortcuts
because, mostly, you aren’t rushing.

Main streets are chasms,
laneways neglected:
split between
sun-baked concrete
and dandelions, persistent.

Rail corridor tags
shout, cartoon-like:
(A WiFi password preserved?)

You don’t know whether to shout back
in jubilation
or despair.

All of this:
asphalt to treeline to steel-trussed sunset,
lives glimpsed
from bridges,
through palm frond windows,
you want to grasp -
collapse this distance.

Is it touch you miss?
the choice to detach?
The skies shake in laughter
at your confusion.

Temptation to stray!

Writing from beautiful Vancouver about muddling through via intuitive movement 🤸🏽‍♀️ place-based learning 🌳 strong coffee ☕️ creative connection✨

Writing from beautiful Vancouver about muddling through via intuitive movement 🤸🏽‍♀️ place-based learning 🌳 strong coffee ☕️ creative connection✨