You said; I said

me: This doesn’t make sense. These phrases aren’t saying the same thing. “Je me sauve” is “I save myself.”

my friend: I think that’s the point. The other person responds, “Salvation you said.”

Like an echo. The title of the exhibit.

My friend, she’s a smart cookie.

I’m still sitting with these words and what they mean, which is fitting given the chairs they’re presented on. Some words deserve more attention than a quick glance.

Dorian Gray on words: Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?

When I think about these phrases found on Vancouver’s Kits Beach, a dialogue comes to mind – a dialogue I had five years ago on a Greyhound bus with a stranger going from Ottawa to Montreal. I remember this conversation for two reasons:

1) I guessed the stranger’s name on the first try. I normally don’t possess such telepathic powers, but he really looked like an Adam.

2) We talked about deep things. The kind of conversation between strangers when you’re stuck beside each other for two hours and because you’ll never see each other again, you share more than is normally thought safe.

He told me he didn’t need God.

I asked why.

He said God fills a need, and he has all his needs filled. He’s hungry, he eats. He needs money, he works. He’s lonely, he makes friends.

He had his pragmatism; I had more questions.

Je me sauve.

Salvation, you said?

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