Issue 10: Synchronicity

Issue 10. Cover Art: Barbara Ruth.
[Image: a portrait-orientation image with a black background. Up the left sides, the words “Barking Sycamores” in sans serif sand-colored font appear. In the bottom right corner, the words “Issue 10” appear in the same print style, in gold-coloured letters. Above “Issue 10” appears a photomanipulated image of a group of round black cacti on the ground: some are small, with one large specimen with long spines near the top center of the image. The ground beneath appears in various tones of gold, beige, and sand.]
It’s true that 2016 has been a painful year for many of us. We’ve seen the deaths of artists who have meant a lot to us, whose creative works have touched many –– Prince, David Bowie, Alan Ruckman, Anton Yelchin, and Gene Wilder, to name a few. Once again, we hear the clarion call of needed change as more Black people die at the hands of law enforcement, bigoted populists attempt to legislate queer and trans people of out existence, rape culture continues to abound, and fearful political forces rise that echo fascist and racist demagogues of the past. Meanwhile, neurodivergent and disabled people continue to fight for basic civil rights and against ideologies that deny our personhood, humanity, and rights to accessibility and self-determination. With all of this, it’s easy to wonder if anything in our world has meaning or connections. Does anything make sense? We’re not sure how to answer this question.
Solomon chose the theme, “Synchronicity,” which is loaded with potential connotations. Usually defined in dictionaries as events occurring near in time to each other but with no apparent casual relationship, we also thought of Jung’s suggestion that while these events may lack causality, they do not lack meaning when taken together. We’ve both been very keen on exploring time, time travel, and causality. Ian’s been especially thinking about these themes while working on his MFA thesis, a collection of poems tentative named Time Travel in a Closet. (Happily, he passed his defense this summer and graduated.) At the very least, both of us have concluded that imaginations and our sentient understanding are ways in which alternate events, options, and timelines can be explored. Connections can be discerned in many ways, some obvious and some more intuitive.
Illness and life events delayed the publication of this issue, but here we are. Once again, due to the sheer number of submissions we found it difficult to make our final selections. This issue welcomes some previous contributors as well as new voices in our ranks. Our cover features art by Barbara Ruth; this piece is called “Circles and Bubbles in the Key of Cactus.” We hope you enjoy reading it as it rolls out over the next few weeks.
N.I. Nicholson
V. Solomon Maday