**Published by Perspectives Magazine in 2009.**

by: Rebecca Taylor

I’m the scrawling signature that belongs to Nora Timmons. Without me, her letters and correspondence would be left unfinished. I am unique and am the finishing touch added to all the work that Nora does at the studio where she works as an assistant to the art director and where one of her paintings is occasionally displayed. Nora’s smooth hands hold a pen or paint brush expertly to create a written or visual message and then I step in and allow myself to swish across the page or canvas to brand her work. I love the way I am able to blend in with the colourful designs Nora makes on her canvases, her artistic style helps me be creative too, lately I’ve been making the ‘s’ at the end of Timmons swirl. Sometimes when the mood is just right, I feel like I am dancing across her work and the ink or paint are my footprints.

When Nora picks up a pen or paintbrush, I get excited knowing that I will probably be needed. The feeling of the pen’s nib on the paper sending me sprawling on the page is a magical feeling. I am a sensory creature, and I know the difference between quality and draft work. Whenever Nora is putting the final additions on her paintings, she uses a soft skinny brush that makes me feel wonderful; this brush is like a favourite friend that you have not seen for a while but long to be with. When Nora is planning where to hide me amidst her designs, she uses a scratchy pencil, which she has sharpened to be extremely pointy, it pokes and prods me until Nora is contented with my position. This is sometimes difficult to experience but the smile on her face looking down at me makes it all worth it. Even the paper or canvases she uses make a huge difference to my mood. The letterhead from the gallery is thick and feels silky; laying myself across it is like crawling on a cloud, while Nora’s notepad is made from recycled material. It is environmentally friendly, yet not very comfortable. I keep reminding myself about the importance of the world around me; I know that sometimes I need to make concessions in order to allow more generations of signatures a life that is as amazing as mine.

Because Nora lives a very active life, I am never without work, I am with her everywhere she goes; I am part of her identity. On her artwork, I am everlasting, her paintings will be around forever, even once she is gone, and I am just a memory branding her work. Sometimes documents that Nora has worked on go through the shredder once they are no longer needed, at first it hurt to see myself being torn to bits in that roaring machine, but I know that she is just doing it to protect me, so that no one tries to take me from her and complicate our lives.

While I hope to have many more wonderful years with Nora, I sometimes wonder about the end. Her paintings and many of the programs she has helped put in place at the gallery will be part of her legacy and I will be there on her artwork, living on forever, but once she has left this earth, my work will be done. A signature is something very special; it cannot be transferred from person to person. It is truly unique. It makes me happy to know that I am so valuable to Nora, but I am still coming to terms with the understanding of the circle of life.

In the years to come I hope to be there through many events in Nora’s life, like helping her sign her marriage certificate should she meet the right person. I will also get to sign when Nora gets her first house, applies for the birth certificates for her children, or gets passports for a family holiday. I am at the center of Nora’s life, and even though I don’t think she thinks about it very often as signatures are often taken fore granted, I know that she is satisfied with the work I do and respects me for it, and this makes me love my life.