“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, January 29, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.

“Secret Sundays” by Julia in her bed


Thursday January 28, 2016
12:12am
5 minutes
A Mission Kitsilano business card

There’s a few of us who meet at dusk and always on Sundays. Meredith came up with the idea but had no real concept of how important it would become. None of us did. She came to me with the thought of gathering, combining energies, uniting, and giving offerings. Meredith thought it would be a nice gesture if she danced while I offered my singing to the powers that be; to the earth; to the sky. The others started joining us, Reemah with her prayers and Tilda with her tears. Our ceremonies last for sometimes 90 minutes. There is a lot of openness and engaging that none of us get elsewhere. The group is especially honouring of my offering and sometimes ask me to sing three or four times. I am good at creating safety with my voice: acting as an umbrella energy for all of our gifts to come together underneath and feel at home.

“you may feel strong emotion” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Wednesday January 27, 2016 at 49th Parallel
5:25pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You have this scratch attack down your back
Spine tingling mind ringing
It’s running deep
Like a scar
Chopped off finger
Sewn on crooked
Iguana tail
Caught
Detached
Traumatized there after
I am swooping deep inside myself
Seeing inside myself
Healing inside myself
I don’t have room to take you with me
So when you feel it
You can recognize the shape
The shape of this madness
It’s itchy, attention licking
It’s unending, epiphany pending
If it’s new
Then it’s hard
And you will want nothing of this thing
I ask that you try
Just in case it gets better soon
Just in case it’s better than not having it
Experience will shape this
I am thinking of you
When I slide down further in
I take you with me
So I can keep an eye on you
Smile when I’m able
So you know you’re not alone
So you know you’re not forgotten

“the lid to Pandora’s box slides right off.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 26, 2016
11:56pm
5 minutes
From catskinner.club

There’s a secret waiting at the bottom of this moment
Scrape
Scrape away with claw-like urgency
I don’t know who needs to uncover
To reach the very last layer of earth possible before digging becomes inadvisable
I wave to you from behind my acted ease
I don’t want to startle you
But there’s a major shift happening all around us
We could work together
I know I need someone to remind me that this is a good idea
You are unaware
Usual issue
You don’t want to dig
Not past the cool dirt
Not through my caked on smile
I have to bleed bigger if I want emotion
Reaction
I have to show you how…
Remember pain comes in many different perfect looking boxes
Shape shifting
Scrape and claw
Claw and scrape

“Glottal stop” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Friday, January 29th 2016 at Culprit
3:55pm
5 minutes
From an email

“Write what you know”
she says
Like it’s as easy as peeling a banana
“Carry a notebook”
she says
Like it’s something everyone does
Like it’s vitamins in the morning
“Write down everything you think is funny”
she says
And I wonder about those private jokes that shouldn’t see
the light of the sinking sun
“Write down the things that make you sad”
she says
And I consider the damp pages of my notebook
the smudged ink

“Secret Sundays” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday January 28, 2016
11:55pm
5 minutes
A Mission Kitsilano business card

It’s a secret that on the Sundays the salsa dancing starts
It’s a secret that with that comes horses and carts
It’s a secret that everyone whose no one is there
It’s a secret that those that don’t know just can’t care

It’s a secret til somebody says something out loud
And the secret’s no longer dressed in a shroud
It’s a secret to someone else tells all of Tulsa
It’s a secret that on Sundays we will dance the salsa

“you may feel strong emotion” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 27, 2016
3:55pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You may feel strong emotions approaching a budget
When the numbers on the page are bigger than you’ve ever seen in a bank account
When the commas and the decimals won’t add up
When there are too much items and too few revenue opportunities
You may feel strong emotions that carry you back to grade school and not being able to get the seven times table past 28
Carry you back to math tutoring in the computer lab with the mock turtleneck wearing teacher
Carry you back to wishing you could bring yourself to cheat because you need that scholarship you really need that scholarship
What would you have thought you could do if it weren’t for these nasty numbers too straight too clear to little room for flexibility
The satisfaction of subtraction and addition isn’t lost on you but
in all the space in between
you fall

“the lid to Pandora’s box slides right off.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 26, 2016
10:15pm
5 minutes
From catskinner.club

Tracy has got Jan’s smile, that’s for sure. When she looks at me and smiles, all teeth, I’m, well, I’m toast. When Jan was sick I wasn’t sure about what would happen after she went… I mean, Tracy could’ve said she wanted to move to Windsor to be with her Dad, or… I don’t know. But after everything settled down, after we scattered Jan’s ashes in the river and after we’d eaten all the casseroles in the fridge people brought over and the last of Jan’s frozen squash soup from the freezer… Tracy said that she wanted to stay here, with me. She said, “You’re more my Dad than my real Dad has ever been. I want to live here. With you.” We’d cried a lot of tears over the months before but there were still some left to cry then.

“A lot of physical theatre” by Sasha in front of the fire


Monday January 25, 2016
10:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard at PTC

Barb wonders if life is worth living without pasta, without coffee, without soft havarti left out on the counter to come to room temperature. She eats a grape and it’s sour. She’s late for rehearsal and hears her doctor’s words chiming in her head like the subway door.

Bard had the first premonition of how she’d die when she was seventeen. She’d spent the summer in Barcelona, pretending to be a grown-up, drinking red wine and slathering herself in tanning oil. When she’d returned home, no one could believe her transformation. The mousey, pale, quiet book clutching teenager was suddenly bodacious. There’s no other word for it, Barb, thinks now, looking back.

“the globally inspired” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
10:52pm
5 minutes
From the front of a flyer

Full moon brings out the wild
the smell of mushrooms and old leaves
the rabbit ear soft longing for comfort and
change no difference there just the swell of the waves and
the fingers in the sand

If I could I would binge watch you
and your evolution
Every moment a new stop motion picture
slow exposure
A few sun blasts

“a sneak peek” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 23, 2016
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Facebook Post

You can’t help yourself. I get it. What with the swiping and the scrolling and whatnot? You’ve never met her in real life. (“It’s the way we’re going… Technology is more “real” than real, quite often…”) You follow her and she’s the first place you go when you get up, even before you’ve peed, even before you’ve put clothes on. She posts most frequently on Twitter. You’re disappointed when she gets that app that streamlines all the social media together. You learn to appreciate the repetition. She’s getting more risky in her posts – more swears, more cleavage, more opinions – and you like this.

“This man does nor speak for me” by Sasha in the bath


Friday, January 22, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
medium.com

I want to bring to your attention that I don’t need to be talk to like I’m a
the water on the other side is warmer why don’t you swim on
I want to tell you about my cramps and the swell of my belly but you are just
This guy! This guy right here! What a

This place where a man in a toupee might be the
This place where we forget to give credit to
Finish the hunger
Find the trigger
Whip the

I want to bring to your attention that I am falling into the
Very good job
you say
For a
Very good job

“I’m going to leave the room” by Sasha on the 99


Thursday, January 21, 2016
8:21pm
5 minutes
Said to Sasha in rehearsal

You come into the kitchen like a phlegm monster and ask what I’m doing. It could be clear to you, if you paid better attention on Sundays. The counter is strewn with oats, applesauce, honey, pumpkin seeds.

“Baked oatmeal,” I bark, when you ask, because I resent still having to have a fucking roommate. I’m forty six, for shit’s sake.

“Why don’t you just make instant oatmeal like the rest of the population?” You say and if I didn’t know your mother and if she wasn’t responsible for my general health and radiant skin, I would slap you.

“I bake the oatmeal on Sundays and have breakfasts ready for the week… Remember?”

“Have you told me this before or are you just extra bitchy today?”

I didn’t have children because I knew that I wouldn’t survive the teenage years without being sent to prison. Why I said yes when my dermatologist’s asked if her daughter could take the other room in my apartment is beyond me. Maybe I’m loonie toons.

“starting in the same spot” by Sasha on the 16


Wednesday,January 20, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can hear your voice through the floorboards, rattling the light fixture that hangs above the kitchen table ever so slightly. The reverberation travels through the light, into the top of my head, down my spine and into my bum, squishy on the seat cushion, on the brown chair. Your voice has the resonance of an oak tree, the pitch of a double bass, the starting spot of the clouds before the sky clears.

“the days are not to slip emptily by” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, January 19, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
From a quote by Vita Sackville-West

Magda isn’t sure whether she’s lost her mind of has just gained a sixth sense. It’s a fine line, the dimension of a spider web, the length of a hair from her head. She hasn’t had a haircut since December. Her hair’s longer than it’s been in at least six years. In the morning, when she brushes it, she imagines Christie’s fingers as the brush bristles. It isn’t strange when she sees Christie at work. In fact, it makes Magda feel closer to her, more connected.

“what you can expect” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
5:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.

I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”

I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.

I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.

“Re posting it” by Sasha on the 99


Sunday, January 17, 2016
9:57pm
5 minutes
from a text

When she dreams her
Future
It isn’t in any colour she’s ever seen in this life
When she dreams her future
A hand bigger than your hand leads her into
caves made of quartz crystals
Three women are singing
a song about a butterfly
about a tadpole
about the Seven Sisters
She looks up more than ever
in her
Future
the Sky
The sky
There aren’t places to hide that shine fake light
jealous of the Sun’s younger sister

“A lot of physical theatre” by Julia at her dining table


Monday January 25, 2016
6:17pm
5 minutes
overheard at PTC

Andie used to be a performer, but she doesn’t tell anyone that now. Whenever she meets someone new at a coffee shop, or the library, she actively chooses not to bring it up or even reference it.
It’s hardest when Andie meets someone who is a performer or also used to be a performer because they tend to be the types that always want to discuss the nitty gritty or the pain or the joy of being in front of a big audience night after night. Her insides are screaming a million curses at the people who act like they’re the only ones who truly understand their lives and as a result, how eccentric everybody else must find them. Andie bites her tongue, trying to remind herself she doesn’t need them to think one thing or another about her, that chiming in with a “Yes, I do, in fact, understand,” or “No, I haven’t always been a florist,” won’t change her life choices or her past or her reasons for saying goodbye to it all. Some nights Andie dreams she is the only thing on stage, crying alongside the most beautiful and haunting violin playing that ever existed.

“the globally inspired” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
from the front of a flyer

I heard on the news today that two more kids were shot in their front yard.
They were selling lemonade.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to wake up every morning, drink my coffee, put on my suit, go into schools and teach young people how to measure the angles of an isosceles triangle, or that just because our country allows people to carry firearms that it doesn’t make it okay to use them, or that these two smiling babies were still warm from their mother’s womb, being watched from the kitchen window by that same love–looking down for just one second to pull a splinter out of her thumb.
I don’t know how any of us do it. Keep living on repeat like we don’t see what’s happening in our world, right outside our houses, hitting closer and closer to home each time. I don’t know how any of us leave the safety of our sheets each and every day and find a new version of brave to wear for the day.

“a sneak peek” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday,January 23, 2016
6:57pm
5 minutes
a Facebook Post

I’m teaching my kid about privacy. Started with me locking my bedroom door because she wasn’t aware that there were any differences between my space and hers.
It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t feel good to hear her scratch at the door and blame herself for being locked out. I think it’s a good lesson, I guess. Or I thought it was. I don’t know what it means except that I’m illustrating how my kid needs to ask for permission to exist….
I don’t want my kid to think she needs to ask someone else before she can do what she wants. Not that she should always get to do what she wants..Or should she? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be teaching her. Is she going to grow up thinking there were no doors open to her when she was just being herself? Is she going to think that I am only available for her when I decide, and not when she needs? Is that a good thing? Independence or something…I don’t know now. Maybe my kid is teaching me about understanding. Maybe she’s teaching me to stop looking for structures to follow. Maybe she’s teaching me to trust myself.

“This man does not speak for me” by Julia at her dining table


Friday,January 22, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
medium.com

Do I irritate you? Sitting here with a plan to speak every 28 seconds to say something to that will convince you of me?
Halo haze of truth and depth. You see me and I let you. Is that a good idea?
Do I irritate you?
You have to prove to me that you’re not accidentally in love with me.
I demand this of you the way I demand smokers step outside my home before pulling out their lighters.
I need you to tell me, to show me.
The things that confirm you’re not here because you forgot to look somewhere else.
That you’re not too afraid to look somewhere else.
I need.
I don’t have to explain why. You want me to. It’s easier.
But pass this test first.
Then you can turn it on me.
Pass this experimental mission and I’ll find my feet.
The earth. I’ll love her again.
The steady and the strong.
You lay kisses on my cheek when I believe I’m doing the right thing.
And my guts betray me.
And my skin starts to lie to you.

“I’m going to leave the room” by Julia on her couch


Thursday,January 21, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
said to Sasha in rehearsal

I don’t wait for your pain to subside before I break more bad news directly to your heart passionate and raw abrupt and insensitive you just need to know the truth someway or another and I don’t want to tip toe around you or lie or lie or ever ever lie so fast and hard no thought given to sparing emotions the words hit you deep in the windpipe and you only have time to react not to analyze or to hurt and not qualify it I wish I could say I was sorry but I’m not because life is a juggling act and you don’t get to choose which feelings you keep up in the air and which ones fall I know it isn’t easy because I practice taking the news myself asking all the tough questions right after another so I let my guts respond without my rational getting in the way recognizing importance and value based on my insides churning or making space

“starting in the same spot” by Julia at Arbutus Coffee


Wednesday,January 20, 2016 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t write about someone else doing something interesting or brave or great or even good. I physically can’t. Mentally can’t. My body refuses to listen to what someone else is doing, how they’re feeling, who they’re talking to. I have tried, I have erased. I have wondered, I have stopped. I don’t know why other than the fact that I have no choice but to write about myself. I suppose that is a strong enough reason for a writer going through things of her own. Can’t pour from an empty cup or however the saying goes. Put oxygen mask on self before assisting others. Something like that. All these ideas wrapped up in a journal or diary or confession or voice memo. They don’t belong in someone else’s mouth, or phrased in someone else’s diction. I can only put myself on paper, hope it doesn’t bleed through every single page and tarnish the book I’m writing of me. Unclear but honest, I am city girl noise and small town heart, bursting.

“the days are not to slip emptily by” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, January 19, 2016
4:57pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Vita Sackville-West

In the early morning when the sky is still dark and only the sounds of faint garbage trucks can be heard from my window, I am viewing the world with eyes made of satin and lace. It’s easy but distant, honest but soft. I love these moments where my mind speaks very little and my soul shifts between asleep and awake, alert and dreaming, alive and hopeful. I lay there in my silent body, noticing the still and focused mystery of dawn, the quiet whisper of newness and readiness joining hands to fuse energies from past and present. My heart is moved by the warmth of limbs thick on perfect fiber, like baby in blanket; like chocolate on tongue.

“what you can expect” by Julia on her couch


Monday, January 18, 2016
10:21pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

So my cousin had a baby and for some reason I think she’s my spirit animal.
I haven’t even met her but I have this feeling that we know each other already and that she’s going to want to hold onto my finger so tight.
I don’t know why I think this for this cousin and not the others. I don’t know how this new little baby girl and I will even spend time together now that we live on opposite sides of the country, but if my cousin will let me, I think I want to be her pen pal.
I want to write this girl a letter every day. She’s the only one who doesn’t know me at all. I could tell her all the things I wish I heard when I was growing up. I don’t know how I’d get these letters to her unopened, though. If I were my cousin I’d be reading each and every thing that comes in the mail addressed to my new born daughter. But what’s good, and that I may be forgetting, is that my cousin expects me to be a weirdo and maybe, without thinking too much about it, will let me correspond with his kid because on some level he knows she’d benefit from that.
I will start my “clean slate personal representation” letter the same way each time:
Hello, you are good, you are enough.
Those should be the first words she reads.

“Re posting it” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, January 17, 2016
9:55pm
5 minutes
from a text

There are a lot of young girls hanging out at the corner store with their ripped jeans and their big black eyeliner.
My mom thinks those are the girls I’ll want to hang out with so she gives me run around warnings like, “Beth, don’t take any shortcuts home from school.” Or, “Make sure you don’t walk with your face buried in your phone in case someone wants to steal it out of your hands and you don’t have the time to stop them.”
I guess she has a point or something. Better to pay attention.
I can tell she’s saying anything she can that doesn’t sound controlling or narrow minded about other people. She doesn’t want me to know that she knows what girls like that are like and only has her gut instincts as a barometer. There’s no proof, no real reason other than she’s deathly afraid of me getting hurt, or falling into the wrong crowd and changing all my core beliefs.
I can’t begin to talk to her about what’s going on in my life.
So I tell her, “I will not take shortcuts home from school.”

“a wacky one” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, January 16, 2016
12:05pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 16 bus

I don’t know what he meant when he said “That’s what you do.”
Said like an insult instead of forgiveness. Said like punishment. Said like tar.
I said I was sorry for nagging him and he said, “That’s what you do.”
Bells. Sirens. Those words went off in my brain like a fourth of July massacre.
That tone.
Loud.
And clear.
But I don’t know what he meant, that I nag, that’s what I do? Like he’s come to know me as the type who won’t ever pick a battle, or back down from an opinion that not everyone shares?
Or that I am sorry a lot and so I apologize a lot, and maybe that’s the thing that I do.
Either way it did not feel like a compliment.
Or a way to mend the bridge that we had both taken a match to earlier.
I wanted to reach him when he felt far away.
My instinct was to cry so I made very sure not to.

“Finding YOUR story” by Julia at her island


Friday, January 15, 2016
8:17pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

I’ve been looking behind rosebushes in the yard
looking behind cans of old anchovies
looking behind years of deep history
I want to know my truth the way my mother knows my mood
The way my father knows my laugh
The way my heart knows its pace
When I see a unique spot I turn it upside down and inside out
I want some of that textured, layered, magical stuff for me
I see peace and I wonder if she’s just very good at being incognito
So I tear her up and I rip her to shreds
Just in case peace is an actress, just like me
I don’t like playing hide and seek
But somethings are worth hunting for

“a wacky one” by Sasha on the 16


Saturday, January 16, 2016
11:03am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

He’s got that dancer body
He’s proud of it
Like lightning
Like trouble
He moves with grapefruit grace
With big hands and a bigger heart
With grace and assuredness that belies his
twenty two years
He inhabits every inch of himself like
a
proclamation
Like he’s arrived and we’
re late
I’ve never seen a body like his body and I don’t know
what to do with it
When I stand
naked
in front of him
nipples shy
hips like the winter grey moon
he
he looks
a shooting star in periferal vision

“Finding YOUR story” by Sasha on her floor


Friday, January 15, 2016
1:47pm
5 minutes
From Sasha’s notebook

She found it under a shell the colour of daylight savings time. It wasn’t inscribed in curly letters with her name or even her initials. But she knew it was hers. She’d been looking since her first period, since her first french kiss, since her first belly flop, since her first calculus quiz, since her first stretch mark. It was smaller than she’d imagined, when she’d imagined it, which she’d done a whole lot of times.

“Let’s have a toast to our goodbyes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, January 14, 2016
10:47pm
5 minutes
I’m Out
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj


“You’re what?”

“We’re consciously uncoupling.”

“I don’t get it.”

“We’re separating, consciously. With intention and love.”

“Why?”

“It’s just not working and we both want to move on with our lives…”

“Whose idea was this?”

“Gwyneth Paltrow.”

“WHAT?”

“Oh… You mean – ”

“Was it your or Laurel’s idea?”

“Both…”

“I don’t know what to say…”

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
3:01pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


You close your eyes and I know what you’re doing Owl Man. I see you for what you are. Hooo hooo hooo.

You lick your lips and I can only imagine what you’re tasting (creamed honey/Hershey’s kisses/body juices). Oh Owl Man, why don’t you just notice me for once?

You see me as the Pharmacist Assistant, the one who checks you out when you’re picking up your prescriptions (Zoloft, fungal cream). You see me as the overweight (“curvy”), middle-aged (“40 is the new 20!”), funky-haired (who actually knows how to henna?) woman who may be of Portuguese heritage. You, Owl Man, know me even though you think you don’t, even though you think this is less than it is.

You take a twenty from your wallet. It’s well-worn. You probably bought it in Greece when you were there to help people who were in some kind of crisis. OWL MAN.

“You have to love” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
4:10pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

I love my horse more than I’ll ever love anyone. Okay? My kids know it. They don’t resent me for it. They just know that’s how I am. Caroline once needed me to really break it down for her. Once. She was sad, maybe, but she got over it, she accepted it, she realized that I’ve always connected with animals in a way I couldn’t with people. Billy resented it, though. I first realized it when we were taking a weekend in Napa. We hadn’t been on a vacation just the two of us since before the kids were born. A really long time. He couldn’t relax, fidgeting all the time, drinking more wine than he ever would normally, I mean he rarely even drank… I finally asked him, “What’s up?” and he broke down, like, crying and the whole thing. I’d never seen him like that.

“everyone can help themselves” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, January 11, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

There was something in the air that made Amanda shiver, and it wasn’t cold. She got this feeling every so often. It was not linked to ovulation or the weather. She shivered and Jamie asked if something was wrong and she said, “No,” but Jamie knew her better than that. They were sat at the shared workspace table in the main room of the office. They had started at the firm at the same time and had a similar weariness to their foreheads. Jamie’s short blonde hair made her look younger than she was. Amanda always wondered if she had long hair, how things might be different for her. Amanda played with a swatch of fabric on the table in front of her. “I’m just having that feeling again.”

“Let’s have a toast to our goodbyes” by Julia in on her couch


Thursday, January 14, 2016
6:53pm
5 minutes
I’m Out
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj


I have this idea one snowy morning memory clouded but it feels like a good one so I let myself wake up to it. I’m not quite ready for my life. This idea is supposed to help. I want to make a list of all the things I’m saying goodbye to, or goodbye for. I have made a lot of lists about saying hello or, a bunch of arbitrary ‘shoulds’ chosen from the parts of my body that don’t get enough of my positive attention. This one is different. It’s a goodbye list but not for negative things or habits or hurts or harms. It’s all about harnessing inner truth and guidance. I want to be ready for my life.
Someone close to me once told me that we need to thank our enemies. Enemies can mean anything, so I like to think of them as hard bits that have been let in at one time or another, but will be sent off in a joyful way. I think these are the things that go on a goodbye list when I am toasting to all the bad things that have ever grown me shaped me helped me shown me.

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Julia in her bed


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
11:58pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


I am giving couple’s counselling to my parents. Well to my mother. My father is in the other room and we are pretending he doesn’t hear us or know that his kid and his wife are “discussing” him. This is partially on purpose. If he thinks we think he can’t hear us he might listen harder and think to himself, “hmm, I’d like to try that so when I do, it will seem like my idea and things will be better without needing to talk about it.” It is also so it looks like the advice is being given to my mother alone, when really my father can take from it what he needs, even if he doesn’t act on it. My mother nods her head and says, “You’re right, you’re right” a lot. I am not having this conversation so I can be right, and usually when someone says that it means they just don’t like the response they were given. But she is still listening and I am still talking so either way, we’re having this conversation whether things change or not. I am inside my head and well outside my body at the same time. I am separating myself from being her daughter and talking to her like I would my patients. Or my would-be patients. I am practicing my skills on someone who is not paying me yet, because I need to get good at telling all kinds of people to “imagine having fantastic sex with him or her.” So far I have said, “love is your only objective,” which seems to be working.

“You have to love” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

If it’s in you to give, give it. I’m talking money, magic, moral support, listening, love, loyalty, life, kindness, time, patience, understanding, food, empathy, encouragement, hope.
That’s all we can do, give it when we have it, receive it when we don’t.
And that’s how the world goes round. Or that’s how the world wants to go round. It wants us to need each other and help each other. Its ON button is the scratched out CARE button. But we forget that sometimes because it’s not always easy to care, or to give, or to help, or to wait. We want what we don’t have now and we want to give what we have later. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. Immediacy is our biggest killer. We need to play the long game with ourselves and with each other. Giving chances and getting them.

“A small suitcase” by Sasha in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:26pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


A small suitcase containing your most beloved possessions
A quartz crystal you received from your grandmother on your tenth birthday
A pair of socks that your brother knit you that you still wear when you go cross-country skiing twice a year
A handful of sand from the Nevada desert that you collected on your first trip alone
A small suitcase containing your most beloved possessions
A carry-on to this trip and that place
Fits easily under the table and into the overhead compartment
It’s red
With a small blue scarf attached at the handle
Not that there’s any mistaking that it’s your own

“inappropriate conduct” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 9, 2016
12:34am
5 minutes
From a waiver at Moksha Yoga Vancouver

The instant you cross the line, you know you’ve done it, a penny eucharist on your tongue, claiming valuable space.
“It’s okay,” she says and she means it mostly, but she doesn’t actually know what she means, she hasn’t ever had her heart broken.
It’s after a Student Council meeting and your office is down the hall from the Multi Purpose Meeting Room and you know that she recently became secretary, crossing her “T’s” like the stations of the cross, dotting her “I’s” with the occasional heart.
You wait in your office, with the new light from Ikea turned on low, you thank God it’s on a dimmer, you hate those fucking incandescent lights that ruin all classrooms.

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, January 8, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
A Facebook status

She slides three fifties from the last tab she closed into the back pocket of her jeans and the rush is like a fountain, is like drinking a whole Coke, opening up your throat like a valve and letting the caffeine and sugar in. Come in come in come in.

Luis asks if she’s cool to close tonight and she says, yes, absolutely. He sends Monique home and a half hour later he leaves, too. “Text me when you’re locking up,” he says, like he does every night to whichever server is closing.

She voids a purchase, writing on the receipt, “SERVER ERROR”. The fifties buzz in her pocket. What will they turn into? Gold, gold, gold. Silver hoop earrings or a new belt or the shoes she’s had her eye on that might finally be on sale.

“I can never escape” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, January 7, 2016
2:14pm
5 minutes
The Reaper
Dan Fraser


Mark tells me when Gus and Lily are finally asleep. He’s just poured me a glass of white wine, some cheap shit that Heidi brought to our last Book Club.

“Need an ice cube?” He asks. I shake my head.

Three weeks after getting married, I knew that I’d never be able to escape Mark’s wandering eye. I reconciled with the fact that I’d chosen to marry a man who loved women, all women. At least, I tried to reconcile… Did I actually? I’m not sure.

“Remember Elizabeth?” Mark says, taking off his socks, balling them up and putting them beside the couch. I know that he’ll forget them there and that I’ll pick them up on my way upstairs later. Some things are for sure.

“Elizabeth,” I say, feeling the name in my mouth at the same time as my stomach starting to clench and flip. “Nope…”

“She runs the LA office?”

“Oh yeah. She has twins too?”

Mark nods.

“She’s pregnant.”

“Oh?” I finish my wine. “Why does this matter to me, Mark?”

“She’s think that the baby’s mine.”

“cookie duty” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at Platform Seven
4:28pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform Seven

I gave up cookie’s when AJ gave up on us. We’d been in therapy since his birthday. It wasn’t planned, our first session just happened to fall on the day. “Shit,” I said, when I gave him the mohair sweater I’d ordered online.

“What?” He stopped unwrapping the box, hands suspended in mid air. “I just realized that we’re seeing Dr. Cathy today and it’s your birthday and I don’t know how we didn’t realize that, that conflict…”

“I guess that is a bit – …”

“What?”

“I don’t know… If you’d asked me when I was twenty-five or thirty if I’d want to go to therapy on my forty-seventh birthday, I likely would’ve said “No”… But it’s okay. It’s okay.”

I kissed the bald spot on the back of his head.

“Don’t…”

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“inappropriate conduct” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, January 9, 2016
12:31am
5 minutes
from a waiver at Moksha Yoga Vancouver

Gregory was amping himself up to call in sick while Elise stared at him from behind her book.
“I don’t think you should do it this time, Greg. It’s too soon.”
“What? You’re talking shit.”
“Okay fine. Do it then.”
“I am doing it. I don’t owe them anything.”
“I’m actually more concerned about your integrity.”
“It’s work, babe, it’s not like it matters.”
“Oh my GOD. Well…do you have to pick the most dangerous excuses? People worry about stuff like that, you know?”

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Friday, January 8, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
A Facebook status

I usually don’t, but sometimes when the light is right I feel like I should apologize for all the prosciutto I used to steal from the very first restaurant I worked at. I know there are worse things to steal and I like to tell myself that I had my reasons but even justifying it makes me sort of wish I had chosen a different way to rebel. I mainly remember sneaking the expensive and coveted cured meat for the following reasons:
1. I was trying to punish my boss for making me work every brunch by myself
2. I was trying to punish my boss for never having enough cash to pay me in full
3. I was trying to punish my boss for hating women
4. I was trying to punish my boss for only offering to feed me at midnight

“I can never escape” by Julia on Amanda’s floor


Thursday, January 7, 2016
1:25am
5 minutes
The Reaper
Dan Fraser


There was a time I wouldn’t have thought to ask questions. I had questions. I had a lot of them. But in my history there was a time where I wasn’t comfortable giving them a voice out of fear that they might betray me; reveal me for the inposter I was, or the shaman, or the child. I couldn’t have anyone knowing what truly went on in my mind–I wasn’t about to give away a map to my soul and all my secret feelings. So I stayed quiet but I wrote them all out thinking no one would ever find them or be able to read them if I wrote messily enough. I couldn’t risk someone using them against me…but I guess I couldn’t hide myself from myself because looking back on those protected journals, all I see is the same curious heart I was then. And I’m still asking those same questions.

“Cookie duty” by Julia on her brother’s old bed


Wednesday, January 6, 2016
1:35am
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform Seven

Marta was busy teaching herself Spanish on her new audio learning app. She had her headphones in at all hours of the day and out of nowhere she’d blurt out a “Donde esta el banio?” or a “buenas noches!” even if she was in the middle of a conversation or an activity that did not require Spanish. Marta’s little sister, Leah, had asked her to help her make cookies for her bake sale and Marta told her “me gustaria help you”. Marta pictured herself making cookies for Ambrosio, the ridiculously hot life guard at the community pool who was the reason for her Spanish lessons in the first place.

“There was a makeup fiasco!” By Julia on Nicole’s couch


Tuesday, January 5, 2016
2:19am
5 minutes
From a text

Julia (that’s me) dropped her eye shadow on the bathroom tiles and the powder exploded all over the floor and the toilet. Julia (still me) tried to clean it up but kept smearing black glitter everywhere and wasting a lot of paper towel. Julia was lucky that the eye shadow that broke was not the eye shadow that she was keeping that eye shadow container for in the first place and thanked her lucky stars that she only really used the black glittery one for very special occasions (like the burial of her sister’s iguana, Ballet, or the time Jessica dressed her up in a snake skin onesie and asked her to “dance around like a slithering serpent on ecstasy”).

“Wanna be able to” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Monday, January 4, 2016
1:46am
5 minutes
Overheard at R2 Cafe

There’s a dream I keep having that feels like a lesson I’m supposed to be learning but it is hard to remember in full detail. I wanna be able to recall all the events but it’s like my subconscious is making it hard for me on purpose. Then I get to wondering why my subconscious would wanna make it take so long for a lesson to be learned if it’s important enough to be learned at all in all this intricacy. This dream is even more difficult to understand because it’s in black and white and none of my dreams are in black and white. How confusing. Sometimes I think this dream could just be for entertainment purposes and I’m really not meant to do anything about it but enjoy it. But then there is a code, or what I think is a code, and new letters are revealed each time, and it’s not very enjoyable as I’m always under a lot of pressure to solve the puzzle with the clues that keep changing and I’m really never able to lay back and just watch. So then I wonder if maybe I’ve already figured it out and the recurring part is just a way for me to check my intel.

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Julia at Nicole’s house


Sunday, January 3, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

Tilly-Jean names her new rooster Amelia and asks her best friend, Fannie if she wants to come over and parade her around. Fannie loves parading around Tilly’s roosters but the last one was very traumatic as she was shot in the middle of the parade and nobody can really forget the death of a parading rooster.
Fannie tells Tilly-Jean that she will come over only if she promises to avoid the Overly yard and take the Elmsview route instead.
Tilly-Jean tells Fannie that the point of a parade is to SEE Amelia, not keep her hidden. She tells Fannie that she doesn’t know if that’s a fair condition. Fannie doesn’t like seeing death more than she needs to so she tells Tilly that she will not change her mind and to call her back after she has made an educated decision.

“I FIND MYSELF SO INTERESTING” by Julia on Jess’s and Rick’s couch


Saturday, January 2, 2016
2:43am
5 minutes
Mickey
Chelsea Martin


Dear Self,

Damn good job so far. I am proud of you. I have enjoyed being the voice inside your head, but also the fly on the wall that listens when you’re focused and thriving. I think your determination to find yourself inside yourself is incredibly inspiring. You should be proud of you too. You have not given up on your quest for truth and I like that about you. It makes things fun. I especially like it when you challenge your previous notions, opinions, behaviours, and desires. It’s very thrilling! Sometimes I hold on tight and secretly wish that you drove more gracefully but I have to admit that I would resent you for never risking anything. Nice balance! It’s a little new, isn’t it? But I’m impressed with how little the newness prevents you from investigating and fighting for yourself. I love you a lot. I’m excited for what’s next.

“There was a makeup fiasco!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, January 5, 2016
10:15pm
5 minutes
From a text

There was a make-up fiasco. Joanie was at the centre of the tornado, swirled in almond coloured powder and cinnamon coloured lipstick. Luella found her in the upstairs bathroom, curlers in her hair and nail polish down the front of her lavender coloured dress.

“What happened here?” Luella thought that under such circumstances she might laugh. She didn’t. All she thought about was the cakey make-up in the tile grout.

“A total meltdown…” Joanie started to cry.

“Where are you going?”

“On a date!”

“Really?”

“Yes! Or, I was… Not anymore. It’s cancelled.”

“Who cancelled?”

Joanie cocked her head to the side and furrowed her brows.

“Did he cancel?”

Joanie shook her head.

“You cancelled? Because of all this?”

“A hundred tourists are caught” by Julia on Jess and Rick’s couch


Friday, January 1, 2016
12:35am
5 minutes
Coda, Etcetera
Amber Tamblyn


I am mad because I told myself that tonight I would sleep and even if I didn’t mean it, at least I would try.
I am no where close to sleep. I am not in a bed, my teeth are not brushed, my mind is not quiet, and my eyes are not closed.
I am mad.
Because I broke a promise to my immune system.
Because I broke a promise to my morning self who has to get up early.
Because I couldn’t manage the day in all the time that was allotted so I pushed it hard into tomorrow and am now trying to justify that sometimes this kind of sneaky maneuver is necessary.
I wonder if this is what the mind of a traveler always looks like.
I wonder if the brain of a tourist is mushed up and confused by all the maps, the plans, the routes, the tricks, the lists, the food, the uncomfortable beds.
I am caught here in my inbetween and don’t know if I should kill one half to let the other be born or forget about divisive lines and hurry up and create something already.

“Wanna be able to” by Sasha at UBC


Monday, January 4, 2016
3:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R2 Cafe

Red lipstick. Vivacious, enthusiastic, fostering creativity and free-spirit thinking, curiously and exploration. She was twenty four when she took on a class of fifteen six and seven year olds. Counter acorns in our desks, beeswax crayons in baskets on the shelf. Animals on the nameplates on the front of our desks, painted in watercolour. Mine was a butterfly. I was so proud.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

“She didn’t need to tell me.” By Julia on her brother’s old bed


Wednesday, December 30, 2015
12:18 am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail – Facts and Arguments
Monday, December 28, 2015
Yasmin Halfnight


She didn’t need to tell me I was being an asshole to her. I knew. I laid awake the whole night thinking about how kind my mom is and how short I can be when things don’t go exactly my way. Trying to prove myself to the woman who made me, sees right through me, detects my bullshit, and still loves me boundlessly anyway. In my mind I was just expressing myself, feeling impassioned by my need to be heard and understood, offering a lesson that otherwise might never have been found. But when I played back the sound of my voice, it was not compassion, though I believed it was, but the desperate attempt at impressing her, the woman who made me, sees right though me, hears my bullshit, and still loves me anyway. She didn’t need to say anything at all.

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, January 3, 2016
11:20am
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

The mastery of the art of failure is hard won
Like any true knowledge it comes with bruises to the
imagination and early mornings of dry mouths and
too much black coffee
Failure is heavier than success
Success is not failure’s opposite but it’s sister

What if we re-imagined the graph that we’ve learned by
heart a thousand and one times?
What if we created with curiosity as a guide?
What if we relinquished stars and reviews and top ten lists
in favour of real full bodied failure attempts?

“I FIND MYSELF SO INTERESTING” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 2, 2016
6:52pm
5 minutes
Mickey
Chelsea Martin


When I find myself I’m sitting with my back up against an old Arbutus tree, the bark peeling away to reveal bright gold skin. I am surprised by how old I look, not in the sense of stained teeth from too much tea or grey hairs salting the pepper, but in the way that my mother might notice all that I’ve gone through in the months she hasn’t seen me. “Look at those lines around your eyes,” she says. “Your life. Right there.”

I find myself exceptionally interesting. We all think we just might be the most complex, nuanced, spicy creature in the herd. I sit down beside myself and don’t say anything. I take my hand and look at the palm – so known, so unknown.

“A hundred tourists are caught” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Friday, January 1, 2016
11:14am
5 minutes
Coda, Etcetera
Amber Tamblyn


when you tell me my feelings i flush with earl grey tears and this is not a testament to your impact on me it is an homage to my mother and my mother’s mother before her and when i make breakfast and lunch and dinner i am not subscribing to our cultural magazine of gender roles my soul is fed by mashing an avocado on toast and by stewing broth and lentils all afternoon for us to dip crusty bits of red fife bread in and when i try to breathe into my pelvis and find this difficult it is not just my body it is every woman’s body the body of the great mother and i set the intention like a timer that will go off like a church bell whenever i am far away from myself be here be here be here

“Bowl of acceptance” by Sasha in Szos’ office


Thursday, December 31, 2015
12:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

The house is cold in the morning
Frost kissing mandalas on the window above the sink
A dissonance to my warm belly and toes
I wash a lemon
Cut it into four sections
Fill a glass with water
Squeeze one quarter of the lemon into the water
A seed sinks to the bottom
I press the edge of the glass to my lips
and drink
Wondering
again about the
toxic acidity that the medicine woman said is heavy in
my body

We only get one