Goodbye These Five Minutes ❤️

t5m reading

Dear Reader,

Over the past 8 and a half years, we have set the timer for 5 minutes, and shared our daily pieces to this site. It is incredible to see: thousands of posts and thousands of hours practicing in this way. We have also released a compilation of our earlier writes, facilitated writing workshops, writing groups and readings.

We are grateful for the pocket-sized stories that have anchored us both amidst the many changes we’ve experienced. These Five Minutes has connected us throughout our travels and living in different countries, during our tribulations and our triumphs, through our grief and our growth. No matter where life has taken us, we have practiced showing up to the page, and we thank you for sharing in that with us.

Today we’re here to announce that the time has come for us to part ways with These Five Minutes. As of today, we will be writing for one final week and sharing to the site before we sign off from this life-changing project. It has been a pleasure being here, and we have endless thanks for those who have joined us on the journey. We hope you’ll always be able to find five minutes everyday to do whatever it is that you love, just as we have.

With gratitude,
Julia and Sasha

Feel free to keep up with us in our artistic endeavours.

Follow Julia: www.juliapileggi.com (personal site) and @juliapileggipoetry (Instagram)

Follow Sasha: www.sashasingerwilson.com (personal site) and @sasharsw (Instagram) t5m reading

“trying to teach them technology” By Julia in her cabin


Monday February 27, 2017
4:47pm
5 minutes
from a text

my sister turns 32 and the entire family eats
stuffed lobster tail and shrimp
they gather around the table and tell
each other some of the same stories
after hearing some temporary new ones
my siblings make my parents use cell-phones
I am the only one missing
I am the only one on an island
I am the only one in a different time zone
my mother calls me on my birthday 4 days earlier
proud that she finally got the day right
she doesn’t forget my birthday
she just doesn’t know which day it is anymore because
she isn’t forced to look at a calendar all day
she asks what I am planning and I say nothing really
then my father gets on the phone
he asks me what I’m planning and I say I’m going to the island
he asks me if it feels different being 30
when yesterday I was only 29
I tell him sort of because sort of but not more
because my eggs are getting cold
he sighs and says that at the end of the day
it’s all just soup anyway
I laugh because he is so Italian
but he has a point
he says the first bite tastes like soup
and the last bite still tastes like soup

“I felt stung” By Julia in her cabin


Sunday February 26, 2017
10:19pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

I don’t have any memories of my mother’s father. He died when I was three, lived in Italy, and I only met him a couple times. The first time, they tell me, was when I was 3 months old. I had my ears peirced with gold studs (by my aunt Patricia, who was also travelling to Italy with us), I carried around a rainbow striped bunny that I would later name “Skittles”, and according to my mother, I was a very picky eater during the first couple months of my life. They tell me that he was a big man, feared by many. They tell me all the other grandkids ran away from him because they were intimidated by his size, or his mood, or his silence. They tell me that when he walked by my crib I begged for him to pick me up. They tell me that it was strange for a small thing to reach out to him. They tell me that he lived for taking me out into the fields to pick fresh figs. They tell me he smiled a lot when we were there.

Sixteen years later I went to Italy for the second time. I found his gravestone. I listened to the air between my life and his. I still can’t say I ever knew him. But I missed him then.

“what he did before fame” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:54pm
5 minutes
From a Google search

I have flashes of you famous and how I’ll wink at women in statement glasses at dinner parties and say, “I knew him before…”

You’re grounded when you’re famous, you’re not an arrogant asshole like the others.

You invest your millions ethically and always buy sandwiches for homeless people.

You always wear distressed jeans, but not the kind you can buy already worn in. You do that artfully, by yourself.

At said dinner parties, I always tell stories of when you had bad haircuts and got drunk off of a single can of beer.

“Valid ID is required” by Julia on set


Saturday June 4, 2016
7:57pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

-You can’t come in here, it’s restricted.
-Restricted to what?
-Uh, employees? It says it right there, ’employees only’?
-So I work here.
-No you don’t, I’ve never seen you.
-Maybe I work when you’re at home sleeping, snuggling up to your body pillow, pretending somebody loves you.
-Excuse me?
-What, you don’t have a body pillow?
-Who the hell are you?
-I told you. I work here.
-Tell me right now or I’m calling the cops!
-The cops?
-Yes, you’re severely creepy and I don’t plan to be one of your next weird victims or something.
-My victims?
-Yeah like whatever your deal is, I’m not into it.
-I don’t know what you mean.
-Like your mind-reading, people-reading weird-creepy-psycho-shit.
-So you do have a body pillow?
-That’s it, I’m calling the–oh my god.
-Let me guess, you don’t have your phone.
-How did you know that?
-I told you, I work here.

“your laziness” by Julia on her bed


Friday June 3, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Intent To Live
Larry Moss


My laziness smells like a scab
Twice
picked over
Like the way a bad avocado tastes
Like the way tomorrow
Never means
Today
My laziness was
Mistaken once
For fear
By a good teacher
Who wanted me
To do well
When I confessed that I
Didn’t start the things
That I meant to start
That I waited for

I thought I was
Doing
Myself
A favour
Calling out my own flaws
Before anyone else could get
The chance to
She told me that
It wasn’t laziness
That kept me
From
Moving
Forward
It was the fear
Of wanting a thing that didn’t want me back
But the sound of it
was like
Hot air
Pushing through..

“a signal he was about to shut down.” by Julia on the 9


Thursday May 12, 2016
10:48pm
5 minutes
Bolt
Russell Wangersky


I remember asking him if he wanted to sleep over–it might have been the third or fourth time. We had just gotten home from a nice dinner, I had just peed myself in the laundry room and was cleaning it up with dryer lint while he waited for me upstairs in my room, you know, just a casual Friday night, and I thought he was going to say yes this time. I was cautious, I made sure the moment was right, made sure I was feeling his vibe, and then boom: another no. I assumed naturally, as one does, that it was either because he could smell remnants of secret urine off my legs (though I had washed them well enough in the bathroom sink before returning to my room), or that he was about to break up with me.

“I am in a meeting” by Sasha on a bench downtown


Monday May 9, 2016
12:14pm
5 minutes
From a text

“Yeah, yeah…” I blow my nose into a scarf that’s in my backpack in case the bike ride home gets cold. “I’m fine.”

The man, wiry and wearing black cutoffs, a plaid shirt and a Jays hat, hands me his dog’s leash. She’s a bulldog, just older than a puppy. My bike is like a gutted fish leaning against the curb. His hands are covered in grease, just like mine are, as he wrestles the chain back on.

I bought the bike for fifty seven dollars on Craigslist from a Portuguese grandmother with impeccable hydrangeas.

“I do and I don’t” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 8, 2016
10:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard by Julia on the 2 bus

Newly fourteen, I’m living on a biodynamic farm in Durham, Ontario for three weeks. I’m there with two other girls from my Grade Nine class. We sleep in the basement of the farmhouse, in beds built for children. Heather’s feet hang over the footboard. She’s a head taller than me and Karla.

I have dirt under my fingernails, and my hair has been died by the hours in the sun. I have strange tan lines and know a handful of new songs. The two young women from Alaska who are working on the farm for the season teach them to us as we pick rocks from a field where plum trees will be planted.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:43pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

I showed you love like moss thick under bare feet
tangled just like we are
all roots and flowers all held tight
all reaching

I showed you patience like a watched pot like
the new moon and the tide in and out in and
out all smiles and sighs and gulps
all dirty fingernails and guitar solos

I showed you lavender bouquets blinded by the
streetlights the kitchen is the only alter I’ll
pray at the great divide somehow smaller
amongst tarragon and cinnamon

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“this music has more religion in it than any church” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 17, 2016
9:54pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment by GB3770

I pray at the church of kindness, I can’t settle for anything less than that as my temple. I don’t believe in a God that won’t invite us all to play, that condemns for ignorance, that promotes the weak and bludgeons the strong. I don’t believe in a God that withholds, that accepts money as the only currency, that won’t forgive us for very arbitrary, yet non-negotiable acts. I bow my head at the alter of generosity. It’s the only home I ever feel safe enough to lower my shield in. It’s the only thing that moves me to a state of rejoicing. Don’t give me that hearsay scripture, that haunting, beautifully crafted by poets rule book. I worship at the church of soul music. The kind that lifts your skin off your bones just enough to make room for grace.

“World’s Greatest Dad” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 16, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
from a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

I liked him because he thought my name was Vanessa.
I liked him because he’d make excuses to talk to me.
Because he’d serenade me in the funniest ways and always show up in my doorway without a reason.
Because his smile hasn’t changed one bit since he was little.
Because he knows how to communicate me to me.
Because he can educate without agendas or judgments.
I liked him because he was charming.
Because he was funny.
Because he was the best looking thing I’d ever seen.
I liked him because he wore truth-manifesting, subliminal foreshadowing on his funny old t-shirts.
I liked that his favorite shirt used to be the one that read “WORLD’S GREATEST DAD”.
I liked him because I believed he believed he would be.

“I still want to think about safety” By Sasha in the Kiva


Sunday, August 9, 2015
1:32am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Chai simmers on the stove, wafting cinnamon and vanilla. You, tuning your guitar, all focus and callouses, forget that I'm there and I like that. Soon, your voice will mix with the spices and I'll put down my book and close my eyes. The melody and the warm liquid will lull me to sleepy safety.

Your cell phone rings. I curse technology. I am a broken record saying, “Can we have twenty four hours technology free once a week?” You’ve already answered so you don’t hear me. “Shhh,” you whisper.

“You can live in Heaven” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, July 24, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


I first met Will from an audience. His band was playing at the Horseshoe Tavern and I stared at him the whole set. At the end of the show he smiled at me and my stomach flipped and flopped like a fish out of water. A few months later I saw him at a friends birthday party and I approached him. Someone was singing karaoke, loud, and I had to shout. I played dumb when he told me that he was in a band and acted like I only maybe had heard of them. At the end of our conversation he asked for my phone number and we texted the next few days. We met up for coffee and he was distracted but I didn’t care. I liked him. He kissed me on my porch and told me he was going on tour for three months in a week. We didn’t have a lot of time.

“are you from here?” By Julia at R&D Restaurant


Saturday, June 6, 2015 at R&D
5:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

I didn’t know what to say, she was this beautiful blonde with tits as big as my head. Dressed in a sweet long dress that I imagined was covering her perfect panty-less ass. I believe this woman doesn’t wear underwear. Just let me have that, okay?
She asked me if I was from here and I think I died. Classic line. She was engaging with me and I wanted to play. But, call me crazy, maybe it was the boyfriend sitting right beside her, but I didn’t feel right saying anything at all. As if she was testing him and he was testing me. But her perfect blonde tits and her perfect free and liberated ass….they haunt me still. As if I was almost on my way to actually getting to know them.

“are you from here?” By Sasha in her bathroom


Saturday, June 6, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

You thought I was someone I wasn’t, that’s for sure. How could you have thought that I was just me and that that was enough? I was wearing a red short, tight in the right place, loose in the others, aka “just right”. I’d ordered vodka sodas from you all night, smiling, eye contact, touching your fingers a little bit longer, aka “just right”. Before I left you called me over to the bar and said, “I want to see you again…” It was gentle, slow, it was corn roasted on the barbecue, perfectly blackened. I wrote my number on the inside of your wrist, where lots of women have etched in black forever ink “DESTINY” or “breathe”. You liked the placement, you had an accent but I wasn’t sure from where.

We met at a bar a few blocks from my apartment. I noticed blue nail-polish on your pinky. “What’s that?” I asked, a sip of cider fresh on my lips like a coy “Hello”. “My daughter,” you said, and I leaned back, swallowing.

“believe it or not” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Horseshoe Bay


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:49pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

A machine beeps. It attaches to your arm. You’re sleeping, snoring softly. One hand rests on your belly. Up and down, up and down. May, the nurse on shift comes in and checks your vitals. I’m halfway through my book. Every few minutes someone new is wheeled in, or out. Some have their eyes half closed, in between this world and another one. Some crank their heads around, talking with the orderlies. Most look like baby squirrels – new, ruffled hair, vulnerable. You tell me to kiss you and I do. You taste like anesthetic and sleep.