“my mother gave me his toolbox” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday Novermber 1, 2017
9:07pm
5 minutes
My Father’s Hammer
John Hodgen

I had never hung a picture frame before. I didn’t like the idea of putting holes in a wall I was going to have to return. Never stayed around long enough to hold anything that wasn’t already mine. That, and each wall ruined cost one hundred dollars to fix, no matter how small. No matter how nook. Then out of nowhere my mother brings over his toolbox and leaves it on the doorstep. Like a sad nicky nicky nine doors. I couldn’t bring myself to open it until a year later. I found other ways to decorate. Most of my frames lived propped against the walls, as if forever waiting for their turn to go up. They collected dust, like they would if they were hanging, but I pretended I liked them that way. A cluster of art to acccent the floorboards and all the corners where the hundred dollar walls meet. One day it was raining and I somehow got up the nerve to open the box. Inside was a note addressed to me. It said “You can always take it down.” I don’t know how he knew.

“Thank you for delivering your promise…” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 28, 2017
6:41pm
5 minutes
from an email

I want to start by saying your work is very good. And I mean very good. You surprised me. I didn’t think you had it in you. I want to continue to be honest with you, and you have given me a lot to think about. When you first started here you had a hot head and your inexperience hung off of you. I don’t know if you were always this determined but whatever you’ve done to change your energy has done wonders for you. It actually makes me want to support your artistry. Before, I didn’t want anything to do with you. I didn’t like being in the same room as you. I found you entitled. And obnoxious. And when not checked regularly, slightly violent in your approach. I don’t see that anymore, but I do think it’s important for you to know what I did see before you decided to change your mind. I want to thank you for delivering your promise to me about “giving a fuck” as you put it. I am impressed by that and that now your work speaks for itself without your shadow lurking near by, ready to sabotage all of your light. I hope you know that I wouldn’t say all of this if it weren’t true.

“body painting” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 5, 2017
10:00am
5 minutes
A business card

The skin is smooth and ready for art. Kat slips off her robe, overrulling the knot in her throat trying to tell her to run.
“I am art”
“I am enough”

She is standing in front of a collection of new eyes. She reminds herself not to see them. Not to look directly at them.
“I am art”
“I am enough”
Kat lays herseld down on the cushions and waits. The instructor hasn’t said anything yet. No one has. Everyone watches. Nobody moves.

Finally a voice cracks in the back of the room, letting the light in. Kat hums her panic away, steady, low.
“I am art”
“I am enough”
The first brush tongues her hip skin upward into a smile

“stop on the platform” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 18, 2017
7:45pm
5 minutes
Graduation FAQ

if there is a time for watching sunsets, it is now
the sky puts on a show and we are all allowed to love it
you are my walking Cuckoo clock, I always know what
time it isn’t, I’m surprised that it still surprises you

The ad in the subway has an hour glass and the words
“tick tock”
The rest is too small to see
I don’t know what it’s for, but it looks dangerous
who ever though to put hours in something so fragile,
and what if it breaks open and we don’t ever
get them back?

if the sky wants to dance, who am I to turn my back
there is time for beauty in this place too
when it is the nourishment keeping us in motion

“Judging your early artistic efforts” by Julia at Trees on Granville


Thursday April 20, 2017
2:20pm at Trees Organic
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


The other day I found a note written on a teddybear notepad by my junior kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Beliveau. She signed her name with a heart in the ‘i’ and I remembered just how much I loved her-her and her soft nylons, and her “snot-free” desk (which I violated often and blamed on Justin Martens). The note was addressed to my parents telling them that I had a very nice first day of school: I painted a lot and loved story time (shocker), and sang a song for the class at Show And Tell (I remember this-I didnt bring something to show, like a doll or a toy I liked, so I made up a song and sang it for the class when it was my turn. Super shocker! Just kidding). I have always done this. Four year old me has always lnown this. Thirty year old me is grateful.

“Judging your early artistic efforts” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 20, 2017
8:48am
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


hours at the round kitchen table
pencil crayons building

bungalows making circles
and roofs the paper

my playmate my confidante
my lover my dreamcatcher

embroidery thread spun
into small balls

the summer of the hair wrap
the friendship bracelets

Layah and I had a store out of the living
room where our parent’s friends would

purchase anklets for a quarter

“First we marched” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 22, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

And then we cried and
then we cried some more because the road, though paved with many,
is a long one and we will travel it far…
But then we wrote
and wrote and then
we wrote some more
because the pages were begging
us to:
new history books in the making
New essays to recount and remember
new letters to fight
to will.
New anthems to cling to
New poetry to heal by
We wrote out our deepest hurt
and bled the deepest
divide
We told ourselves in cursive or in print to remember

“leftover Hamburger Helper garbage” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 13, 2016
5:51pm
5 minutes
Summer OF My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews


Danika and I couldn’t believe her mom would let us have the house to ourselves for the weekend. The ENTIRE weekend. We were drunk on freedom and cotton balls and anything from the medicine cabinet that we could have turned into crafts or art. The first night we both had double chocolate fudge ice cream for dinner and a can of whipped cream EACH for dessert. What a life! We didn’t think to get an emergency number from Danika’s mom before she left, or find out where exactly she was going to be for this long without worrying about her 9 year old kid and her best friend. My mom would never let us stay by ourselves. So we didn’t tell my mom that Danika’s mom left a note on the kitchen table that she had scrawled in messy writing saying “Gone for the weekend, Hamburger Helper on the stove.”

“The Arts Factory” by Sasha at her desk


Monday November 21, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
From an Eastside Culture Crawl postcard

I am going to build you a factory, Johnathan. It’s going to be big and beautiful and on every floor there’s going to be artists making the wildest stuff you’ve ever dreamed of. Pottery pigs and blown glass pinatas and burlesque dance routines by the old folks! All the things you fought so hard for… If we don’t have hope now, when are we gonna? I promise you, by next birthday, you’ll have your factory. And you studio? With the biggest windows and the highest ceilings and walls all white-washed alabaster… You’ll paint when you see in your dreams. You’ll paint the red oceans and the bubbles holding whole worlds inside. You’ll paint it all and we won’t worry about selling anything. We’ll give them away! If you want, of course. You’ll give them away to folks that really that kind of light in their lives.

“the authors of our lives” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 10, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown


I’m sorry for my chin hairs – – –
my legs \\ my armpits \/
my belly >
“my” is pejorative
none of these parts are mine
TRUMP CARD
I laugh because the cry is too big for my one bedroom apartment

I’m sorry for the unpalatable opinions
on the table between us
swirling squash and shit and sex and
squash

My dreams of motherhood don’t betray my dreams
of taking over the world
with stories of chin hairs
legs armpits bellies

Shred the TRUMP cards and recycle them
Maybe they will end up
paper that you’ll write me a letter on

“you can experience racism” By Julia on her couch


Wednesday September 14, 2016
11:06pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

Did you know that if you can think it, it already exists somewhere on the internet? Because it’s a dark and twisted jungle and some people don’t know how to find their way home after getting lost in it. Anything you can think of at all. Sure, it would take a little digging. You’d have to be good at searching. But for every good thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to one like it somewhere online. And for every bad thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to 10. At least. The ratios do not lie. We’re more alike in this life than we’d ever like to admit. My bad thoughts, fleeing, your bad thoughts breeding and burying their eggs all over the web. It’s the only place where there always exists someone more hurt than you.

“I had to let her know” By Julia in her bed


Tuesday September 13, 2016
11:18pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Words unspoken turned into her next studio album
I wished she would have thanked me in the liner notes
Some of her best songs were un-fought wars about me
And some of her most beautiful lyrics
Were silent wishes tucked away and forgotten
I would have liked to explain myself
I would have liked to be understood before the divide instead of because of it
Too many resolutions gleaned from the backs of our sleeping heads facing opposite walls
And all the haunting melodies I will hum to myself forever
now that they are stuck inside my dreams

“How I came into being” By Julia on her couch


Monday September 12, 2016
9:46pm
5 minutes
poetryfoundation.org

How I was birthed twice in this life by my mother and twice by me. How I have started over. How I have changed destinies and opinions. How I have grown bigger in this year alone than I have in all my years prior combined. How I realized I could draw. How I realized I could sing. The moments of myself split me open like a decision, like a soybean.
I met myself one afternoon in July. I was outside my house and inside my body. I sipped on scotch. I wrote a letter to the me I was becoming. I wrote music for my tired self’s funeral.

“if something opens up” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:14am
5 minutes
from a text

I’m waiting in line at the store
planning to buy this canned tuna
and a clue
because I got hungry
just
waiting and looking at the food
Seron said he was going to meet me here
I don’t think he’s coming
he said he would come to the broccoli aisle
but no one has showed up yet
that looks like it could be Seron
Based on his picture he will have a big black beard
and he said
for fun
he would be carrying
a daisy
in some way
I liked that he was trying to be creative
for me
because I told him before
I like making art and starting conversations
I wonder if we are at the same store
if he meant, maybe, a different one
or if I got the address wrong
I have been waiting for two hours
now
and counting
I wonder how long he has
been waiting
for me

“not quite ready for viewing” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 2, 2016
9:45pm
5 minutes
from leoawards.com

Miriam is working on a masterpiece she is not quite ready to show. She has been behind the curtain for 7 years and she is inspired every day to try and improve it, to make it better, to make sure that it’s perfect. She is getting so good at making the mistakes go away that the masterpiece may soon be on display without flaw and will of course be appreciated more. Miriam does not consider that people waiting for her to complete this masterpiece will have many expectations. She does not let that bother her as she is preoccupied with ensuring that her art is living, breathing, and winning. It must win what ever ribbon is awarded to the winner of the production of a masterpiece. Surely a blue ribbon for dedicating so much time to one thing because there was a vision? Miriam could use a blue ribbon. It’d be nice to be reminded why she stays inside creating without ever showing others her work. Must be a reason why she never feels like it’s good enough to offer.

“passionate artists” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 17, 2016
12:21am
5 minutes
from a program

I woke up. Not, like, from sleep. There was no stretching, or coffee, or yawns. Well, maybe there was, but that’s beside the point. I realized something, something huge. Something so huge that it completely transformed everything about me – from the size of my baby toes to colour of my heart.

From the time I was a little girl, everyone said, “you can be whatever you want to be!” This was well intentioned. This was meant to be a good thing, to be freeing… “Are you going to be a nurse like your Dad?” People would say. “Are you going to be an engineer like your Mom?” They would ask. “I just want to be a passionate artist!” I said one day… And it just kind of stuck. I kept saying it. Suddenly, that’s what I wanted.

“It is important to notice the differences and similarities in the success stories” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday March 20, 2016
3:32pm
5 minutes
from authorspublish.com

When William came home from his first day of grade 1, he showed me a chart he made- a Venn diagram with the titles:

THINGS I DO AT HOME

THINGS I DO AT SCHOOL

William had scribbled in Colouring and Playing and Fun and Story Time in the At School Circle. In the At Home one he had written Eating and Bath Time and Bed With No Dessert and Chicken Nuggets
I realize how little I can control what he will do or say when he’s not around me. How I can’t protect an identity or a culture that I’ve built in my own home because people will always have their opinion no matter what the context. I realize how much he absorbs and how he defines himself as a member of my household. It makes me want to make a spinach salad for dinner and spend time cutting out magazine images for a collage to hang in his bedroom.

“I’ll avoid her for a few weeks” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 19, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

If I close my eyes I can almost hear perfect silence. The buzz of the fridge seems to disappear. The beeping of the trucks backing up outside my balcony are muted. I can get centred without going anywhere at all. I’ve been practicing getting zen and doing it under pressure as that’s the most necessary time. Sheila says that if I practice every single day, reaching for meditation every single time I have the urge to call her instead, I’ll really start to form a habit. I think Sheila has a point. You can’t reach zen when you’re trying to make plans to go mini-golfing, or asking someone about knitting. I think Sheila is doing the exact same thing every time she thinks of calling me. I imagine her sitting there on the floor 6 or 7 times a day if she’s being diligent about curbing the urge. I don’t remember the last time Sheila even called me so her approach must be working! If I can get to a point where I don’t even think about how little human contact I’ve had, I’ll call that a success.

“I’ve never been a male filmmaker” by Julia at Artstarts


Friday March 18, 2016 at Artstarts
2:41pm
5 minutes
from a Death, Sex and Money podcast

I’ve been making a movie and it’s about my green bike, Gloria, and all the places Gloria ends up even though it might not always seem likely that she can get there. It’s a thoughtful piece meant to comment on the system of transportation and the moon and how the two are actually lovers. So far the feedback about my project has included statements such as “what is this film really about?”, “what exactly are you trying to say here?”, “is there a story at any point that we might be introduced to?”, and “I love the name Gloria!” I am preparing to submit this feature length movie to many festivals in the circuit. I am very positive about what’s to come.

“How cool would this be?” by Julia at her dining table


Friday February 26, 2016
5:41pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew St.

You and me
?
midnight hiking!
Nothing on our backs…
but the idea…
that we couldn’t….
And the wouldn’t
?
Gone long and far because
We chose to set it free
Not worth
Keeping
Repeating
Glorifying
But now is
good!
And!
wide!
And!
invigorating!
because we chose to give ourselves
over to the truth
So no more lies
?
If we say so
We can could do-
We can anything:
Be
Do
Anything anything
Until we decide–
Stand firm–this
way
or
sideways

“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 25, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.

“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.

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“in response to” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday November 11, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre
Ed. Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


my mother’s mother had a strong jaw
my mother has a strong jaw
i have a
strong jaw
women like foothills
hips that lead to knowing
women like water
shoulders that feel the weight

my mother’s mother
all interruption
all control
all strength
all smoke
all ash
all sun
all dust
all breath
all power
all shame
all grace
all cherry tree
all candle wax
all salt
all curve
all language

my mother’s mother
a legacy of cabbage rolls
chocolate worship
picked the scabs on her arms until she bled
i pick the scab on my arm until i bleed
the story spins a web of then and now
my future daughter
my mother’s mother
my mother
my sister
the story spins a dreidel
marking roots
marking laugh lines
marking tear tracks
marking what’s good
what’s bad
the space between

“it could not establish” by Sasha at Liberty Bakery


Tuesday October 27, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
3:38pm
5 minutes
the Iphone internet connection message

Margo made good eye contact. It didn’t come easily, but she did. No tricks, like staring in between the eyebrows, we are talking about full on retina connection.

As a child, Margo always looked up – the shapes of the clouds, a crow on the high branch of a tree, the jet-stream left behind a plane. Or, she looked down – pink sidewalk chalk, an earthworm left exposed, a tumbleweed.

It was her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Rowland, who pulled her aside one day before recess.

“Margo, you never look me in the eye! I don’t even know what colour your eyes are!”

He was so genuinely concerned, so deeply invested in her connection with others, that from that day onwards, Margo changed her course. She began to sneak peeks into people’s eyes.

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“What is “beginner’s mind”?” By Julia in Brooklyn


Tuesday, July 28, 2015
11:11pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Shambhala Sun

Set out on that journey with the wind whispering a farewell to your back
Let it make its way into your hair and dance there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to hold you back or make you think you’re not ready
Only you know that
She just thinks goodbyes are important
You have your pencil sharpened and your pages born fresh and clean
Your long trek’s sword; your protector; your companion
Set out on that journey with the wind catching up to your skin
Let it make its way onto your face and caress you there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to interfere or keep you from moving forward
You will do it anyway
She just thinks hello-agains are worth it

“I made this cake” by Julia on her bed


Sunday May 17, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

I uhh…I made this cake for you. I’ve never made a cake before but I made this. Or like, I tried to, I guess? I mean. Yeah. A cake! For your birthday. And I know your birthday was like, a month ago. But I wasn’t confident enough to try making a cake then so, I didn’t give you anything and I wanted to, but I was embarrassed so I just pretended that you didn’t have a birthday at all so that you wouldn’t..uhh.. not get a cake from me. I also pretended that not even wishing you a happy birthday alongside not making you a cake was an okay thing to do. It wasn’t. It’s weird, it was just what I decided to do. Uhh…You don’t have to eat this even. The cake, obviously. It might not be edible, actually, because I didn’t taste it and I didn’t know how to taste it without wrecking it so I just took a chance and thought, maybe I’ll taste it first when we’re together so in case it’s bad there will be someone there to warn you. So if you want we can do it that way, or I can just stop talking now so you can stop wishing this was a different moment in your life and not the one you have to be in.

“I made this cake” by Sasha in the bed a Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 17, 2015
11:56am
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Not MORE
Not LESS
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
SHUT OFF
TURN DOWN
POWER FAIL
POWER FULL
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
And connected
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
One another
We all come from the same mother
She’s here
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
More fearless
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
Is it?
Always here?
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you

“I feel like a skid” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Saturday May 9, 2015
3:42pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits beach

I’ll follow you, North Star.
I’ll follow you all the way down South and up to the icy Arctic and back across to the mountains and the deserts.
I’ll be there to guide you, North Star, when you’re tired of lighting everyone else’s way.
I’ll make you blackberry smoothies with coconut and hemp seeds – you’ll need that plant based protein, North Star.
If you feel like drifting, don’t feel like you must be chained to the North – sail south, ancient one! Sail sideways and in zigzags! I’ll keep your spot warm.
I’ll dry your thunderstorm tears, North Star, when you’re ravaged by grief, when you lose another member of the Milky Way. I’ll cradle you in my arms until you fall asleep, salty-cheeked and eyes swollen.
I’ll run alongside you when you learn to ride a bike, speed demon. I’ll cheer you on and I’ll put bandaids on your knees when you skin them.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Julia at the Bloor/gladstone public library


Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
5:46pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.

“Choosing what is important for her” by Julia on the 504 going west


Friday March 27, 2015
1:08am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

When Andrea lifted her head from steering wheel she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know that she had just crashed her cream coloured Toyota corolla into a city transit bus, inhibiting 50 people from getting to work on time, or to school, or to the first job interview the two or three people were able to secure since getting back on their feet. She felt her stomach doing summersaults, regretting in that instant her choice to consume only spicy salami cut up into thick round chunks for breakfast. She saw smoke all around her and thought it was only a dream; the rising and falling of a dragon’s breath, heating his layer and keeping himself warm in his cave.

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

How is one to know—with strangers?” By Sasha at Studio 1398


Saturday March 14, 2015
3:41pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Let’s take ourselves back in time to the time before
the time when we knew about consequence
and hemming of jeans and the blueberry kiss of

summer

How is one to know when a stranger is the icy breath on the window
of the car accident?

or

The Mother we’ve been waiting for since the day we arrived her
spewing needs and hunger
calling for

more

at the top of our lungs

I’ve wanted a revolution from day one but I don’t like starting things
preferring the sourdough to rise in the cupboard
unwatched by blue eyes

brown eyes

We wrapped purple and blue and green and grey around strands of hair we weren’t
afraid to lose

a summer of coconut oil and tuna sandwiches

Cherry popsicle lipstick

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“One male one female” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday March 11, 2015
12:33pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It is all we can do not to laugh our friggen heads off! He’s got a booger hanging out of his nose, AND his fly is down, AND he’s got a piece of something brown between his two front teeth… AND he’s trying to school us on Sensitivity and Awareness like it’s a rare bird… I mean, come on! If anyone needs the training it’s Dave and he’s out sick with bronchitis! Kathleen and I are literally losing it, I mean LOSING IT, and he says, “I need TWO volunteers – ONE male and ONE FE-male!” He says it like we should be friggen excited. No one puts up their hand. Not even Larry. I almost feel bad for him, you know, such a mess in front of the whole twelve of us. I go, “I’ll do it,” and he’s so grateful I think he might cry, and he takes me by the shoulders and puts me in the middle of the circle.

“happens without words” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday February 11, 2015
10:50pm
5 minutes
mysticmama.com

it happens without words
the realization
like a raindrop
on your third eye
the understanding
in the pit of your belly
near where your breath
lives
it happens without asking
permission
or
if the timing is
any good
it happens just before you leave
for the day
a twister in your heart
a tornado in your throat
a sob
a reach
a hand
cold
far
far
sleep close
the sound of a car
door
closing
opening
closing

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Sasha on the 16


Sunday February 8, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

How to forget about yourself – A step-by-step guide
1. Don’t smile at yourself in the mirror. In fact, cover all your mirrors with newspaper.
2. Drink lots of water. No juice. No Limonata.
3. Tell your friends to refer to you as the colour of your eyes. I would be “Blue”. You would be “Brown”.
4. Race has nothing to do with it. (Just this once).
5. If you feel one of the following feelings, run yourself a bath, submerge your ears and sing Frère Jacques.
A. Sadness
B. Grief
C. Lust
D. Fear
E. Hunger
F. Ambition
G. Love
H. Fatigue
6. Leave your wallet on the bus.
7. Don’t cancel your credit cards.
8. Go to sleep.
9. Eat mostly canned foods.
10. Tell your lover a secret you’ve never told anyone but yourself.
11. Face them while you do it.
12. I know it seems counter-intuitive to forgetting yourself, but trust me on this one.

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Julia on the 47 going South


Sunday February 8, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

We were at this line, standing on a cliff looking out into the entire world. We could see all the sadness, because of all the possibility. We could feel the stars shedding their light for us to soak up if we had enough space left inside after all the room we made for darkness. Deep down we had a fixed price for what we’d pay for happiness. We were told that we needed to buy it. We were told we needed to hide it. And at the same time we could hear all the first laughs of every perfect infant. We could paint courage and intimacy with a brush so soft we could swear it didn’t even leave a mark… And that’s why we stood there. On the edge of everything– and not knowing one single thing to do.

“make myself solid in this transitory world” by Julia at Source Centre for Health and Wellness


Tuesday February 3, 2015 at Source Centre for Health and Wellness
9:04pm
5 minutes
A Time Of No Place
Natalie Goldberg


If Regis (that’s the dog that I’m watching) licks my left ankle one more time, I’ll take it as a sign from the sky gods (that’s a term my friend Birdie told me about recently. Her real name is Roberta, but what fun is that?)that I’m connecting with something magical. Mirabell (that’s Regis’ long lost love) died two years ago today and he never fully recovered. Now he licks ankles but I don’t think those things are related. Tiger-Blossom (That’s my spirit animal. He’s a she and sometimes she’s a monster) says that when it’s really cold at night we must let our lives live without the halves we think they need.

“Each person comes into this world” by Julia on the 501 heading east


Saturday January 31, 2015
4:37pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

And boom boom can we get the drums a banging
cause the moon moon has all these people clanging
We
Join
Life
From the wombs wombs meeting memories in this world
to the tombs tombs where our bones lay stripped and curled
We
Leave
Strife
And boom boom we celebrate the hearts a thudding
with the moon moon keeping far the doors that need shutting

“to firm up” by Julia on the 506 heading west


Friday January 30, 2015
8:08pm
5 minutes
Ani’s Raw Food Desserts
Ani Phyo


Someone’s been spying on me. I tell them. I tell them in my eyes. No more of that, I say. No more. And I ask them not to bother. I ask them. They don’t listen. They never listen. I can feel it now in my belly button. It tingles and it’s in crying. It’s making a hurt feel. I want to say nice loud Please Stop, Please Stop Now Now, but I don’t know how that is. How that is? And I don’t like having big windows. And I don’t like being big windows. Birds flying hurting into big widows. It isn’t me. It isn’t the real me. But I get big when I have to. I get very high if I need to stand. And no more sand for my feet to live.

“I’ll try and take it off” by Julia at Mina’s Fabric


Thursday January 29, 2015 at Minas Fabric
4:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

I’ll try and take it off-the layer of whatever it is I’ve been hiding behind.
I used to be such a pretty girl. Such a pretty pretty girl. And he’d sing to me from the top of the stairs, “I see you and I see you because you make it so hard not to.” And I’d feel like I belonged to something perfect on this earth even if his love didn’t last and his opinion of me changed.
I had to consciously say that out loud to the next one once–that I’d try and take it off—because he looked at me with such kind eyes, but in a confused way as if he desperately wished he could see through the wall and share a moment in my soul–just swimming around, testing the water.
I have to say it out loud so I can remind myself that sometimes it’s more for me than for anyone else: that it’s hard to see clearly just as it is to be seen clearly.
I think of that searching look he gave me when I need to stop myself from fading…

“Sell it to me! I want to fix it!” by Julia on the 63 going North


Wednesday January 28, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

Well I went through a phase in my life where all I wanted to do was sell bracelets made out of human teeth. It was a longer phase than maybe I’d like to/should admit. I thought it would be really sweet to market to mothers–you know, Never Forget How Precious Your Child Once Was…
It was a strange endeavour, I know that it was, because you’d have to wait a couple years to get enough good teeth for a bracelet, but you’d have to have permission first and the whole thing. So I sold one or two bracelets. I knew there would be some people interested. And by some I mean…just the two. I don’t know if they bought them out of admiration for the craft or out of fear that if they didn’t I would cast some witchy voodoo curse on them, because honest to God, who collects and then sells human teeth?

“2 hours or longer” by Sasha in lecture


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

How to hold a stranger’s hand

Sitting on the bus
Minding your own headphones
You watch the rain make caterpillars
on the window.

A woman sits beside you
A purple poncho dripping droplets
on your leg

Disgruntled
you look
Sideways
You wonder if she’s crying or if she’s just your age
You cross the divide of leg touching

You take her hand

She pulls away but not
completely
She looks like a damp version of you
only a little in the future

Friend

The water’s calm
Or
Maybe it’s just the Bay
You sit on one of twelve big logs
You wonder if they’ve been here tripe the time
that you have

A man
walking a small dog
who barks at the gulls
He sits
Not near enough to reach
But near enough for you to know

You go to him
Five
Six steps

You take his hand

He smiles
He calls the name of his dog
loud enough for only you to hear

“2 hours or longer” by Julia on the plane


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

Saw him standing by the vending machine. He was biting the inside of his top lip again. There’s a little flap of skin that he likes to chew when he’s focused. His fingers were in his pockets fiddling with a twist-tie or a beer cap. I didn’t see in his pockets but that’s the stuff that’s usually in there. I was already late to meet him but I stood where I was, watching him from my hiding place,and wondering if this was the real him. Alone. Unknowingly being spied on. I could have stood there for 2 hours or longer, just making assumptions and being deeply curious about this human. It made me question if anyone really knows anyone at all. If everyone has a secret self that even we don’t know about..

“Man vs. Wolves” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 26, 2015
12:08am
5 minutes
from Outside Magazine

It takes a pack of them to keep me down. A pack of them, all fired up and caged for too long. Otherwise I’m like they are, clawing my way through hearts…and the flesh that was born to protect them. I see the moon and I transform into a nightmare. Into a bloody, toothy, shit eating grin. I’m the face that the dark stays dark for. And it’s not anger. It’s not rage. It’s torment and pain and obsession and truth. It’s raw like the wild and dangerous like the wind.

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Julia on her couch


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:29pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Ari told me to ask the Universe for what I wanted in life and make it very specific. She said, “what’s the harm in asking?” And I didn’t have an answer so I told her I didn’t know and that I would try it this weekend. I realized she wanted me to do it in that very moment while she was there so she could share it with me, but I’ve never been very good at asking for help and I didn’t want her to catch me in the middle of my ineptitude. It would shine brightly, stick out like a sore thumb, and remind everyone that I don’t have a clue. So I thought of Ari as I walked home in the most perfect light and Canadian snow, and wondered for the first time if asking was actually easy..Once you strip it bare of its shame and crippling vulnerability…
I remembered once asking my dad if he could lend me $1100.00. Some might argue that asking him or the universe was actually the same thing..

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Sasha in the Green Room at the Vancouver Playhouse


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Every time I set out to write something sexy, I end up writing about oatmeal or the ocean or someone yelling. Or moving, I write about moving a lot, too. You know when you read something and you’re like, “GODDAMNIT I SHOULDA WRITTEN THAT! THAT SHOULDA BEEN MINE!” Or that moment when you read about a play opening on Broadway that’s about pretty much the exact same thing you’ve been been writing for oh, four years? That moment is really cute. For me, it usually means a knot in my stomach and a bowl of popcorn. Maybe an episode of Nashville. What about the times when you write something that’s so brilliant you know it’s going to not only change your own life, but change other people’s lives too? Then, the big resounding questions is –

how are you going to spread your words like honey across the earth?