“The waters here” by Julia at 49th Paralell


Thursday August 10, 2017
2:56pm
5 minutes
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok

I scooped up the sea in my hand and drank at the thought of you.
“I wish you were here” might be carved into my belly.
Yesterday, the croon of the waves kissed my shoulder blade the way you used to. It’s nice to be touched by your memory when you are far away. I gave my salt right back to the source. We laughed a little at the impermanence of things that never belonged to us in the first place. our dreams, on loan from the sky and the breeze and the gentle hereafter.

“The morning, happy thing” by Julia on her couch


Saturday August 5, 2017
12:59am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

In the morning, I stood up, naked and sweaty. I walked to the fridge with weight. I felt a stillness. This house has been quiet since you left.

When you were gone I slept on your side of the bed and didn’t wke up once. There could be two reasons.
1)Because your side is better than mine or 2)Because I sleep better when you are gone.

I missed you most in the afternoon when the daylight no longer knew which colour it wanted to be. I watched a video of you singing that made me smile out loud.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“where the water is still” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 7, 2016 at Starbucks
6:59am
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


I will meet you there at our favourite spot
the one where we feel like we’re in our own little world
early in the morning before the rest of the ones who need the sun
even see it
where the water is still
where the sail boats line up so perfectly
camping on the ocean
When you need to remember why we chose each other
when you need to feel big in your smallness
I will
I will always.
I will meet you there
at our favourite spot
where the moments feel full
and little ducks rest on rocks
the one where we’re one
with each other
and with the sky

“community based competitions” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday June 19, 2016
10:38pm
5 minutes
http://www.academicinvest.com

I’m standing at the microphone and I can hear my own breathing inside my head, but everything else in the room is perfectly still. I am ready. I am prepared. I am under water. I feel true calm. I hear the speaker bellow out a long word in slow motion. I hear every single part of his word. I see every single part of his word. I take a deep breath and I pause. The silence is back. My focus is razor. I repeat his word, his multisyllabic and challenging word and I spell it back to him, punching. each. letter. It is good to be good. I am floating. I am waiting. The sound of the auditorium floods back to my ears and there is thunder. There is pulse. I am lifted.

“vow to scrap” by Julia at Platform 7 Cafe


Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at Platform 7 Cafe
11:29am
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I know why
I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t keep the moments from turning into monuments
To keep the steam from turning into smoke
To keep the cut from turning into scar
I think I know why I don’t want to say why
I think I know why I can’t
I’m sorry
You say don’t be I’m trying to remember that
You say don’t try I’m trying to remember not to do that either
It’s taking some time
I am not sorry I am not trying
I think I know why
I think it scares me more than it might scare you
Human beings dancing without the proper shoes
Eagles flying without wings
You work hard to keep my wound a slice
To keep my throbbing a pulse
To keep my hyperventilating a breath
I think I know why
But I don’t say why

“the stakes couldn’t be higher” by Julia at Melriches


Wednesday September 16, 2015 at Melriches
11:45am
5 minutes
from an article from Maclean’s

Okay so these two idiots have been staring at me for a total of 17 minutes. I know they think they know me, but they don’t. Not the first to make the mistake! I know I have the hair, but I am not who they think I am and I will NOT give them the satisfaction of looking up and saying so. Come and ask me, fine, but don’t sit there, whispering, shhmush shmusshing about me, going silent, then staring some more. I suddenly wish I could throw up on command. I would just stand up, lean over, and barf right at them. Then without wiping my mouth, I’d maintain eye contact, and sit back down. My best friend Treena used to make herself vomit all the time. When she was little and she didn’t get what she wanted, she’d just stand on an expensive carpet, or over a pile of clean laundry and she’d throw up. I think that’s hilarious. The only things stopping me from pulling a Treena are a) the fact that I know staring is not a crime, and b)that I physically cannot make myself hurl in less than 30 minutes.

“I will go to the river” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Sunday September 13, 2015
12:36am
5 minutes
Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts
Tales retold by Jane Yolen


If you close your eyes and stretch out your hands I promise I’ll lead you to safety. Trust me. I’ll sing that to you until you believe me. I’m in no rush. I’m in no hurry. I’ll take you to the river and I’ll wait with you there. When you’re ready you can expand and when you’re ready you can lift up and soar. I’m in no rush. I’m in no hurry. Trust me. I hear the water in my sleep and it calms me, draws me in. I know the route to the moments worth keeping like I know my own nail beds, like I know my own smell. I will go again and again because I never tire of its medicine. I never tire of the healing that sets me free.

“It showed from the start” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
3:10pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“GOOD BOY!” By Julia at George Brown Theatre School


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

He strokes the skin right behind my ears. Tells me I’m soft, but I’m hiding it. He takes his tongue to the edge of where is expected. He lightly drags it up my neck to my ear lobe. He pauses. He whispers. “You taste like sunset.” He continues. My earlobe is in his mouth now, the softness being swallowed, chewed, ignited. Tells me I don’t have to be afraid of magic. I start to tell him I’m not–he devours me whole. “Shhh” he croons. “Don’t fight it. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” I try again, “I’m not afraid. I’m fine.” He groans in a gentle way, holding my head up with his thumb and forefinger.

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.

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“there’s plenty for everyone to do.” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday December 14
1:33am
5 minutes
Eyewitness Travel London

Does everyone see how it works? It’s not a terribly easy concept so if you don’t, please speak up and let one of us know. No judgement in the room, can we hear everyone say that together? MMMMM NO JUDGEMENT IN THE ROOM….yes. Brilliant energy everyone. See how when we chant together we enliven the entire room? It’s a nice feeling, filling a space with a collective calm, isn’t it? Who is feeling a bit out of sorts? Does anyone need further clarification? Would it be useful to some if I turned off the lights, had everyone close their eyes and simply extend a hand if they were needing a bit of help? This way no one will be able to see the person who needs this extra assistance and I will walk about the room and feel their hand as a cry for help? And no one will be shamed for being unable to comprehend the basic instructions that are, of course, incredibly difficult to grasp?

“All of you come here” by Julia at the beach in Levanto


Sunday September 21, 2014
3:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the beach in Levanto

And taste the salty hope of a blessing left out in the sun too long
And wait for me there while the ocean devours your fears
I’ll come to you in your dreams and whisper your fate to you
Tell you you’re beautiful and soft and beautiful
In those perfect dances no one is catching up with one another
But allowing one to lead and then to follow when the sleep sets in
And you will find your voice buried deep in your bones
A cage left open for the birds to fly out or back in
The song of your openness will caress the mountain’s top
And the fog that started there will transform into calm
A hundred gestures of kindness given in the second half of every almond biscuit I save for you
Your mouth a heartache turned into the Milky Way
Soothed by the light that emulates through you and then around you
And you will be reborn into a morning rain

“No phone or internet” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday May 22, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
4:19pm
5 minutes
a woodgreen.org streetcar stop ad

stranded on a deserted island with the sounds of the water and the sounds of the sky just being open arround me. yeah i’m just breathing here asking the world to forgive me for being so damn stubborn. and i’m meditating incorrectly but yeah, you know, at least i’m trying. and i’m not really on a deserted island and there really isn’t any beautiful calming around me. i’m just locked in my house because dale decided to take my keys on account of the fact that his were “left” at game last night by an unnamed party, aka dale, aka TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND JUST FUCKING SAY YOU LEFT THEM THERE BECAUSE YOU’RE A FUCK-KNOB.
and now if i leave i have to worry about my stuff getting stolen because dale convinced me to live in this stupid part of town where things get robbed and windows get smashed. locked in. and the power is out. so i’m sitting around a shit ton of candles trying to find my own inner peace and trying not to listen to dale speaking to me in this state, saying, you know you really should be writing.

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 27, 2014
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”

“kind of contrary” by Sasha on her bed


Sunday January 26, 2014
1:31am
5 minutes
NOW Magazine, January 23-29, 2014

In the woods, I forage for mushrooms. Chanterelle, oyster, porcini and portobello. You try to tell me that we can’t find all of those varietals here but we can. And I do. I clean them with a cut-up sheet, covered in lilies of the valley. I chop them up all together, finely, dicing and mincing until the cutting board is blacked. I warm a skillet with a slab of butter and a sliced clove of garlic. I add the mushrooms. I stir, rhythmically. I close my eyes and I breath in the smell of this place. I eat a bowl of this with nothing else but a curl of parmesan cheese. I use a fork that used to belong to my sister. I watch the sun fall behind the trees and I listen to the owl reminding me of night. You’ve been by the water, trying to catch a trout. You come home once it’s dark, empty handed. But not for long… Soon you, too, have a bowl of mushrooms and a glass of elderflower wine.

“Original Spring Source” By Julia on the 504 going east


Saturday January 25, 2014
4:31pm
5 minutes
from a Mountain Valley Sparking Water bottle

There's a little well, a fresh water spring that is about 8 minutes away from their house. It's the most beautiful place on earth. It is safe there. It is calm. It makes all the bad things seem to float away or disappear or turn into good things so they're not bad anymore. The soft rippling of the water, the purest form of ecstasy that I know, the clear stream of stress rolling down the tree stumps and off of the mountain side. That's where I find myself in moments like these. When the weather aches all my bones and weighs heavy on my mind. When the morning light shines through my window reminding me of all the things I have to fix or make or do or forgive. When your heart breaks from an unkind word I've said, or if coincidentally you believed that your breath was too loud for your brain that day. I go to the water. I go to the spring. I go to Italy and wait for you there.

“Smear out the last star.” by Julia on Canoe Landing


Wednesday, April 17, 2013
5:21pm
5 minutes
Absences
Dom Moraes


Shake your head, weary as it is, let out the day, the worry, the flaws.
There is room on the pavement for a collection of stones, rocks, hard places. Shake your head out. Let the haird fall one by one. Dark eyes, circled fear.
There’s a pain in you. A pain. A pain. LaLa is the music. Playing to robots dancing. Your dark mouth, dripping sadness. Go on. A shake. Give it a little shake. Attacked by a stranger’s dog and tossed a Frisbee by another. Say YES. engage. You can say no any other day but today.
Shake shake. Ask for a soy substitute tomorrow. Shake it all off and out. Turn you head upside down to just hang. Let the issues take flight. up up and down down through each pore. Each opening.
Watch the room say goodnight to the light. It closes its eyes and drifts slowly, slowly. T3 headache cure. It’s bringing you to the ocean. It’s bringing you to the ocean.
Shake your head, weary as it is, let out the day, the worry, the flaws.
Let out the day. The worry. The flaws.