“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5 minutes
10:37am
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.

“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“Sitting in rapt attention” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 24, 2016
6:45am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
Issue No. 19

He was leading a seminar on punctuality and he showed up 6 minutes late. If he had turned it into some teachable moment, or made us realize how important life is sometimes and how maybe he’s the perfect one to lead this seminar because punctuality is still a human invention and so a human can still mess it up, we would have been more in his corner. Instead the whole time I thought he was a flake. How he couldn’t admit that he was wrong. That he was trying to save face in a crowd of ruthless college kids who were looking for reasons not to take him seriously. I thought about where he might be coming from. I thought about his life’s struggles and decided he probably had a bunch of them because we all do. I don’t know what everyone else was thinking but I was hoping he’d end his seminar early and rush off to tend to one of those life things so we would all have a little more compassion for him. I think that’s a good thing, that I would rather be compassionate. I guess the bad part is that I need to have a reason first before I want to be.

“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.

“Sentenced to two years for new offences” by Julia at Ka Chi


Friday, June 19, 2015 at Ka Chi
3:33pm
5 minutes
CP24

I don’t want to talk about jail cause that’s a part of my life that I don’t want to talk about. So, how’s Astrid?
You think I can talk about Astrid right now?
I think it’d be nice if you did. I’ve missed her. I’ve thought about her a lot. I don’t know, what else do we even have in common anymore?
Not much.
No.
She’s fine.
Yeah?
Yeah. Alive, happy. She’s fine.
Well what’s she been learning in school lately? What’s her favourite colour now?
Look, Lee, I don’t feel right discussing her with you. She’s none of your business, if I have to say it.
I know that. I know that. I don’t deserve to know about her. I’m just asking you to, I don’t know, show some compassion, here. Break the rules for a good cause or something.
Compassion? If there’s one thing I don’t have for you, Lee, it’s compassion.

“Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

“lease holders and approved occupants” by Sasha on her floor


Wednesday August 20, 2014
10:15pm
5 minutes
from an apartment memorandum

I find the skeleton
The big one
Bigger than the one that stood on Mr. Reynolds desk in Grade 12 Biology
Bigger than your new nephew
Six months old
Eyes brown like his mother’s
I find the skeleton
You’ve been wishing the tide would take
It hasn’t
The moon isn’t on the side of deception
She’s on the side of the ocean
Who is relentless
And forgiving
Your skeleton is a hand-me-down
Don’t forget that
He sings the unsung song of your father
And I have compassion for that
I find the skeleton and I take him out
I close the closet he came from
I put him in the garden beside the chives

“Have a good one” by Julia on the 18 bus south


Friday August 15, 2014
2:13pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 18 bus going south

The old man in the ratty suit tipped his ripped hat to a small girl with a daisy in her pony tail. She smiled shyly, then hid behind her mommy’s leg.
Poor thing, she’s shy!
Poor thing, she’s just a wee little love bug.
The old man had respect for his elders, his youngers, his same agers, his in-betweeners.
He didn’t think one person belonged on this earth with any more right than any other.
He might have been a dying breed; showing compassion to passers-by and loved ones alike.
Shouldn’t this be the way it goes?
Poor thing, he’s getting on!
Poor thing, he’s just a crumpled old dying thing.
He made everyone feel both good and bad at the same time. On the one hand he did a great job of including and inviting and making someone feel special. On the other, he was the only one who did this. He was better than the everyman.

“will run as deep as the bloodline” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Tuesday April 1, 2014
11:56am
5 minutes
www.jennylewis.com


There’s a cloud on her shoulder, pinning her down, pinning her to her place, which she doesn’t even enjoy. The cloud shakes its grey curls, making her heart ache, making the muscles tense. The cloud’s been there since the early Winter, since her husky got hit by a car, since she put on fifteen pounds, since she told her family she wanted a divorce from them. “Too much all at once,” I stroke circles onto her hand, hoping she’ll see that this will be over soon. Patchy, dry skin, bigger belly, so many new lines on her face I don’t even know her anymore. Bags heavier than bricks under her eyes. “I’m worried,” I hold her hand and it’s clammy, it’s cold, it reminds me of fish before you put it in the pan to broil.

“in any other brain” by Sasha on the subway going West


Sunday, January 27, 2013
5:57pm
5 minutes
Scientific American February 2013

I couldn’t believe that I was holding your brain in my hand. I laughed. Then, I threw up. Not on the brain, on the floor, a little on my new Doc Martins. You’d asked me to take your negative thoughts that were bringing you down, down, down, into the mud of your past. It didn’t matter to you that I’d only completed two weeks of residency at Mount Sinai. I performed a lobotomy in the foyer of your condo building because neither of us wanted to clean up the mess. We’d leave it to the cleaning people who come in and do the floors every week. You died pretty quick. I mean, we didn’t have IV’s or the right instruments, or anything surgical at all. There was no nurse. At one point the concierge came over and asked if everything was okay. I paused, looked him in the eye, and said, “Yes!” perhaps a bit too confidently. Your brain was heavier than I thought it might be, a solid ten pounds, for sure. I lifted it high above my head.