“We invite you to read” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday May 13, 2020
5 minutes
Canada Council For The Arts Newsletter

There’s a man over there singing on the bench

when someone passes him he stops singing and says “Hello!”

And when that someone keeps going instead of stopping what they’re doing

the man says “Hello! Goodbye! Good Hell!”

By the time the person has realized what he’s said, he’s started singing again

Should I have stopped?

They wonder

Should I have taken ten seconds out of my day?

What if he was going to want to talk to me for longer than 10 seconds?

What if I would have been the only conversation he had all day?

The worry doubles and the man keeps singing there on the bench

He doesn’t wonder if the passersby are having enough conversations

He doesn’t ask of them anything actually

He is inviting them to smile

He is inviting them to read the room and see a thing and it’s a giving, actually

He is giving what he can and at some point it’s the singing

And at some point it’s the song

It’s the smile, the stopping to notice

The noticing

The engagement

The opportunity

He gives to whoever might pass not picking based on any other statistics

Gifts can be like that sometimes

“I’ve lobbed a grenade deliberately.” by Julia at her kitchen table

Sunday, December 2, 2012
5 minutes
Toronto Star Insight and Books section
Sunday Dec. 2, 2012

I didn’t tell you I was leaving. Frankly, you didn’t need to know. I’m not sure why it’s all of a sudden my responsibility to inform you of how shitty you are. You’ve lived long enough. Can’t you decipher simple social cues, or when someone dislikes you, can’t you tell? I’m not doing that anymore for you. If you can’t live your life and do what you need to do based on the findings you’ve come across in your every day experiences, then sorry, but you might have a problem, or you might be very lazy.
I’m leaving. I’m saying it now because it needs to be said. I don’t want you to contact me anymore, or try to convince me that I’ve made the wrong decision. I don’t want any part of someone who thinks it’s their right to be a part of the discussion on me leaving or not. There’s a reason why I didn’t talk it through with you. Why would I? It’s not your decision to make, therefore, you aren’t included. But assuming you want to talk about this at a later date, I’m simply informing you that we will no longer be speaking or communicating daily and if you’d like to get in contact with me, you must find me on your own accord. I will be changing my phone number and you will not hear of my whereabouts from me. If you would like to know, I reiterate, you must take it upon yourself to be informed of these details. You must want to know them, not just think you are entitled to knowing. I don’t know if I’m being clear. I know I’ve said that I don’t want contact, but if you can prove that you deserve it…I don’t know. I might be willing to think about it.