“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 1, 2018
9:04pm
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

do you find that when you know the answer to something and you do the opposite, you tend to get pretty down? Nina tells me I’m hard on myself for what I think is taking responsibility. but she shakes her head and sucks her teeth like she caught a burn in her mouth. maybe she’s right but I don’t want to admit that.
I want to get there before anyone else can. Tell them I’m so bad and I did a bad thing so they can say well at least she’s self-aware.
in the same breath Nina tells me I’m talented and there’s a light on inside
me that she believes is love. I’m glad I heard both things that Nina had to say. I don’t want to keep myself down.

“You should always be sure” by Julia upstairs at Amanda’s

Monday August 6, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

you won’t always be sure. some things take learning and living. some opinions need to be deconstructed and rebuilt and seen with new eyes. this happens for me and it makes me unsure. because if you must always be sure then where is discovery? were we born sure and lost it? will we ever even be? other people’s shoulds make me unsure. they can’t be taken as gospel when we all have a unique pattern to follow. we’re all stitching our hearts up with different yarn. how can we be sure about anything? unless we’re sure about being loved. this one, no matter who or what, is something true. and I am sure.

“Our isolated human grandeur” by Julia on her patio

Saturday July 7, 2018
9:36pm
A quote by Thomas Berry

I can’t believe it’s come to this.
One million years and counting.
Or I was.
Maybe you aren’t anymore?

I never wanted to admit that I have been less
but I have been less
Less than I wanted to be
Less than you needed
We were building on the good ship lollipop
sailing somewhere together
on the open sea of hope and do betters
We were doing better

Perhaps this solo journey I’ve been taking at the same time has interfered
Whisked me away to the clouds and dreaming
Pushed me further into myself to question why anything was where it was
Why these lungs here?
Why this pull on my rib cage?
I thought I was busy finding myself but I was busy losing you
Caught asking too many questions in the good room
When you are in the good room, you are not supposed to ask questions.
It might jinx things.
It might put a hex on the whole damn house.

“your desired starting point”by Julia on her patio

Thursday June 21, 2018
8:55pm
5 minutes
audacity.com

Vision
Board
On
The
Wall
And
Plan
To
Look
At
It
Every
Damn
Day
That’s
A
Good
First
Step
A
Good
First
Thought
And
It
All
Seems
Doable
Then
Step
By
Step
Day
By
Day
Prayer
By
Please
Promise
By
Promise

I look at my wall, blank space and burning a hole where the good ideas are supposed to live

Remember something belongs here. Remember you said you would do something in the shape of this wall space.

Today

I

Made

A

Lot

Of

Grand

Mistakes

And

Now

I

Will

Never

Make

Them

Again

I

Will

Give

Thanks

Instead

Of

Being

A

Martyr

When

The

Bus

Is

Late

When

I

Go

The

Wrong

Way

When

I

Spend

The

Money

Step

One

Is

Acknowledging

It

Step

Two

Is

“earth, sky, water, fire and wood” by Julia at R’s house

Friday May 4, 2018
2:00pm
5 minutes
From a Caitlin Press newsletter

They told me I was air and I never forgot that.
Not the feeling in the room when they all thought they had figured me out.
Not the pang against my guts when my insides begged to differ.
I wanted to be earth, steady, unmoving.
I wanted to be tethered to feet and stone.
I wanted to be fire, holy, hot and badass.
And though I fight it, when I spill over I know again and again that I am not air.
Not light like this. Not a carrier of plastic bags and other floating, diacarded.

“it was poetry, fireworks, ticker tape” by Julia in Hue

Monday January 29, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
Bad Hand
Mallory Tarses

It was hard beds, good sleeps, wild dreams.
It was soft hands, stark words, sweet kisses.

It held us in our tiny pod, two feet from the ground and floating. Brought us to the flashing lights and the back alleys and the families of perfect chickens. It was poetry and history and a birthday song over the PA in the lobby.

It was poetry and river walks.
It was poetry as patience.

As kindness.
As covered knees in the solemn place.
As the sunrise on a boat in the Mekong Delta.

“system of divination.” By Julia at 49th Paralell


Monday May 22, 2017
2:43pm
5 minutes
An interview with Chani Nicholas in lennyletter.com

Aunt Bobby moves to a ranch but hates horses
Mama Lilia tells her if she wants to hear what her voice sounds like
she should go before the noise comes
Aunt Bobby sells all her personal belongings but keeps Aunt Kay’s ashes in the urn
puts a label on the side, marked “fragile/necessary”
leaves her on the mantle, apology foregone or forgotten
Mama Lilia tells her peace is in taking care of living land and the more the better
Aunt Bobby staples scrap paper together to make her own notebook
She sharpens her number 2 pencils and sticks them in her hair like a cross,
like protection
Mama Lilia tells her to write the songs her bones sing to her
when she is alone in the wild

“rub your largest organ” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 10, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Marti came to my family in a time of great reducing.
She saw an opening in our fragile hearts, starting lives over in unexpected places, and she burrowed deeply enough that hers leached into ours. She was kind and she was good so it made it more tolerable but she was still implanting her life on ours. She comes to mind when otherwise she would be lost in prayer, when the others were lost to us. After long days and nights she surfaces again. Her kids covered in macaroni, her good intentions folded up in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“primarily my fault” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday September 20, 2016
12:58am
5 minutes
from a text

I apologize to you with the back of my head and the front of my chest pushing into you like a bean out of its pod there is no quiet or calm no pleasant or nice I do not even mean it with the whole of me I do not know the still of you I do not want to be wrong when being right hurts so much I show you with examples words I’ve said once or twice before bent into a shape I do not recognize when I aim them straight at you I should have known better than to waste myself on the off chance of you on the dull blade that won’t cut through but won’t stop dragging back and forth back and forth slow death slow and unbearable life lived backwards I apologize to you with the parts of me that are still num from the sting as if I could take the blame and eat it so you don’t have to stuff it down so you don’t have to swallow me

“The secret of remaining young” By Julia on Lindsay’s Couch


Saturday August 13, 2016
7:12am
5 minutes
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde


Mom calls me to tell me about her trip tells me all about the seaside
And how people don’t care
That North America has judgments about women’s bodies and women’s
Minds
She tells me that she bought
Her first bikini
In 15 years
And that she loves it
And that she’s decided
She no longer cares
About the rules
Either
Mom tells me about her trip
How she listened to her body
Instead of punishing it
How she gave her skin a chance
How she smiled more than before
How people told her how good
She looked
And how shocking that
Was
And how nice that is
And how maybe she has
Finally
Let herself believe them
Because they are right
Because she has put the hard work in
Because she has unlocked her heart
And freed her inner child
Mom tells me about he trip
About her journey to find
peace
And how on the way
She found a whole lot more
Inside herself
Than she meant to

“Help us fight the flu!” by Julia at her dining table


Friday February 12, 2016
12:51pm
5 minutes
from the elevator at VGH

I am sitting motionless but moving on this perfect log facing the perfect sun peaking out behind the perfect mountain. Everything is wonderful. Everything around me is alive and I am still alive to experience it. There’s a difference between living and not dying. I come out here to remind myself exactly that when things feel uneasy. I ask myself, am I still alive, or am I living until I die? I am hoping to find clarity around that; peace, even. Asking myself as often as I can if this life is holding space for me or if I am holding space for it. It should be the former, shouldn’t it? Should. Huh. I know, I’m working on that too. Working on coming to perfect stillness and looking at perfect views and thinking so many imperfect thoughts. I am alone but not lonely. I feel supported from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I decide to keep them closed for the night. And I am not dying. Not yet. Not today. Although if the timing were right, this wouldn’t be such a bad last spot to be in; not a bad last feeling to have–one where I am myself inside myself inside a moment of deep desire to understand.

“Foul language” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 14, 2015
6:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

Am I out of control?
That’s a line that took me over one whole minute to craft. I wrote “Am I” without even knowing I was doing it. That one’s the easy one. It’s narrowing down the second part that’s really work. I thought for a whole minute before I wrote “out of control”. I don’t know why that took so long. Why it felt that precious. I couldn’t just outright ask. It needed some dancing around the subject first. It needed some profound introspection. A) because I needed to make sure I really wanted to ask it. And B) because I needed to make sure I wanted to hear the answer.

“I’ve got to go” by Julia on her patio


Sunday May 24, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
When I’m away
The Colourist


Adrienne and Lara were sitting on the bar stools in Adrienne’s parents’ basement. Only Lara’s chair swiveled and Adrienne secretly wished Lara wasn’t on it.
“I want to talk about sex,” Lara suddenly announced.
“Uhh..I don’t know–”
“I think I have to lose my virginity by the time I’m 16. I have to or I’ll just die. ”
Adrienne was uncomfortable. She had made a pact with her cousin, Tina, that they’d both wait until..well..they were older. They briefly discussed holding out for college.
“Didn’t you hear me, Age? What’s your year?”
“Yeah. Same. 16. Or I’ll just die…”
Lara was spinning around and around. Adrienne watched as her anger grew.

“The Psych Ward” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East


Sunday, July 20, 2014
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


When I made it to the edge I let me legs flop over.
It was a far drop down.
It was a far drop down.
When I made it to the edge I imagined jumping…
But I didn’t.
Don’t worry.
I didn’t.
The sun was starting to set,
which is always a magical time,
which is always when I don’t feel lonely.

When I sit there at the edge,
I am tired.
I am tired from a lifetime of wishing I was someone that I’m not.
Do you do that too?
I am a master of pretending.
I am a master of trying too hard.
I’m a professional poser.
And now,
I’m sitting at the edge and I’m wondering.
I’m leaning too far forward,
Catching myself…
Leaning back.

I am at the edge,
I am looking over and seeing clouds, mountains, seagull wings, whispers of the changing seasons, phone numbers, mailboxes, a jeep, my mother’s engagement ring.

“you now take a pose” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, March 15, 2013 at Saving Gigi
2:35pm
5 minutes
Beet Salad
Bryan Demore


Course you want to fly away and visit your ancestors. Trust me babe, I get it. Everyone needs to get away sometime. They all say…ahem…we all say we need to leave this city and just go find ourselves. Why would we say that if we didn’t need it, truly. You know? But you leaving for a whole year, backpack or no backpack…is it the best idea? Will you actually be visiting your ancestors? Or will you just fly to the neighbouring country with a bunch of young hostel-stayers from Australia and take photos of you all wearing head wraps and smoking from a hookah pipe? None of which would be bad, by the way, but if we could all just be honest about what we expect out of these trips…or what the purpose is, you know, then it might just be a bit better. I mean, here, I wouldn’t say I’m going to France to visit the art. That would be maybe like, I don’t know, 2 percent of my entire trip. The rest would be shopping, and touring, and have I fully connected with myself?
Babe, no, I’m on your side. I’m not saying you can’t also find yourself while shopping, but just, hey, let’s be a bit real. And like, if we’re being real, then maybe we can assess if we really need to be gone for a whole freaking year. By we I mean you. Yes.I know this has nothing to do with me. This trip. It doesn’t.