“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday January 16, 2018

8:56pm

5 minutes

Memo to a Self

Steven Heighton

I called my mother today and yelled and cried at her while she was helping me. I yelled emotions, not anger. Or maybe frustration and fear and annoyance. And she didn’t get mad. She was kind. She knows when I yell I’m not mad at her but feeling more than my body can handle. She knows that and says it’s okay, or I’m not taking it personally, or you can take out your anger on me. But I’m not angry. And I shouldn’t be yelling. But I am yelling and so I yell that I’m not mad. Or I yell that I love her. Or I yell that I’m afraid of dying before I get to see her again. When I yell my mother rolls a batch of date and walnut cookies. She puts me on speaker phone and forgets to tell me that my dad is in the other room with his leg up cause he can’t straighten his knee. That’s when I feel bad about the yelling. As if my dad, unexpectedly home from work, can hear how ridiculous I’m being and might think I’m an asshole. As if had I known that someone else was in the house I would have put on more of a front. That’s just as ridiculous. I don’t yell at my dad because my dad doesn’t know that I have fears of dying before I see him next.

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“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.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, April 4, 2016
9:26am
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


I have been free before I was alone
I have been seen before I succumbed to the fear
A little heart shaped pouch holds my dreams in it
A little heart shaped pouch holds my truth in it
I’ve been running wild in my imagination
Picking pretty flowers that I can carry with me all day long
I paint up the ocean I paint in a song
The mountains they’ve been calling so I can always find my way back
I am missing my tribe
The heart shaped hearts that I live for
Mother laughing
Sister holding
Auntie listening
Cousin giving
And to the wild women I left behind
Who I fit inside my sacred space
My medicine is abundant and flowing
I can take a sip from my blessings’ cup
And take steps to find myself again in the river when the deep in me craves
to be surrounded

“if there can be no final satisfaction” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday, April 3, 2016
9:50pm
5 minutes
The Wisdom Of Insecurity
Alan W. Watts


Saying goodbye to you was the worst thing I’ve ever had to endure.
I’ve already told you this but you like to ask it again and again. You say “what was going through your head when you had to leave? Were you sad? Were you empty?” You ask this stuff because you felt sad and you felt empty. I know it was harder for you because I was the one going and you had to stay. My neck was sore that day. I strained it from laying on you the way I did. I didn’t want to let you go. I didn’t want to stop smelling the spot behind your ear where your hair line starts. At the airport you were crying and it was making me angry. I didn’t want to cry there in front of everyone. I wanted to wait for my planned privacy sitting beside two strangers watching Gone Girl for me to cry over you. I wasn’t feeling sad, but hopeful. We needed the time apart and I couldn’t match your dissatisfaction. You wanted to relish in the misery and I wanted you to go do that in the car because it was hard enough already with a bad neck and a lot of emotions I hadn’t yet named. I didn’t think about how upsetting it would be to return to the house we used to share, see all my bath bombs and loose leaf tea, my microphone and my hair towel, and know I wouldn’t be coming back.

“imagining our future.” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 10, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
CBC.ca/books

When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.

“No, I’ll never come back down,” by Julia at her dining table


Monday February 1, 2016
10:20pm
5 minutes
Salt
Portugal.The Man


I’ve been in a heightened state of something other worldly since I got severe frostbite on 7 of my 10 fingers this evening, or since I had a coffee on an empty stomach this afternoon, or since I walked in the house starved to death to find the chicken still frozen, or since he asked me if I was going to die by talking so fast, or since I let myself cry out all the emotions I’ve ever had or felt or experienced in the last 3 days when doing something that mattered so very much to me. I don’t know what started it. I do know that I invited it in like a little lost puppy with a broken limb. I wanted to take care of it, nurture it, finally love something that wouldn’t push my love away, and not just because it couldn’t, but because it needed it. I’ve had to get cozy with all my sorrys and all my old to-do lists. I’ve had to mourn the loss of something…and I think that something was the thing I needed to let go of to let everything else in. It’s not sad but it feels like it. The emotions are similar in their face, their hands, their eyes, their quake.

“you may feel strong emotion” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Wednesday January 27, 2016 at 49th Parallel
5:25pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You have this scratch attack down your back
Spine tingling mind ringing
It’s running deep
Like a scar
Chopped off finger
Sewn on crooked
Iguana tail
Caught
Detached
Traumatized there after
I am swooping deep inside myself
Seeing inside myself
Healing inside myself
I don’t have room to take you with me
So when you feel it
You can recognize the shape
The shape of this madness
It’s itchy, attention licking
It’s unending, epiphany pending
If it’s new
Then it’s hard
And you will want nothing of this thing
I ask that you try
Just in case it gets better soon
Just in case it’s better than not having it
Experience will shape this
I am thinking of you
When I slide down further in
I take you with me
So I can keep an eye on you
Smile when I’m able
So you know you’re not alone
So you know you’re not forgotten

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

”Many people want love to function like a drug,” by Julia on the 505 going east


Monday, June 15, 2015
4:48pm
5 minutes
A quote by bell hooks

Do me fix me haunt me lick me
i want that kind
that sticky kind
that getting matted in your hair kind
tangled in your feelings
watching a parade
dare me wear me tear me care me
i want that kind too
that exposed kind
that open and vulnerable scary and beautiful kind
accepting and overwhelming
sitting side by side at the river
ease me lift me tease me shift me
i want that kind
that vibrant kind
that moment intensifying everything is interesting kind
promises projected in each other’s eyes like a private motion picture show

“I checked and it looks good.” By Julia at Starbucks


Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
6:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.

“I never used to notice this awful quiet” by Julia on her couch


Friday January 23, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a song by The Be Good Tanyas

Stings like pine needles pricked into my brain-
Where have you been?
Don’t bother me with little words.
I begged you not to leak here.
I asked you nicely not to unload real feelings near this.
And you cry cry cry.
Faucet leaky and abandoned.
Then I hear the high pitched song of the radiators. About to explode. About to change tunes forever-Where you’ve been don’t bother me. But where you are I can’t seem to wrap my head around.
Are you happy now? Are you here? I never noticed this sadness. I always saw it from a distance, bleeding into the landscape before. Now it’s mine and it’s heavy and it’s not just a blurred line off beyond the horizon. Now it’s mine and it’s loud. This crippling tender quiet.

“word by word” by Julia at her parent’s kitchen table


Monday January 12, 2015
11:55pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Isabel Allende

You count these words on your fingers if you have to
So you remember how many important things I’m saying to you
Saying to you all the important things
This way you can take inventory
You can make sure you don’t lose any words
That you don’t misplace them
Or have them stollen from you unknowingly
Number one will be I
Number two will be you
(there is no particular order)
Number three will be with
Number four will be joy
Number five will be life
Number six will be finally
Number seven will be breath
Number eight will be harmony
Number nine will be agree
number ten will be and
It’s a phrase
Or a sentence
You have ten words to keep track of
To make sure they stay in good hands
And when you’re good and ready, you’ll weave them into a throw for your couch
A pillowcase on which you’ll rest your head

“performing like ‘bungling idiots’ ” by Julia at Creperie Du Monde


Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Creperie Du Monde
5:18pm
5 minutes
The Times
Wednesday January 7, 2015


take off the mask
take it off, leave it there on the table
leave it there where I can see it
leave it there so I can see you
you look scared underneath it all
underneath the thing you were wearing
wasn’t it uncomfortable?
wasn’t it suffocating?
but you needed it to perform the magic tricks and the lying dance
you needed it to put on the show, to give you courage to see it through
I understand the whole thing
I understand your motivation
audience, lights, camera, inaction
you don’t want to show me your real skin
you don’t want me to reach out and touch you in case it feels too real
I want to know what you look like
I want to know what your naked emotions do to you when you can’t control them

“the waiting place” by Julia at Mosaic Cafe in Clapton


Tuesday January 6, 2015 at Mosaic Cafe
6:56pm
5 minutes
from An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth
Bruce Mau


Oh honey when I see you again, you’ll have flowers in your hair, you’ll have new cities in your smile. I’ll tell the world I knew you once, when you were wild and free. I’ll tell the story to my grandkids, about the day you stole my heart with your laugh and that ripped grey t-shirt you used to always wear. You’ll be older and I’ll be older still, but we’ll find a connection in the space between our bodies, where they once were, between our lips. I’ll know it’s you by the way you tug my hair. By the way you’ll still get mad at the moon for not hanging just your way. And you’ll recognize me by the way I hold your back and make you feel like even dying would be okay. It’ll be years that feel like moments and seconds dressed as decades. But one day, in the fields of light, quoting Leaves Of Grass, I’ll see you again.

“I never have before” by Julia at Laura’s kitchen counter


Monday January 5, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Anne Lamott

I never have before, never known how, never known how
Killed it, squashed it, teased it first, loved it, drowned it, watched it flail, held it first, needed it
I’m the weapon
I’m the
I’m the weapon
Capable of destruction
Of ruin
I never have before, never known how, never known how
Strength in every finger tip, every heart beat, every perfectly unaware laugh, every honest gaze
Looked down deep into the new place being born for me
Long time since it’s been this good
Long long time, didn’t recognize it right away
I’m the reason
I’m the
I’m the reason
And I know it now like a tattoo proving a point
.
.
.
I never have before, never known how, never known how

“on which the blues would have sounded” by Julia outside the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam


Tuesday November 18, 2014
4:19pm
5 minutes
from a write up on the photograph Interior by Peter Sakaer

My lungs for you, Amelia, are filled with an intoxicating breath. I inhale you once and I am addicted. I must have you again. I must feel you…
Your nonchalance about this awakens something inside me that I had thought I’d put to sleep. It roars within me. It’s suddenly hungry and ready. I’d happily upset my chest stitches for the chance to please you. Against doctor’s orders to remain still and to avoid heavy instances of “sport”, I will pursue you with my fullest self–mind, body, spirit. And it will require all my dedication but you are worth it. 2 extra weeks in the hospital with despicable food? I can stand it–Nay! I embrace it!

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Julia at her desk


Saturday October 18, 2014
1:09am
5 minutes
from a comment on a photo on Facebook

I was tired from running around the house from my deranged mother. Turns out you tell her to shut up one time and it’s… I don’t know, over, I guess. I should have known better than to run from her. Should have just let her hit me right then and there. The more she runs the angrier she gets, which, makes sense, so it’s my fault. But she chased me up and down stairs, everywhere, everywhere. Finally, I thought, no, I cannot do this anymore, so I surrender. I just threw myself on the floor underneath the dining room table, and I gave up. I think she needed to catch me more than I needed to escape. So I let her hit me a couple times with her wooden spoon. It hurt. A lot. But I guess it was sort of a release for the both of us. Dad had only been gone for 3 days, but those three days without him really felt like more than enough. We both cried while she was whacking me. There was a moment before it ended where it actually felt okay. It felt like something was real again.

“Really cute, bright (near markets)” by Julia on the train to Bologna


Friday September 26, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
Julia’s apartment research

Hi, I’m looking for this tiny little human? She’s the size of someone’s nonna but in a super cute way not a shrivelled way? Like, she’d be the type to put olive oil on her skin as a moisturizer and as perfume and you’d be in love with her because of it. Only this tiny human I’m looking for is not someone’s nonna, she’s just small like one. And cool in the way that she gave her last fuck away to someone who wanted it more than she did–the way you throw away crusts from a sandwich–like, fuck this sandwich! When you just don’t care anymore? She’s cool and tiny and I met her once and she was carrying this neon tote bag so I thought she’d be easy to describe but clearly you’re not getting it. Oh! And I’m pretty sure she’s a Scorpio. It’s weird cause I always seem to meet Scorpios and then right away I fall in love with them. I’m not sure what it is but something magic, I’m assuming. That’s all I know about her–I wish I could just draw you a picture but I don’t think I really even saw her face. I was obviously too busy looking inside her.

“a direct violation” by Julia on the plane to Providence, RI


Wednesday April 30, 2014
10:15am
5 minutes
the passenger safety manual on United Airways

Misery loves company, is what I always tell myself when I’m upset. Not in the way you’re supposed to use that phrase–more just so I can feel like somewhere out there, someone is miserable just like me, even if around me everyone’s smiling. I don’t want others to be unhappy if I am–I know that’s how that Kathy Bates film got its name. Misery. And she was–you know, miserable—and she loved—you know, company. I don’t know, it’s just something that helps me. Lollipops also help but I hate asking for those because people just automatically think something’s wrong with me–like in a pedo-way, or a developmentally challenged way.
Well I’d say being here is what’s making me upset. I’m a tad homesick, I hate flying, and a young boy felt me up in the parking lot this morning when I was trying to mail my condolence card for Erica. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, he just grabbed my left boob and ran off as fast as lightening.

“Did you just say” by Julia on the 94 going west


Sunday March 16, 2014
9:18pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

Said that I would rather write blah blah blah at this very moment in time. Cause Joni’s telling me I have to write down my feelings so I don’t hurt somebody. And I won’t hurt anyone. I know that about me. But Joni thinks that it will help things. I tell her yeah right but she doesn’t let up. She’s tough on me. So I’d rather write nonsense, gibberish you know? Those thoughts don’t want to come out in pretty flowery ways. That’s all I’m saying. That if I had to sit my ass down and pound out a couple sentences about my emotions I might actually hurt someone then. Joni is good to me. She’s patient as shit. She’ll wait all day for me to come out. She wants me to be more free. And I think she thinks I have to let out some aggression or how the world makes me think or whatever. Blah blah blah. It’s more than that. She’ll see through it anyway. She know that Joni. She really knows. If I had to pick one thought it would be..
This pen is a reminder or my strength cause if I wanted to I could use it as a weapon.

“As I held his hand he would have tremors and small jerking movements” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 5, 2014
10:10pm
5 minutes
Learning To Love You More
Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July


sometimes you wanna sing, have a song in your head
and all the rest seems unimportant
or just too plain to care about right then
so you do
you sing it out and you let the emotions from
well, your past
bubble up and from words that rhyme with each other
Shania Twain kind of words
words you never thought you’d hear your boyfriend defend
words you always told yourself you would never own
you do now
cause Shania knew what she was doing
and on some deep level, everybody knows that
you sing to the one who stole your heart
the one with eyes so blue you can only come up with lyrics about the sky
the one who loved you in secret but hurt you hard in front of the whole world
you may even sing about the wind or something
the breeze, the trivial, the dew?
probably the dew.
let’s be honest: the dew.
and you struggle to come up with a chorus
or a verse
or whichever didn’t come first
and you picture singing that to someone, anyone
one day in the future
your lover-
when you get one
or your kid-
when you are capable of one
and you hope it causes those lovey dovey tremors
those small ever so subtle shakes that keep
you singing those songs when you find them

“COLORED EMOTIONS” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, August 19, 2013
10:22pm
5 minutes
Night Moves record

I see the emotions
Before they arrive
I see the water break
Liquid yellow
Oozing magenta
Blue red green and fuchsia
Swirling like gasoline in water
Like food colouring in cream cheese icing
Moving like rainbows on the waterfall
Then they come
The things that allude us
The ones that shake fists
And curl toes
The flush of the cheek of your lover
In love
I want to kiss your anger
Right on the lips
Slipping tongue into rage into azure blue
I want to paint your sadness
With my paintbrush
My elbow
Smearing all the colours
Making the very best brown I can

“I really cannot tell you with what it was filled” by Julia at Queen and University


Wednesday, July 31, 2013
2:47pm
5 minutes
Kwaidan
Lafcadio Hearn


I will try with every single ounce of my strength to recall to you what was in that delicious, light, and flaky pastry, but I’m sorry, when you eat something that is as magnificent as this gift from, quite literally, heaven up above, you find it a little difficult to…OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. Sorry. I did just get a reminder of how unbelievable it was. As you can see, pastries are my weakness. My Achilles’ heel! I was just thinking about it again and I couldn’t even stop to tell myself to stop because it was just so freaking mouth watering. I’m sorry. I’ll try again. It had a custard….OOOOOOOOH! It was french, and I know it, because I have tasted so very many of them, and it was creamy, and rich, and I…..I’m sorry. This has never ever been an easy subject for me to talk about. I’m actually getting…oh no….emotional….I didn’t mean for it to…overcome me this way. It’s just when I get to the filling, my brain goes into overdrive and my heart just pounds for mercy. Let me out! It screams. My heart, of course, as it feels like a caged animal being kept from the wild even though it’s the worst possible thing for an animal of that nature! I WOULD SAY IT WAS JUST A REGULAR FILLING BUT THAT WOULD BE A LIE.