“younger than before” by Julia in her bed

Saturday December 2, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

The trees held open the door for us today. They asked us to step through, mind the roots.
When we entered, we lifted our heads to the sky, opened our mouths in preparation, and waited to catch a droplet on our tongues. You were close to getting one. I didn’t think the tree would give it up that easily. I couldn’t catch one because I was too busy staring at where they were beginning to form. The droplets fell from the crease of the branches like an armpit or the back of a knee. I suddenly realized how disrespectful it would be to drink someone else’s sweat; something they were trying to get rid of. Something that held the awful truth of them. Our vision got blurry there, as we wept among the openness of it all. The eyes lining the trunks watching our every move, our every step, our every promise. One in particular whispered something to you. When I asked, you said you couldn’t really hear.

“intimate questions” by Julia on C’s couch


Friday June 23, 2017
10:34pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

S gives me the idea
to interview my dad.
She’s interviewing hers.
She says she’s learning a lot.
I have always dreamt
of sitting down with
my father and talking with
him about the good stuff.
Like the time he crashed
the car, or the time he fell
in love with someone
who didn’t want him back
or the time he had his limp alcohol poisoned body
dragged home by his
parents who had to fetch
him from the underage
party at Lindsay’s house.
I want to know that he sees
himself in my mistakes and
that I’m not the only one.
That maybe I got some
extraordinary traits from
him beside my wild
curls and my penchant
for chili peppers.
I’d like to ask him if he’s ever regretted his anger
or if he’s ever had to
break up with an old
friend too.
You know
the good stuff.

“New Adventures” By Julia at Paper Crane Coffee


Wednesday February 8, 2017
1:48pm
5 minutes
from a postcard

Jackie meets me at the coffee shop bundled up in too many layers and chapped lips. She shakes off her scarf and laughs a little at the snow droplets covering the ground. She is carrying a stack of postcards that she needs to write thank you notes on. She says she’s going to mail them out today after she buys a thousand stamps. I am busy re-writing my to-do list because the first version I etched out didn’t include all the stuff I actually have to get done today. The first version was more of a dream journal than a to-do list. I have trouble with picking the right thing to prioritize. I don’t want to pick the wrong thing but I feel like I always do. Jackie is in a great mood because she was given an assignment to write for McCleans’s Magazine and is full of high fives and smiles. She asks me after I’ve breathed out heavily for the eighth time, not asking her about her day like I should have, if I’ve ever heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’. I sigh out once more because I have heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’ but I have obviously forgotten, again and again, and again.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 7, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


I can’t beg you to ask how my day was the way I can’t
give myself my own
nickname
Every time we collide heavy in each other’s presence you are forgetting
that I am coming from my own set
of rules and interpretations and
it wouldn’t hurt you to wonder what another person’s world is like
It wouldn’t hurt anyone but me if you didn’t
We could look into each other’s eyes all night and still
not
ever see another person

“How cool would this be?” by Julia at her dining table


Friday February 26, 2016
5:41pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew St.

You and me
?
midnight hiking!
Nothing on our backs…
but the idea…
that we couldn’t….
And the wouldn’t
?
Gone long and far because
We chose to set it free
Not worth
Keeping
Repeating
Glorifying
But now is
good!
And!
wide!
And!
invigorating!
because we chose to give ourselves
over to the truth
So no more lies
?
If we say so
We can could do-
We can anything:
Be
Do
Anything anything
Until we decide–
Stand firm–this
way
or
sideways

“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 25, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.

“that you already know and like.” By Julia at her dining table


Monday February 22, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
gnoosic.com

I am having a party
putting up balloons
decorating the whole house with streamers
and pictures
to celebrate the journey
to congratulate for not giving up
giving away loot bags at the end of the night
filled with moments of strength
examples of accepting imperfection
honesty
some vulnerability tossed in for good measure
I am inviting all my past selves
Like a reunion
But better
I will tell them
DRESS CODE IN EFFECT
And they will show up
wearing their sorrys
and their lessons
on their sleeves
carrying abundance and respect
in each jean pocket
I am saying farewell to fear
Sending her off on vacation
Killing three birds with one stone
honouring growth
A goodbye party for that which no longer serves me
And a good excuse to celebrate
Because the hill was high
but I’ve climbed it

“tossing rolled oats” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday February 21, 2016
12:19am
5 minutes
from a recipe

Karma comes calling, knocking on my door, middle of the night, full intention of awakening, startling me from my sleep. In the form of a dream, in the guise of a nightmare. I get the message: loud and clear and painful and frightening. I don’t know what I did but I’m paying for it, I can assure you. Tossing in my bed like rolled oats in a bowl of coconut shreds. I am not good at the thing where I see one thing in my head and compare a real life thing to that to express myself, describing something. I am maybe suffering the consequences in more than just sleepless nights. Feeling inept, not having the right words to say, to feel, to communicate. I am being punished by Karma in a way that doesn’t feel so obvious. I know how she rolls. In and out of view, thinking she’s gone for a little bit, then rushing right back in to remind me that I am not rid of her yet and that I am not safe in my alone. I am least protected when I leave the comfort of crowds and people with worse problems. She knows that and comes in when I’ve shaken off the possibility of seeing her at all today.

“So sorry mine is late” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday February 20, 2016
2:13pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I didn’t want to hand in a piece of shit and to be honest that was exactly what I was doing because once again I didn’t do the proper thing of giving myself enough time to complete an assignment.
I wish I was better at keeping my shit together but for some reason mine is the type that crumbles upon contact like a gluten free brownie and then it’s everywhere and there’s a huge mess so it’s better not to touch that shit in the first place because its disaster is a bit unpredictable. These days.
So as I was shaming myself for becoming a useless sack of wasted potential, hearing my mother’s voice ringing in my ear saying “you see you do very well even when you don’t try but imagine if you only applied yourself once in awhile you could be thriving honey really thriving,” I start formulating a half smile that depicts my insides as accurately to my English Lit teacher as humanly possible.
“I’d rather accept the consequences than try and prolong the inevitable again so here it is in all its tarnished glory and tied with a stupid little punctual bow.”

“I love failure!” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 18, 2016
9:06pm
5 minutes
from a text message

I love failure. I do. I didn’t before but I love it now. Like a long lost sister, or a cousin you used to fight with. I think before there was this understanding that I could make it pretty far in this life without actually leaping, jumping, risking anything. I think I wore a lovely outer mask that said, I am confident I am going places, but on the inside a traumatized child had the fear of how much longer were we going to play make believe. I think, now, maybe for the first time, I can hear both voices at once. Things are suddenly less hard than they used to be. Because living truthfully and unafraid of being wrong? That’s the most freedom you’ve ever felt. Because it connects you with the spirit of your surroundings, the integrity of your self-love, your deepest soul. It’s such uplifting necessity. I do not understand now how I thought feeling confined in my skin, trapped in all my conjured narratives, was easier than letting anything go; than lightening my load; being kind to myself.

“a work in progress” by Julia on the futon


Monday September 21, 2015
11:33pm
5 minutes
from a dramaturge’s notes

I stare into the mirror, I am naked.
Paint me.
I hear myself say.
I am naked.
Am I ashamed?
Paint me.
Do I need clothes?
Paint me something good.
I hear myself whisper to myself.
I want layers of art. Not fabric.
Paint my heart, thumping.
And I do.
Paint my lungs singing.
And I do.
Paint my mind growing.
Paint my skin softening.
Paint my posture straightening.
Paint my arms strengthening.
Paint my smile more genuine.
Paint my eyes brightening.
Paint my worries lessening.
Paint my self-consciousness subsiding.
Paint my risk taking.
Paint my understanding.
Paint my learning.
And I do. I do.

“do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Tuesday September 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai

It was a look. It started out that way at least. He saw her standing in the rain with a broken umbrella at her feet and melting ice cream cone in her hand. She was letting it drip down her wrists and arms. It was sort of beautiful. Like an abstract oil painting of a feeling or a sentiment, captured by circles and lines and bright colours all winding into each other trying to tell a story of life and suffering.
She didn’t notice him there because that would have diminished her moment. She didn’t see anything but the rain falling around her so hard it looked like there was none coming down at all. She didn’t see the look he gave her which came from not his eyes but his chest. A heart beating wildly inside and for something he couldn’t quite explain or express. It wasn’t a quantity he could estimate or a dream he could decipher. It was her in all her perceived loneliness, in all her pain that he was adjusting to. Without moving, careful not to disturb her; careful not to disrupt the catharsis that was forming in his throat.

“Toronto’s real estate market is booming” by Julia at the motel in Keewatin, ON


Saturday June 14, 2014
9:53pm
5 minutes
The Toronto Star Website

I looked over at you while you tested out the massage chair we bought off the home shopping channel. You had those stupid blackout sunglasses on and those headphones and that blissful grin. It was such a relief to see you like that after so much recent pressure had been put on you. You were angrier than you might have ever been, and more aggressive toward inanimate objects than I ever would have predicted, but you were also a real gentleman when I was at my worst. When I would yell at the wind for blowing my life around. When I would scream at you for making me decide between keeping my blue punch bowl set or the garage sale vase. I looked at you during the minutes of this activity and saw your gracious and generous heart as you laid there in complete calm and freedom and abandonment for anything but the moment. And I remembered why I said yes to you and why I keep on saying yes to you. Because your kindness is a weapon and I am weak.

“1 Eastside” by Julia at the motel in Thunder Bay


Friday June 13, 2014
10:56pm
5 minutes
The front of a bus in Sault Ste. Marie

We ended up taking a bus to a reserve somewhere with a sign that read “Gravel River Motel: Food, Gifts, Amethyst”. I didn’t realize how important amethyst was, but it happened to be my birthstone so I was intrigued enough to go in. We talked to the shop owner for at least 10 minutes, him asking me how I found myself here and me asking him why he was selling amethyst like cigarettes. He told me that I was here now and that’s all that mattered. I bought two or three of his little sacks filled with the stuff. I said, Thanks, I’ll give one of them to my sister when I see her next. Then we waved to him as we left the shop and wondered out loud if that entire experience was one we had dreamed up or one that truly transpired. I thought about the shop-owner later that night as I laid on the motel bed, counting the times the guy in the room next to ours, separated by a paper thin wall, said “Please” to his girlfriend or lover or something like that.

“Join the journey” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday October 26, 2013
12:15am
5 minutes
the back of the Breton box

I’m very impressionable. I don’t want to see anything I might start to want or think I need cause if I ever do, that’s it. I’m screwed. I’ve tried before to avoid those things, the good, the bad, the everything, but it’s very tricky. It’s hard to live in a box and still try to know what’s going on outside of it. Do I cut holes in the box? Maybe. Do I decide to take the lid off every now and again just to see but tell myself not to feel, not to desire? I know I’m not allowed anywhere near those addictive drugs, or the chocolates that make most women melt. I can’t even try them or I’ll be that way forever: wanting, needing, thinking on, lusting for. I can’t see sunsets or I get depressed when it’s dark. I can’t get daisies for good behaviour because I’ll learn to expect them. I can’t ask anyone else’s opinion before giving my own because if I do that, I’ll never make my own and I’ll just be swayed one way or another. I can’t see images of happy friends or family without wondering why I don’t have those for myself, without wondering if I do have those for myself just not the “right way” or the “right ones”. Like I said, I’ve tried to avoid them all, to ignore them all, to live this life without a single stimulating thing. But how do you unlearn it all?