“Does not oblige you” by Julia on the bathtub

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:44pm
5 minutes
From an email

Not owed to yesterday
I am today’s collaborator
Fierce
Funny
We make choices as a team
The breath of fresh air on skin
The light rain nesting in puddles
Today the silver fish do not get murdered
Today the silver fish contributes something
Anything
Not sure yet
Today is for second chances
For walking straight into love
For breathing into things
For picking a good movie to only watch a third of
Today I give everything and then more when I think I have none left
I smile
I look up
I see the face in front of me
I make a laugh come out of an impossible woman
Today is what tomorrow will never be
And what I will carry on my tongue

“to calm a stranger” by Julia on the 9

Tuesday February 19, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
Walking at Night
Elizabeth Poliner

How many times have you seen a woman crying in the bathroom at the bar? How many times have you been that woman’s friend? How many times have you been that woman?
It’s nice to remember that we are all sometimes going through it. If you’re not and I am, then good, someone to lean on. If you are and I’ve already been there, even better, I can hold you in the soft of my understanding.
We are not so different anyway.
Not really at all.
Would you believe that we are all the same but reflecting back to each other a different expression of spirit?
I might believe this when I think I don’t need a stranger’s help, or that someone else will come along and ask the stranger crying in the bathroom stall if she’s okay. I might remember it best when I am feeling closer to whole. So I can look around me and actually notice when someone could use a hand extended or a hug or a smile. The currency of kindness is worth more when you think you don’t have enough to spare.

“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio


Monday August 14, 2017
9:52am
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.

“they did not” by Julia on her couch 


Sunday, August 28, 2016
9:32pm
5 minutes
from a piece of feedback

They do not ask you how you’re doing. They do not wonder if you’re a good liar. They aren’t supposing anything about you except that you must have few worries in this world. They do not pour your water first before theirs. They do not bring you batches of lemonade or lavender shortbread. They don’t call you on the phone. They don’t respond to your letters. They don’t tell you when they see something that reminds them of you. They do not buy it. They never buy it. They do not tell you when you are making them feel unsafe. They do not think you are hijacking the room. They do not know how little you’re listening. They do not expect anything from you. They do not include you in their conversation. They do not ask you if you want to help. They do not ask you if you’ve been places. They do not ask you if you understand the feeling. They do not give you the chance to improve the silence. They do not thank you for your advice. They aren’t borrowing your clothes or your poetry.

“Must be used” by Julia at her desk


Sunday April 13, 2014
11:06pm
5 minutes
from a TTC transfer


To help others to help them so hard they don’t know what to do with themselves. That’s what I want. You ask me what I want and that’s the only thing. Give give give. It’d make my mother proud. She was a giver too. Only not in that way. She just had that spirit. She was always helping out where she could. But gambling got the best of her. She was a good person till the day she died, but that gambling, boy I’ll tell ya, it really hooked her in and kept her tight. Now if I don’t gamble and I give give give I can make my mother so happy. So happy that she saw that the good that there was in her could be transferred and that the bad that was in her didn’t have to go beyond her. And I haven’t started yet. I haven’t been able to sink my teeth into any old fashioned kindness. I mean, that’s what I want but I also have to make rent and some other stuff.