“We made sure you could still heal” by Julia at Washington and Wabash

Sunday September 9, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
Day Thirteen
Adrienne Gruber

there is an old saying
let yourself be loved
and you
will love those who
love yourself better

okay those are
my words
I said them
I’m saying them

someone could have said these words before me
maybe not in their exact sequence but life is art
and art is theft

I’m glad we’re choosing all the right things to copy
all the good things to stand up for

these are all the words we heal by:
the ones that sound off in the echo of our own hearts
the ones that bridge the gap between lonely and understood

I could keep a tally of good dreams that mean something
that tell me I am collaborating with the energy of every good place I’ve touched

“he had this reputation because” by Julia on the 7

Sunday July 22, 2018
8:05am
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

Because he was good
Because he was kind
Because he was thoughtful
Because he was sweet
Because he was playful
Because he was funny
Because he was grateful
Because he was honest
Because he was forgiving
Because he was generous
Because he was happy
Because he was smart
Because he was curious
Because he was willing
Because he was respectful
Because he was adventurous
Because he was unique
Because he was listening
Because he was trying
Because he was athletic
Because he was vulnerable
Because he was hard working
Because he was loved
Because he was love
Because he was true
Because he was different
Because he was strong
Because he was light
Because he was committed
Because he was disciplined
Because he was musical
Because he was mine
Because he was real

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“Thank you for delivering your promise…” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 28, 2017
6:41pm
5 minutes
from an email

I want to start by saying your work is very good. And I mean very good. You surprised me. I didn’t think you had it in you. I want to continue to be honest with you, and you have given me a lot to think about. When you first started here you had a hot head and your inexperience hung off of you. I don’t know if you were always this determined but whatever you’ve done to change your energy has done wonders for you. It actually makes me want to support your artistry. Before, I didn’t want anything to do with you. I didn’t like being in the same room as you. I found you entitled. And obnoxious. And when not checked regularly, slightly violent in your approach. I don’t see that anymore, but I do think it’s important for you to know what I did see before you decided to change your mind. I want to thank you for delivering your promise to me about “giving a fuck” as you put it. I am impressed by that and that now your work speaks for itself without your shadow lurking near by, ready to sabotage all of your light. I hope you know that I wouldn’t say all of this if it weren’t true.

“astral projection, stress and depression” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday September 12, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube

I believe that some horoscopes are life changing and I’ve read them. I know they exist.
I am confused, however, that I can read something, understand it, find it moving, and then not be moved by it. I don’t know why putting perfect phrases, keys to the universe surely, into practice is so damn hard. All you have to do is realize your worth, allow your heart to express itself, decide what it is you’d like to do, and then do it. These are the simple steps laid out and yet I read them, but won’t remember them. As if I never saw the answers in the first place. As if I have to take the test day after day without having studied the material. Some days I am always guessing. Water? Do I need water? Do I need to flip an egg? Scramble it? Fresh air? Do I need to use the bathroom? Do I need to stretch? Vomit? Be so mean to all the good things? Do I need to cry it all out?

“more than 20 pages” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 11, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I found more than 20 pages of post-it notes stapled together
in the garage
top shelf
under dad’s old baseball glove
I liked the style
it got me wondering if I’m the one who did it
maybe all the way back then young me would have wanted to
the writing was worn off save for a few Ands and Obviouslys
I couldn’t make out the phrase
but each square had the same line written in with red ink
for 20 whole pages
it kept going and going
like a man who will answer your questions but never asks you any
I imagined my sister being the author
she could have written her diary out in fragments because of me
it would have been safer that way
everyone knows threatening punishment by way of Jesus
was not enough to scare me from reading it

“never been good at multitasking” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 10, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
from a text

I know I’m inching fufther away from myself when I can make sure I send you a writing prompt but I will go the whole day without writing a single word for me. And I think long and hard about what I’ll suggest to you. What I hope is something that gives you a reason to write. Because I care that you aren’t writing. I care that you must write. That the bones of your body only feel warm when you do. I know this sensation too. Cold bones. The feeling of your bed being the scariest place to end the day. When sleep takes more from you than it gives. I have been shivering these days. And I do not want to turn on the radiator because it shouldn’t be this frigid in my home. It shouldn’t be this removed from skin. I don’t remember how to fix this but I do know that it always comes back–which means it always goes away first.

“delicately flavored granita” by Julia in her bed


Saturday September 9, 2017
12:57am
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin


mom’s in the kitchen making “something you’ll like, shut up and trust me”
it’s her speciality
don’t know if she learned how when she was living in Naples nannying those conjoined twins
or before
or when she was raising her younger brothers so they wouldn’t fall off a cliff or accidentally drink lighter fluid
“something we’ll like” is often a combination of soft bread and sour spreads
something we wouldn’t know to choose
or if we’re lucky espresso granita
served with impossibly cute spoons

“Don’t carry it all” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 23, 2017
8:53pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar: Writers Resist

Isn’t it nice to drink something out of a circular rim? Tiny lips on tiny lips! I just don’t like being left out to drown, do you know what I mean?
I don’t like spilling things. And those glasses are only there to make a fool out of me. It’s not fair. It’s not nice. it’s not good. What if you spill some? What if you lose it? I-I-I-I… It’s.. There’s more. I’m not able to carry it all. I’m not able to have one more thing that could go wrong, that I could be bad at. I am not good enough to be bad at some things. I have to be good.

“People will say,” by Julia in her childhood room


Friday January 6, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
from The Province

I didn’t wish you a happy birthday and people will say-probably-that I am avoiding you or doing it on purpose or trying to play games. I’m not doing any of those things-though it’s your prerogative to think that I am. To believe everyone else but me. I didn’t do it this year because I was busy and because I don’t think you’re a good person. I should clarify that I still love you somewhere deep down as the person who first showed me what borrowing my parents’ car was really for; who laughed easy to build someone else up when you knew how much that would matter. I can’t condone the rest of you these days. Maybe not for the last few years. I tried to trick myself but it didn’t work. I’m not a very good liar. Not nearly as good as you.

“people who called themselves atheists.” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 22, 2016
8:25pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino


I never thought I’d put myself in the very box that I couldn’t for the life of me understand when I was younger. It made sense to my 9 year old brain to put my 9 year old trust in God and scripture and behaving with good intentions. It made sense for me to wake up each day and know my place, this road I was traveling, the one I had chosen wisely. And then maybe it was the lava lamp that put me over the edge. The one Pastor So And So offered up as a prize to the youth who could rally up the most sinners and bring them to Friday night service. I didn’t sign up for a church built out of bribery and attended primarily by a bunch of self-righteous teens. I wanted to find friends who wanted to know the Lord, not who wanted to make religion into an elitist club that only the truly good could be a part of. How is that the point of religion? Aren’t we all good and therefore all bad? I didn’t like giving so much of my youth to an ideology that didn’t want everyone just as we were.

“Let’s discover our” by Julia on the 7


Saturday May 7, 2016
7:39pm
5 minutes
from a chef magazine

Let’s discover our soft spots
Our unwants
Our don’t touches
Our yes love this
Let’s discover our truth’s truth
Our hard lost youth
Our who’s who
Tell me about your day dreams
I’ll tell you about my nightmares
Tell me about your battle wounds
I’ll tell you about my big scares
Your scars
My empty jars
Your hopes
My nopes
Your yeses
My catch this
Let’s discover the good and the bad
The moments we never had
The memories that make us sad
The language that holds us together

“make strong choices on the fly” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 8, 2015
10:18pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

Okay so I started taking this improv class-that’s what they say, it’s so cool, they don’t even finish the word. It’s every week on Tuesdays and the class is 3 hours long and it is the best thing in my entire life. It’s so funny. People really are hilarious in this class so I never feel like it’s a waste cause I’m always laughing and sometimes till I’m crying and that is the best feeling. Our instructor, Vijestica is a hobbit sized woman and she has a big laugh that starts, I am convinced, in her groin. She’s always snorting and shooting snot out of her nose because she loves to laugh and gets us really excited about our choices! In improv you learn how to YES AND which means nothing is wrong and everything is a good idea and you say yes to the first choice that comes and just keep building on that until you’re really rolling with it all and the jokes just flow and the laughs just follow. Vijestica says this is a safe place to leave the everyday at the door. I am so glad to leave my everyday at the door because working in a cubicle the size of an outhouse in my everyday is actually the thing that might kill me. It’s awful, there’s no silliness or fun, only deadlines and people telling me “nice maroon sweater, Alma,” or “Did you eat my peanut butter tuna sandwich, Alma?” Here, in improv class, we all just smile and tell each other how great and brave we all are.

“is your weapon” by Julia at her desk


Saturday November 7, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the back cover of Watchdogs

Is your weapon silence or is it force?
I’m asking cause I need to know.
I’m taking a survey.
Which one works better for you?
Are you using it at all?
Are you using your weapon for good or for evil?
You can decide what it is, at any point.
I’d recommend earlier than later.
But what do I know.
I’m just taking a survey.
Is your weapon strength or is it pain?
I’m asking cause I need to know.
I’m looking for the best answer.
Which one keeps the monsters at bay and which one keeps the good out?
It’s possible to keep the good out.
Some weapons only hurt ourselves.
Some weapons only become available after we need them.
You can decide when you’ll use it.
I’d recommend now or never.
But what do I know.

“This woman was able to reach me” by Julia at Perth/Dupont Public Library


Thursday March 12, 2015 at the Perth/Dupont Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

This woman was able to reach me
while I hung myself out to dry
Pushed away everything that everyone thought was good
I said “let me be here on my own”
I cried “don’t love me with your pity-
I don’t want worried eyes and heavy hearts”
And so they left
One by one
with their apologetic expressions
with their baskets of misguided but good intentions
I built a wall around my pain
and tricked myself into thinking
I didn’t create a door
And this woman was able to reach me
when I thought
I’d blocked off all the entrances
Believing no one would want to come in anymore
if they could find me
in the first place

“Inspired by the natural wonders” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Thursday January 1, 2015
9:21pm
5 minutes
from an Old Mout Cider pint glass

hard to believe we’ve come this far
this far
mmm
explain what it is you mean by far
i mean far from where we were before
before being…
young,stupid, beginning
before we were anything
yes
and where have we come now
far from those things in a way that is almost unrecognizable
in a good way
yes
okay
sleepless nights are now filled with affection
yes
angry mornings are now sweet and honest
mmm
we’ve worked very hard on being this good
to one another
yes
to ourselves
mmm
as a working unit
yes mmmm yes
far is a good place to be then
far from what we weren’t happy in
far from what we wanted to be but couldn’t reach
now we can reach
now can reach it all

“cleared of misconduct” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Tuesday December 23, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014


I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Poor thing never did anything wrong his whole life, didn’t fight with one single human. And now this? Got to pay the price for a one time mistake. I still think this whole thing is a hoax. He isn’t guilty but here he is bearing the burden of it. Do you think he could have done it? Oh I’ll tell you what I think. I wouldn’t be the first to have this idea, but I’ll tell you I’m convinced he’s been framed. A likely story might be that he’s taking the blame for something he didn’t do so someone else could still be free because that’s how good he is.. but The injustice seems stronger, doesn’t it? Even still, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

“super true to who they are” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Monday December 8, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
from an interview with Annabel Soutar

I have been telling myself for one whole year that I am good and worthy and beautiful and enough. My life coach told me I should recite these things and try to remind myself that I actually believe them. I started trying to believe them one morning in April of last year because it was the spring or something and things seemed like they were being reborn. I wanted to be reborn. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. I didn’t want to wish I was born of a different woman and therefore raised by one, believing I was just different and not the me I actually was. The process was a long one. I was not the me I actually was or wanted to be, but the me I had no choice in being. The dead me with crispy hair. The forgotten me with only 5 friends at my funeral. I had a lot of visions that I would never wake up. So I went to her and told her with my blood: HELP.

“exit only” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Tuesday October 28, 2014
4:21pm
5 minutes
from the side of a tper bus

He entered a room filled with mirrors. The instructions said he must look within before he could exit the game. He knew how this worked. A hundred minutes ripping apart all his flaws just to realize he was fine all along and didn’t need to inflict any self harm to find that out. So instead he tried to see what features he liked about himself; starting with the outside to make it easier when he got to the inside.

Decent enough eye shape. Not an almond. But almost. Long eyelashes-like a fawn, or a prostitute. Standard cheekbones (thankfully). One big bottom lip and one almost normal looking top lip. Straight teeth. Really straight. Should smile more. Will note that.

“Thunderbird” by Julia on Jenny and Andrea’s lawn


Monday September 29, 2014
3:41pm
5 minutes
Jess’ imagineNATIVE tote

Roaring at me, this fucking thing. I’m like Beatrice, please, I can’t focus with your teeth in my neck. That’s what it feels like, this fucking thing, screaming so close that her gums might as well be rubbing my ear drums. I could slap her away but that won’t shut her up. Not even a little bit. And I’m not a bad guy. So fucking Yip Yip Yip, but she doesn’t seem to get what I mean. Too abstract, I’m being with her. But this little Chihuahua won’t let up and I’m not in the mood cause I smoked this thing and I don’t even know what it was, but clearly I needed it. Beatrice, I’m like, Beatrice—I think you either need to take a sweet shit or get fucking laid.

“you have been invited” by Julia on her couch


Monday Aug 11, 2014
12:05am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

It’s my going away party, okay? It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, and nobody was supposed to get upset or say goodbye at all. I didn’t want to have to tell you. I know it sounds stupid, how was I supposed to pull that one off, right? How was I supposed to take off in the middle of the night without a trace and never hug my best friend again. Well in my defence I would have probably told you right after the party. I just wanted to have one last good night where it’s not clouded by anything. I mean, I would have it hanging over my head, of course, and I just thought, yeah but I’m a good actress; I can fake that nothing is wrong better than anyone. But I didn’t want anything to be different. I’m sorry that I did that. I don’t know how I’m supposed to say goodbye to you. I can’t picture starting a chapter without you in it.

“Important Numbers:” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 10, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

Every morning when he awoke and every night before going to sleep, Benjamin Franklin would ask himself, “What good shall I do today? What good have I done today?” Every morning when he awakes and every night before going to sleep, James does the same thing. Sometimes, he feels as though he hasn’t done enough good, but he finds solace in the fact that he’s trying, in the simple act of trying to “do good”. Usually, when he wakes up, when he stretches his toes to the footboard, he thinks, “What good shall I do today? I shall give Joe, the homeless man who sits outside the Drugstore a club sandwich from the Deli. I shall ask Maria how her son is doing and if she needs help with organizing her garage for the Street Sale. I shall sign five on-line petitions for causes that I believe in. I shall take my travel mug to work and therefore not waste a take-out cup.” Usually at the end of the day, he’s done two of the four. Not bad.

“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.

TJ & Sam by Sasha at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
1:03pm
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

TJ’s got her hands in her pockets like she’s some kinda cool kid, like she forget to lock the door. TJ blows bubbles with her gum and lets them bubbles pop on her own face and then she peels it off, bit by bit, and drops the gum balls on the carpet. When TJ makes a peanut butter sandwich she eats a spoonful of straight peanut butter, straight heart attack. She uses the same spoon for the sandwich. Who makes a sandwich with a spoon, anyway?!

Sam says nothing. He watches her and sometimes makes a small grunting sound. TJ has chosen to forget which sound means “good” and which sound means “bad”. TJ has disentangled herself from those words altogether. It’s all grey to her – the sky, the sidewalk, Sam’s hair, the snow.

“they forgot they had committed a crime” By Julia at Rustic Owl Cafe


Monday, November 18, 2013 at Rustic Owl Cafe
2:34pm
5 minutes
Urban Myth the board game

She was so loud I could have killed her. I don’t throw that word around lightly, I mean, I’m a good person, I swear. But she awakened something in me that no one ever has. And maybe it’s because I watched an episode of Dr. Phil last night where a woman was threatening to kill a six year old “demon child” and she seemed totally justified in her struggle. This woman, though. Her voice was penetrating my head phones–just talking in such a slow and shrill way it made me feel like I was at the dentist. I don’t think I’m actually capable of murder. No, not really. But the idea was a fun one. It made me feel alive again, and honest, which, full disclosure, my usual meds don’t let me feel. I’m not saying that because I’m being treated for things that I should be allowed to have these thoughts…I told you, I’m a good person. But when you don’t even smile when a baby waves at you, you welcome any kind of stimulus that luckily makes its way to your heart. Killing isn’t exactly the fuzzy-wuzzies, or the nurturing instincts that kick in when we’re talking about children. But the dream of it, the fantasy? God I gotta tell you, it gets me going even better than sex.

“No wonder” by Julia at The Common on Bloor


Thursday, August 29, 2013
4:05pm at The Common on Bloor
5 minutes
Film Festival Preview
NOW magazine Aug 29-Sept 4, 2013


Cabbage town, she thought. I wouldn’t mind living there. Avery was excited to tell jay about her decision to take the new position at the firm. She was reticent at first, unsure of what he’s say to moving across the city just so she could stay true to her “anti-Ttc” mentality. Now, she thought, how could he refuse. He’d see how excited I am and he wouldn’t be able to say no! He had been good about living close to Avery’s work since they started dating, and never once asked her to try riding a bike because he knew of her immense fear after being seriously injured in an MVA. He’d been good about a lot of things, she mused. About planning the unreal for Buddy in the backyard and inviting all of Buddy’s friend from the dog park, about waking up every night at 2:30 am exactly to calm her from her night terrors and rub her back slowly until she fell asleep again, and about finding a home for the abandoned ladder she rescinded from the side of the road.

“When we came downstairs at 1 AM” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, April 18, 2013
11:43pm
5 minutes
In The Hills
Josh Weil


we are looking for a good man to play us a good song. we want to dance and we want to dance out loud. we want this man to spin us a record, a vinyl, a historical moment. we won’t be able to pay him. we don’t have any money. we come in and out of rooms like ghosts trying to cross over. we fail. the light is bright where we bring it. where is this man? the one who plays the music of our souls, connecting, lamenting, refusing to compromise. does he work at a tiny fish booth in Little Italy? does he have blonde highlights in his hair and a green ring around his pinky finger from a bad metal ring? he knows what we want. we know he does. we told him in our whispered dreams last may that we were going to need this in a year. it’s almost time. we don’t have much else in the way of options. we had our hearts set on the good man playing us a good song. we waited, even. for a year minus 15 days. we thought he’d bring the fish sandwiches to us, play the song, and smile with his eyes closed as we dance a promise out in big block letters that read J-O-Y.

“Was it good or was it evil?” by Julia on her couch


Sunday March 2, 2013
10:34pm
5 minutes
East Of Eden


I didn’t know I had it in me to turn a blind eye to someone in need until I did it without thinking and never looked back. I always considered myself a good person. A generous person. Kind, even. I don’t know what gave me that idea. Perhaps I was slow to lose my temper, or because I was bullied in primary school. Maybe because I didn’t have the voice attached to my anger when I was young, and I would have said some nasty things if my tongue were free then and unabashed. I know now that I am not a nice person. I like the people I like. I love the people I love. But I don’t care one way or the other about someone who isn’t in the room. I don’t miss anyone. Not even my mother. I don’t even think about her to be honest. I don’t think about anyone. If a small child were on the street, wandering around with tears in their eyes because they had lost a mitten and their hands were freezing, I would probably stop, certainly, but only to first look around to see if anyone else was also stopping. I wouldn’t remain there long. Only long enough to make sure that I could go on my way without feeling guilty. That’s not quite nice, is it? It’s not quite good. It’s the opposite. I thought I used to be good. But quiet and good are not the same thing. Shy and good do not quite equate. Just because someone doesn’t open their mouth to scream profanities doesn’t mean they don’t think them over and over and over again.

“During the spring” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 1, 2013
9:28pm
5 minutes
the 2012 Ontario Parks Guide

Ahh when the new breeze flows, when the air is fresh and white, when the yesterday’s tears take flight.
That’s when.
That’s when the new nose knows, when the day is longer than night, when the yesterday’s fears are slight.
We dream, like the humming bird collecting around a flower bush. We hold our tongues and curse less.
We hold each other’s hands and hurt less.
We hold each other’s hearts and LEARN more. More and more and more and more.
Ahh! When the giant escape presents itself to the wind. It’s lovely at this time of year.
During spring.
During the newness of it all and of it none. How wonderful to live in the time when grass is green and water is abundant.
When the new ideas show, when the sky is pure and light, when the yesterday’s jeers are not our plight.
THAT’S WHEN.
That’s when the new bodies pose, when the hope is whole and bright, when the yesterday’s sheers cut the lines off right.
That’s when.
Ahh, that’s when.
When spring grows. We will be new and good again.
That’s when.