“somehow you are sacred,” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday December 12, 2018
3:54pm
5 minutes
The Third Treatise
Yara Farran

As I stand here mighty, bigger than you,
I feel the earth holding you up. When the sight of me existing without force
the way you sometimes don’t
makes you stop in your tracks, I see you then, and know you are good. This rain has marked its territory on my skin. I have married and left it now too many times to count. This is how I know about growing. About staying. About you.
Somehow, it is true, you are sacred even if you do not know the meaning of the word. And I know what it’s like to wait for my time to shoot upward; to shed my old season; to take the place of my mother.

“synonymous with yesterday” by Julia at her desk

Saturday October 27, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
Golf Nouveau
Conan Tobias

Old Me
Old you
Old self
Longings
Youth
mistakes
Me stuck
you falling
recipe for who I used to be
Old Me
Old You
Longing
Younger
Before Grace
High Horse Happy
Me, as Doormat
Me, as Blessed for Blaming
Something synonymous with yesterday
Old me
Old you
better judgement
trial by error
Belief against time
Yesterday
Yesterday before grace,
Me on high horse to
prevent me as Doormat
Something yesterday
Dream left lingering
Memory
Proofju
wishing
Lost
Yesterday
Yesterday

“Embrace Change” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday October 23, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
a BIRKS ad

I think the guts of me are changing
The literal guts of me and the figurative ones
The ones that weren’t there before are here now
You know when they say
It takes guts to do something like that
Well if you don’t have them does the thing every get done?
Now it feels like my guts are all happy to be in me
Knowing they’re going to be used for doing something
They are all on board and asking to be taken
Yes please take these guts and jump!
And my literal guts are different
Cause I give them what they need every day and they know that they’re not being used to filter out the wrong stuff
Before I think they did their job almost begrudgingly
It takes guts to do something like that
Fine I guess since we’re here we can but it’s really beyond our pay grade
Guts can’t work on everything for nothing
Now I know this
And I’m changing

“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 20, 2018
12:31am
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

nobody saw it coming
not me
not you
not the ones we were leaving behind
i suppose some deep place made known only to me in my dreams and
i guess in my mother’s
it was expected that i would make it
we both knew somewhere that i would twist silk into roots
and sink them in
she always knows the limits to my reach better than me
which is funny
since she doesn’t think I have any
but maybe vancouver gave me the pocket of soil to grow myself out of
she said that to me today
and here i am talking about leaving or staying or what in the world should I do
what would happen?

“people are still listing reasons” by Julia on the Red Line

Saturday September 15, 2018
7:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

When the subway ascends and we can see the city, you nudge my shoulder, point my body in the direction of the skyline and the tail lights of all those cars
glowing up the street
You say, look at that.
You’ve been giving me reasons why I should stay and what we could do if we decide to and who we would be if I decide to
They sound like good reasons
The good Mexican food being at the top of the list
You tell me this doesn’t have to happen and I believe the sweet in your eyes when you say it’s not going to move you if we don’t move here
Move lives
Move dreams over to a bigger city that we will surely get lost in
You are good at drinking slowly
Waiting for me to finish swirling the straw and ice around in my glass
But if we move here, you tell me, we will also find ourselves

“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.

“You should always be sure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday August 6, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

The thing is, we’re never sure
And we leap anyway
Off the edge
Whatever that looks like for you

It’s often a dock
like the one at Knowlton Lake
Sometimes it’s a cliff
something I would never do

Every big decision
doesn’t come from a place of sureness
It comes from an inkling
like the loons calling at dusk

Did you hear that?
Was that their song?
Is it time?
Is it now?

We’re never sure
or maybe I’m never sure
But I am on the other hand
My gut whispers “Go”

“in that beautiful mind” by Sasha in the Kiva

Wednesday June 20, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

It brews in the guts for months and I wonder why I’m streaming rivers
It raises as a wail on a phone call and I feel sick with the wondering if I am not enough of a friend for this
But that isn’t it
That isn’t it

He’s held a throne since before we met so I don’t even know a world in which things are different
But it’s been in my guts since then since forever ago since before we met
So
Now it almost feels like I’ve missed my chance
But I know I haven’t
The chance is always there

I’m not sure how I’ll tell you
I’m not sure when is the best moment
Haven’t had a weight like this in awhile
Clouds over my eyes dimming the blue
Brick on my chest
Marble in my throat
Tears just almost there
Eyes the lake in the morning

I guess it’s not about what to do
It’s not about what to say or not say
It’s not about leaving
It’s about being with the truth in guts and sharing that with you
That something is off in the painting of the house on the hill on the island and I’ve always felt it I’ve always known
Maybe then I didn’t trust
Or I wished I would
Wished I could

As complicated as telephone wires strung above our heads
A spark
A deep breath
Here goes

“My mom calls him that” by Julia at her desk

Monday May 14, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
from a text

My mom used to call my brother Terminator 3. That was before Terminator 3 came out. Is it out? He used to do some pretty Terminator-like stuff. Once he wiped his bloody nose on the neighbours clean white sheets drying on the line in the backyard. That one was pretty bad.
He’s probably the most devoted kid she has though. He lived at home for a while and mowed the lawn for a while and picked up groceries for a while and payed their credit cards for a while. Now he’s the designated driver when I come home to visit. He picks me up at the airport even during a blizzard and he never seems put out by having do something for family. He had to get hip surgery recently and ended up staying at my mom’s house while he was healing. He got to ring a little bell too when he needed something. He loved that. But my mom thought it was really funny so she loved it too. I don’t think she calls him Terminator 3 anymore. Now he gets his real name. I guess ever since he grew into himself he’s been pretty okay to be around. When I go home he tells me some of the same stories over and over again but that might have more to do with genetics than anything.

“Come prepared with questions” by Julia on the 99

Friday April 27, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
the Verses Festival of Words 2018 program

Are you home yet are you waiting in the bed are you staying this time are you home for a while are you sticking around are you there already are you as hungry and tired as I am did your journey tonight teach you something like mine did were you able to listen to your body like I wasn’t did you problem solve on the spot in a room full of strangers and lights hiding their faces are you home yet are you waiting for me are you going to be there to hold me will you hold me until I’m sleeping will you please let me sleep in will you stroke my cheek will you untie my knots are you on your way yet can you be home now can you stay home now can you stay home now

“It made me feel so much better” by Julia on Rebecca’s couch

Tuesday December 19, 2017
11:21pm
5 minutes
From Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham

I clenched my fist so hard it turned to dust.
(The brick that I was busy holding onto crushing.)
When the small bits caught hold of their wind, they flew.
They flew to the moon and back again,
they built their own closet of
hopeless fear-facing dragons.
They learned how to dance with them
and how to lock the door tight.
How to be so tired.
And they learned how to rest and I learned
to let go and it did not kill me.
It did not know where to strike me first.
A month of release, dominoes,
pouring when it rains.
I let it go and it let go and one of us
said goodbye sweetly
and one us said the words.

“On the day of our wedding” by Julia at the sudio

Monday September 18, 2017
3:38pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

We got hitched in Vegas (no not a Trekkie wedding, even though that would have been funnier)
and decided that every year we’d renew our vows. Not the same vows from our wedding day. Those were too wine soaked to reuse. But luckily we remember deciding to write new ones for each year’s cermemony so we could include all the growing we’ve done in three hundred sixty-five days and feel like our marriage was growing too. On the day of our wedding I found out that I was pregant and I never told him. I didn’t keep the baby. I made a secret vow to myself to keep some secrets with my own heart. That I would never betray myself to ease the guilt that would one day pass. I promised him that I would tell him what he needs to know and he laughed because he was drunk, but I’d like to think he laughed because he knew that it was for the best.

“Let’s do choices” by Julia at 1st and Columbia


Tuesday July 25, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
The Home Depot ad

Mom chooses her body over every body else’s, she knows now what hers wants and what it sings for. I watch Mom turn into a butterfly after working so hard for so many years. I watch Mom leave the upstairs bathroom unfinished and the downstairs windows taped with green table cloth instead of curtains. Mom doesn’t wish for nicer things anymore. Mom doesn’t choose cheese over cheer. She doesn’t choose them over her. Mom tastes freedom these days with every “Fuck” and “Shit”. She doesn’t like when we laugh but we are not laughing at her. Mom didn’t know she was funny until five minutes ago. Mom makes the choice to keep learning. To keep educating all of us. To keep trying when she’s told she can’t. To keep growing out of her skin when she feels like it. To keep pushing out, rising up.

“A year ago, even six months ago, it would have been, but not now.” by Julia on Amanda’s tub


Wednesday July 19, 2017
11:31pm
5 minutes
Why I Write
George Orwell


I told a bunch of people I didn’t know that if someone asked me what the best thing about life is, I’d say getting older. I mean it. What else is there in this existence aside from growth and love and mistakes and love?
I know a lot of people agreed with me. If that same someone asked me a year ago I would not have said this. I wouldn’t have said a lot of things. In the time between figuring some shit out and sitting where I’m sitting, I have out grown so many beliefs. So many stories. So many past versions of myself. If someone asked me even six months ago I would say, I’m sorry, but I do not recognize my own reflection. I wouldn’t have been able to point out what’s true over what’s not.

I keep thanking my bones for speaking up. I keep asking if anyone who lives in my skin is tired or hungry. I keep listening to the answer when it changes and changes.

“receiving invitation” by Julia in her bed


Tuesday June 20, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
from an email

I’ve been bleeding for days and nobody knows why. 
Nobody knows why because nobody knows and I suppose it’s up to me.
I make the calls and the appointments, I pay the bills or I don’t.
This growing thing, this fleshy bump is getting me down.
Isn’t that ironic-If to you growing means up. It is ironic that to me growing means up.
My impulsive decisions are growing too. In.
When Sarah pierced my ears on the back of a potato I didn’t think they’d ever be anything but proof of my young nights.
There was blood then too, on the carpet.

“I lied all the time” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 11, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Louis C.K
Sunbeams of The Sun (May 2017 issue)


five years old, Nonna visits,
leaves her face creams tubed in the upstairs bathroom
curious, five years old, sneaks into the upstairs bathroom
counts the black tile, counts the white,
opens the cream, smears it on, five years old,
closes it, runs away to pretend that nothing is out of the ordinary
mother, thirty-five years old, yells at all of us
because one of us, five years old, left the tubes partially open
Nonna wants to know who would, since she wouldn’t
five years old wants to blame it on the upstairs bathroom ghost
thirty-five years old asks flame on lips for the last time,
shoots missile from eyes, no prisoners
five years old, scared, ashamed, caught, decides to lie
blames it on the upstairs bathroom ghost,
learns guilt, confesses
one hour later

“they fought amongst themselves” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


It took a long time for us to go back and visit
the pussy willow tree overgrowing the back deck
so much they chopped it down in all the impulsive
places
the gold stars sponge painted on the downstairs bathroom walls
the office converted into a nursery
the playroom now belonging to the boy who once
convinced me to show him my orange star underwear
They smiled sweetly at us like they weren’t responsible
for making us move to a better town filled with
worse people
they never apologized for the pussy willow tree
or the black berry bush
or the playroom
they volly whispers back and forth
about asking us if we’d like something to eat,
a danish or a banana

“What is rooted” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 9, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell


somewhere between a beautiful conversation and
a shot-to-the-heart epiphany
you are unfolding to me
beneath a hot cloud
I am here too and I am on fire
and you are coming undone

It is now and maybe only
now that I do not feel sorry for
myself for feeling
so much
Your face betrays your every kindness
and this is what trusting feels like
this is the circle that happiness draws

when we dance into peace offerings with wobbly knees
we do not know this hard wood floor
but these walls have seen us try

“When do we become adults?” by Julia in her bed


Monday May 8, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
intrepidtheatre.com

when the night is young and our bones crave fresh sheets instead of fresh beers, we are wondering, if we’ll ever need ice again
and some of us don’t look like age has visited but our joints know it’s here
when it rains
when the sky gets dark
we are wondering if we’ll ever laugh at the morning like we used to
if we’ll ever buy 5 cent candies from the corner store
we are wondering if knowing is growing and if growing is expected
we are wondering, if time will ever slow down so we can see it

“When do we become adults?” By Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday May 8, 2017
5:22pm
5 minutes
http://www.intrepidtheatre.com

“Wise beyond her years”
she was also
the master of
the baby voice.
She shrugged her
shoulders and
giggled down
at painted toes.
Adult body came
too fast comes
too round.
“This isn’t what
I wanted,” she
whispers to
her pillow.
“Wise beyond her years”
a spell cast after
the wall fell.
“Wise beyond her years”
a blessing spoken
over dinner beeswax
candles lighting
changing faces.
“Wise beyond her years”
outgrowing jeans and
shoes seeing all the
noticing
growing
breaking

“All winter we went on like that” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 6, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
After Birth
Elisa Albert


It was a tough one with all the rain seeping into all my dry
I think it’s safe to say that something was trying to be planted
Something needed care enough to sprout

I used to dread cleaning my apartment when the grey outside made the inside feel dirty
Today I swept up a spider and saluted to her as she crawled away and into a safe place
The light painted my home in a newness that I’ve been waiting for
Everything on the shelves, a choice, a decision, an opinion
Spring has signed the contract, says she can take it from here
I cannot wish for something better than feeling home in the home I live in
I give thanks for the cupboards that hold every envelope, every light bulb

“silent as the folds of the yellow” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 18, 2017
5:40pm
5 minutes
Up
Magaret Atwood


He held me last night while I wept
nimbus and grey “Transitions are hard for you
honey” He said and I denied it and I swept it
under the wool couch pillow that used to belong
to a stranger’s grandmother A stranger mother
haunting the beige and the brown

I looked myself in the eye like I would a
daughter this morning Right there into the
middle into the black
“You can do this, my love,” I said and I
felt the hot water rise again boil again
It had been quite some time since I spoke
to myself with such tenderness

“not just the punch line.” by Julia at Bec’s table


Friday December 30, 2016
10:40pm
5 minutes
Humans of New York

Lots of lessons lately
Lots of waiting for space to crack a joke that wouldn’t get any laughs
Lots of holding back opinions that wouldn’t be popular
Especially if spoken
There has been fresh snow
And melted streets
Icy walks
And freezing fingers
Lots of lessons lately
Lots of lessons
Instincts are starting to get creative
Because nobody is paying them any attention
They’re starting to hum or buzz
Starting to soften grip
On everyday existing
Lots of lessons
Lots of lessons lately
And reading about hearts
And educating each other’s
Because we cannot do that on our own
That’s the joy of solitude
After days of being tirelessly ready for it

“in a less than forgiving city” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday September 28, 2016
7:32am
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…

I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.

When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?

“Sitting in rapt attention” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 24, 2016
6:45am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
Issue No. 19

He was leading a seminar on punctuality and he showed up 6 minutes late. If he had turned it into some teachable moment, or made us realize how important life is sometimes and how maybe he’s the perfect one to lead this seminar because punctuality is still a human invention and so a human can still mess it up, we would have been more in his corner. Instead the whole time I thought he was a flake. How he couldn’t admit that he was wrong. That he was trying to save face in a crowd of ruthless college kids who were looking for reasons not to take him seriously. I thought about where he might be coming from. I thought about his life’s struggles and decided he probably had a bunch of them because we all do. I don’t know what everyone else was thinking but I was hoping he’d end his seminar early and rush off to tend to one of those life things so we would all have a little more compassion for him. I think that’s a good thing, that I would rather be compassionate. I guess the bad part is that I need to have a reason first before I want to be.

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“You close?” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 22, 2016
10:09pm
5 minutes
from a text

I wish he had asked that without his mouth full of Subway. I almost instinctively said “Well not anymore I won’t be” but restrained myself. I swear sometimes Lance only does gross shit to provoke me. To test me into seeing how much I can take. How grimy he could be and get away with it.
“I have to lock up first.”
“Nobody’s going to want to break into your dad’s shed. Trust me.”
“I told them I would watch their place while they were away.”
“Yeah but what do they expect for you to lock each room before you leave the house too?”
“get away from me with your tzatziki breath. I’ll be two seconds you can wait in the car.”
We were going on an adventure. Lance made me do it, told me it would be fun and we would remember it always.

“The worst kept secret” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 21, 2016
10:26pm
5 minutes
lifehacker.com

Somebody told me once that discharge was called sperm. Okay it was my sister. We used to fight a lot. She was older. I wanted to do everything she did. I believed everything she told me. I was so confident in her that I never questioned a single thing she said. I admired her. Now we’re older and she tells me when things I believe about myself are just stories. She tells me when she hears me choosing not to love myself. I believe her. I know she doesn’t say things now to break me down. When we were young, she wanted to tease me. But maybe to see how much I could take. How much I would hear before I pushed back. It’s trusting someone outside yourself. She knows everything I’ve never told anyone else. She will always be the keeper of my secrets. She keeps the ones I like next to the ones I never will. She keeps them for me, but she forgets they’re there. She doesn’t see me through eyes of things I wish I didn’t do. She does not love on condition.

“my drunken soul flies” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Tuesday July 26, 2016 at BATW
6:53am
5 minutes
from the write up on the painting “Ascend”

Heaven forbid I tell you how I actually feel. I say that under my breath because I’m too afraid to say anything about how I actually feel with full voice. What the eff. Where did that start? When I was a kid? As everything in this life does? I had to do what you did when we were young because I wanted to be you and the only way I knew how to be you was to do what you did or what you wanted. That made sense. I was looking for lightening. Wasn’t about to spend three to five years wishing I was you without trying to make it so. I still want to be you on most days. You were older than me then but now you’re a painting. I see you still: beautiful and still. You’re not going anywhere and I don’t have to run to catch up to you. I don’t have to hold my breath and count to three because you’re not running away from me. I am a mess. It makes sense that I would want to live your life and not mine. But I still can’t tell you how I actually feel. Because my soul is drunk on doubt and it flies high when it’s left to its own devices. You are still the moon, and I love you for that. The shiny thing in my sky that makes me want to open my eyes and see…

“enables you to become the master” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 13, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Curl Keeper Bottle

I think it has to deal with inside learning. You know what I mean when I say that? Inside learning? The act of getting to know yourself from the inside out. It sounds a bit out in left field but it is quite an easy concept if you just put it into your own words. I’ll try to explain myself: you look at a mirror every single day right? You know where your eyes are on your face, you know where your nose is. You know how your hair frames your forehead. But you don’t know what emotions are friends inside yourself. You don’t know how hate likes to attach itself to confidence and how love is always being eaten by fear. We need to understand how these feelings connect inside us. So we can become a master of ourselves. So we can learn truths on our own. So we can keep studying our souls with the intensity of learning a new language. That’s all it is, really. Learning how to speak our internal language.

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“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

“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

“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.

“World’s Greatest Dad” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 16, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
from a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

I liked him because he thought my name was Vanessa.
I liked him because he’d make excuses to talk to me.
Because he’d serenade me in the funniest ways and always show up in my doorway without a reason.
Because his smile hasn’t changed one bit since he was little.
Because he knows how to communicate me to me.
Because he can educate without agendas or judgments.
I liked him because he was charming.
Because he was funny.
Because he was the best looking thing I’d ever seen.
I liked him because he wore truth-manifesting, subliminal foreshadowing on his funny old t-shirts.
I liked that his favorite shirt used to be the one that read “WORLD’S GREATEST DAD”.
I liked him because I believed he believed he would be.

“Is the client’s wish achievable?” by Julia at the salon


Monday February 15, 2016
4:12pm
5 minutes
From a treatment plan at Black 2 Blond salon

I haven’t asked for permission since Charlie left. She used to make me feel like if I could just stop waiting for other people to validate me, I would start excelling in my own life, at work, in everything. Charlie knew how to get what she wanted, waltzing into corner stores and convincing the cashiers to give her something for free each time she went in. It was inspiring. But it also seems like it required a particular person to achieve such positive results. I didn’t think I could get away with it–just based on my demeanor, my fear of not being liked. Charlie used to say, it’s out there for the taking. Every single last bit is there for you, you just need to start acting like you deserve it. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been working hard and being free. It is almost better that she’s not here to watch the progression. I’m getting better but Charlie would be pushing me for more extreme results. She was good for motivating but she didn’t understand that everyone has their own pace. It feels good. To do what I’m doing. It’s faster than I thought I would..

“I FIND MYSELF SO INTERESTING” by Julia on Jess’s and Rick’s couch


Saturday, January 2, 2016
2:43am
5 minutes
Mickey
Chelsea Martin


Dear Self,

Damn good job so far. I am proud of you. I have enjoyed being the voice inside your head, but also the fly on the wall that listens when you’re focused and thriving. I think your determination to find yourself inside yourself is incredibly inspiring. You should be proud of you too. You have not given up on your quest for truth and I like that about you. It makes things fun. I especially like it when you challenge your previous notions, opinions, behaviours, and desires. It’s very thrilling! Sometimes I hold on tight and secretly wish that you drove more gracefully but I have to admit that I would resent you for never risking anything. Nice balance! It’s a little new, isn’t it? But I’m impressed with how little the newness prevents you from investigating and fighting for yourself. I love you a lot. I’m excited for what’s next.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

“good times” by Julia at her island


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
12:13am
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Julia at Kafka’s


Saturday, October 10,2015 at Kafka’s
3:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

I am making amends with my old self. I want to say I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused her. She was young, she didn’t know any better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. She wasn’t trying to hurt me and I see that now, she did her best, even though she was not well-rested. A lot of decisions made after not enough sleep. And a lot of decisions made, without the right things to eat. Putting toxins in her belly, instead of love, she did her best. She did what she thought was enough.
I am making amends with my old self. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I can see her efforts now. Holding up a cracked mirror. I can see her clearer. She was just looking to find a little peace. A little more ease. A little more release. And sometimes it was hard and she dug her heels in, she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of the universe. Oh, how do I blame her? She hadn’t met me yet. So now I can forgive her. She did her damn best.
I am making amends with my old self. I’m sorry for all the harsh words I’ve said. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I should be offering thanks. I should be offering an olive branch. I should be inviting her to stay the night if she needs to visit again.

“the usual agreements” by Julia at Coco et Olive


Monday September 28, 2015 at Coco et Olive
3:56pm
5 minutes
Environmental Theatre
Richard Schechner


I have told myself (AT LEAST ONCE IN MY LIFE)the FOLLOWING:
1. I have a head of curls on me that can RIVAL FUCKING SHIRLEY TEMPLE. (It’s a glorious MANE and I’ve said this to myself three times in the last week)
2. You win some, you lose lots! (This used to pertain to softball. I used to think it would be a good yearbook quote. Now it’s just true for everything so why stop TRYING?)
3. I am the best looking person of my exact physical features that I know. (this is like saying, there is only one you, so you’re the best you! This one comes into play after smoking ALL THE WEED and holding my own face as I tremble at my own fragility)
4. I am smarter than I think I am (when I believe I’ve left my phone at home and only my phone has the power to save me on days where I feel like laying on the pavement outside my house until it FUCKING POURS)
5. You are growing. It hurts cause your heart is expanding in your chest and sometimes the room you’re in is too small for you. (This one more and more lately. When I write letters to myself. And I cry honest tears.)

“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.

“A rare chance” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday May 5, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

Am I dying and I don’t know it because I’m crying and I don’t know it? I mean I know it. That’s something I know. But what I don’t, is, is it a threat to my living self if my body is crying but my mental awareness of that physical reaction to something happening in my life… is non-existent? Or delayed, I mean. For one whole hour? Is that too long to go without realizing that tears are pouring out of my face? I mean I know that’s too long, so maybe something big is happening. Maybe I’m releasing all the bad in my body, in my spirit, and then just that kind of peace after the bad is all gone feels like dying. Because maybe that kind of dying is the right kind.

“Looking for a therapist?” by Sasha on the couch


Sunday, April 26, 2015
7:49pm
5 minutes
From a PRS subway ad

Incense and pillows with tiny mirrors and embroidered flowers
Sponge painted walls
yellow and orange
Soft feet
Soft soft feet
A couch over-steeped
smells like blue
smells like now
smells like tissue dust
I want you to know me like no
father
or
friend
or lover
I want you to know me in watercolours
Soft belly
Soft forehead
There’s a moment
still
Where I want to know how you are
Where I want to ask if you’ve known this grey
this deep growth low
There’s a moment
still
Handing over five twenty dollar
bills
Where it’s achy

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Julia at Aroma Espresso Bar


Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
8:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

The first thing I did was dance. Second thing was shove a Ham and Swiss baked croissant into my mouth. Still dancing. Still moving. Eating dancing moving breathing. Living. That’s what it was. Fear leaving the body. Pain released into a thousand tiny gold flakes, decorating the sky. The ham and cheese croissant was the only thing allowed in my stomach. No more knots. No more anxiety. No more burying my feelings so deep within me they could hide behind organs and slip under the radar. After the dancing eating moving breathing, FREEING thing I was doing, I threw my head back and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. The day felt warm again and I felt whole–like a hot, gooey pizza ready to be devoured by the hungry and the good.

“shouting and laughing and throwing dirt” by Sasha on her porch


Thursday February 26, 2015
4:46pm
5 minutes
My Immortal Promise
Jen Holling


shouting and laughing and throwing dirt
our clothes are the earth’s fingerprints
and our shoes are the bits of bulbs
the new life will come soon
we can feel it between our toes
we make mud pies and sell them to each other
for three butterfly kisses
two sets of sisters
we were born to be here
naked as the days we were born
nothing of it
only bodies and unselfconscious beauty
only girls
drinking from the spout at the side of the house
puppies
painting our faces with beet greens
drawing stories on our backs with dandelion

“EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AND EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME” by Sasha in the Irving K Barber Building at UBC


Monday February 2, 2015 at UBC
2:47pm
5 minutes
A tweet by @stgramophone

It’s all happening fast
Not too fast
But fast
It’s all happening like water
Boiling over
Steaming your glasses
Wanting an escape
Everything is changing and
Nothing is staying the same
This is the thing you can count on
Like butter
Like the light
Like the dust bunnies
and the crow feathers
You’re not staying the same either
Silly
You’re changing most of all
Especially now
Now that you’ve realized your regret
is too heavy
Now that you’ve dumped it in the compost
Ready to be turned into next year’s soil

“used to make them” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday April 5, 2014
11:02pm
5 minutes
from the box of envelopes

When the truck hit, my spine broke on impact, but I didn’t feel pain. Blood gushed from the side of my body, and I thought about my son, Louie, at daycare, playing with play-dough, mixing all the colours together. He’d be waiting for me. I’d never been late for him. This would be the first of many times I broke his heart. I break. I broke. I woke up in the hospital, machines whirring, my boyfriend, AJ, kissing my fingers. Louie slept in his stroller at the foot of the bed. AJ cried. I’d only seen him do it once before, when Louie was born. A doctor came quickly and smiled blue eyes at me. I closed my own. It was too much, too bright, to achey, too broken. “Lilly,” Blue Eyes said, “You’ve been in a coma for three months.” I tried to sit up, to see Louie. I missed too much. Shit. “Please don’t try to move. You suffered exceptional injuries – ” and AJ stands up. He kisses me on the forehead. And I can’t feel his lips there, and I can’t smell the fear on his breath.

“Limit to your love” by Sasha at her desk


Monday March 3 2014
12:18pm
5 minutes
A cover by James Blake of a song by Feist


We speak about failure
We speak about embracing change
The incremental
The slow shift
The leap across continents and sidewalks and snowbanks
We laugh over overpriced things
But we don’t care
Because we’re young
We’ve only got our mouths to feed
We’ve only got our fires to stoke
We’ve got small apartments
With tealights
And jars of dried beans
We’ve got new/old things
We’ve collected from flea markets and Costco and our mother’s basements
We’re never done
We’ve just begun
It’s not a touchdown or a hundred meter or a tennis match
It’s a marathon
It’s a sunrise/sunset
It’s a cycle
I’m glad for that
There’s always more beginning
More ending
More beginning
More ending

“you can ride on its back” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, January 2, 2014
2:10am
5 minutes
The Yak
A poem by Hilaire Belloc


It will take you where you want to go and you wont even need to say the name of the place…it just knows. It’s part of you, but you don’t have to recognize that if you think it takes some of the romance out of the situation…like explaining that a shooting star is really just the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere, becoming a meteor. Sort of takes the wind out; sort of brings it back down to earth in the same way..
But that’s why it works. I just want to be real about it, let you know what you should know.
It’s part of you and so it knows better than anyone else. But forget it, we don’t have to discuss this kind of thing anymore. It’s not really necessary. It’s just extra, in case you’re curious about self-actualizing at all…not that you have to be. But. You see, I’m nervous. I can’t quit day dreaming about being there for the first day you meet yourself. It’s like hearing a baby say his or her first word, and that first word being ‘mama’. It’s life-changing. And I’m just excited for you when that happens. When your world takes off. It will take you exactly where you want to go.

“Namesake” by Sasha sitting beside her Christmas Tree


Monday December 23, 2013
11:04pm
5 minutes
the album Love Takes No Prisoners
Anthony Wilson

Fox has his pinstripe suit on, the one you bought him at the Sally Ann in Peterborough. He’s finally grown into it. The sleeves are still a bit long, but he’s rolled them up with effortless style. Like you. He shot up this year. He’s almost as tall as you. He’s saying words like, “radical”, “crazy”, and “stellar”. You’d be proud of his widening shoulders and his deepening voice. You’d smile and raise your eyebrows at his intelligent and spunky sense of humour. His room is a mess but I forgive him that because he knows how to cry in movies and shovel the walk in under five minutes.

“Turn your passion into” by Sasha at The Calgary Airport


Saturday, July 20, 2013
4:20pm
5 minutes
A sign for Bow Valley College at The Calgary Airport

Turn your passion into wool
Soft like alpaca
Strong like sailing rope
Colourful like the sun catching the waves crest
Hungry like the grizzly coming our of his hibernation
Curious like the child looking up at the Milky Way

Turn your passion into breakfast
A ripe Hawaiian papaya
A juicy California peach
A crunchy Ontario apple
A sweet Florida orange
A fruit salad bowl that will nourish
Your heart

Turn your passion into a sculpture
Made of clay and sand and birch bark
Built on the pine needle floor