“Our “new” or higher brain” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 21, 2018
2:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Take me out to dinner
I say this to me
me says this to me
take me out of this house
and into the world
Order something delicious!
I say this to me as
if I might try to save a few
dollars like the last time
I had this conversation
Take the good out and let
the world see it so they can
see themselves the way they need to
It is not easy
It could be easy
Leave the house! Leave the house!
I say this to me when I have tricked
myself into believing that
inside will keep me from breaking
But it isn’t like that
I could lie and say I’d prefer
to stay inside where it is safe
but the truth is that is where
all the breaking happens
It is not safe indoors with all
the mirrors and all the couch
not asking me to leave it
Take yourself on a walk
I say this to myself when my body
feels like it has forgotten
how to move
Smell the fresh mountain air!
That’s why you live here!
I say this to myself when I catch
a bead of sweat pooling in the
elbow crease
This is today’s sweat in yesterday’s
sweater and this does not keep
you safe
I say this to myself so I can hear
it in the voice of someone
higher than me

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


learn things the hard way:
make the same
mistake a million times
expect too much
drink too much
spend too much
return
return
return
avoid the telephone
avoid the woman who carried you in her body because she knows too well what you look like when you’re hiding
lie to the mirror
avoid the mirror
apply for msp
pay the wrong premiums
cry about it
forget to call the people about the help the people said they’d provide
avoid the telephone
avoid the truth
do not create anything
do not sleep
smoke too much
spend too much
binge too much
avoid the shower
avoid the fun
return
rip your hair from your head
from your eyebrows
from your lids
rip your hair from your crotch
one by one
until they’re all gone
be a girl after being a woman
avoid the mirror
avoid sex
avoid asking for what you need
resist the urge to be brave
let commercials steal your soul
spend too much
complain too much
return

“It is important to notice the differences and similarities in the success stories” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday March 20, 2016
3:32pm
5 minutes
from authorspublish.com

When William came home from his first day of grade 1, he showed me a chart he made- a Venn diagram with the titles:

THINGS I DO AT HOME

THINGS I DO AT SCHOOL

William had scribbled in Colouring and Playing and Fun and Story Time in the At School Circle. In the At Home one he had written Eating and Bath Time and Bed With No Dessert and Chicken Nuggets
I realize how little I can control what he will do or say when he’s not around me. How I can’t protect an identity or a culture that I’ve built in my own home because people will always have their opinion no matter what the context. I realize how much he absorbs and how he defines himself as a member of my household. It makes me want to make a spinach salad for dinner and spend time cutting out magazine images for a collage to hang in his bedroom.

“I’ll avoid her for a few weeks” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 19, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

If I close my eyes I can almost hear perfect silence. The buzz of the fridge seems to disappear. The beeping of the trucks backing up outside my balcony are muted. I can get centred without going anywhere at all. I’ve been practicing getting zen and doing it under pressure as that’s the most necessary time. Sheila says that if I practice every single day, reaching for meditation every single time I have the urge to call her instead, I’ll really start to form a habit. I think Sheila has a point. You can’t reach zen when you’re trying to make plans to go mini-golfing, or asking someone about knitting. I think Sheila is doing the exact same thing every time she thinks of calling me. I imagine her sitting there on the floor 6 or 7 times a day if she’s being diligent about curbing the urge. I don’t remember the last time Sheila even called me so her approach must be working! If I can get to a point where I don’t even think about how little human contact I’ve had, I’ll call that a success.

“Are you sure about that?” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 3, 2016
7:15pm
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser


Kenny carries his wife’s handbag around the house when no one is home. He loves the way it looks. It elevates so many of his outfits. He doesn’t feel ashamed but he doesn’t want to tell anyone. No. Scratch that: he does feel ashamed and is dying to tell someone. Melanie might wonder if he had other things he was hiding from her, but Kenny could promise her without lying that he just thinks he should be able to wear it without any labels attached. Kenny has had this conversation with Melanie inside his head before. It can only go one of two ways. The first being “I wonder what you’d think if I chose to do this.” “I’m totally cool with it because it doesn’t mean you are any less you.” OR…”I have this thing I like to do.” “I cannot be with someone who does what they do without putting all their things into neatly organized boxes.” Kenny believes it’d be the former, but he doesn’t know for sure.

“awaken in the morning’s hush” by Julia at a Sichuan restaurant on West Broadway


Tuesday February 2, 2016
3:18pm
5 minutes
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye


Over the years that I’ve known her, Shawna has never arrived anywhere on time. I don’t think she’s particularly proud of this habit, but I’ve also never seen her try to fix it. She apologizes, sure, don’t get me wrong, but she is always, always late. I wonder what she does every morning before she meets me or gets to her appointments. We meet at 11:30 because she can’t get there any earlier. I seriously wonder what her schedule looks like, what she prioritizes, what she lets slip away. I’ve also never once been to Shawna’s house. It’s so mysterious but perhaps I am more curious because I want to see if any of my speculations are true: does she make the bed twice because she can’t help but jump on it after she makes it the first time? Does she stay up all night, victim of insomnia, and finally catch her sleep when the rest of the world is waking up? Is she hiding a small family of raccoons in her basement that she doesn’t want anyone to see?

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
1:10pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
“How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
“Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

“strengthened from within” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, September 1st, 2013
8:24pm
5 minutes
Organix Shampoo ad
Flare Magazine


Whatever gives you that kick, right? Like, some people smoke grass – … do people still call it that? Grass?
Pause. Milly thinks. I don’t respond.
Anyways, some people do the drugs, some people even eat those, you know, those big, bad, bags of those potato chips? Not me. I don’t do any of that stuff. But, I mean, I gotta get that kick. I eat my lettuce, man! I eat my two-fu!
She laughs.
Bill divorced me because my libido went and eloped with my dignity.
She laughs.
We didn’t make love for, oh, about three and a half years? Can you believe that? Probably not. When I was your age I wanted it all the time! Like, they say that guys want it all the time, but that’s ca-ca. I wanted it all the time… Bill’s with that Cheryl, you know. That Cheryl the Hairdresser? With that little, dumb dog and that puffed up hair? Like a lion? A lion’s hair and a horse face. Shit. I mean, shoot. That’s mean.
Milly looks me straight in the eye.
You know if I want to keep my cellphone tucked in my panties and get my kick like that, I don’t really see how it’s hurtin’ anyone! Like, what’s her problem?! That I’m reaching down my pants?! Come on. Gimme a break. It’s our Puritan roots, you know, it’s this country’s Puritan roots.

“broke down under the pressure” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday, August 20, 2013
11:24pm
5 minutes
The program for 7 Important Things at SummerWorks

She’s gotten into the habit of spitting. It’s a gross one, and she knows it, but somehow it’s stuck and she likes it better than the skin picking. I have to agree with her. The skin picking thing made her look like a meth-head and she swears she’s only done it twice. She just didn’t know what to do with her hands because she was anxious and worked up and all that. Now it’s like she doesn’t know what to do with her words so she keeps spitting onto the ground just to get them out so they’re not stuck inside her skull. Sometimes there’s nothing even to spit out but she grinds her throat together from the inside to make it rough and hurt. Then when she has enough throat juice, she spits it out without waiting to see what’s around her. She did that with the skin picking, only with that she was flicking her scabs and bloody epidermis around with reckless abandon. We’ll see if this is just a phase; just a coping mechanism for the mental break down she swears she only told me about.