“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“cultivate the kind of robust gladness” by Julia on the bed

Friday July 20, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
The Spiral Staircase
Karen Armstrong

When your heart opens you know it in the stiff of your ribs
the slow of your knee
Everything breathes, even the crease of your doubt,
the no in your lips
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel that?
If I were a witch I’d cast a spell that wouldn’t let me forget how easy it is to be kind to myself:
It would have it’s own incantation, sung by the bones wishing in my skin
to be held and touched
And I have to be open as it can’t get in if I’m not
I want to cultivate that and if I don’t say it out loud
it might never come true

Thankful now for moments of clarity like these
And for the wisdom of my future me, the one who knows how good I am

If I were a witch I’d…
oh wait…I’d…hold on…
close your eyes

say this one
with me

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Julia on the plane


Sunday October 23, 2016
8:51am
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to buy things
I don’t want money

Yesterday I slept over at Laura’s house
Not a house
Laura’s mansion
Her grandparents invented The Ponytail
or something like that
Something that makes money
I slept in a bed bigger than my
whole house
Laura asked if I wanted
to try running away with her
again and I said for once
I would really really like
to stay

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to want things
I don’t want money

When Elsie came back from the
bathroom she had devised a
plan for our
Office Heist
She said if I tackled the pens
she would make sure we
had enough paper
to last us for our entire lives
I told her I didn’t know how
to get them
and she smiled sideways
Just show me some charm
And some leg

“I head straight to the office” By Julia on her couch


Friday August 12, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
Instyle Magazine
May 2015


For the third night in a row I have come home from the office and screamed into my pillow-I don’t know how much longer I can take it-I am starting to look forward to coming straight home from work—
I found his lies in the back pocket of his jeans. I asked him why it took so long for him to get lazy. Why now? Because I know he wanted to be caught because he wanted to tell me why and he wanted to tell me it was because of me. So. I asked him and he told me he was no longer happy. As if that’s supposed to erase 4 whole years of loving someone. Because to love someone for four years breaks your heart on the best of days. As if being no longer happy excuses the sneaking around and justifies the betrayal. It is a betrayal because I trusted my heart with him. It is a betrayal because he knew it would hurt me and he did it anyway.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
6:28am
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.

“Off the wall” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesdy May 31, 2016
9:45pm
5 minutes
from a Foot Locker store

Karl tried to hang the frame after hearing me ask him to do it for the past 6 months. I think the only reason why it took him so long is because he didn’t know how to..but also didn’t want me to know that. Not that I would have cared. I didn’t know how to so that’s why I asked him to do it. I’m sure we could have both learned together how to hang a simple frame and everything would have been fine, but we preferred to argue about the fact that it hadn’t yet been done. The first moment he held the nails in his hand, I knew he didn’t have a clue what he was doing. I left the room to “go fold the laundry” so he wouldn’t have the added pressure of me watching him. I heard him tapping away at the wall and I could only imagine that it was coming along nicely. I didn’t want to ask how he was so I just sat on the bed reading my magazine until I got the go ahead. Instead, suddenly, I heard a scream.
I rushed out of the bedroom to find Karl shaking his head at the frame I had asked him to hang, smashed to pieces on the rug.

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, April 4, 2016
9:26am
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


I have been free before I was alone
I have been seen before I succumbed to the fear
A little heart shaped pouch holds my dreams in it
A little heart shaped pouch holds my truth in it
I’ve been running wild in my imagination
Picking pretty flowers that I can carry with me all day long
I paint up the ocean I paint in a song
The mountains they’ve been calling so I can always find my way back
I am missing my tribe
The heart shaped hearts that I live for
Mother laughing
Sister holding
Auntie listening
Cousin giving
And to the wild women I left behind
Who I fit inside my sacred space
My medicine is abundant and flowing
I can take a sip from my blessings’ cup
And take steps to find myself again in the river when the deep in me craves
to be surrounded

“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.

“Help us fight the flu!” by Julia at her dining table


Friday February 12, 2016
12:51pm
5 minutes
from the elevator at VGH

I am sitting motionless but moving on this perfect log facing the perfect sun peaking out behind the perfect mountain. Everything is wonderful. Everything around me is alive and I am still alive to experience it. There’s a difference between living and not dying. I come out here to remind myself exactly that when things feel uneasy. I ask myself, am I still alive, or am I living until I die? I am hoping to find clarity around that; peace, even. Asking myself as often as I can if this life is holding space for me or if I am holding space for it. It should be the former, shouldn’t it? Should. Huh. I know, I’m working on that too. Working on coming to perfect stillness and looking at perfect views and thinking so many imperfect thoughts. I am alone but not lonely. I feel supported from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I decide to keep them closed for the night. And I am not dying. Not yet. Not today. Although if the timing were right, this wouldn’t be such a bad last spot to be in; not a bad last feeling to have–one where I am myself inside myself inside a moment of deep desire to understand.

“Action plan” by Julia on the 99 bus


Thursday February 11, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Commercial-Broadway station

Okay let’s stay on this path let’s pick all the berries and watch the sunset from here cause it’s safe here under the canopy of jungle under the protection of soft light let’s pack our tiny bags full of notebooks and truth juice to sustain us but not delay us to suspend us but not limit us we can sip sparingly and save some of that for tomorrow and when we get to tomorrow let’s write a new song about the afternoon or turn dusk into the chorus we can sing it out cause we know the words and bang on the drum of our chest cavities to keep the rhythm going to keep the music alive let’s stay on this path and pray to the star gods to keep us happy and in love in case tomorrow’s tomorrow surprises us.

“picked and consumed” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 29, 2015
9:31pm
5 minutes
From the Wikipedia article on jalapeños

I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the crowded place in my brain that tells me not to make rash decisions
I chose you from the pile of mistakes I had been sweeping to one side
I love you more than I ever have
I didn’t think I could grow to love you more but I’ve surprised myself
The way you’ve surprised me
Reminding me that people can change and that mistakes can be forgiven
And sometimes forgotten
Thank you for forgetting
Thank you for reminding me daily that I’m your favourite flavour of perfect imperfection
Sometimes I pretend I can’t hear you when you talk on the phone to your parents
And you tell them how proud you are of me
But in the other room, I am teary-eyed and feeling so damn lucky
And when you come in I act like I don’t know how sweet you are
Maybe it’s a little game
Maybe it’s self-preservation and keeping my feelings clothed so they don’t feel embarrassed
I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the wall of beautiful artwork that hangs in my imagination

“What kids want” by Julia at Kibune Sushi


Friday September 11, 2015
6:48pm
5 minutes
from the front page of the Globe and Mail
Life and Arts section


What kids want is to be born into a family that wants them. Then after they’re alive in this world, after they’ve traveled from one distant universe to the one we all share, they want to be held and warmed up, and spoken to very softly. They need someone else to carry their spongy bones for a while so they can rest after their long journey. That’s not asking too much. That’s the least we can do. And after they feel like they’ve been shown a kindness or two, they start to want a couple more things. They want love and they want home and they want patience and they want security and they want comfort and they want ice cream and they want to cry and they want to laugh and they want to shriek and they want to imagine. These and all the other things they want, are the things we can give them. They don’t ask for everything. They don’t need that. We do all the complicating. We do all the blaming.

“make a cool can” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Tuesday, September 8, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a LinkedIn profile

Ways to live, Days to be, Things to do, Dreams to have:
1.Make a cool plan with a cool hat on and go outside and say HELLO WORLD
2.Drink lemonade through a straw, out of a fishbowl with your eyes closed and your HEART OPEN
3.Wash your body and your lover’s in the lake and use the sunlight to dry YOUR BONES
4.Kiss the next person you see who is wearing a graphic t-shirt UNIRONICALLY
5.Spend a day on your belly watching the ant colonies under the rocks show you HOW TO LIVE
6.Eat an entire watermelon with your hands tied behind your back and don’t let your thoughts WANDER

“It has nothing to do with you.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:50pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

“happiness is a fantastic vicious circle” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 14, 2015
6:47pm
5 minutes
The Wisdom of Insecurity
Alan W. Watts


This is how my happiness starts:
Home early on a Saturday,
no one around for miles and miles.
Clear skies, beautiful sunset,
watching from my rooftop patio,
sipping on fancy rum.
Singing at full voice to the clouds,
and to the moon,
not caring about anything,
no one around for miles and miles.
Oreo milkshake for dinner,
extra cookies crumbled on top,
pounding through peanut butter ginger chews,
take a break to toast some crusty bread,
melt some fancy cheese.
Alone and eating and loving and eating,
it starts that way and then it repeats.

“10% off” By Julia on her couch


Monday, June 29, 2015
3:31pm
5 minutes
From http://www.hollyhock.ca

Attention bargain hunters! Yes you! You with the University of Minnesota tote bag and you with the amethyst wrecking ball size pendant! Get thee to our one of a kind, one time only save big or save yourself event! Starting now until the very last shelf is bare, you too can find true happiness with true (and useful) deals! Price matching? We don’t need to! We ARE the match! We are the price! Take advantage of our super store-wide mark downs today! We only have today and then it’ll all be over! We’ll disappear into the nothingness and you’ll never know we were even here!

“Our backyard garden plot” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, June 27, 2015
1:31am
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

You and I
We found a spot
Built our home
And a backyard garden plot
We paid the rent
We made our space
Went to bed early
Slept face to face
You and I
We found happiness
Said our I love yous
Made our promises
We created a board
To pin up all our dreams
We envisioned our lives
Crafting behind the scenes
You and I
We stayed strong
Fought sometimes
Took turns being wrong
We remembered ourselves
When we were young
Our heads filled with hopes
Our home filled with love

“calm and balance your mind” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
The Epsom salt bag

I had a good friend and I loved her and her name was Annie but she begged us to call her SID so we did cause it suited her but only after she dyed her hair bright purple like Easter threw up. I liked spending time with Annie who let me and only me call her Annie because she was full of good ideas about how to find “eternal happiness”. Once Annie showed me how to breathe and I didn’t think it was a very necessary thing because hadn’t I been breathing this whole time? But Annie showed me the right way and I paid close attention cause the way Annie breathed felt a lot better than the way I had been doing it and from that moment on I knew that I could trust her and she wouldn’t laugh at me for somehow not knowing how to do something I was born knowing how to do. When we went to the drive in, Tucker and Jesse and Leila tried to convince us to go cow-tipping after the movie was done cause we were in this big field and they said “SID, YOU HAVE TO COME WITH US!” And I looked at Sid with my “Annie” eyes and she told them, “why don’t we all just learn to breathe instead?”

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“9AM-6PM” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 20, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
from a parking sign

That’s when I’m awake and dreaming about being so much better.
Wishing I had taken out the trash.
Wishing I had eaten breakfast on the back porch.
Wishing I had cleaned my house last night so I could wake up with it ready.
That’s when I spend time thinking about what food I could eat.
How excited I’ll get when I plan a delicious feast.
But really just eat pickled eggplant and chili bean paste from the jar.
And call that a proper meal.
All day.
From 9AM-6PM when the rest of the world is out there making a living.
I’m in here thinking about how one day I’ll be making a living.
Instead of making a living now.
Instead of living now.
But there are other dreams too.
Of how tomorrow will be filled with positive and productive and persistent.
How if I can just get through this day.

“believe it or not” by Julia on the 72 going north


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:45pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

believe it or not we’re here now together
you say you don’t want to believe that cause then it’s harder to let it go
but i’m telling you now that we’re here now together
and the harder you push me the farther i’ll get let go
why wouldn’t you just trust me?
when i say i have a heart built for two
when i say it’s like a bicycle and it carries the both of us?
why can’t you allow me to be exactly how i am
without getting scared of endings and losings and assumings
i’ve never been this happy before either
but i’m not running away
and i’m no trying to convince you that this is too good to be true
you have to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you
all those warm fuzzy tinglings?
they don’t exist there for nothing
and those happy pretty songs that you’re humming
aren’t just an accident either
they’re your feelings and they’re your truth
just the way i paint more when i think of your face
and i can’t help but smile when you cross my mind
i know it’s not normal that doesn’t mean it’s bad
you have to believe me when i tell you the truth before it all goes away
before you see exactly how much better us being here now together is
than what you’ll have when it’s gone

“Abundance” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 1, 2015
4:38pm
5 minutes
from a vintage matchbook

Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good man
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
WEEE!
HIGHER!
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile

“getting rid of these assholes” by Julia at Jessica and Rick’s kitchen table


Wednesday, April 14, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
Julia’s notebook

I’ve made a list of all the people who will be no longer invited to my existence. I’ve made up this list cause I’ve made up my mind. There is no more room for assholes. This is my new life motto. My new life motto for my new life. No More Room For Assholes. Now I understand that these people sometimes wear masks so you think they’re smiling and supporting you and loving you with their fake fake hearts. They’re good at what they do because they spend all their time being this way to avoid spending any time trying to be happy. Truly happy. Truly happy and helpful and honest with what those things mean. The list is small but it’s there. I don’t need to carry it around with me in my wallet like a proof of identity. I can just feel it in my skin that they’re not welcome anymore. That they don’t make me happy because they love their own misery. I don’t know when this started. It’s as if the ‘live life to the fullest’ alarm went off and I finally stopped pressing snooze…

“our only option!” By Julia on her bed


Sunday, April 12, 2015
1:05am
5 minutes
A text message from Sarah

Calls me up and he’s like, it’s our only option, we’re doing it, we’re moving to New York City. I say, how can you be so sure? And he says, a place that has city in the name? That was always the winning ticket! I say, but how can you be sure. I told you! He says. It’s in the name. Okay okay, when I got my palms read at the Slice and Saint, she said that New York City would make us happy. Is this before you finished your complimentary pizza slice? I ask. Of course! He says. They don’t let you have the slice without the voodoo! The phone beeps on his end. Gotta take this one, babe! It could be destiny calling!

“The days will be longer” by Julia at Zia Kathy’s house


Sunday March 8, 2015
12:29am
5 minutes
http://www.skam.ca

I suddenly became the girl who sits cross legged at her typewriter with her lamp weirdly perched on the bed beside her knee. It happened in the moment where I wanted to feel alive and well and proper and good. The lighting wasn’t right and somehow being closer to it felt more rustic. It felt the way a real writer would sit. Propped up against a few pillows, wrapped in an itchy couch throw. I knew that I was okay with the emptiness that was leaving my body because I could feel my lungs filling with a golden breath after so long without activity. In and out, lights on and bright. The days, I realized, would be longer from that instant on. There would be an abundance of abundance. How beautiful and mysterious and possible it all began to appear. You and your day will work together. You and your night will snuggle up and sleep soundly.

“nothing has ever summed me up so succinctly” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 7, 2015
12:54am
5 minutes
from a caitlinjstasey Instagram post

Put me in a bottle, ship me out to sea
I float along like a magic little oyster pearl
and I found the freedom there in a wave’s whisper
caught up real high in conversation
with the night
with the night
She sang “don’t come back again”
but I was long gone by then

Put me in an envelope and ship me out to sea
I bob along like a magic book inside of you
And I found the freedom there in a wave’s anger
Up up and away down
up up and away down low
Cause I would be a million miles away from me

Put me in a memory and ship me out to sea
I’ll crash along the shores all the way there
And I found the freedom there in a wave’s evening dress
she pulled out a letter saying
Who is this from? A letter to my soul…

How does she know
Just what I’m looking for?
And she was caught up real tight in conversation
about lost oyster pearls
With the night
with the night
with the night

“a wonderful future beckoned and winked” by Julia on her bed


Thursday March 5, 2015
11:59pm
5 minutes
The Fig Tree
Sylvia Plath


“I’m ready for something bigger.” I took a deep gulp of air and I said that to myself. I did. I was, in that moment, feeling very existential. I wanted to know things about myself. I realized I wanted to enjoy my own abilities instead of waiting, forever waiting, for someone else to tell me that they enjoy them. “How is that living?” I exhaled and I said that to myself. “How is it?” If I might, I’d like to paint the scene for you so perhaps you’d see how silly it is too.
You wake up, you dread enjoying your own gifts because you’re afraid someone else might disagree with you or have an opinion about what you’ve made. You make a bowl of quick oats and banana, and you tell yourself internally how bad you are for wanting to spend time doing the things that bring you joy and amusement and pleasure. You clean the dishes and you imagine a world where there is applause for you, but you see it as its own entity and not attached to the doing. Then you put on your jeans and you notice that you don’t ever see the part where you’re actually enjoying your own ability. You can’t envision the perfect happiness that comes from simply doing that thing, and you can’t fathom for even a split second what the feeling of truly expressing and connecting would mean for you.
So you throw on your winter scarf and head out of the house to once again avoid doing what you know your heart bleeds for.
Bizarre, isn’t it?

“I’ll try and take it off” by Julia at Mina’s Fabric


Thursday January 29, 2015 at Minas Fabric
4:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

I’ll try and take it off-the layer of whatever it is I’ve been hiding behind.
I used to be such a pretty girl. Such a pretty pretty girl. And he’d sing to me from the top of the stairs, “I see you and I see you because you make it so hard not to.” And I’d feel like I belonged to something perfect on this earth even if his love didn’t last and his opinion of me changed.
I had to consciously say that out loud to the next one once–that I’d try and take it off—because he looked at me with such kind eyes, but in a confused way as if he desperately wished he could see through the wall and share a moment in my soul–just swimming around, testing the water.
I have to say it out loud so I can remind myself that sometimes it’s more for me than for anyone else: that it’s hard to see clearly just as it is to be seen clearly.
I think of that searching look he gave me when I need to stop myself from fading…

“When did we leave for thing there?” By Julia on Jessica’s couch


Sunday January 18, 2015
12:47am
5 minutes
Overheard at Julia’s aunt’s house

Okay so there was this trip, right? We went together to thing there, what was it called? The Dominican! Never mind. We went with what’s his name, John there, and it was nice that he came with us because now we have photos together. We were on the dance floor one night just letting lose, and the next day he um, John, he shows us the whole night of us dancing and eating that good pasta there, you know at the nice italian place I was telling you about. So nice, I gotta tell you right, cause I didn’t know he was snapping away the whole time and capturing us, what’s that word there, candid! He captured us together all candid and they’re nice because I also have some of us standing by the fountain, but we both know it’s a photo and our smiles look bad. But the ones thing there took, John, look so nice and we look happy. It’s always better to have a friend come on your vacation so you can remember how happy you actually are.

“Start a group play team” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


Saturday January 17, 2015
11:32am
5 minutes
from a lotto 649 ticket

We’ve got a good team
We fight the bad guys and we cuddle a lot
We make jokes about the mean ones and we tap forks before we eat
We make sure no negativity gets in and we play catch in the park outside our house
We build barriers so no harm can enter and we kiss like two puzzle pieces that were meant to complete the other
We don’t leave the bedroom cause it’s safer inside and we double dip our honey hands into the bag of liquorish chews
We’ve got a good team
We laugh and we live and we squeeze and we breathe
We do it together and no one can stop us
We do it together cause we know winning is really only happiness and happiness is winning

“Feathers and flowers” by Julia on her parents’ couch


Friday January 16, 2015
5:19pm
5 minutes
from a 2015 calendar

He got me a necklace with a feather on it. It was really pretty and made my eyes stand out. That was the first thing he ever bought me like that. I remember him saying once that he just wanted to spoil me but not with gifts or clothes or jewelry…But with touching and love and food and laughter. Probably because he really wouldn’t know where to start if he were buying me jewelry. And it made me happy to know that he knew me enough to give me what I needed and not what he thought I wanted. The feather necklace was beautiful because I was never expecting him to gift me something tangible in the form of something beautiful. My expectations for love are high. He promised me that. Now I want it forever.

“the volcanoes of Central Africa” by Julia at Coffee Company, Amsterdam


Monday November 17, 2014 at Coffee Company
4:35pm
5 minutes
Genesis
Sebastiao Salgado


The volcanoes of Central Africa,
The skies of a tiny nameless mountain town in Italy,
The hot springs of Iceland,
The pancakes of Amsterdam.
I can’t live long enough to feel all the feels,
See all the views,
Dance all the out of body experiences.
I am pocketing tiny pieces of it all.
I will tie a bow to their tails and wish them off into the wind when I have enough to tell a story.
When I’m content enough with the new shape my heart has taken, the new form my mind now lives in, the new size my compassion has grown to. There is something magical about it here. Here in the new jar of my human understanding.

“And I have been in Heaven” By Julia at Piccolo & Sumblime


Tuesday October 14,2014 at Piccolo & Sublime
5:16pm
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I have been to a place of permanent happiness.
I’ve seen the sun rise and fall while wearing a tutu and performing for the world; a perfect dance, to which no applause follows.
I’ve laughed until my ribs ached, till my belly quaked, till my eyes were blurry, and my face wet.
I’ve kissed a pair of incomparable lips that I want to share with everybody just so I can say I did something good for this sorry world.
I’ve tasted the sea and the earth after a night of their hot and sweaty love-making.
I’ve licked the ocean off my lips and hummed a tune under the water until my heart and the pulse of the waves traded places.
I’ve danced body on body while my youth stayed up late–just so it could pretend that nothing else in this life even mattered.

“Pure Life” by Julia in the car


Thursday July 31, 2014
8:44pm
5 minutes
the nestle water bottle

She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.

“I think I’m crying from happiness” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday May 27, 2014
10:23am
5 minutes
from http://www.buzzfeed.com

Maybe it’s because a butterfly is currently sitting on my knee, or because my baby brother got accepted into med school, or because my older brother just flew his first plane by himself. Maybe it’s because life keeps astounding me and I can’t keep up with how good it all is. I broke up with Massi because he was begging me to move to Milan and live there with him while he relaunched his sculpting business. He called it a business so I would feel more secure in moving my entire life to a place I’d have to completely start over. New bank accounts, new driver’s license, new language, new food, new government, new phone plan. Not to mention Massi was a busy man and I’d see him probably 3 times a week if I was lucky. He told me saying no was an admission of defeat for our relationship and for my existence and he said it in such an Italian way that I almost believed him. But he was wrong. I was not giving up on me. I was giving up on the idea that I needed to please someone else. And so maybe it’s because for the first time I’m living independently. Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.

“All the animals are laughing at us” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Sunday May 4, 2014
9:22pm
5 minutes
Aeolus
Freelance Whales


It made me laugh that you told me, Sh shh, baby, don’t be so loud, the animals will hear you, and then you put your finger to your lips as if I must recognize the universal signal for Please Shut The Fuck Up.
I couldn’t help it. In fact I hoped they did hear us. In the meeting place for animals being animals to hear or even witness two other animals being animals. I can’t remember whose idea it was to do it right there in the forrest, but either way neither of us had ever done it and we were both pretty into it. I mean, you were very much consumed with the idea that we were intruding or that we’d be disrupting the squirrels or whatever. Who cares! I yelled out at the top of my lungs, just to bug you. You threw your hands up in the air and shook your head, looking around frantically for signs of life, nature, or punishment. Baby, get over it, we’re doing the nasty in a forrest! That’s awesome! Stop wrecking it! And then you laughed for the first time and held my face in your hands and said, We are the most adventurous couple that ever lived! I was like, Yeah, that’s the spirit, now push me up against this tree. You tried doing it but you then couldn’t get over the part where the tree might be a bit pissed off that we were using her as a sex post.

“HEALTHY LIFE” by Julia at her desk


Saturday January 11, 2014
11:53pm
5 minutes
from the floss threader package

Start by giving away all your earthlies. You know, items of belonging, possessions, feelings. Yeah, feelings. You won’t get to take those with you when you go! I just know. I JUST KNOW. How are you supposed to feel anything in an alternate reality, or universe, or afterlife? Doesn’t it just make sense that there will be a new set of systems to adapt to and follow? What, you think whatever you have right now is the only thing there is? Wonderful! Leave that behind too. I’m talking about states of being, I’m talking about emotions, I’m talking about anything that sets you back in life (ie: feelings and emotions. You with me now?). We won’t need anything so learn now to part with them. Learn now to not desire them. Learn now to be above them. That is how we achieve ultimate happiness. We don’t need anything of the sort. No earthlies. Not even other people. I know that seems difficult for you to comprehend. No people? What is that? It’s better. I’m telling you.

“There is an old joke” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, September 6, 2013
6:38pm
5 minutes
The Fireman And The Waitress
Dessa Kaspardlov


I catch myself laughing sometimes at the wind and all its misery.
So bleak, so dark, and yet, free, as if it doesn’t even know it’s sad.
I don’t mean to be rude.
But the sounds of violins remind me that I’m better off. That I have exactly what I asked for.
That I don’t need the breeze, even when it’s teasing me.
The universe and I go way back. She gives me what I need and I just put it into a want-cloud for her to brush up against.
I know the symptoms of a happy life.
I own one.
My new happy, shiny life.
I break the news to the insects and to the sunbeams in all their abundance.
I’m having a baby! I exclaim to them.
I’m having a perfect realization baby!
I catch myself laughing.
I know it’s not quite common, or appropriate.
But I asked the dusk to put in a good word for me at the star library.
I take whatever sparkles brightest and I return them whenever I feel I’m done with them.
No one thinks I’m just going to run off with them without payment.
I’ve made sure I held the honesty tight to my chest just in case someone asked me to spell my last name to prove who I was.

“no matter what she wears.” By Julia at Sambuca Grill


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:47pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Anne Roiphe

My grandfather was a compulsive liar. He used to tell stories to anyone who’d listen. Anyone who wouldn’t–he’d lie even more. I used to wonder how my grandmother put up with him, how she trusted him, how she knew when he was being sincere. She seemed so happy all of the time. She wasn’t one of those closet sad people. No trace of pills, of depression, of long cords tucked under her bed. Nothing like that. She was genuinely content. Then I figured it out. She knew that everything my grandfather said to others wasn’t true; but he would never lie to her. They must have made an arrangement when they were young and in love. She was tough, I forget that sometimes. She was the one who made the decisions. She was the one that put him in his place. He loved my grandmother more than life itself.
I know this because he’d tell us when we were kids, “your grandmother is the laziest woman I’ve ever met.”
She baked for us every Sunday whether we saw her or not.

“the house full of good smells” by Julia on her couch


Friday, March 21, 2013
2:01am
5 minutes
The 100 Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


My daddy used to say it, used to say, Oh what a happy home! Taking in the smells of me mum’s cooking, coming back from a long day at work, he was, trying to make ends meet for me and me brother and me mum. What a good dad! Always bringing us home some nice treats. Sometimes a biscuit from the market or if we were good, a nice old basket of perfect plums. I liked the plums the best because it meant he was in a good mood, had all the time in the world to fix us up a proper treat. My daddy would come home with such a happy tone, yell up to me and me brother, waiting at the front door for us to run down and crawl into his skin with our laughter. Such a good dad. And me mum would wait there in the kitchen, looking on at us all, saying, well is it him or is it the lord Jesus saviour man? Sounds like it could even be Santa Clause! We’d laugh then, and come running back to show her how nice the plums were, or the jam, or the crisps from his secretary Marsha. She’d say, Not before dinner, it’ll spoil your appetites! And we’d look up at our dad with those big old eyes and wee-one hope, and he’d shake his head at us with his eye on me mum, and say, now you know we can’t be too hasty! Your mum made us a proper meal tonight. Tonight we’re going to celebrate being absolutely alive!

“We are not captives” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday February 10, 2013
9:39am
5 minutes
Mud, River, Stone
Lynn Nottage


I made you chocolate pancakes and you didn’t say “Thank you”. You didn’t even say, “Wow. Chocolate pancakes.” You ate them, quietly, while I waited for any assortment of verbal affirmations that you might, finally, be happy. Debbie read somewhere that we have to detach from the whole concept of “happiness” because it’s a bag of lies. I didn’t say it to Debbie but I’m thinking, if happiness is a bag of lies than what have we got? If happiness is a big ol’ sack of bologna than where does that leave me, a forty-one year old accountant with weak lungs and a penchant for fondue? I refuse to detach from the “concept” of happiness. I will not become a captive, like Debbie, of a stupid yoga teacher who has a suspect strand of brown beads around his neck and back-hair suitable for lawn bowling! I just nod and smile when Debbie tells me about the wisdom he imparts, only to her, only after their private session. I am an intelligent woman and even if I didn’t go to graduate school and do the Peace Corps, I am the one making the top-notch decision to be HAPPY, regardless of the fact that you, my beloved son, my depressed beloved son, are incapable of expressing gratitude.