“The morning, happy thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday August 5, 2017
1:12am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

The morning, happy thing
dancing puppy dogs in maple syrup
unending stream so coffee and cream
Happy thing you happy happy thing
Musn’t be very smart if you’re happy
right that dumb idiot riding at the
front of the bus talking to the driver
the driver doesn’t want to fucking talk
but talk talk talk is all you do
Must be nice
being happy
Get your head out of your ass happy happy
Ronald McDonald
The morning with your egg mcmuff toast toast
I’m not mad I’m just disappointed
Why aren’t you smiling

“He lowers his eyes and I know” by Julia in her bed


Sunday June 4, 2017
12:23am
5 minutes
Years Later, I Go Back To Thank You
Anders Carlson-Wee


we havent wondered about the silver fish in a long time. This is a good thing. They are being taken care of. We talk about
the subtle beauty of cleanliness over a succesful broccoli bake and commitment to using the body. We are happy with ourselves these months.

“I tried to do it years ago” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday May 3, 2017
4:43pm
5 minutes
Devices On Standby
Joan Didion


I remember writing letters to my future self
I made it pretty clear that by 24 I would be married just like my mom
that I would have dated a man for at least 6 years before the wedding
that I would have met my husband in high school
that my first love would be my only
I thought it was a pretty good model
today is my parents’ 37th anniversary
and they are still happy

I told myself I would be a gymnast and/or a lawyer and/or a children’s author
(.5/3 if you’re counting)
I don’t remember if I had factored in life being any different than how my 10, or 12, or 17 year old self imagined it to be
I am 30 now and I am not married
I have dated a man for 7 years
and I met him in university
(1/3-if you’re counting)
I am a writer and/ or poet and/or artist
I am not like the letters said I’d be
but I am happy

“Highway 2” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday July 2, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
NOW Magazine

According to the late night clock on the wall ticking Go To Bed we realized we hadn’t slept since the Rainstorm because you couldn’t fall asleep in the quiet and I couldn’t fall asleep without you. I blamed you then for your sadness. I didn’t know that when you said you were the happiest you had ever been you were trying to manifest happiness because you didn’t have any. I wished you’d stop pretending that it was better on the side of the world where you were left alone, unbothered by me. It made me feel like and onion in an apple patch, a melody in the silence. I made you a card with a picture of a heron because of that one day when we owned the beach before sunrise and saw three of them in a line like an omen for good future, or good luck, or good observation skills.

“benefiting those in your” by Julia on her old couch


Wednesday, December 16, 2015
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a Caroline Myss card

I no happy at job
I look for other opportunities
I ask around
I talk to all the bosses
I show skills and personality
I ready for new life
New job offer benefits
I take job
I need help
I need security
Benefits no start right away
Must wait long time for starting
I wait long all day
I wait long all night
I pray fast comes the help
I pray for family
For friends
I make sure I no mess up
I make everything perfect
Old job slow
Old job not much help
No go to dentist for 2 years
No go to department store
No buy new underwear
Even when old ones have holes

“My flight was $10, 200″ by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Friday September 18, 2015
9:40pm
5 minutes
overheard at Parallel 49

You let me fall asleep on you while you do you and read the newspaper or something
Catch the race or something
Eat a cob of corn or something
I nestle in there onto the soft of your body
Ready to greet sleep
Ready to find ease
And I do this so I can feel your heart beat without asking to
And I can breathe into the space of the folds of you while you carry the weight of me
These are my favourite moments
The world stops for me and continues for you
I die a thousand happy deaths laying there in your middle
And you go on living in the comfort of me lifeless, but content

It’s been one whole year without you and I don’t have a squishy home to lay my head
It’s not the same as it was
I cannot fall asleep on myself and float away
I don’t know where you are
I consider paying an unearthly sum to find you
A flight to the good old days may just cost me ten thousand dollars
Or ten thousand tears

“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.

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


Tuesday, July 14, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
The Wisdom of Insecurity
Alan W. Watts


Mad toasts me up a poppyseed bagel. He schmears on some Lite Cream Cheese and asks if I like tomato. “No!” I accidentally shout. Shit. He slams it down in front of me. The bagel bounces. I jump. He watches me eat half. Neither of us says anything. Finally Mad goes, “So, how are ya?” I finish my bite. “Good, I mean… For the first time in my life I think I can say that I’m actually happy.” Mad smiles and then frowns and then picks up a poppyseed from my plate by pressing his finger down. He stares at it. Eventually he says, “Happiness is a fantastically vicious circle, Kiks. Fantastic and vicious. Remember that.” He takes a kiwi from the fruit basket and bites into it like it’s a pear.

“Just go in the direction where there is no direction” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 26, 2015
11:57am
5 minutes
Forbidden Rumi
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson


Like the wind, she speaks, she says
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
Calmly without rushing
No goal exists but to breathe in
every single moment
she whispers through my hair
Hums a day song worth remembering
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
And they say go where the wind blows you
And they say if you’re moved travel alongside her
I don’t know where she’s taking me
But I feel cradled in her billowy arms
And I feel welcomed by her carefree smile
Shhh shh, yes, yes
She reminds me to take time
She reminds me to inhale
and stop worrying
and exhale
and stop worrying
Shhh shh, yes, yes
I’m here for you until you get to where you’re going
Don’t run…
Glide
Don’t push…
Float
And the air is changed beneath me
And the air is changed right through me

“Your values” by Julia on her couch


Monday, April 6, 2015
12:41am
5 minutes
From a bookmark

I wish I could go back in time and erase all the bad thoughts I’ve ever had about you. Not that I regret having them because you were hurt by them. You don’t even know they exist. I want to erase them because they remind me of a time when I didn’t trust myself enough to fall deeply. I’m mad that I had the signs laid out in front of me. All the proof was there: you were good. You showed me everyday. You made me feel it even when it felt impossible. And sometimes the fear of being fully loved by you manifested itself into negative thoughts about you. If I could I would replace all those bad ones with all the times you made me laugh, all the times you told me I was beautiful even when I had just woken up, all the times you serenaded me with your ukulele, all the times you held my hand when I got too scared to take a risk. It’s not to prove to you that I’m only keeping the good stuff from now on, it’s to prove to me that I know the difference.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“residents at a homeless shelter” by Julia at Dalston Kingsland Station


Wednesday December 10, 2014
9:33pm
5 minutes
from howlround.com

Sel walks in and she’s so happy. I see her face from behind the desk and I know she’s gonna give me some good news. After the day I’ve been having, it wouldn’t take much. I keep working so the surprise feels more real. I know she’s gonna come up to me and tell me right away so I make her work for it a tiny bit.
She has to stop herself from skipping all the way to the desk, but I’m there stapling, labelling, checking off boxes until she sees she has to request me. You busy, Middy? And I stop what I’m doing for a brief second. Mhm, same same. Would you be able to take a quick break then, Middy? And I stop fully, look her in the eyes. What can I help you with, Sel? There’s that big smile again. Oh, nothing! I’ve got it all sorted! Got what all sorted, Sel? And she holds up a bag of Roasted Chicken and Thyme potato crisps. You got yourself the munchies there, Sel? And she laughs. Don’t worry about the Christmas budget this year, Middy! THESE TASTE EXACTLY LIKE A TURKEY DINNER.

“She hasn’t been back since” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 27, 2014
5:42pm
5 minutes
Summer Dress
July Talk


The city’s all lit up at night now
There are lights hung from the tree tips
There’s that feeling in the air
It was her favourite and everyone knows that still
It’s probably the hardest part of everything
Seeing her face in the snow
In the ice rinks
In the candy canes
So what do we do now?
Wait
Drink tea?
Coffee
She’s not coming back so we have to make a choice
Keep living
Trying
Keep smiling
Remembering
When it’s hard that’s when she’s closest
So with that we can make a fresh attempt
When it’s hard
When it’s hard and beautiful out
When people look happy

“You steal the water from the valley” by Julia at Bar Roma in Monteleone


Tuesday September 16 2014
5:35pm
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


An abstract painting is stuck in my mind-I think it’s an artist unknown and I think I dreamt about it this morning. It has lines across it like a grid and speckles of what I’m interpreting as gold or light are all winding around the thick grid’s lines. I think I’m happy to be in this memory but I can’t tell because I’m trying so hard to peace it all together to figure out what it means, and I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re supposed to just look at them and feel something, usually lifted or weighed down, happy or sad. When I see this painting in my head, I see it perfectly and I calculate it imperfectly. I become obsessed with the measurements, the directions, the reasons. I don’t know if I feel anything because of it other than confusion and attraction and my wondering of this angers me because then I’m stuck figuring out my feelings instead of just feeling them. I put down my guard for a second and a taste of honesty slips through. I can’t catch it in the air–I don’t dare welcome whatever might change me.

“The Psych Ward” by Julia at the Winnipeg Fringe Tent


Sunday, July 20, 2014
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


I didn’t say no. I didn’t say yes. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy you’re back.
I didn’t say hello. I didn’t say goodbye. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
What can I do? What can I say? I’m here now. I see you. I’m with you once again.
I didn’t say I’m sorry. I didn’t say I wasn’t. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Which way is up? Which way is down? You’re here now. You see me. We’re together for a while.
I didn’t say baby. I didn’t say friend. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
When can you take me? Where can we hide? We’re here now. We see it. We’re a we like we were.
I didn’t say stay. I didn’t say go. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy. You’re back.
I didn’t say please. I didn’t say thank you. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
We’re not through, yet, are we? We’re not just July? I’m here now. You see me. With you once again.

“not liable for any consequential damages” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Wednesday June 25, 2014 at MAKE
4:49pm
5 minutes
the Canon Camera User Guide

Of course she’d say that. She’s the kind of person who says things like that. Honestly, Dai, I’m not even remotely surprised by her anymore. Of course not. No, of course not. Because she glides around with this holier than though attitude and I can’t stand it no more. No because why should I? No really, she’s supposed to strut around and not take any responsibility for her actions while I sit here trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do with her? She’s a mess. Dai, I’m telling you, she’s a real problem, you’ll see. What are you telling me for? Go tell her, she’s your damn cousin. Yeah so what, I know we’re all related. When she makes me mad like this I pretend she doesn’t even belong to this family. Because, Dai. Because, Dai. Why I gotta tell you everything, what you don’t think for yourself no more? Honestly? Because of the whole baby thing. I know she didn’t mean to get herself knocked up or nothin’, but it’s her choices, you know, all of them, that lead me to think that she had it planned in some way. Oh you see how happy she is, how smiley she is cause she got the nice warm pink smell of a new baby on her skin.

“SO COLD” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
1:49pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.

“everyone is committed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday March 18, 2014
11:21pm
5 minutes
from an essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration on howlround.com

Round the table we sit, Liddy pissed off because she still has to sit at the kiddy table made worse by the fact that her name rhymes with it. Adrianna can’t move her face because of the recent Botox and so Ed keeps making jokes just to see her not laugh. Darla is still in the shitter after eating a wad of mashed potatoes because Tyson dared her to defy her lactose intolerance. Mom is singing her happy song because she’s trying not to go insane and Dad is trying to get the kids to stop trying to undred Liddy’s hair. The food is mediocre and I’m trying to give Liddy looks of encouragement but she hates me most of all right now. Maybe because I left. Maybe because I came back. I never know with her. I sneak pour her a glass of wine and try to pass it over without anyone noticing.

“name the sand” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, March 21, 2013
12:43am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


Think I wrote your name on my heart once, left it there, stamped it there, tried not to expose it to direct sunlight, didn’t want it to fade, waited till it was healed enough, the scarring, then pierced a hole through it, attached a string and a promise, and then took it out for walks with me. Think that’s what happened. Wasn’t trying to be poetic, it just ended up that way. Wasn’t trying to keep you forever, but the thought of my heart being so naked? It just needed a name blanket to keep it warm. It needed an anecdote or a sweet inspirational quote otherwise it wasn’t feeling good. It wasn’t happy. Your name made it happy, rock a baby to sleep by humming You Are My Sunshine into her ear, doesn’t know how sad that song really is and just falls into dreamland as if it were the best thing in the world happy. That kind doesn’t even exist in everyday life. I’m sure of that.
Think I used and HB pencil to write your name, knew that my heart wouldn’t be a good surface for an eraser so it would be safe, saw it scrawled in the sand one summer on Conrad’s beach near Dartmouth and knew I had to have it for me too, knew that it should be hidden away, tucked neatly into bed with the sheets all pressed with care, silent most of the time so it wouldn’t distract.