“The process is afterall like music,”by Julia at the BC Women and Children’s Hospital

Friday April 6, 2018

9:54am

5 minutes

Käthe Kollwitz

Miriam Rukeyser

I am not over here laughing at you

If you think I am laughing at you

Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance

The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something

To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again

It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset

You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing

The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision

And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully

It begs of me

It bruises

“shit and eggshell” by Julia on the 9

Sunday, March 4, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

You are no longer sleeping here-I beg the smart side of my brain to seize the opportunity: Paint the fucking thing shit brown and eggshell, a reminder of just how useless you were. The smart part of body buys the brushes, borrows a roller and a tray, sticks colour swatches to the wall. The other side, the middle sister side, sits on the edge of the bed and seizes into a chemical tear bath. The salty breath is held there like a brown paper bag was trying to keep it from floating away. Laboured. Inconsolable. The smart side of my brain has it all figured out: Leave, let leave, let live, live, leave. Do not pick up the phone. Do not keep slippers in the room that fit only the feet who walked out on you. Don’t do it. Don’t ask the other side for grace.

“change has alway happened in the margins” By Julia on her couch


Sunday August 8, 2016
10:00pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.

“the life of his human counterpart” By Julia at The Deklab County Public Library


Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Deklab County Public Library
2:14pm
5 minutes
Unsaid
Neil Abramson


It was hard to see him through the rain but I didn’t have to see his face to know who he was. Michael kept his head down as if the stream of water cascading down his hair could shield his eyes. I knew that he was crying. I knew that stance anywhere. I hadn’t seen him in months and still knew he had gotten a hair cut too. I wasn’t sure if I should approach him first or wait for him to see me. I didn’t want to disrupt whatever praying he might have been doing. I didn’t want to interrupt his ritual of getting right with himself before he came to find me. The life of his human counterpart was just as complex, and he knew that too. Hell, from behind the heavy sheets of rain pouring down on us, I’m sure he could see that I was doing my work to get right with myself just the same as he was.

“Reimagine your world” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

There’s a little place you go to, that no one knows about. You hang your worries on the line separating this place and yours. You twist them all together to create a veil and then you pass through it once it’s in order. You see the water falls and you run to them. You strip off your doubts and you dive off the cliff. You hit the water with a gentle ease and you head down as deep as you can go. You see what you need to see then slowly make your way back up. You can taste the sunlight beaming right through you and you reach the surface with a joy you have learned how to forget. You inhale. You shake off your pain and you rise up. Higher than the water. Higher than the skies.

“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

“I will go to the river” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Sunday September 13, 2015
12:36am
5 minutes
Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts
Tales retold by Jane Yolen


If you close your eyes and stretch out your hands I promise I’ll lead you to safety. Trust me. I’ll sing that to you until you believe me. I’m in no rush. I’m in no hurry. I’ll take you to the river and I’ll wait with you there. When you’re ready you can expand and when you’re ready you can lift up and soar. I’m in no rush. I’m in no hurry. Trust me. I hear the water in my sleep and it calms me, draws me in. I know the route to the moments worth keeping like I know my own nail beds, like I know my own smell. I will go again and again because I never tire of its medicine. I never tire of the healing that sets me free.

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“In the 1950’s the word” by Julia at Dark Horse


Wednesday May 13, 2015 at Dark Horse
5:16pm
5 minutes
The R-Word
Heather Kirn Lanier


In the 1950’s the word was imagined. Created. Conjured up. It was used for a brief time to describe the feeling of having everything but still feeling so helplessly and problematically empty. It was a truthful word adopted by a lot of artists. They began to write songs about it, make plays about it, dream about it, live by it. The issue that arose was the word was being over-used and becoming too loved. Yes, the strain it had, the effect of identifying too closely with one word, caused artists and young people to connect so strongly to it that they stopped trying to end the initial suffering of it. They began to accept it as it was, without the need to change it in any way.

“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.

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“should be the soundtrack” by Julia on her couch


Sunday December 29, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
www.songza.com

Audrey had on her black flowy skirt
said she was in the mood for dancing
held a flower up to her face
went well with her complexion
put it in her side bun
made sure to spritz it with hairspray to keep it there
waited for Simon to get off work
had a bottle of sauvignon blanc chilling in the ice bucket
she didn’t know if she’d get to the dancing
she was hopeful he would notice what she was wearing
and then take her somewhere fancy just so it didn’t go to waste
the music was playing
she blasted the songs she wanted to move to
had the dial in her hand just so she’d be ready when it called her
couldn’t do a single other thing but wait
and groove
and slide her head from side to side with a puckered smile
Simon didn’t call
probably wouldn’t call anyway
her flower was the cutest thing she had worn in weeks
wasn’t feeling sexy before
wasn’t feeling like the effort would even matter
tonight she woke from a nap and a dream
it saved her a little bit
it showed her the sweetness that she had forgotten
she was doing this for her
she was doing this for Simon
she was.