“spaces for writers to meet” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 19, 2018
12:03am
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

what would I tell them
if I met the table of writers
would they know I was lying
like she did
would they have any respect at all
I see that now she wanted to like me but I wasn’t brave enough
I wouldn’t respect that either
so much for honesty and writing what you know
if it only causes you pain
why would any of us want that
but here we are going through it
here we are finding the love in the lousy

“only four corals spawn” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Sunday, February 25, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

India Arie has sold over 3.3 million records worldwide so if you’ve ever questioned her success you are the one who is, in fact, “out to lunch”. She won four Grammy Awards, okay. Do you remember the song “Video”? It basically started an entire revolution. I tried to wear India Arie inspired head wraps for about two weeks in junior high and everyone asked what statement I was making. “I am not making any statement! I am not my hair!” I said and then swore a vow of silence for third period chemistry so that my identity would not be questioned further.

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Julia in Hanoi

Monday February 5, 2018
9:57pm
5 minutes
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

Not under the rug or anything-
in the wide wide open
in my laugh
in the unkind words I’ve used to describe myself
in the moments between dream and awake when I can’t tell what’s real
When I know what’s real and still send my brain to the night cave,
the haunted ride,
the hole in my three/almost four year old running shoes
When I say I don’t need more
When I say yes, let me settle for this;
watch how this small nothing
does suffice
And in the wretched mirror of our private elevator I have been hiding
my joy behind picked skin regrets named Lack
named Control
It takes everything I am to say what
I am not
It is worse work
It does not come with sweets

“the meltdown” by Julia at her dining table


Friday September 16, 2016
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail
September 16, 2016


Now that she had a name for her pain it was easier to feel it. Started in the tip of her nose and found roots in her stomach. She had been carrying around the seeds of it. Of the pain. Of the pretending. It had been harder before when things sprouted up because the leaves were all so similar looking. No one was identifying the loss of her inside of her. She had first to grow it into something people could recognize. That’s when the naming started. No growing thing can be complete without a name. An identity. The power of believing it to be. Then things got worse. She tried to avoid it but this swaying thing with long branches was always moving around inside her begging to be remembered. She tried to put other things in her stomach to keep the thing company so it wouldn’t make her pay all of her attention to it when she needed to be smiling and get things done.

“She said she was an actress” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, July 3, 2015
3:48pm
5 minutes
said by a Valens customer

She said she was an actress
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was a change maker
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was only half living
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was only half being
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was a lover once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was mother once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was an actress
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was a slave to the art
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was unhappy
Her heart the breaking kind
She said she was wasn’t done yet
Her heart the breaking kind

“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?”

“Their smiling faces touched” by Julia at her dining room table


Monday March 16, 2015
5:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”

“landed immigrants” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 13, 2015
6:39pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

Touch down acquaint orient
Reorient
Find the water
Where’s the water?
Friendly Sir
Morning coffee spill parade
Left then left then left then straight
Breathe in this city
Ask all the hard questions
Where am I going?
Why am I going there?
Fear leads and buries
Don’t follow blind
Don’t assume
Ask all the hard questions
Can you help me?
Can you show me?
South then east then south then east
Home now, a strange word
Invented
Reinvented
Depending on the day
The time
The hour

“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

“breaking laws and regulations” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 22, 2015
5:50pm
5 minutes
Nothing But Money
Greg B. Smith


She never had a record until she did and couldn’t say that anymore. She didn’t say it enough, in fact, when she could freely and honestly do it. Now she has to announce that it’s no longer clean, pristine, untouched. She has to tell potential employers that she isn’t legally allowed to drive until 2017 because of a current DUI charge. She’d like to tell them that it wasn’t really her fault in the first place, but people don’t hear excuses when all they can see is “criminal record”. Criminal. That’s what she had become. And again, she wished she would have started more conversations with “I’m not a criminal” because now she isn’t able to identify with anything else. She hugged the woman she got to chatting with in the line at the post office who said to “try to stop identifying yourself with things in this world. Things are not you. And you are not things. Your failures do not define you. Your successes, though we’d like them to, don’t either.”

“2 hours or longer” by Julia on the plane


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

Saw him standing by the vending machine. He was biting the inside of his top lip again. There’s a little flap of skin that he likes to chew when he’s focused. His fingers were in his pockets fiddling with a twist-tie or a beer cap. I didn’t see in his pockets but that’s the stuff that’s usually in there. I was already late to meet him but I stood where I was, watching him from my hiding place,and wondering if this was the real him. Alone. Unknowingly being spied on. I could have stood there for 2 hours or longer, just making assumptions and being deeply curious about this human. It made me question if anyone really knows anyone at all. If everyone has a secret self that even we don’t know about..

“super true to who they are” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Monday December 8, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
from an interview with Annabel Soutar

I have been telling myself for one whole year that I am good and worthy and beautiful and enough. My life coach told me I should recite these things and try to remind myself that I actually believe them. I started trying to believe them one morning in April of last year because it was the spring or something and things seemed like they were being reborn. I wanted to be reborn. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. I didn’t want to wish I was born of a different woman and therefore raised by one, believing I was just different and not the me I actually was. The process was a long one. I was not the me I actually was or wanted to be, but the me I had no choice in being. The dead me with crispy hair. The forgotten me with only 5 friends at my funeral. I had a lot of visions that I would never wake up. So I went to her and told her with my blood: HELP.

“a real nice desk-sofa” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday June 11, 2014
3:31pm
5 minutes
A quote from Ian

I hate everything about everything and the only thing I like in my life right now is my purple hair. That’s it. That’s all I like. And I don’t feel even a little bit weird that I only got this hair colour in my late 20s when everyone else my age started dying their hair crazy colours in high school. I needed to do it because I felt like I was losing touch with myself, so I did it, and I don’t regret it, but I hate everything about everything because I lost my job because I wouldn’t dye it back to normal. How stupid is that? Do I look any different with purple hair streaks than I do with brown straight hair that just gets tied up everyday like some cookie-cutter version of myself? I mean, yeah, it looks really different, and my boss was just confused with my life choice because I couldn’t explain to him my life phase, but I mean, I still have the same face. Or I mean, sort of. I did pierce my lip, and my nose, and my eye-brow. But whatever it’s the same face with just accessories! Nobody got mad at Janice for losing 73 pounds and now looking like a coat rack holding chicken skin.

“Virginia” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday June 5, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
7:34pm
5 minutes
from a sign on the wall of the Antique Shop

I wanted to call her Ginny because I thought that was cute but Madeleine bit my head off about it and said I had to call her by her full name, Virginia, or everyone else would start calling her stupid “off-shoot” names. She said “off-shoot” as if it were some terrible disease. I think nicknames are sweet. Mad never cared that I called her a short-form. It wasn’t an “off-shoot” as much as it was a term of endearment. Something you call someone that means something to you because it’s your thing and her thing or his thing or whatever. Anyway, Virginia ended up being a boy so we had to think of another name for her after all. I always picture when we have a girl, or if we do, that Mad will want to still call her Virginia and maybe I can call her Ginny when Mad’s not around so it can be our special thing, just the two of us. Names are a very important part of a person’s identity. I don’t want to have a kid that has to go around correcting everybody just because they call her a name her mother doesn’t like. She’s the one who calls me Mike when she knows my mother hates it when I get anything other than Michael.

“forced to break the locks” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday May 9, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:49pm
5 minutes
The TSA baggage inspection notice

Until I knew what I was doing, I was hoping to exist in private. That meant no windows, no doors, no working out in public, no eating sandwiches with too much meat in front of other humans. There was just so much to sort out: How I felt about road trips, if I preferred the raspberry jam with or without pectin, if green was in fact my favourite colour, if I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as our “Saviour”, if I was able to sleep at night knowing full well I just used air quotes to describe a deity, if I truly did hate jazz or just loved to hate it, how I interacted with sea-life, what, in actuality, was my true cup-size, would there ever be a family reunion that everyone came to willingly, how on earth I had made it so long without proclaiming my love for dandelions out loud.
I knew nothing about myself. I had all these questions, and worries, and paranoid dreams, and I was not about to throw it all away in the presence of other people who might deem said living style as a complete and utter failure…

“you’re obliged to keep living” by Julia at a park in Charleston


Thursday April 23, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
Locked In To Life
Mark Brazaitis


Keep pushing, keep moving, keep trying trying trying.
Don’t believe you’re stupid. Don’t believe that because nobody believes that and you don’t want to give them any new ideas about it.
Keep.
Pushing.
Yeah, it’s hard.
And yeah there will be lots of crying.
(With you, there’s always lots of crying. Get used to it.)
And there will be lots of laughing.
(With you, there’s always more laughing than crying. See?)
But there will be no regrets.
You don’t have time for those.
You don’t even have enough time to call your mother.
Or send that postcard to your boyfriend.
Or apologize to your inner person for being so damn-self-deprecating on a daily basis.
You don’t have time for that stuff.
So you most certainly do not have time to wish you did it differently.
The universe can be cruel.
I know that. You know that. Everybody knows that.
But it can also be kind.
So be a little nicer.
Be a little less quick to place the blame.
Be a little less okay with believing you’re mediocre.
Even when you forget how to spell “Disappointment” without an electronic device correcting you.
And even when you convince yourself you can’t do simple math in your head when trying to tip the server.
Be a little more confident.
Because you’re here.
Because you’ve made it this far and because if you didn’t want to be alive, you just wouldn’t be.

“The span of my hips.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday October 27, 2013
10:19pm
5 minutes
Phenomenal Woman
Maya Angelou


You don’t know this but I will roar. The size of me is greater than the size of you. My anger moves mountains. My kindness moves them back. I’m sick to my core when I think of the pit that lives there. It collects it all, shakes it around, and fills me to the brim with spite and power and rage and honesty. I cannot lie. I cannot, will not, cannot lie. And you don’t know this, but I will roar. I will blow the determination of a thousand armies through your heart and punish you there with the real hurt from my stomach lining. I will make you fear the day you see me at my most. I will make you rue the day you witness what my strength allows me to do. The journey of my mind, the span of my wings, my hips, my dreams. I’m everything and I am full of the aching. You don’t know this, but I will roar. From the ocean floor to the sky’s vast ceiling, I exist and I change, I sway and I remain. I am courageous. I am bright.
I am not waiting for you to know this.

“I’m glad I am” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Wednesday, September 4, 2013
9:36am
5 minutes
Julia’s warm-up

I’m glad I am I’m glad I am
gummy bear reservoir
hidden nutella in the top cupboard
I’m not hiding anything
it’s in there if you’re looking
you hide your journals in plain view because I can’t-won’t-can’t read a single word you write
I couldn’t do that
I’m hopeful someone some day will find me in mine and never need to ask me what that shape is, or is that one words or two
I’m glad I am
like that
that consistent
you’d know that if you read me
stale bread so I wouldn’t feel guilty
stolen from the birds who were looking forward to an early morning snack
you don’t know it’s there either
should have mentioned it
you’ll eat a Hungryman dinner while staring at the fridge filled with new organic vegetables
and you’ll maintain there’s nothing to eat
gummy bears
the 1kg bag
who had the idea first, to pick them up and pretend it’s genius
you or me?
might have been me
I’m glad it was then