“Can we burn something, babe?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:26pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

In toothpaste, above the bathroom
sink, drips a love letter reminder
for us to get our place back in order
In sweat and dirt condensating on
the ceiling, threatens the shadow
How long it has been since we’ve
seen our own reflections instead
of the steamy glaze holding our
finger prints as ransom in the
shape of sorry for forgetting
The new matches that you stole
or that I stole sit on the back
of the toilet ready to become
heroes of the dark and waiting
We must have heard the horns by
now screaming our names to pick
up the dirty baskets and throw
out the hapless paper strewn

“For real people” by Julia on the 9

Wednesday November 22, 2017
5:20pm
5 minutes
from a storefront

They can come to your window and watch you live if you leave the light on. They can smell the cookies you’re baking for “Fair-Bear”. They know where you got the nickname for her in the first place.

They can learn the family recipe for your mother’s famous onion soup. They can see the receipt from Whole Foods even though you tried to hide it. They can count how many onion skins you’ve let curl to the floor.

They can steal your moments if you let them win. They can steal your kindness if you forget where you’ve tethered it. They can make you wish you bought the black-out blinds. They can watch you live if you keep living for them.

“the authors of our lives” by Julia on the bus


Monday October 10, 2016
7:55pm
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown


I tell myself I am beautiful on days that I don’t wear makeup
On days that I don’t leave the house
On days that I wonder what it would feel like to kick a living thing that is smaller than me
I tell myself that outcomes are not reliant on incomes
That success is knowing that success is just a word
That joy can come from wondering about kicking a living thing that is smaller than me and knowing that I never really wanted to do it in the first place
I tell myself that if ignore my thirst it will turn into hunger
but if I ignore my hunger it will turn into regret
I tell myself that I am beautiful
on days when I forget that beautiful is just a word

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, April 4, 2016
10:32pm
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


Voices in darkness.

“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Can you hear them?”
“No one’s there! It’s the echo of your own voice!”
“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Shhh…”
“You’ll wake the children!”
“Wake up!”
“You’re dreaming again… Go back to sleep. Go back to sleep!”

Darkness wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Darkness makes takes no prisoners. Darkness shakes my bones til they rattle.

Water drips. A bat’s wings brush my leg. Where’s my blanket? It’s cold. A hand reaches out into nothingness.

Voices in darkness and then a match.

“Shhhh…”

“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.

“good times” by Julia at her island


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
12:13am
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times

“Bye” by Julia on the 99


Monday, December 21, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I have waited for this moment for my whole life
I was testing myself
I wanted to see if I could wait
Reward myself with the news of my body no longer needing you
The way I had counted off the days, like I was reminding myself of how many days I was sober
Oh it’s been 17 days since we’ve spoken
Oh it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other
It’s been 2 years since we’ve kissed
It’s been 15 years since I first saw you
I have been waiting for independence
Waiting to see if I could do this thing on my own
This living thing
Sober and Solitary
The title for my autobiography
But I had to quit you more than I had to quit anything else
Ever
You were that good
There has been a lot of recycled peanut butter jars since
But it’s finally here
The moment of magic peace that feels like truly living
I don’t think about you anymore without warning
I wish you all the happiness
I wish myself all the happiness I’ve refused to let in since you left

“Maybe we shouldn’t” by Julia on her couch


Saturday November 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the future, about how many kids you want, or how many pieces of artwork we don’t agree on. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell each other everything just in case we wake up one time in the middle of the night and realize there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t co-own anything unless that thing is a fruit and custard pull-away tart from the coffee shop on the corner where the barista is mean to you. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t wait for the other one to be honest about the things we’re afraid of first. Maybe there’s pain in the waiting. Maybe there’s disaster in the lie before it becomes the truth.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents, when they ask what we did last night, that we didn’t leave our beds because we were too high to stand up. Maybe we shouldn’t.

“the tallest trees send down roots” by Julia at Nelson the Seagull


Sunday, September 6, 2015 at Nelson The Seagull
2:32pm
5 minutes
The Soul’s Code
James Hillman


Mama, there’s a shooting pain coming and going in my legs! It feels like knives and daggers and glass, digging deep and twisting tight.
My dear, you are growing. Your legs are becoming longer, your torso building higher toward the sky.
But why do I ache? Why do my legs shriek out every night?
Because to grow is to change and to change is to expand. You’re stretching, my love, growing into the you you are meant to be.
How big will I get? How long will I grow?
As big as you’re meant to be. As long as your soul needs.
My soul is growing through my legs? Will it always hurt this much?
Maybe a little at first. But it lets you know you’re alive. That you’re entering new dimensions. Filling bigger spaces.

“When, Finally and inevitably,” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Bits
Louis Taylor


I’ve seen the sun, he was locked away, hiding.
I whispered to him often, reminding him to take his time.
I said hello to him every morning, and I bowed my head down deep.
He didn’t want to come out.
He didn’t want to be my guide.
Sometimes facing the day is hard for everyone.
But he was there and I could tell that he needed to set himself free.
I knew because I had lived that way before.
I knew because revealing feels bad before it feels good.
I knew because in the shadows no one can see your smile, or the one you think you’re wearing.
Then after all my meditations and salutations and exaltations, I asked him quietly if I should go.
I leaned in close to catch it: he didn’t want to be left alone.

“And for some reason these men fit the bill.” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Monday, August 31, 2015
10:27pm
5 minutes
Cowboy Poetry
(ed)Hal Cannon


Mama had a ranch and she lived a good life
With her dogs and her horses and her cows and her ribbons
Mama had a good life and she wrote herself letters for 45 years
Today we branded 20, yesterday Henrietta rode on Lyla for the first time
Mama made her own history and she changed into someone she liked more
With her spirit and her intentions and her sanctuary and her home
Mama made us meat loaf and made us take seconds
Cause we are family, eating like family, reminding each other of what’s important
Mama knitted life lessons in afghans and couch cushions
With her advice and her kindness and her generosity and her magic
Mama stayed up late walking outside under the stars
With her open heart and her open hands and her rain boots

“But a song” by Julia at Ryan’s place in Calgary


Sunday, August 30, 2015
11:29pm
5 minutes
from a poem by Roy Croft

Sing to me little bird and I will count the promises on all the strands of hair on your head
I will love you forever
I will want you
I will help you
I will hold you
I will need you
I will please you
I will defend you
I will preserve you
I will encourage you
I will enjoy you
I will inspire you
I will charm you
I will disarm you
I will guide you
I will follow you
I will dare you
I will give you
I will remind you
I will kiss you
I will soothe you
I will understand you
I will accept you
I will protect you
I will learn you
I will study you
I will know you

“When we love” by Julia on the floor


Saturday, August 29, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Jean Shinoda Bolen

-And it feels like dying
-Yeah it feels like dying
-And it feels like your heart is thumping harder than usual
-Yeah
-And it feels like eye contact is binding
-Yeah it does
-And it feels like the walls are closing in
-Yeah, but those walls are lined with soft velvet
-Soft velvet lined claustrophobic walls closing in
-Yeah that’s how it feels
-But why does it feel like dying?
-Because dying isn’t bad
-But shouldn’t it feel like living?
-It does
-But
-And also dying
-And it feels like living anddying?
-Yeah it feels like both
-Because dying isn’t bad
-And living isn’t good
-Because it’s hard and also worth it
-Yeah

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:47pm
5 minutes
from http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You can’t make fire with rain
(her)
STOP with the analogies
(him)
Just let me LIVE
(her)
I am trying so hard, believe me
(him)
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
(her)
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
(him)
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
(him again)
It takes horrible to know horrible
(her)
What?
Why would you say that?
(him)
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
(her)
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
(her again)
PLEASE
(her)

“the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence” by Julia on her couch


Sunday March 22, 2015
1:56pm
5 minutes
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran


I knew they were going to ask me about it. My job, what did I do? Why was I always home all the time and what was I constantly doing sitting on the couch with 4 notebooks strewn around me? I knew it was coming. They wanted to understand who I was and what my deal was. And when I told them, these complete foreign strangers what my profession was, it all made sense to them. They said “Ohhhhh, okay, we understand now.” They were relieved that they had an explanation for me. “It’s different. Uh..very not common!” Then it went through my mind that they were automatically judging me and talking about me every time they spoke french around me. I started to question myself, was I truly what I said I was? I didn’t want them to think I was a liar or just good at making up excuses. Maybe where they’re from they don’t consider what I do to be a lucrative or respectable career. Or maybe they don’t care about that and are only interested in me because they want to invite me to a threesome.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.

“giving a private lesson” by Julia at her desk


Thursday March 19, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

So I’ve been meeting with this guy for coffee every two weeks because on a whim, I put an ad on the internet offering my tutoring services. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to respond but this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation every week and a half, was looking to improve his Italian and so he sent me a message. The first day I showed up with all my books and my notes and an Italian flag lapel pin my mom found for me at a garage sale (which I regret, but still wore) because I was ready to teach; To exchange a service. But this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation and casual sex every week ended up being ridiculously hot. Like stupid hot. And he wanted to improve his Italian so I was like, WHAT? YES? YES.

“giving a private lesson” by Sasha in the Binnings lecture hall


Thursday March 19, 2015
1:46pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

The rabbit ran away. Don’t make me say it again… The rabbit ran away. I got nothin’ without that fuckin’ rabbit, man! I don’ gotta show without that rabbit. Clarissa said she saw it run towards the women’s washroom but I’m not gonna be one of those pervs who goes in, meets a lady, and then has to say, “Jus’ lookin’ for my RABBIT…”

Pepple want classics, man. They want the card tricks and the saw and the box and they want the rabbit in the hat. I tried to break out. I really did. That was pretty much all of 1998 for me. You know, hot sauce and table jumping an’ stuff. No one wanted it. I barely got by. Had to borrow money from fuckin’ Bucky.

You think Sting likes singing “Roxanne”? You think he likes it after thirty years of “you don’t have to wear that dress tonight”?! He doesn’t. There’s no way. But, people work hard for their money and when they spend it on YOU, you gotta deliver… You better give ’em what they want.

“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.

“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?

“we were never meant to be admired” by Julia at Aroma Espresso


Thursday February 5, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
6:49pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


Olivia watched the paint drip off the railing. She was determined to have fun doing it because for whatever reason, watching paint dry has gotten a real bum rap. She wasn’t going to use a phrase like that without knowing for sure that it was true. That’s how Olivia felt about other sayings too. She was a “don’t knock it till you try it” kind of person. She had tried a lot of things, but only because she was also in the business of knocking things. It was in her nature to be cynical, but last May she realized that she had a whole lot of living to do, and nonchalant cliche sayings to defend. She was turning the paint watching into a game. Every time a drip would fall she’d draw a flower on her skin with pink marker. Nobody said you couldn’t make your own fun while doing the obviously un-fun activity. Olivia liked disproving theories. It made her get creative with which sayings she ultimately chose to use.

“element of courage” by Julia at Abney Park Cemetery


Tuesday December 30, 2014
2:58pm
5 minutes
from a crossword puzzle

I suppose it takes a lot of guts to tell you this. Me siting here on a broken tree root, trying to decide if I care about the Italian Poplar trees that are so blatantly marked, and staring into your new home, wishing you didn’t have to stay in that earthy place alone. You’ve been gone for 4 weeks now. I am counting down the days to when I don’t count down the days anymore. I am giving myself some time until then to come see you and talk to you, or not, or cry, or cry more than yesterday. But what the bravery is now is telling you that I’m going to be okay. Before I didn’t want to admit that that was a possibility; that I could ever manage to break through this heartache and live a full life without you. Now I know that that’s the only thing I can do. I don’t know if I’ll still feel this way tomorrow. But today I felt like I just had to let you know.

“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

“to listen to when feeling nostalgic” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 25, 2014
1:23am
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment

No, no, I’ve learned by now that I shouldn’t be allowed to be left alone..Not with chocolate. Ok, fine, Deena, not with THE salted caramel chocolate. In the BARS, alright? Because, Deena, don’t. No, cause I don’t want to be forced to admit something. I know who I am, obviously. What am I supposed to say that it’s better than sex? WHO WOULDN’T SAY IT IS? You even would say that it is. And I know this because I see the way your face narrows when you hear me describing it. You’d like to think very much that I believe you’re jotting down notes and observations and judgments about my dependency but I know you’re just drawing one big O and tracing it over and over again. You’re a little hypocrite. There’s no such thing as just one piece, everyone KNOWS THAT, DEENA.

“rather than something crafted from odds and ends” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 23, 2014
11:56pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Mary Catherine Bateson

She leaves a note on the kitchen table
Says there’s pizza in the oven and yogurt in the fridge if you’re hungry
I observe her life without her there
Taking it in, seeing how big of a fan she is of Bob Dylan
The sink is filled with a paste of flour and water
Pancakes, she says, taste better at midnight
I wander through her closet, see her obsession with shoes
Shoes and shoes and belts and shoes
I leave her drawers
I don’t go in them even though I want to
Even though I want to know everything
I can’t stop thinking about the kiss she didn’t give my mouth
But the kiss she wrote on paper
I can keep the one she left there
On the table top with a small bowl
A spoon
And a coffee pot on a cutting board
She wants to care for me in her way
And I could stay all day in her dirty kitchen
Scrubbing the stove free of pancake paste
And smiling to myself

“Skunk in love” by Julia at Nicole’s table


Friday August 29, 2014
12:50am
5 minutes
Nadeem’s version of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”

I was talking about skunks with someone I know. You wouldn’t know him, so it doesn’t matter. But my question was, Why do we even have skunks? I mean, WHY do we even HAVE them? It just feels to me that they don’t help anything around them. They just make humans perpetually scared whenever they meet, and make us hate them out of the fear that they will ruin our days, and therefore our lives. And this guys said, They do one thing, but they do it extremely well. And I was like, what do they do? WHAT do the EVEN do? Just feel completely satisfied with the fact that they can scamper from one hiding spot to the next and build like a ginormous home and family in certain areas because no one else will ever disturb their territory? And he was like, YES, ACTUALLY, that IS what they do. And I thought about it. I thought about it for a long time. He was right. He was. They were superior at protecting themselves without violence, without being sneaky. They just know they smell awful, learned to use it as a defence mechanism, and their children grow up to believe that emitting odours is a cool thing to do, and not to care about what anyone else thinks of them.

“we dare be brave” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
Touched by an Angel
Maya Angelou


We dare to be brave
me writing this in front of you
me exposing my skin
me going in for a kiss when you might not kiss back
We dare
oh we’ve seen it
on subways
on bilboards
on front yards of your neighbours, your sisters, your dentist’s boss
we dare to
with passion
with ease
with openness
we dare to be brave
me letting you hear one of my songs
me laughing so hard while wearing the worst socks
me burning the chicken the second night in a row
we have to. we have to dare to dare.
that’s where the truly beautiful parts hide.
that’s where the honest, raw, and flawed thing lives.
We want her to feel safe. We want to let her out.

“Make a lasting impression.” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Friday May 30, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
4:40pm
5 minutes
L’OREAL ad in Flare Magazine
December 2011


Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we met
He said, you will change the world with your words
I said, tell me that again and again and again
He said, write me something beautiful–write me something that looks like you
And I died
And I died
And I died
He rocked his head from side to side to a rhythm I couldn’t hear
I said, what song is in your brain right now
And he said, the one you sang to me in your sleep last night
I said, the one about the moon?
And he said, you always sing about the moon.
Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we fell in love
He said, when you think that you can’t, remember this feeling, this calming
I said, will you come with me forever?
He said, I’ll try. I’ll try to stop time too if you need
And I died
And I died
And I died

“Image Dip” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday May 28, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:42am
5 minutes
Image from The Sun Magazine

I can’t tell if the sky is blurry-foggy-or if this is just my mind-blurry-fuzzy. I can hear you breathing-panting behind me-your footsteps trying to keep up.
I say, You okay? And it takes a second before you respond-
Yeah.
The road is shining so I keep my eyes down and I hum the song that I know calms you-I wait for you to sing along-start singing along with my calming song-but you don’t. You’re just breathing-panting behind me-and I’m navigating through the dizziness-trying to pinch my left arm hard enough to wake me up from this.
Almost there, I call back to you, but you don’t answer and I’m glad cause ‘there’ is a place that as far as I’m concerned I’ve made up.
I hope I’m not wrong. I pray silently that I’m not.
I reach back to see if I can touch your fingertips but I don’t feel you-I don’t stop, I know you’re still there. I don’t want you to feel like you’re holding me up-
I hum again-I hum louder-
You’re not singing along with me but you’re using my voice as a guide-
Under the boardwalk-I call-Down by the sea-On a blanket with my baby-
and you say, That’s where I’ll be.

“In love” by Julia at Lauren and Jack’s house


Saturday May 17, 2014
7:42pm
5 minutes
from a button

They were real in love like
Dreams left on the pillow
Like hope floating in a glass jar beside the bed like
skin on skin on skin on skin
And they had each other
And they had the moon
And they were all the world could think of
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
They were real in love like
Hot breath in the shower
Like finger traced laugh lines
Like mediocre soft eggs turned into a
king’s buffet
And they had each other
And they had the lake
And they had their wishes even if they had to keep them in a drawer
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
Cause oh they were real in love like
Fireworks in January like
Silence in the understanding like
Two spiders with a promise

“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…

“guest starring” by Julia on her couch


Thursday March 20, 2014
9:16pm
5 minutes
The opening credits of a TV show

Do you ever feel like you’re guest starring in your own life? I know that’s one of those loaded questions that make you think far more deeply about things. But I had this thought earlier this morning and I couldn’t shake it. I’m wondering if I am just passing through….
Makes me sound a bit like a ghost doesn’t it? I’m not saying I’m a ghost. Not even a little bit! Just gliding a bit above the ground of where my life is taking place. Kind of watching it from the outside with an understanding of the inside but without fully being able to get a handle on things. I feel like I’ve been paid to be present for one or two episodes of my life each day and then I’m free to do my own thing like sleep or procrastinate or complain. I’m not required to work that hard to maintain some semblance of consistency. Like the main cast does.

“I believe that life is…” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is made up of tiny insignificant dust particles that when stitched together form a quilt of all the moments we pretend we don’t see–or pretend don’t even exist.
I believe that when we close our eyes in the middle of a moment, we capture it better, giving over to the shutter bug in our insides that is in charge of all the remembering.
I believe that life is this: tiny moments, tiny dust, tiny realizations every second– that when we allow them, transform into not so tiny anythings…but the best kinds of love, of want, of joy, of happiness, of pain, of mess, of sorrow, of learning, of flying, of forgiveness, of seeing.
I believe that life is longer than we let it be and more important than we sometimes treat it, that John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden has the secrets to the universe, to this life we’re jumping in and out of, and that if read slow enough and in the right light, we see the God that we wish we knew.

“I believe that life is…” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is like a snail, dragging its own slime, dragging its own house, sometimes getting stepped on and crushed and sometimes living on a sea wall, undisturbed, for five hundred years.
I believe that life is connection to the dead and dying, the remembering, the saving, the fighting for what’s been lost and is not quite yet lost – the great plains toad, the whippoorwill, blue walleye.
I believe that life is words in black ink on a lined Hilroy notebook purchased for ten cents at Staples by my mother.
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is
Is love
And breath
And change.

I believe that it’s all messy, and music, all teeth and bone, all muffins baking in the oven, all indulgence, all balance, all now.

I believe that “life” is “now”. From now on, in fact, from hereon in, in fact, my “life” is my “now”.

“in a graceful way” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:43pm
5 minutes
Stone Poetry
Satya Pattnaik


Say sorry that way
Tell lies that way
Wait for a better time to bring it up that way
Enjoy the night’s fear that way
Be kind to yourself in that way
Be patient in that way
Forgive in that way
Forgive often in that way
Win in that way
Lose in that way
Work in that way
Play in that way
Hold loved ones in that way
Help others in that way
Receive compliments in that way
Give compliments in that way
Care for an animal in that way
Refuse to be taken advantage of in that way
Stick up for yourself in that way
Remember fondly in that way
Move forward in that way
Let go of negativity in that way
Overcome temptations in that way
Pick yourself up after falling down in that way
Wish for a better tomorrow in that way
Own up to the truth in that way
Believe in magic in that way
Eavesdrop in that way
Wait for your turn in that way
Refrain from running your mouth in that way
Hold on to the perfect moments in that way
And just try if you can’t all the time
Remember it when you feel like nothing is close and everything is hard
There are two choices
To do it in that way
Or not to

“EARLY BIRD” by Julia on the 506 going east


Monday December 16, 2013
7:12pm
5 minutes
From the sign on the wall

Audrey was picking her nose in plain view again. There were many possible judgers but she stopped caring right after Blair decided to jump off the shed roof into a kiddie pool with no water. She had stopped caring about much, if you were adding it up. Not traffic violations, not being polite, not her appearance. Audrey had a hard time caring too little. At first she believed if life was going to end it would be on her terms. She was running red lights every chance she got, she would purposefully buy expired meats from the deli, and she would wait too long to pee just to feel that burn. She wasn’t ready for Blair’s sudden passing at all. She didn’t ask for that. She wasn’t in control. She had decided that she would need to experiment more.

“translate their natural strengths” by Sasha at the Berkeley Street Theatre


Tuesday December 3, 2013 at the Berkeley Street Theatre
8:26pm
5 minutes
from the edge newsletter

Eileen waters her succulent plants with her mouth. She swishes the water, mixing it with her spit, with her tongue twirls, with her promise secrets. Gordon sometimes catches her doing it and he pauses, watching her. She closes her eyes, the thin stream of water going from her pink lips, formed into an “O”, into the small clay pot containing soil, containing roots. He carries on past her, into the living room, where he lights his pipe and opens the newspaper. When she’s finished, Eileen joins him. She takes the pipe from his hand and breathes in the sweet, fragrant tobacco. “When are we going to move to Copenhagen?” Asks Gordon, for the twelfth time. Eileen thinks about bicycles and rivers.

“Perhaps she will spend the morning” By Julia at Rustic Owl Cafe


Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Rustic Owl Cafe
11:50am
5 minutes
The Days You’ve Spent
Suzanne Bowness


Like a morning breeze waking us from our sleep, trying to keep us from leaving the bed, and telling us it’s not safe out there if we’re separated. We stay. We listen. We hear each other’s body and we respond to it, authentically, intuitively. We feel the warmth from the night’s good dreams and the callous bottoms of four feet rubbing up against each other accidentally. We remember the stillness, the snowflakes, the morning magic with its power over us. The first snowfall, we decide, is something to spend in bed watching with another soul. We listen to our sleepy logic, we adhere to it, we make it a rule, a ritual. We don’t need to ask the other to stay when we both feel as much a part of the bed, as we do our own minds. We own it in half, and split the rent to share perfect moments like these, on mornings where it’s below freezing, and full of possibility, and the money, in coins, both mine and yours, goes into a clear jar marked “Laundry Fund”.

“we’re all about” by Julia at Quality Suites Hotel in London


Wednesday March 6, 2013
8:31pm
5 minutes
The Globe T.O section of the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, February 16, 2013 edition


We’re all about starting fires and dreaming in technicolour. We like talking about ourselves in the third person and we only wear jeans if they’re cuffed and shoes if they’re scuffed. It’s nice. Not to worry about the rest. But it’s also just the way we were meant to be. Starting fires of passion and blood. Starting wars with our inner and outer selves. We know what it’s like. We’re from the same century as you are. We just do things differently. We’re all about loud music played softly. We want to eat crusts first off pizzas so we remember our roots. We’re all about spirituality not religion. We’re all about religion when it’s under the thin guise of spirituality. We’re about spending more money on art than on clothes, on technology than food, on alcohol than institutions. We like the idea of putting crumpled maps on our walls and calling it a destination. We tell stories as if the listener has never heard them even if they have. We don’t say sorry when we bump into someone on the street. We pick up their mitts and we hand them back to their owner with a smile. We know a sorry can only mean so much. We’re all about motels with big backyards for playing hide and seek or having adult sing-alongs. We love sharing space and time and moments. We’re all about that kind of stuff.