“in addition to the obvious benefit” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Nurture
Erica Chidi Cohen

you wouldn’t forget it if you posted a reminder above your desk or on your fridge
maybe you need to post a reminder on the place you put reminders
no shame in needing some help
we all need each other
it’s not a secret
we are each other
(might want to write that one out in bold marker so it pops)
but the woman says she will pray for me and when I say good cause I could use it she says, you might want to try praying yourself you know
like she’s lived double my lifetime or something
I roll my eyes at how obvious it sounds
I used to pray all the time
I guess she’s not wrong
I did pray myself out of a fatal car crash once on the highway
I remember how fast I was going and how little control I had
I didn’t know how stupid I could be until that moment
jesus’ name soared out of my mouth as high as I soared in that 96 toyota

“Come prepared with questions” by Julia on the 99

Friday April 27, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
the Verses Festival of Words 2018 program

Are you home yet are you waiting in the bed are you staying this time are you home for a while are you sticking around are you there already are you as hungry and tired as I am did your journey tonight teach you something like mine did were you able to listen to your body like I wasn’t did you problem solve on the spot in a room full of strangers and lights hiding their faces are you home yet are you waiting for me are you going to be there to hold me will you hold me until I’m sleeping will you please let me sleep in will you stroke my cheek will you untie my knots are you on your way yet can you be home now can you stay home now can you stay home now

“My unexpressed anger at nothing in particular.” by Julia on Jessica’s air mattress


Saturday July 15, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
No one belongs here more than you.
Miranda July


I throw my phone across the room, breaking the corner and exposing the LCD screen. I am now angry at myself for wrecking a thing I needed. I am always wrecking things I need.
I didn’t want to talk to him this morning in the first place but when he calls my heart double dutches just like it used to so I answer because I am a creature of habit and likely synchronicity.
I don’t know how I choose this terrible mood over all the other moods, but this is the one I’m wearing like a hazmat suit. It’s bulky and oversized and it knocks people over if it gets too close. I even use sarcasm when I can tell I have pierced him. I am nowhere close to okay with that.

“through the gateway of feeling” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday December 10, 2016
3:57pm
5 minutes
From a Pathwork card


Maybe I was drinking myself into the feeling of being okay. Sort of saw it through a long hallway kind of telescope that points outward and catches the light very far away. They didn’t give out instruction manuals when I had some big questions so my etchings of trial by error are all I have left to reference. When I see light I am under the distinct impression that I need to be close to it to feel better again. Trial and error. You just find these things out when the rest of your existence bleeds so dark. Maybe I was drinking myself into the feeling of being okay. Of being fed. Of being nursed. Of being missed. I caught the light once but I didn’t know at the time how hard I really was supposed to grip. I didn’t want to hurt it. Or scare it away. I didn’t know that if I let go it would go as far back into the places I can only see with my telescope pointing far far away until it is almost gone. Unreachable, and almost gone anyway. I didn’t know that some people only get one catch. If you miss it…that’s just too bad.

“a supermoon in Taurus.” by Julia on the 2


Sunday November 20, 2016
3:02pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

The other night after hating you for loving me I left the house in my pajama bottoms to seek out the supermoon
You said I probably wouldn’t be able to see anything in this fog but if she was waiting for me to catch her she would probably be that-away and you pointed to the east
I half expected she would be there and willing and believed I would be found if I found her but I couldn’t track her down and that was one more thing to be wrong about that day
I came back up the stairs slowly and stood outside our apartment door for a minute longer than usual while I decided how to feel in front of you
I could hear you inside telling yourself that you deserved to be happy too sometimes

“Spiritual teachers” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 17, 2016
11:06am
5 minutes
Women Food And God
Geneen Roth


I called my spiritual teacher, Helia, because I was in a state of emergency. I couldn’t find anything to wear and I couldn’t tell if it was my inner child reacting to my adult life, or if it was sign from the universe telling me I had to listen inward, or take a risk, or write down my dreams in the journal marked “For Dreams”. Helia was on vacation in the Okanagan. She had posted a photo from Peachland so I knew she was alive, but why wasn’t she responding to my very desperate attempts at contacting her? It’s not like this was a run of the mill anxiety attack or some realization that I cannot do this alone. I already know that I can’t, and that’s what I pay a spiritual healer for. Healia said to never hesitate to reach out. She failed to mention that I should just never be in crisis during the last weeks of July and first weeks of August. So I called my sister instead and she invited me over for homemade brownies and lemonade. She said she would try to massage my left shoulder knot out and maybe I just needed some TLC from someone who used to share a room with me.

“what you can expect” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
5:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.

I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”

I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.

I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.

“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.

“Total Control” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Thursday August 28, 2014
10:44pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I am making a list so I can check off everything. It’s nothing new because I’m the kind of person who likes to reiterate the things I do, consistently, without fail, because I’m really just a control freak. There, I said it. I know who I am. I’m this thing or that and it’s not a big deal so can everyone just get over everything already? As if I’m the only person in the entire world who wants to control everything all the time and have things go exactly her way. I’m not the only person, because I have friends who are similar because I want to make sure that there are no variables. I controlled my friendship circle to the point that I didn’t have any fun people left in the group, and certainly no comedy, and certainly no spontaneity. You can’t trust those laid back people who leave things to the last minute and throw caution to the wind. Those are the kind of people who wear the same pair of underwear two days in a row. I know this because I used to know those people and those people never got anything done ever. So. I am making a list now about the people I kicked out of my life and I would like to see if any of them have changed all the easy-going things on which I based my decision to cut ties, and identify if any, with those life changes, have the proper amount of fun still left in them because I could use some.

Why do I write? by Julia at the t5m: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday May 18, 2014
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a writing prompt by Natalie Goldberg

1.I write because if I didn’t I would burst.
2.I write because the dream doesn’t sound real when it’s not on paper.
3.I write because my pores need release and I’m never getting enough of that.
4.I write because I like the way my mind looks in ink.
5.I write because I’m dying to be heard.
6.I write because I’m dying to be understood.
7.I write because I tell myself I must.
8.I write because I enjoy painting with words.
9.I write because I hope someone will rescue me.
10.I write because I hope someone will find my thoughts and fall in love with them.
11.I write because I love telling stories.
12.I write because I hate being interrupted.
13.I write because I can’t lie to myself with a pen in my hand.
14.I write because life is fast and I’m trying to remember the best version of myself.
15.I write because in a world filled with stimuli, my only refuge is my word.
16.I write because I want to be quoted.
17.I write because if I didn’t I’d watch too much TV.
18.I write because I think my personality is better on paper.

“lead us not” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Wednesday December 25, 2013
8:33pm
5 minutes
from a Christmas carol

I followed God or the idea of him around like a lost puppy one morning. I swear I heard him calling me. I listened closely and went where his voice was leading me. I stopped off in every room of my heart to see if his voice got louder or clearer. I didn’t want to leave any place in me untouched out of fear that he might find solace in my anger place or my subconscious desires place and I’d miss him there. He never told me what to do. His call was generous and sweet. He was inviting me and I was feeling very welcomed. The urge to see him got bigger even though I didn’t quite know what to expect when I finally did. I tried to picture his wild hair or his big hands. I agreed with his warmth and saw his skin glowing when I closed my eyes. He would be whatever I needed, and I would know when I saw him.

“the feeling when you’re in too deep” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday November 5, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
9:17pm
5 minutes
Sweet
Dave Matthews Band


Oh how I need you how I love you how I need you.
When your face crosses my mind it’s like a lucid dream inviting me to fly.
You’re the something they talk about in all the great literature, in all the perfect poetry. You’re the whole thing and somehow you’ve chosen me.
What a life it is when doors open and you’re on the other side holding all your feelings for me like a bouquet of wild flowers.
No matter the day I’ll hug them close to my chest.
You never wane, you never wander.
You make the madness fall asleep long enough to leave me alone.
You send your well wishes my way and won’t stop until they get to me.
Oh how I need you how I love you how I need you.
More than you know.
More than I know.
You’re my everything and I can say that without seeing everything else. You’re the call that wakes me from a nightmare.
You’re the body that gave up part of itself so it could fit me right beside your thumping and ever-giving heart.

“Freedom to give” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday October 8,2013 at Sambuca Grill
5:44pm
5 minutes
Universal Freedom
George Krokos


Hasn’t she had enough, Tom? Maura asked with concern. Please. We don’t need to be so cruel. She needs a couple of dollars, so what!
She needs to learn how to be independent, He told her. That girl doesn’t know how to do anything but let other people do things for her. I blame you for that, Maura.
Me? She replied. How can you blame me? Because I didn’t want to see our daughter suffer and make the same mistakes we did? That’s what parenting is, Tom, it’s about giving.
She can work for her money if she needs it. She can work just like everybody else has to.
This is different, Tom. She’s not everybody else. She’s gone through something traumatic and it would be nice if you weren’t being such a hard ass.
I don’t think of it like that, I told you. If my parents gave me everything I wanted I’d be dead on the streets by now. By her age, if we want to get specific.
Well maybe she’s not like you. Maybe she’s stronger.

“Is there sauce on that?” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, June 30, 2013
12:34am
5 minutes
Overheard by Julia on Queen Street

I’ve got one condition, and that is, ice cream. From now until forever, Amen, I will require ice cream if I am to also allow other things, like excessive single coughing, or the refusal of washing your hands after you use the bathroom. I think that is a reasonable request, and you should be so lucky that all I need is a frozen and delicious snack and not some beautiful diamond, or a monthly subscription to the J Crew catalogue. I can get by on so little, did you know that? I’ve always been really resourceful with my living. Small things make me happy, like vanilla icing on peanut butter cupcakes. Or finally pulling out an overdue ingrown hair somewhere south of the border when you thought you were just going to keep breaking the skin every day for no reason because, goddammit, there was never enough to grab on to. I don’t need a car, or an envelope filled with cash…I mean, I’ll take it, never turn it down, use it, love it, but need it? No. I have eaten Kraft Dinner before. I know what it means to settle in life. So. That’s why I know what I need and I’m not ashamed to say it.

“you do it because” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday May 13, 2013
11:15am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


You do it because you like to watch pudgy toddlers purse their chubby faces into a pout and watch the pudgy tears form in their chubby eyes, and then stream down like the Niagara Falls-no end in sight. You pinch. You squeeze too hard–for love. To be loved….
Poor pudgy baby only knows first the pinch, then the ouch, then the inconsolable sadness that follows once the pain sets in. And you will stay there for the duration of this whole progression. Because you want to be the one they run to. Poor pudgy baby. You bend down and scoop them up in your arms and you rock them, singing Shhh shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay, I’m here, into their chubby toddler ears. You hum a lullaby of I’ll protect you, of Don’t worry, of I’ve got you, you’re safe now. You’re not a bad person, but you do love being the one to fix the pudgy baby’s mood, the sadness. You’re the loving face they forget is the same one behind the pinch, then the ouch, then the Niagara Falls.
Your smile and sympathy are as real as your need to save, but it comes from your dark place. No, no. Don’t worry. You’re not a bad person. You do it because you need to.