“there were also many miracles then.” by Julia at her desk

Monday January 7, 2019
5:44pm
5 minutes
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is a door that leads to the magical world of peace beyond peace. I found it once in a dream when I walked through my parents’ closet. It opened into a landscape that I could only describe as pure joy. The sun was warming, the grass was singing. I longed to stay there forever and when I woke up I went downstairs and tried to find the door again. It had disappeared. I have never been so sad in my life. To know a place exists but to not know how to get there. I could have cried my heart dry that day. And some days here, and now, the place blurs from my memory all together and leaves me in a house of despair. I could walk to the ocean and then all the way to the core of it in one hollow breath. The people around continue to walk about in their aimless, pointless way. The anchor is so heavy it’s as if the simulation is broken. The seagulls do not even bother to dive past.

“it was a god that acted through me.” By Julia at her desk


Sunday August 27, 2017
12:02pm
5 minutes
Disgrace
J.M. Coetzee


I found a home on a shape shifting cloud
hung up my dreams
put away my human skin
You could say that this one is mine now
here all the time
even the angels know my name
When I look down I can see it all
The places I used to burrow into my own flesh
trying to find a tunnel to an alternate reality
the shops I stole from
Candy, jackets, a single tampon
the secret leafy groves where I asked for forgiveness

And without warning I was shooting upward
my body buoyed by the possibility of knowing something sweet

“When there’s peace, it’s too vague” by Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 8, 2017
9:16pm
5 minutes
The Balcony
Jean Genet


Of course the peace comes in small bursts
makes you think you’re truly…happy.
It’s enough to keep you from grabbing a lover
by the throat of his jeans
or flying off the handle that was meant for, what, exactly?
Holding on? There is never enough room for
both sanities to grip tightly.
Peace, yes, and then there is sand in the bed,
and bread crumbs leading this way and that.
Quiet, not to be mistaken for calm, comes
in small bursts too.
It is the almost kiss, the almost landing.
A mosquito from the fifth dimenson
haunting you until it plants a message in your ear

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“Could have walked by now” by Julia on the 2 bus


Sunday December 4, 2016
7:58pm
5 minutes
overheard on Burrard street

I’ve been waiting for a bus for a whole year. No that is not hyperbole. I would never exaggerate. I have been standing in this spot for 365 days waiting. My life has passed me by. My heart has pumped as many times as it should in a year. 50 million times. That is accurate. I felt each one. I remember each one. No that is not hyperbole. I’ve waited and I’ve stood. I didn’t want to miss it if it came. The bus that would take me from Here to There and finally give me the peace I’ve been after. Every time I checked the schedule it said the bus was coming in one minute. One minute is not long. I waited for one minute 500 000 times. Of course that is not hyperbole. Every moment I stood there I considered myself a little better. A little more. I know myself in this context of waiting better than I know myself in other contexts, such as running, or laughing. People passed me by and no one spoke to me. Not one person. They either assumed that I had already gotten my bus and travelled to a place and back by now all in time to do it all over again. No one thought to say, oh you, you’re here today as well? How are you? Do you have to go far?

“The secret of remaining young” By Julia on Lindsay’s Couch


Saturday August 13, 2016
7:12am
5 minutes
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde


Mom calls me to tell me about her trip tells me all about the seaside
And how people don’t care
That North America has judgments about women’s bodies and women’s
Minds
She tells me that she bought
Her first bikini
In 15 years
And that she loves it
And that she’s decided
She no longer cares
About the rules
Either
Mom tells me about her trip
How she listened to her body
Instead of punishing it
How she gave her skin a chance
How she smiled more than before
How people told her how good
She looked
And how shocking that
Was
And how nice that is
And how maybe she has
Finally
Let herself believe them
Because they are right
Because she has put the hard work in
Because she has unlocked her heart
And freed her inner child
Mom tells me about he trip
About her journey to find
peace
And how on the way
She found a whole lot more
Inside herself
Than she meant to

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
6:28am
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.

“Finding YOUR story” by Julia at her island


Friday, January 15, 2016
8:17pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

I’ve been looking behind rosebushes in the yard
looking behind cans of old anchovies
looking behind years of deep history
I want to know my truth the way my mother knows my mood
The way my father knows my laugh
The way my heart knows its pace
When I see a unique spot I turn it upside down and inside out
I want some of that textured, layered, magical stuff for me
I see peace and I wonder if she’s just very good at being incognito
So I tear her up and I rip her to shreds
Just in case peace is an actress, just like me
I don’t like playing hide and seek
But somethings are worth hunting for

“Her face was like a spring sun halo” by Julia at Shaktea


Friday November 20,2015 at Shaktea
1:06pm
5 minutes
White Heat
M.J. McGrath


I scooped up her tiny face into my hands and I brought her close to mine so I could feel her nose and inhale her intoxicating smell. She smelled of cinnamon and felt comforting to be around. I liked that she didn’t have a sweet smell because when I thought of her defending herself against the world, it put me at ease to think that she’d be a little bit tougher, connected to her roots, fiery, quick.
She was sleeping still and I thought about leaving in that moment so I could remember her like that: peaceful, calm, perfect. I couldn’t bare the idea of her crying at the realization of my absence. I didn’t want to cause her any more pain than I already had.

“It’s a bold idea” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
The Volcano

I can weave my thoughts into your skin so you can know me from the inside out
I can kiss your sleeping lips so my smile sneaks into your dreams
I can hold your forehead next to mine so my peace will meet yours and want to stay
I can intertwine my fingers with yours so you’ll know that if you ever feel lost, you can find your place with me
I can sing you the songs I write when I think no one is around so you can see that risking it all might be hard but won’t kill you
I can leave you love notes in your coat pockets so you’ll always have something fragile and warm to hold
I can carry the burden for you so your shoulders are free for me to lean on

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Julia at Kafka’s


Saturday, October 10,2015 at Kafka’s
3:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

I am making amends with my old self. I want to say I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused her. She was young, she didn’t know any better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. She wasn’t trying to hurt me and I see that now, she did her best, even though she was not well-rested. A lot of decisions made after not enough sleep. And a lot of decisions made, without the right things to eat. Putting toxins in her belly, instead of love, she did her best. She did what she thought was enough.
I am making amends with my old self. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I can see her efforts now. Holding up a cracked mirror. I can see her clearer. She was just looking to find a little peace. A little more ease. A little more release. And sometimes it was hard and she dug her heels in, she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of the universe. Oh, how do I blame her? She hadn’t met me yet. So now I can forgive her. She did her damn best.
I am making amends with my old self. I’m sorry for all the harsh words I’ve said. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I should be offering thanks. I should be offering an olive branch. I should be inviting her to stay the night if she needs to visit again.

“Elevated stress response” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Friday October 2, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
2:57pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


I’m racing.
My mind.
My heart.
My muscles.
I’m working overtime and I’m over that.
I don’t have quiet.
I don’t know peace.
It’s bad.
I’m too soft for things that are this hard.
I watch my dreams turn into nightmares.
I wake up all twisted in my comforter.
I wake up buried deep in my own grave every morning.
Every night.
Every time.
That’s the worst part.
Because I can’t explain it.
Not to you.
Not to me.
Not to anyone.
There’s nothing I can relate this to.
I’ve never died but it feels close to that.
It feels like fighting to stay alive.
But mostly fighting to die.
Time is racing.
I am racing.
I am running from myself.
And running out of running.

“her “home” shifted time and again” by Julia at R&D


Tuesday, August 18, 2015
4:20pm
5 minutes
An article in The Atlantic

Eagle and Snail lay on the cool linoleum, looking up at the stolen chandelier that’s glittering on the ceiling. Snail’s head is on Eagle’s stomach and he can feel her breathing and he can hear her heartbeat.
Eagle keeps falling asleep and when she does Snail listens to the gurgling of her lower intestines and mimics the sounds to her with his best out loud impression. Eagle wakes up when he does this and she laughs sleepily but with commitment. Eagle’s hand is on Snail’s face, holding his left eyebrow in the crescent moon of her palm. When she remembers, she strokes it with the grain and smooths it with the inside ridge of her finger.

“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

“A rare chance” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday May 5, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

Am I dying and I don’t know it because I’m crying and I don’t know it? I mean I know it. That’s something I know. But what I don’t, is, is it a threat to my living self if my body is crying but my mental awareness of that physical reaction to something happening in my life… is non-existent? Or delayed, I mean. For one whole hour? Is that too long to go without realizing that tears are pouring out of my face? I mean I know that’s too long, so maybe something big is happening. Maybe I’m releasing all the bad in my body, in my spirit, and then just that kind of peace after the bad is all gone feels like dying. Because maybe that kind of dying is the right kind.

“we were never meant to be admired” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday February 5, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


There she is
All round wisdom
He was inside of her
Eight hundred years ago
It aches in my though
Still
It’s funny how the gut knows
The gut always knows
She’s good at what she does
She shakes my hand like it matters
I almost feel badly
She has no idea
She thinks I’m just another wordworker
There’s more light where she’s standing
In the know is out of the yes
I taste her poetry
Like he tasted
I lean my head in my hands
It’s heavy
It’s all heavy
She twists her lock
She fills the space with her-
self
Ourselves
We are
We are one
We are one womb-
an
Woman
Womb and
Heart
We are all the same
Her inside is my inside
We’re all outside
Anyway

“Have a beautiful night, beautiful.” By Julia at Nicole’s desk


Tuesday August 26, 2014
12:31am
5 minutes
Overheard on the streetcar

On our night in the woods we drank the blue stuff and turned the yellow stuff into powder. We clinked our glasses, and our thumbs, and we tilted our heads back to send the gift down-offering up an opportunity to our souls (we were looking for some peace of truth, whichever came first). The stars twinkled in sequence, telling a story, singing a song, drowning in ecstasy and not waving or struggling to stay above the tide. The moments lasted as long as they should have-the romance elongated, the touch softened. Our tongues traced tiny hearts on each other’s belly and we prayed with the night’s temple lit on fire from our commitment. We spoke only with our eyes and I said, Forever, and he said, Yes please.

“marvellous night” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 22, 2014
3:09pm
5 minutes
Moondance
Van Morrison


sitting naked on my bed until it gets too cold to care
writing naked on my bed until the sweat drips from the back of my knees and forms a puddle in my art
the pencil is sharp and i’m not holding back
not this time
not any part of me
the page is naked on my bed until it gets too insecure to stay that way
the story is naked on my bed until it gets cloaked in truth and turns into one of those truth-wearing high society women who roll around in money and make grand entrances
the pencil is sharpened and i’m not erasing a thing
not this time
not any part of me
it’s hot now
it’s cool
it breezes
it wafts
it’s only easy when i give myself fully to the sword
and even holding such a weapon
it’s still the most peaceful thing i can touch

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 21, 2014
12:44am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


Sarah-Jane lost her keys the same morning she lost her mind which was the same morning she lost her fiancee, and nobody knows which order it was. They speculate: they think one obvious event would lead to the next. Some call it Murphy’s law. Some would argue in the same breath that Murphy’s law doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what happened to poor Sarah-Jane.
There were reporters on her doorstep trying to interview her. Sarah-Jane was not really up for talking but the first couple times her doorbell rang she assumed it was family or a casserole and answered it without thinking there’d be cameras. Some people are cold and heartless that way. Not allowed to grieve what you’ve lost in peace and solitude the way she so clearly needed.

“adjacent to the wildly popular” by Julia in Massey Harris Park


Friday, October 11, 2013
4:35pm
5 minutes
The Grid TO, Oct. 10-16, 2013 edition

When I tell you about my day I want you to ignore every single thing I say except for the part where I camped out on a park bench for too long watching a tiny Chinese woman do her daily power walk around the block 8 times. Remember the part where I tell you I never felt more welcome and more uninvited than when I heard her shuffle step come close to me, and I looked up to see her face. This was clearly her post. She had peed on it and everything and I was sitting in it while fooling myself that I could write a song in this comfort zone. In this hidden sanctuary where I learned to let go of my hatred for filthy pigeons and all their damn entitlement, or the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything substantial since yesterday. I will probably fail to mention that I almost called you but decided I’d rather just be alone.

“Smear out the last star.” by Julia on Canoe Landing


Wednesday, April 17, 2013
5:21pm
5 minutes
Absences
Dom Moraes


Shake your head, weary as it is, let out the day, the worry, the flaws.
There is room on the pavement for a collection of stones, rocks, hard places. Shake your head out. Let the haird fall one by one. Dark eyes, circled fear.
There’s a pain in you. A pain. A pain. LaLa is the music. Playing to robots dancing. Your dark mouth, dripping sadness. Go on. A shake. Give it a little shake. Attacked by a stranger’s dog and tossed a Frisbee by another. Say YES. engage. You can say no any other day but today.
Shake shake. Ask for a soy substitute tomorrow. Shake it all off and out. Turn you head upside down to just hang. Let the issues take flight. up up and down down through each pore. Each opening.
Watch the room say goodnight to the light. It closes its eyes and drifts slowly, slowly. T3 headache cure. It’s bringing you to the ocean. It’s bringing you to the ocean.
Shake your head, weary as it is, let out the day, the worry, the flaws.
Let out the day. The worry. The flaws.