“On the day of our wedding” by Julia at the sudio

Monday September 18, 2017
3:38pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

We got hitched in Vegas (no not a Trekkie wedding, even though that would have been funnier)
and decided that every year we’d renew our vows. Not the same vows from our wedding day. Those were too wine soaked to reuse. But luckily we remember deciding to write new ones for each year’s cermemony so we could include all the growing we’ve done in three hundred sixty-five days and feel like our marriage was growing too. On the day of our wedding I found out that I was pregant and I never told him. I didn’t keep the baby. I made a secret vow to myself to keep some secrets with my own heart. That I would never betray myself to ease the guilt that would one day pass. I promised him that I would tell him what he needs to know and he laughed because he was drunk, but I’d like to think he laughed because he knew that it was for the best.

“Hey hey hey” by Julia on the bus


Tuesday November 15, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song


I forget if I’ve already told you…that I can’t do this? I have mentioned that to you, right? Well at any rate, I can’t, and I won’t, and if we have to have this discussion again we most certainly will not ever be doing it. Not ever because that will be breaching all of the serious codes and I do not go back on the promises I make to myself. I mean, hey, yeah, I used to. Up till even last week I was still showing up all lie-faced and comfortable. But since I’ve made the positive changes in the direction of my one bright and shiny future, I have been signing a lot more verbal contracts with others and myself and I’m actively avoiding saying yes to things that do not bring me joy or help or heal or offer positive light. So this thing we’re doing, this date, or this donut, is not for me. This is not for me.

“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 has nothing to do with you.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:50pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.

“Our backyard garden plot” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, June 27, 2015
1:31am
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

You and I
We found a spot
Built our home
And a backyard garden plot
We paid the rent
We made our space
Went to bed early
Slept face to face
You and I
We found happiness
Said our I love yous
Made our promises
We created a board
To pin up all our dreams
We envisioned our lives
Crafting behind the scenes
You and I
We stayed strong
Fought sometimes
Took turns being wrong
We remembered ourselves
When we were young
Our heads filled with hopes
Our home filled with love

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, June 7, 2015
7:32pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

“I’m glad you’re here,” you said.
“I’m sorry for grabbing your arm that hard,” you said.
“Let’s go to the airport and buy tickets to wherever the next flight’s going,” you said.

Me, in my mother’s old lavender sundress, braless, six days of stubble laughing in my armpits. You, a denim shirt and black cut-offs, On The Road in your back pocket, the pages a promise of your wanderlust.

“Let’s have cake for dinner,” you said.
“Can you make me salad with exactly 15 green peas in it?” you said.
“I would impregnate you right now if we had the money and the bananas in the fruit basket,” you said.

“Done and done!” by Julia on the 45 going north


Friday, April 24, 2015
8:28am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I said May 1st and I said that to myself, my boyfriend, my therapist, and my roommate’s dog. I told so many people I was waiting for May 1st it felt like I had to uphold the expectation. I have never been good at starting something in the middle of the month, or the week, or basically any time that doesn’t fall on the very first day of something. Usually months. I’m great at starting things at the beginnings of months. So I made a list, with lots of columns and categories. I wanted to be able to check things off and keep on task from that moment forward. No more waiting for the next month. It would have to be this beginning and not the one after. Some of the things on there were: Start Exercising Daily (as of May 1st), Try to call my mom once a week, Ask for help (starting May 1st), Stop Apologizing for my opinions, Refrain from buying dollar store chocolate, Stop waiting for the new month to get my life together, Work on false promises (even in list format), Eat more apples, No more feeling sorry for myself.

“Welcome to the playground of the future” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday March 29, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
A TIFF kids TTC ad

Join me on the moon
and we’ll shoot spit balls down below
trying to hit the people in love
the ones who tongue kiss at the bus stop
we’ll laugh and we’ll touch our skin together
we’ll weave a human bracelet out of our heart strings
we’ll tie them together so when one of us moves
the other gets tugged along
back and forth
we seesaw with our metaphors, two points of equilibrium
I’ll bake cookies for the occasion
buttery ones with some kind of special chip
not chocolate though cause what’s the point?
I’ll save you a spot right beside me on the mountain
and we’ll send paper airplanes of our promises to each other
down below so somebody else may see
just what I mean to you
and just what you mean to me
on my list it’ll say To Hold Your Face In My Hands Once A Day
on yours you could put something along the lines of
To Smile From The Core Of Me Whenever Possible
And we’ll have designed the rules to our very own board game
Making sure that number one is We Both Win Always Always

“Their smiling faces touched” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday March 16, 2015
4:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


Make no promises you can’t keep, Lizzy. That’s the one rule of them. “Do not covet thy neighbour’s wife.” “Thou shalt not steal.” Make no promises thou cannot keep. Might as well be in the Holy Book, Lizzy. You’ll go straight down to H-E-L-L if you break a promise, double H-E-L-L if you break a promise you made to me or Mama.

I did once, Lizzy. An’, well, you see my limp! You know what God did to my leg! He maimed me! He reached down from High Heaven and he struck me with his force. I never saw it coming, Lizzy, because I didn’t have a Papa to sit me down and tell me how life works.

Any questions?

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Friday February 27, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
12:50pm
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


I’m trying to fix it, that’s what I said I was doing.
Well why do I feel like you’re a balloon filled with unkept promises, floating out into the big big sky.
Because you read a lot of garbage and your head is filled with fairytales–
Or maybe because you can’t hold anything tight enough to keep.
That’s probably true.
Impermanence scares you.
No, that’s not it. I’m not a quick fix over a night of deep question-asking.
You don’t like thinking things end, and I see it in you, and you know it in you.
I’m sorry, this mumbo jumbo, this psycho analytical bullshit is making it really hard for me to think of anything else. It’s taking me a second to wrap my “clouded” head around.
Not everything has to end with a commitment. That’s very limiting. If you understood that the end goal is not important, you would find that much needed peace you’re always searching for.

“I’ll try and take it off” by Sasha on the 99 heading East


Thursday January 29, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

M: I’ll try and take it off but I’m not making any promises.
W: How could you promise me that? Realistically…
M: Good point but, like, you know what I mean.
Pause.
W: Look, I never meant to let things get like this.
M: I know.
W: And I’m sorry for what I said about your beard…
M: It’s not a big deal –
W: I’m sorry though.
M: I appreciate that. I really do.
Pause.
W: It’s growing on me…
Pause. They laugh.
W: I didn’t even mean to say that.

“I’m not doing this with you right now” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday August 13, 2014
2:01am
5 minutes
from a conversation

I’m
not
leaving
that’s not what I’m doing
I’m
not
leaving
you
We can talk every Wednesday
I’m
not
disappearing
I want to write you love letters by hand
I’m
not
leaving
you
Please don’t make this harder
I’m
not
going
far
away
If you don’t consider geography
I’m
not
going
far
way
from
you
If you believe me when I tell you I’m still here
I’m
not
going
I could stay inside this moment with you
I’m
not
going
at
all
Could we resume our puzzle pieced body formation?
I
will
never
leave
you
Take a second to promise me something
I
will
never
choose
something
over you
Distance is a word not a knife wound

“Ha parlato troppo” by Julia at her table


Friday July 11, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
overheard on Corydon

I haven’t told him yet
I’m waiting for the one and only right moment
And when I do I know that he will understand
That life is full of promises that you don’t forget
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
Life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
Opened up the door to a secret place
I know that if I stayed I’d have to keep it that way
A hundred lies and cover ups on every day
Cause if I didn’t know any better then I would say
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah

“Homicidal computer” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 19, 2014
10:20pm
5 minutes
CBC News

killing me waiting on me to fold to fold over to bend to bend over and go and go somewhere so i can’t tell the time the time to wait to be killed or the time to wait to be kept alive
alive
yeah she said that it was fast
on the phone
in an e-mail
i deleted it
deleted it all and all of it was killed
killed slowly
there was someone there giving directions to the parking lot
the parking lot of empty promises
drive away drive away away
and then i said i love you to no on in particular in particular
winding down and out and in and over and the time is out it’s running running
got on its kicks, its nike new balance its do it now it’s doing it something like that or something or other
and it’s still running because time runs it doesn’t crawl it doesn’t beg it doesn’t plead it doesn’t wait
it kills and kills and kills
i’m here on the mend on the mend and up and out bigger better things and bigger better moments
yeah he said that it was quick
on the phone
in an e-mail
i deleted it
deleted it all and all of it came right back
can’t escape the motions the slogans the misused lotions the potions the daily quotients

“It’s a cozy little place” by Julia at Kay’s Delicatessen in Winnipeg


Monday June 16, 2014 at
3:25pm
5 minutes
winnipegfreepress.com

A little bit of me goes a long way
A thing I still remember my mother used to say
Tight braids in the backyard
Baskets filled with tomato red
I would hold onto her promises
And every single thing she said
Because the stars were her favourite
And the rhubarb bush her friend
The nights felt like perfect movies
The days a pretty song without a threat to end
And mama had an angel’s voice
And mama liked to sing
A little bit of me goes a long way
For the mountains and for the King
I didn’t know it then
But I’m sure I see it now
The words she held close to her chest
The softness she’d allow
Were the ones I would keep with me
Tattooed upon my heart
So that I’d never forget the ways
She’d lull me in the dark…
Peace and poems she would strum
Dreams and old ones she would hum

“Absentminded” by Julia on her living room floor


Sunday June 15, 2014
10:13pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

We didn’t know it at the time but we were growing
We were growing
With our hands in each other’s pockets and wishing for the dawn to wake us from yesterday
We were doing the life things that we now keep
We were listening to the songs of our youth marrying our future and we were the harmony that sounded best
We didn’t know it
We didn’t know it at the time
And in those moments where the living room echoed in its emptiness
And the kitchen still smelled of sawdust
And there were no lamps or dressers to hold any of our belongings
We remember some love from our previous home
From the past, it feels like
Saying lean into each other
And so we do to keep warm
And so we do because we’ve forgotten our sweaters
And the night feels far away from the morning
But part of it at the same time
We didn’t know it then
We didn’t know it at the time
But we were growing
With love
With patience
With grace
With fewer things
With fewer promises to stay the same

“10 days prior” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 27, 2013
2:04am
5 minutes
Application for a Special Occasions Permit

I guess I’ll stop waiting now. For you and the raspberry jam you promised me. Oh well, I should say, it’s just jam! But goddammit, everybody knows that it isn’t. It’s your word! Your stupid word that I don’t trust anymore. I keep trying to forget, but I can’t. So every new time you don’t do what you say you’ll do, I am just reminded of the thing you didn’t do yesterday, and the day before, and blah blah, etc. Years are too hard to store in my brain! Did you ever think of that? I can’t stack the empty promises onto one another because they are all weird shapes and containing different contrasting contents! Some are hot, and some are very cold. Some are liquid and leaky, and some are little tiny rocks. You did that. I didn’t ask for this. I know it’s not about the jam. I said that, I know that, you know that, we all know that. This angle of me is not one I’m happily displaying to any cameras, or to the kids. I don’t want them to see me hate you but I don’t have the energy anymore to give over those feelings, those resenting feelings for you. I was never an actress. I never ever said I enjoyed putting on a face like that. I know you don’t know what you said 10 minutes ago let alone 10 days ago, but I know. I know so well it kills me each time.

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday April 27, 2013
2:13am
5 minutes
The Dark Half
Stephen King


I’m good at keeping everyone’s secrets.
But my own.
My own are those dark ones, half night ones.
The ones that slip out in conversation.
For the sake of a story.
For the sake of a laugh.
Sometimes.
It’s sort of crazy.
How easy I am with them.
Thought I’d save the good ones for a poem, or a novel.
Maybe I’ll always have enough to go around.
Keep doing things that I should be ashamed about.
Keep making sure that I’m making my mark.
I’m good at keeping everyone’s promises.
But my own.
My own are those light ones, half day ones.
The ones that get put on a list and then never crossed off.
The ones that wait for tomorrow because, hey, tomorrow is coming, right?
For the sake of someone else’s story.
For the sake of someone else’s laugh.
Always.
It’s not helpful.
I have stories and dreams and secrets and goals.
All of them sound the same when they’re held under water.
When they can see their own reflection and still want to keep looking…
I’ll tell you anything you want to know.
About how bad I am.
About how much I need to work.
About how I’m the only one who ever made these mistakes.

“What should I do with my life?” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday March 18, 2013 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


I had a heartbreaking time. Yesterday. Not today. I’m over it today. Kinda… Not the whole day, yesterday, but part of it. A sliver. You showed me something. Bright. Glowing. You said, “They’re doing Aladin on Broadway! I’m finding a way to audition. I’m going to book it and that will take us to New York and then you can just sit in on classes at NYU and Columbia and see where it is that you really want to be!” It was a dream-promise, made of marshmallow and cumulous sunshine. Through this statement you showed me that I don’t dream as big as you. I’m a realist, in most ways. I have to stop myself, daily, from saying, “Are you fucking kidding me? There’s no way that’s going to happen!” There is a way. For you, there is always a way. Yeah. Okay. Let me get my head around that. I don’t, I don’t allow myself to dream huge. It’s riding the line of being a conscious choice, actually. Less disappointment that way, less let-down. What if I fail? What if you fail? You don’t care. You don’t see it as failure. So what if we fail. The brave I so admire, you, dive off, high up, and aren’t thinking about the “if” of the bellyflop.