“Our “new” or higher brain” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 21, 2018
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Take me out to dinner
I say this to me
me says this to me
take me out of this house
and into the world
Order something delicious!
I say this to me as
if I might try to save a few
dollars like the last time
I had this conversation
Take the good out and let
the world see it so they can
see themselves the way they need to
It is not easy
It could be easy
Leave the house! Leave the house!
I say this to me when I have tricked
myself into believing that
inside will keep me from breaking
But it isn’t like that
I could lie and say I’d prefer
to stay inside where it is safe
but the truth is that is where
all the breaking happens
It is not safe indoors with all
the mirrors and all the couch
not asking me to leave it
Take yourself on a walk
I say this to myself when my body
feels like it has forgotten
how to move
Smell the fresh mountain air!
That’s why you live here!
I say this to myself when I catch
a bead of sweat pooling in the
elbow crease
This is today’s sweat in yesterday’s
sweater and this does not keep
you safe
I say this to myself so I can hear
it in the voice of someone
higher than me

“can’t go a day without” by Julia on her bed

Monday March 9, 2015
5 minutes
from a comment on YouTube

thinking about bread
wishing i was better
praying to a god i no longer believe in
touching my hair
examining my fingernails
snagging my ring on the inside of my jacket
sighing deep and audibly
dreaming about chocolate
playing with my earrings
singing to myself
communicating with my love
apologizing for something
tricking myself into stillness
cracking my back
touching my face
biting my lower lip
holding space for pain

“The days will be longer” by Julia at Zia Kathy’s house

Sunday March 8, 2015
5 minutes

I suddenly became the girl who sits cross legged at her typewriter with her lamp weirdly perched on the bed beside her knee. It happened in the moment where I wanted to feel alive and well and proper and good. The lighting wasn’t right and somehow being closer to it felt more rustic. It felt the way a real writer would sit. Propped up against a few pillows, wrapped in an itchy couch throw. I knew that I was okay with the emptiness that was leaving my body because I could feel my lungs filling with a golden breath after so long without activity. In and out, lights on and bright. The days, I realized, would be longer from that instant on. There would be an abundance of abundance. How beautiful and mysterious and possible it all began to appear. You and your day will work together. You and your night will snuggle up and sleep soundly.

“a wonderful future beckoned and winked” by Julia on her bed

Thursday March 5, 2015
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?

“The Psych Ward” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East

Sunday, July 20, 2014
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program

When I made it to the edge I let me legs flop over.
It was a far drop down.
It was a far drop down.
When I made it to the edge I imagined jumping…
But I didn’t.
Don’t worry.
I didn’t.
The sun was starting to set,
which is always a magical time,
which is always when I don’t feel lonely.

When I sit there at the edge,
I am tired.
I am tired from a lifetime of wishing I was someone that I’m not.
Do you do that too?
I am a master of pretending.
I am a master of trying too hard.
I’m a professional poser.
And now,
I’m sitting at the edge and I’m wondering.
I’m leaning too far forward,
Catching myself…
Leaning back.

I am at the edge,
I am looking over and seeing clouds, mountains, seagull wings, whispers of the changing seasons, phone numbers, mailboxes, a jeep, my mother’s engagement ring.

“used to make them” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 5, 2014
5 minutes
from the box of envelopes

Sitting down with my origami paper and my origami instructions and I’m staring at my origami pictures and my origami table. I’m going to make a bunch of birds. What else do you make with origami? I want to make them small and large and smaller and larger. I want everyone to ask me to make one for them for Christmas or Easter because flight is really symbolic in both holidays. I will write a little message on each origami bird’s wing about “flight” or “magic” or “guidance” or “freedom”. I used to make things like this all the time when I had time and when I had to exorcise a lot of my personal demons on my own. I put them all into birds. I didn’t give those ones away because they would be too powerful in a negative way. Instead I’d make them and write words on the wings like “out” and “vanish” and “please” and “evil” and then I would take them up to the roof and burn every single one of them with a different match and a different glass jar. I found it therapeutic to give each bird its own holder so it could live out its issues without contaminating or influencing the other ones.
Now I’m much better so I’m giving happy thoughts out to the people I really like having around.

“Touch anywhere” by Julia on the plane to Newfoundland

Sunday March 23, 2014
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

-Is that an invitation, Dana?
-Yeah, maybe. Maybe it is.
-So could you open your arms a little bit? I mean, metaphorically?
-Not really.
-So you’re not ready.
-No, I am, I’m just, I’m …ugh…
-Come on, Dana, what?
-ffff…It’s stupid. Or I am. I don’t know.
-Stop being…stop being afraid
-Ha. Easy to say–
-I know. But you know once you say stuff a bunch, you gotta follow through.
-You know, with yourself.
-So it’s more of a self-help thing. I don’t know.
-I hate that.
-Yeah I heard it when I..uh..I heard it too. It’s not my best work.
-No, but you’re right. It’s true. You’re. hugghhhhh. You’re right.
-Ok I’m going to walk closer to you now?
-Please don’t ask me for permission. Please.

“#PRACTICE” by Sasha at Fresh on Bloor

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at Fresh on Bloor
5 minutes
The Dentyne Ice Subway Poster

She annoys herself with her recycled thoughts. She’s had them since the time before hashtags, since the time before a thumbs up meant a thumbs up and not a “like”. She goes to the mirror and tries to get out the blackhead that’s been annoying her since last night, when she spent approximately thirty seven minutes picking at herself. Poor face. She hears her mother’s voice, “use a q-tip or you’ll scar!” She doesn’t care so much about the scars you can see, more about the scars you can’t. “Practice love,” she hears the voice in her ear-buds. “Practice healing.” She’s annoyed at this voice, this coo-ing, goo-ing voice. She’s unsure of gender or time of day, she’s unsure of origin. She hates this voice. She throws her iPod onto the floor. “Practice patience,” she hears, tinny, trying to reach her, trying to grab her, trying to pull her back.

“Variations may also occur” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

Friday August 2, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
McDonald’s Ingredient Facts

I’m starting to regret a lot of my life choices. Number one being the pants I bought from my friend that I thought I could turn into really cute cut-offs. Number two being that I’ve decided to document all of my bad life choices.
They say when you reach a certain age, you start to care about different things. When I heard that I laughed. Out loud. Of course you care about different things. Is there no more obvious thing “they” could say? You get older, you change your clothes, your thoughts, your hairstyle. You work hard to figure out who you are, and start to find that certain things just don’t hold your attention. Or your heart. I’ve never heard such a stupid thing. As if I didn’t know this thing in life we call “LIVING”. But even if it’s obvious, and stupid, and so damn predictable, it’s true. And what we don’t usually recognize is that we discover new things without really being aware of them in the moment. We wonder why certain friends don’t do it for us anymore, and why certain clubs make our skin crawl, ‘all of a sudden’. It’s not sudden at all. Neither are most poorly made life choices. It seems spontaneous or abrupt. It’s just not. It’s buried deep in the veins of what we truly want. What we, without eyes to see inward at the time, really need.