“meeting your heart’s longing.” by Julia on the 99


Tuesday September 5, 2017
8:12pm
5 minutes
The Invitation
Oriah


Hello, I say to her
tender teeth and Milky Way.
Hello, hello you humming bird wing
you olive oil drenched skin
you whistling Lilly
I have waited for you.
I have been here being here
and I have been waiting for you.
Hello.
You found me.
Would you like to stay the night?
I have some things I’d like us to do together if you have some time to rest.
I know how far you’ve travelled,
let me rub your sandy feet.
Hello.
She is unlike midnight and yet she sits perfect in the sky.
She glows like she’s been drinking from a river cried by the Moon.

“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio


Monday August 14, 2017
9:52am
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.

“the usual flood of dark worries” by Julia on C’s couch


Saturday June 17, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
The Tools
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels


I find myself in the afternoon
but I lose myself every morning
it’s a hunger I don’t feed much
because it will eat whatever it can
find whether I like it or not
and why do extra work
the alarm was set for early o’clock
and ignored
the day sneaks past me like
it’s trying to keep something
from me
I assume it’s time
I am sure it’s grace
in the bathroom I can
be alone with my family of
dark worries
I can close the door
waste the water
light a candle
remain still
I find myself among the faces
in the shower tiles that have all
begun to look like me

“ungratefulness” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 24, 2017
12:07am
5 minutes
English
Amber O’Reilly


It’s easy to forget just how equal machine
and magic kiss up my body
Some nights the moon falls before
I can get a handle on things
and I make plans to trash the guest room
I am visiting
I muck my feet on the welcome mat
and crack a bottle of beer
right next to the bathtub and I don’t
say thank you to the steam
because the steam is simply doing its job
I don’t say thank you to the clean when it
shouldn’t be hard to scrub
Some nights I remember to notice
that my body is fighting to protect me
and silence is sometimes softer
than compliments

“I was not able to hold high notes that long” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 23, 2017
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment on a Mariah Carey music video

Heaven help me–if Larry ever offered to do the groceries I would know that something was terribly wrong at the centre of things. I don’t know who’s in control, if it’s NASA, if it’s Horoscope writers, or what not, but we’d be in trouble that’s for sure. Larry has a groove print the size of his ass on the sofa and it is notcibly sat in but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t think about that kind of thing. No, he can’t think about teaching his body to even find a different part of the room to eat chips in, let alone offer to help me out in anyway.
Not on his own, at least. Larry’s the kind of man who requires a lot of prompting and I’m not saying that’s his mother’s fault or what not, I’m sure she’s a real ham-sweetheart. But his father? If I’m going to go blaming anyone for the permanent Larry-groove in my sofa, I’m going to go ahead and blame him: the iceberg lettuce who didn’t think responsability applied to him.

“system of divination.” By Julia at 49th Paralell


Monday May 22, 2017
2:43pm
5 minutes
An interview with Chani Nicholas in lennyletter.com

Aunt Bobby moves to a ranch but hates horses
Mama Lilia tells her if she wants to hear what her voice sounds like
she should go before the noise comes
Aunt Bobby sells all her personal belongings but keeps Aunt Kay’s ashes in the urn
puts a label on the side, marked “fragile/necessary”
leaves her on the mantle, apology foregone or forgotten
Mama Lilia tells her peace is in taking care of living land and the more the better
Aunt Bobby staples scrap paper together to make her own notebook
She sharpens her number 2 pencils and sticks them in her hair like a cross,
like protection
Mama Lilia tells her to write the songs her bones sing to her
when she is alone in the wild

“I tried to do it years ago” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday May 3, 2017
4:43pm
5 minutes
Devices On Standby
Joan Didion


I remember writing letters to my future self
I made it pretty clear that by 24 I would be married just like my mom
that I would have dated a man for at least 6 years before the wedding
that I would have met my husband in high school
that my first love would be my only
I thought it was a pretty good model
today is my parents’ 37th anniversary
and they are still happy

I told myself I would be a gymnast and/or a lawyer and/or a children’s author
(.5/3 if you’re counting)
I don’t remember if I had factored in life being any different than how my 10, or 12, or 17 year old self imagined it to be
I am 30 now and I am not married
I have dated a man for 7 years
and I met him in university
(1/3-if you’re counting)
I am a writer and/ or poet and/or artist
I am not like the letters said I’d be
but I am happy

“A failure to be my best self” by Julia on her bed


Sunday January 15, 2017
12:32pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Things to do
What to eat
When to do them
How to eat it
All the tiny boxes either checked or unchecked
Waiting or finished
Day’s beginning turning into day’s middle then day’s end before the joints become lubricated enough to sustain it all
Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Who to write to
What my dreams were
What my dreams meant
Who I want to be today
Who I plan to be today
Who I end up being today
I have not scheduled in silence
Or stillness
Or sunshine
I have expected all to come when necessary
When called
When unavoidable
I have not promised to love myself in case I can’t quite get to it
I meant to reduce tasks and expectations and heartbreak and time travel of any kind
But I keep adding to the list without breathing first info what it feels like to be alive on a perfect day of perfect opportunity to give thanks

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“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.

“LYING TO TELL THE TRUTH” by Julia in the kitchen


Thursday October 20, 2016
11:04pm
5 minutes
from a workshop description
Johnny MacRae


Sat still with my mouth shut
didn’t know if I should breathe
Didn’t want to let it slip out
and seem like I had something to present
I wanted to say more
I sat stiller than I thought I could
Waited till the silence doubled itself before
I let myself exhale

In the space between me getting enough air and you sucking me dry
there is a house.
Nobody wants to live there
It hurts
It is blessed hot and cursed
incestuous
I wanted to say more

We wither and die in the shape of our smallest self.
We do not notice how far from the sky we have sunken
But our bones know
And a child who spends two minutes with you will know
And every time we and you and I
hear the words
I’m proud of You
we will all know
And there will not be enough time

“sighing and frightened” by Julia at Caitlin’s


Saturday September 3, 2016
12:10am
5 minutes
from a poem by Mary Oliver

When you look out on the world that exists without you but for you
you start to see the things that fit you that are you that are waiting for you.
I am in awe of myself.
I am so vast. I have been life inside life inside life and now I have rippled past what I even knew I could be.
Vast. It is a dream. And yet it aches. This expansiveness. How I’ve yearned for it. And now that it is asking very sweetly if I can make room in my life inside my life inside my life for it, I feel
unsteady. Uneasy. Unprepared. Unworthy.
How long can a part of me frighten me? How long do I run from the big voices? What if they wail so loud only because they are trying to lead me back to myself? I see the world.
I see my wild.
It is not calmed by the breeze, but charged by it. I will carry myself across the wind like a baby bird with strong wings. Seeing this place as the echo of my heart.
And it is so big.
And I am so big.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4


Saturday February 13, 2016
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod


I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.

“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.

“Let’s have a toast to our goodbyes” by Julia in on her couch


Thursday, January 14, 2016
6:53pm
5 minutes
I’m Out
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj


I have this idea one snowy morning memory clouded but it feels like a good one so I let myself wake up to it. I’m not quite ready for my life. This idea is supposed to help. I want to make a list of all the things I’m saying goodbye to, or goodbye for. I have made a lot of lists about saying hello or, a bunch of arbitrary ‘shoulds’ chosen from the parts of my body that don’t get enough of my positive attention. This one is different. It’s a goodbye list but not for negative things or habits or hurts or harms. It’s all about harnessing inner truth and guidance. I want to be ready for my life.
Someone close to me once told me that we need to thank our enemies. Enemies can mean anything, so I like to think of them as hard bits that have been let in at one time or another, but will be sent off in a joyful way. I think these are the things that go on a goodbye list when I am toasting to all the bad things that have ever grown me shaped me helped me shown me.

“You have to love” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

If it’s in you to give, give it. I’m talking money, magic, moral support, listening, love, loyalty, life, kindness, time, patience, understanding, food, empathy, encouragement, hope.
That’s all we can do, give it when we have it, receive it when we don’t.
And that’s how the world goes round. Or that’s how the world wants to go round. It wants us to need each other and help each other. Its ON button is the scratched out CARE button. But we forget that sometimes because it’s not always easy to care, or to give, or to help, or to wait. We want what we don’t have now and we want to give what we have later. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. Immediacy is our biggest killer. We need to play the long game with ourselves and with each other. Giving chances and getting them.

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“with the theme of fear” by Julia at Coco et Olive


Monday November 9, 2015 at Coco et Olive
3:23pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

I am not alone in this room
I share my bed with my former self
And all my past mistakes
I lay my head down on the same pillow as the shame that haunts me
I close my eyes and see the me I never wanted to be
The me I never thought I could be
I am not alone in this lie
Sometimes good people make bad choices
Sometimes bad choices make bad people
I watch the blame hang on every corner of every wall
I wait for it to cling to my eyelids and bind my mind forever
He said she said
She does he does
She regrets he preys
He forgets she stays
I am not alone in this guilt
I share my memories with the poor judgement that follows me
And all the wrong I’ve invited in
To stay a while
To live on inside me

“the usual agreements” by Julia at Coco et Olive


Monday September 28, 2015 at Coco et Olive
3:56pm
5 minutes
Environmental Theatre
Richard Schechner


I have told myself (AT LEAST ONCE IN MY LIFE)the FOLLOWING:
1. I have a head of curls on me that can RIVAL FUCKING SHIRLEY TEMPLE. (It’s a glorious MANE and I’ve said this to myself three times in the last week)
2. You win some, you lose lots! (This used to pertain to softball. I used to think it would be a good yearbook quote. Now it’s just true for everything so why stop TRYING?)
3. I am the best looking person of my exact physical features that I know. (this is like saying, there is only one you, so you’re the best you! This one comes into play after smoking ALL THE WEED and holding my own face as I tremble at my own fragility)
4. I am smarter than I think I am (when I believe I’ve left my phone at home and only my phone has the power to save me on days where I feel like laying on the pavement outside my house until it FUCKING POURS)
5. You are growing. It hurts cause your heart is expanding in your chest and sometimes the room you’re in is too small for you. (This one more and more lately. When I write letters to myself. And I cry honest tears.)

“your mother’s sewing machine” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Thursday September 10, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

My mother didn’t know how to sew so I’d spend hours at my Aunt Winnie’s house watching her hem skirts, and braid old mops to use as hair for the dolls she’d give out at Christmas. Aunt Winnie liked to talk to herself while she worked, mumbling “Okay Win, this time, straight lines, straight straight lines.” Or, “One thread, two thread, three thread, four.” I would watch Aunt Winnie get herself over any hump, or out from any rock she found herself under. And if clothes got ruined she could fix them! The most self-sustaining thing I ever knew to be in my family was having the ability to sew. She would show me on her sewing machine, sit me on her lap so I could watch up close how to install the bobbin.

“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

“Eye Candy” By Julia in Brooklyn


Thursday, July 30, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
From a shop in NYC

I waited at the bus stop for you. I looked up a couple new words on my dictionary app: Ubiquitous, Saurian, Apothegm. You were running late, which was usual, and I was early, which was not. I thought of ways to use my new words on you. I thought maybe you’d think I was smart. But then I realized I didn’t just want you to think I was, but know I was. I wanted you to know that I have two degrees and a killer vocabulary. I work at stuff. I didn’t want there to be any doubt about it. Some guy walked close to me and whistled right in my ear. I pointed up at the “No cat calling” sign right above us and then I formed a gun with my fingers and shot him.

“What is “beginner’s mind”?” By Julia in Brooklyn


Tuesday, July 28, 2015
11:11pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Shambhala Sun

Set out on that journey with the wind whispering a farewell to your back
Let it make its way into your hair and dance there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to hold you back or make you think you’re not ready
Only you know that
She just thinks goodbyes are important
You have your pencil sharpened and your pages born fresh and clean
Your long trek’s sword; your protector; your companion
Set out on that journey with the wind catching up to your skin
Let it make its way onto your face and caress you there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to interfere or keep you from moving forward
You will do it anyway
She just thinks hello-agains are worth it

“supremely a task of communication” By Julia in Brooklyn


Monday, July 27, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Audition
Michael Shurtleff


You say I miss you
I say I miss you back
But we’re throwing daggers baby
avoiding all of our feelings
I can’t stand the silence
So I lie to you instead
You can’t keep score
So neither of us will win
You say
You say I miss you baby
You say
You say I miss you baby
I wait for you to come home
And you rush to me from work
You sit in your car a little longer
So we’re stealing each other’s time baby
Avoiding what is true
You can’t stand the sound of my voice
So you make love to me instead
I can’t play pretend
So it hurts us both the same
I say
I say I miss you back baby
I say
I say I miss you back

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, July 26, 2015
12:01am
5 minutes
From an email

Leaving myself behind
Yeah
Thought it would be easy
Yeah
Thought it would be a walk in the park
Now I’m laughing
Yeah
Cause I know it’s a joke
Yeah
But before I didn’t
Wouldn’t have wanted to take it wrong
I’m stuck with this lot
Half wit
Quarter wit
I’m not going anywhere
No
Not anywhere but where I am
Didn’t work out so well
Had other plans without knowing it
Yeah
Stuck with this face and this body too
Can’t forget a truth once you learn it
Can’t un-hear a bell once you’ve rung it
Can’t pretend
No
Can’t keep all the lies close
No

“Foul language” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 14, 2015
6:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

Am I out of control?
That’s a line that took me over one whole minute to craft. I wrote “Am I” without even knowing I was doing it. That one’s the easy one. It’s narrowing down the second part that’s really work. I thought for a whole minute before I wrote “out of control”. I don’t know why that took so long. Why it felt that precious. I couldn’t just outright ask. It needed some dancing around the subject first. It needed some profound introspection. A) because I needed to make sure I really wanted to ask it. And B) because I needed to make sure I wanted to hear the answer.

“I checked and it looks good.” By Julia at Starbucks


Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
6:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“I might be” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Monday January 19, 2015
8:40am
5 minutes
from a poster in Ricardo’s studio

I might be lost
I might be confused
I might be hurt
I might be sad
I might be broken open
I might be letting in the everything
I might be too naked
I might be too analytical
I might be too exposed
I might be getting infections
I might be growing
I might be expanding
I might be learning
I might be transforming
I might be forlorn
I might be overflowing
I might be expressing
I might be adjusting
I might be returning
I might be reliving
I might be remembering
I might be better
I might be worse
I might be stuck in my body
I might be breaking free of my old skin
I might be making assumptions
I might be transcending the space between oceans
I might be self actualizing
I might be developing a new form to exist in with a tougher shell
I might be more prepared now
I might be home

“a little bit of this” by Julia on the overground


Friday January 2, 2015
6:34pm
5 minutes
from a St. Germaine song

A little bit of this reflective thing going on. Thinking about my year and how I’m a bigger person in every sense of the word now. A little bit of this inward gazing thing happening. Wondering about the me I was last year and how I would have written a list of resolutions and lists and things to myself so I would remember everything. Now I don’t tell myself what I’ve done, I apply it. I practise what I’ve learned by living in my real life and being true to myself moment by moment. A little bit of this active curiosity thing going on. Pressing myself and all my experiences into each page of every notebook I fill, like a soft flower being realized forever by its imprint. I have blossomed and discovered and challenged and overcome. It was what I had been waiting for my entire life.

“Inspired by the natural wonders” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Thursday January 1, 2015
9:21pm
5 minutes
from an Old Mout Cider pint glass

hard to believe we’ve come this far
this far
mmm
explain what it is you mean by far
i mean far from where we were before
before being…
young,stupid, beginning
before we were anything
yes
and where have we come now
far from those things in a way that is almost unrecognizable
in a good way
yes
okay
sleepless nights are now filled with affection
yes
angry mornings are now sweet and honest
mmm
we’ve worked very hard on being this good
to one another
yes
to ourselves
mmm
as a working unit
yes mmmm yes
far is a good place to be then
far from what we weren’t happy in
far from what we wanted to be but couldn’t reach
now we can reach
now can reach it all

“What a liberty!” by Julia on the train to London


Saturday December 27, 2014
12:22pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.

“and back to discipline” by Julia on the couch at the Coren’s country house


Friday December 26, 2014
1:43pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Wake up. 6am. Decide. Wake up? 6am? Sleep longer. One hour? One half hour. Wake. Wake up. Wake up and start. Day needs. Lists. Wake up. 6:16am. Decide. Move. Go. Start. Coffee. Skip it. Banana. Second banana. Leftover popcorn. Start. Go. Teeth brushed. Floss? Not today. Not tomorrow either. Fuck. Buy toothpaste. Buy deodorant. Troll living. Stop troll living. Out the door. Go. Get moving. Groceries. Find recipe for butter tarts. Try to look everywhere. Go to store. Back. Back to store. Buy butter. Buy butter tarts. Fuck it. Fuck. Check list. Clams. Clams? Oh, clams. For the sauce. Build the sauce. 4pm start. Ready for 6pm. 6pm. Decide. Decide to wash. Tomorrow maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Change sweatshirt. Tomorrow buy new sweatshirt.

“cleared of misconduct” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Tuesday December 23, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014


I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Poor thing never did anything wrong his whole life, didn’t fight with one single human. And now this? Got to pay the price for a one time mistake. I still think this whole thing is a hoax. He isn’t guilty but here he is bearing the burden of it. Do you think he could have done it? Oh I’ll tell you what I think. I wouldn’t be the first to have this idea, but I’ll tell you I’m convinced he’s been framed. A likely story might be that he’s taking the blame for something he didn’t do so someone else could still be free because that’s how good he is.. but The injustice seems stronger, doesn’t it? Even still, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

“friends to build your community” by Julia on Laura’s ottoman


Monday December 22, 2014
1:45am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com


Like a kiss to build a dream on…
Said it best, didn’t he? Armstrong on the radio. Watch the sun burst–Burst? Yes, burst through the trees, sort of sweet force and…And? Excitement! Like a Sunday orange! Ahh the citric explosion. Burst, yes. Burst. And the dream? Which? To be built on a kiss? Armstrong? Yes, Armstrong. The dream was about the sun and the kiss was about the future. Oh. Yes, it really works, doesn’t it? I see it now, of course I do. It was enough in that moment to entice the whole movement. Dancing on clouds and pick pocketing tiny stars from the pretty night sky.

“there’s plenty for everyone to do.” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday December 14
1:33am
5 minutes
Eyewitness Travel London

Does everyone see how it works? It’s not a terribly easy concept so if you don’t, please speak up and let one of us know. No judgement in the room, can we hear everyone say that together? MMMMM NO JUDGEMENT IN THE ROOM….yes. Brilliant energy everyone. See how when we chant together we enliven the entire room? It’s a nice feeling, filling a space with a collective calm, isn’t it? Who is feeling a bit out of sorts? Does anyone need further clarification? Would it be useful to some if I turned off the lights, had everyone close their eyes and simply extend a hand if they were needing a bit of help? This way no one will be able to see the person who needs this extra assistance and I will walk about the room and feel their hand as a cry for help? And no one will be shamed for being unable to comprehend the basic instructions that are, of course, incredibly difficult to grasp?

“you can see a musical” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Saturday December 13
8:44pm
5 minutes
Top 10 London

Remember those days when we were younger than we wanted to believe we were? We had some idea about age and power and coolness and artistry. We convinced ourselves we ran that town, that we made all the decisions, that we possessed a coveted charm. When Connie did her first musical we all showed up and supported her even though none of us thought she was particularly good at singing. We didn’t make her feel bad for wanting something different. We never let those things get in the way of our loyalty.
At the opening night party, she cried gracefully while thanking us for being there. She said it made her whole world feel more secure knowing we were in the audience. I think even Robbie was trying to hold back his tears. It was something special to see us all there, not worrying about anything else at all but each other and our happiness as a whole.

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“I don’t know how that works” by Julia at her desk


Thursday December 4, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
1:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee

I have realized too late in my life that I will never know enough. I’m too old to change who I am. I’m beyond the point of learning now. I woke up one day and I was dumb. I am only smart because I know I’m dumb. That is the way I get by. By knowing what I am and admitting it to myself when I have the opportunity. People don’t think I’m stupid because I figured out how to trick everybody. Even myself for a very long time. But now I cannot hide from this fact. I am good at very few things. I have very little knowledge of even the things I do well, let alone the things I don’t. I will never be able to explain facts of the world, geography, history. I will die knowing almost nothing, except for the knowing that I know almost nothing.

“exit only” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Tuesday October 28, 2014
4:21pm
5 minutes
from the side of a tper bus

He entered a room filled with mirrors. The instructions said he must look within before he could exit the game. He knew how this worked. A hundred minutes ripping apart all his flaws just to realize he was fine all along and didn’t need to inflict any self harm to find that out. So instead he tried to see what features he liked about himself; starting with the outside to make it easier when he got to the inside.

Decent enough eye shape. Not an almond. But almost. Long eyelashes-like a fawn, or a prostitute. Standard cheekbones (thankfully). One big bottom lip and one almost normal looking top lip. Straight teeth. Really straight. Should smile more. Will note that.

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“ADDICTED?” By Julia at ITIT Il Sandwich Shop


Thursday October 16,2014 at ITIT Il Sandwich Shop
6:52pm
5 minutes
from a Sandwich board at ITIT

WHY WERE THEY YELLING AT ME? I WAS FINE BEFORE THEY STARTED WITH ME! I WAS SO FINE I COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE. BUT NOT, THEY HAVE TO DO THAT DANCE. THAT STUPID “YOU’RE MAD” DANCE AND THEY ALL KNOW I WASN’T EVEN MAD. I WASN’T MAD UNTIL THEY STARTED ACCUSING ME OF BEING MAD! WHY DON’Y PEOPLE GET THAT? WHY CAN’T THEY READ THE ROOM? THEN SUDDENLY, WOAH, SERENA, THAT’S TOO MUCH. THAT’S TOO FAR. YOU’RE THE ONE WHO CAN’T TAKE A LIGHT ISSUE WITHOUT TURNING IT INTO A FIRETRUCK OF SENSITIVITY.

WHO EVEN THINKS SAYING FIRETRUCK AT A TIME LIKE THIS IS CLEVER? WILL SOMEONE CALL THE COMEDY POLICE AND ARREST THESE BUSH LEAGUE IDIOTS FOR WASTING THE PRECIOUS SPACE OF MOTHER FUCKING HUMANITY?

AND THEN IT WAS JUST DOWN HILL. SO FAR DOWN I COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE. AND THEY WERE LIKE, WOAH, SERENA, ARE YOU OFF YOUR MEDS AGAIN, AND I WAS LIKE, NOOOO, ARE YOU???

“And I have been in Heaven” By Julia at Piccolo & Sumblime


Tuesday October 14,2014 at Piccolo & Sublime
5:16pm
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I have been to a place of permanent happiness.
I’ve seen the sun rise and fall while wearing a tutu and performing for the world; a perfect dance, to which no applause follows.
I’ve laughed until my ribs ached, till my belly quaked, till my eyes were blurry, and my face wet.
I’ve kissed a pair of incomparable lips that I want to share with everybody just so I can say I did something good for this sorry world.
I’ve tasted the sea and the earth after a night of their hot and sweaty love-making.
I’ve licked the ocean off my lips and hummed a tune under the water until my heart and the pulse of the waves traded places.
I’ve danced body on body while my youth stayed up late–just so it could pretend that nothing else in this life even mattered.

“WANTED” By Julia at her desk in Bologna


Sunday October 12,2014
1:22am
5 minutes
from a gelato advertisement

past. it was then that i saw it. i was afraid. i breathed one breath at a time out of fear of waking it. him. the beast. horror. it was a film. it was made up of my own worst nightmares. i asked my head to stop. to please. it didn’t know how. it had gone too far. present. i am sitting in a cave. the night is loud with silence. i am shivering. i am empty faced, heavy hearted. you only get one try. one attempt to flee. he was growling deep inside himself. it made me awake in every part of me. my bones. quaking. my skin soaked. future. he will eat my softness. he will wound my earth. i will fight to bind him. i will hunt to be unhunted.

“study and travel” By Julia in her bed in Bologna


Sunday October 5,2014
10:50pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I am at the part of the journey where I want to turn back because my head is swirling and my heart aches a bit. It’s the part you’d recognize in a relationship where right after the Honeymoon phase, it turns into a troubling time. Where the fruit isn’t as sweet, where the “out loud” ideas are nowhere near as good, where the smell of feet begins to make itself present in every room and conversation. I’m there now. It’s like, yes, I know I love it (you), and it’s going to be worth it (us) in the end, but right now the only thing that will make me happy is laying in bed with a stack of dark chocolate and a bottle of limonata. Alone. Completely alone. It’s the hard part where things are really different. You just start seeing the world without that rose and laced veil. Mostly because it’s a lot of work being absolutely and utterly alone. Even though it’s what you want most for yourself so you can be yourself.

“rock ‘n’ roll-tinged bar chatter.” by Julia at Washington Dulles Airport


Thursday May 8, 2014
2:17pm
5 minutes
Washington Flyer
May/June 2014

Through the crowded space I could see her sitting at the bar with her sleeves pulled down right over hands. Hiding. Fiddling. I wanted to scoop her up right then and there and free her of her timid isolated prison and tell her, woman you don’t need to run away. The world wants you. She had two shot glasses lined up in front of her and was crashing them into each other, getting tiny splashes of the glass remnants onto her sleeves. The local band had started to play their set and everyone was moving closer to the stage. She didn’t move. She didn’t even turn. She ordered another shot of nondescript liquor from where I was standing and I could only assume it was vodka because she hated the way gin made her so volatile. She stared at her shot glass for longer than appropriate. I waited, thinking she needed to be alone. But I also felt like she needed to be saved from herself and having another body around just sitting in her silence might help.

“Be able to talk” by Julia at The Common


Friday, December 7, 2012 at The Common
10:51am
5 minutes
From the notebook of Caitlin Fysh

Had a talk with my self this morning over a decaf coffee and a chevre and herb scone. I said, hey, self, why you playin’? And I also said, yo, self, stop being such a Lameasaurus Rex. My self was a bit hurt by that because, dude, eff off of me for a second. But I was just layin’ down tracks of truth. SPIN THOSE TRACKS, I said to my self, wiping scone bits off of my lip. SPIN THEM HARD. My self was starting to shake out of shame. She knew she had been a little negative lately. She was feeling bad. I said to my self, listen. It’s all good. I still love you and stuff. You don’t need to worry because I got you, boo, but for real, quit frontin’. Don’t be the opposite of what you are.
And I think that really resonated. I took 4 minutes to glance over my fingers, my rings, my deep nail beds, and the dirt beneath them. I said, homie, is this your new thing? Not bad but not good! Nut up!
And my self was very receptive. Just sort of nodded a long to what I was putting out. And I thought, yeah, you get me, you feel me.
I’m glad we’re having this talk, I said to my self. It’s good to have these check-ins every now and again because we be tight even if we be distant. Ya dig?