“treats cognitive complaints” by Julia at her table/couch

Wednesday May 22, 2019
5 minutes
From a med school whiteboard

they always got the prescription pad ready
tell them you aren’t
like you and they write something that will make you feel like even less
what about sleep?
Doctors seem to
forget about
that one
Or someone to talk to
or listening to the underground communication network of an old growth forest
some birds have healed me before
birdsong in the morning
the slap of a hardball on leather
the crack of a bat
the perfect thumping sound a wooden spoon makes when it taps on the bottom of the pot

“we are called to act” by Julia at YVR airport

Monday April 28, 2019
5 minutes
A quote by Starhawk

we made the plan before we were in the system of things
sometimes you have to jump off the ledge you’re on without knowing what’s next. we say sometimes, but it’s always this way. you can what if yourself into a dark
cloud, should have, wished you’d, but still, you’re not where you started. You’re here, wherever this is.
one might argue that it’s
closer to the future, closer to the dream, the light, yhe answer.
we are called to act often before we are ready. but since readiness is a state of mind we are either always or never ready. when we put it that way, choosing to be always ready feels like the more fruitful option.

“my mother is waiting” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 26, 2019
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

Call the woman who decided you were good, the one who heard a whisper of you and was convinced. No shouting match with the sky gods, the enough of you was felt by her first. Call her on the phone and hear her laugh. The real one that she gives you at her own jokes, the real one that you cannot will not forget.

My mother is not waiting by the phone but she will run to it.

After getting rid of all the portable ones in the house, she went out and bought phones with long, curly
cords. She was born running, the woman can run up stairs and around tracks and to the neighbour’s house to give her infant the Heimlich Manoeuvre. My mother was ready and is ready. She doesn’t have call display but she knows it’s me by the tone of the ring. She knows me by the song on the other end waiting for her.

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Julia on Amanda’s couch 

Sunday August 19, 2018
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

My best friend is a deer whisperer. She is pen pals with at least three of them and one doe with her faun. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a deer in a past life. She knows exactly how to breathe around them. She knows exactly what to hum. This month she asked one of them for protection and she granted it. She said her grace when she realized how  steadfast it all was. Nothing else in life is this sure. I hope when she writes them she tells them about me. Maybe they will love me by proxy. Maybe they will send their Forest Friends to keep me safe too.

“She’ll use timid hand gestures,” by Sasha on the plane

Friday January 19, 2018
5 minutes
Black Roses Bloom
Bill Gaston

She says that her mother won’t return her calls. He says that he’s sorry. She says that it feels like her whole family is dead, when really only her dad is. He doesn’t know what to say so he says ahhhhh. She says that she’s not sure if the year went fast or slow. She says that she’s finally eating again. He says he’s glad. He says that she needs to nourish herself in every way. She smiles. She says that she never could have guessed that this is where she’d be. He says it’s funny how life works. She says that’s one way of putting it.

“bald or willing to shave head” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday April 24, 2017
5 minutes
From a casting call

His palms are sweaty. He’s pacing the green room. Never liked that term. Never really got what it means. He sips from the disposable water bottle and then play with the cap, screwing and unscrewing. Sip. Unscrew. Screw. Sip. Pace. He hears the applause from the presenter before him and he feels like he needs to pee again. Is there time? There’ll be an introduction, he’s pretty sure someone said that. His tie. Tighten his tie. Put on his jacket. His jacket. Where is his – … Ah, there it is. Unscrew. Sip. Screw. Unscrew. Screw.

“silent as the folds of the yellow” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday April 18, 2017
5 minutes
Magaret Atwood

I think his tiptoeing around me is louder than he believes it is.
I don’t like feeling as if he’s afraid to rock the boat for no reason.
Am I really that horrible?
Am I that much of a bear?
Lately he hasn’t been singing in the shower.
I think I broke his spirit.
He’s afraid to do anything wrong in case I might revert to the dark months.
I told him not to worry about me but he wouldn’t hear it.
Yesterday I woke up to him silently removing all the pictures from the walls.
He was nervous that I’d hurt to look at them.
He thinks a bare wall with holes in it is better to look at than a wall with art.
I don’t know how to explain to him that I am fine.
He doesn’t believe me anyway.
He thinks everything I say is a beautiful story.
He over laughs when I speak even if it’s not funny.
He brings home plastic flowers from the dollar store and sneaks them into my rain boots.
He smooths the hair on my arms in the wrong direction.

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Julia on her couch

Monday April 17, 2017
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

Somebody once told me that in order to trust myself I have to get good at naming what I need out loud. It makes sense-you can’t heal what you don’t admit is broken-but you can’t admit what needs love if you’re too afraid to hear the answer.
I can think back on multiple occasions where I had a sense inside but I was nervous to seek out a second opinion. I wish that we could have talked about it. I wish there was more time to shed light on every single issue because there is still so much I cannot even see. Bodies, for starters: mine and yours; separately and together,
the image we project of the skin we choose to believe we’re stuck in…

“It’s time” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
5 minutes
The membership renewal card from National Geographic

Walruses know best. I grew up thinking that. Because of Alice in Wonderland, obviously, and that poem. What a soothing thing. “To talk of many things…” And now is the time for that. What things? Any things? Good things? Bad things? Of your wildest dreams, your biggest fears, your sorriest regrets, your untold secrets. Whatever things you wanted or needed or felt pulled to talk about, now was that time. It made it seem like the walrus just knew that. That now is now and now is the time. That there is no need to wait. That there needn’t be a special occasion the way we save outfits and bottles of particular wine. Now. The time. To talk. Of many of things! Whichever are floating in your head, whichever make a good story, whichever bring three strangers from opposite sectors of the universe together…the things that help you realize you’re not a thing but a person who talks about–well–things…

“Be able to talk” by Julia at The Common

Friday, December 7, 2012 at The Common
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?