A poem for Julia Cameron


Dear dang Julia,

When Sandy first called you that, I thought “dang”

was too weak a word.

Now I think it’s perfect

because I do sort of love this misery you put me through,

morning pages and artist dates

those infernal lists

the stupid affirmations, which I never did. Not once.

And I didn’t do it the way you said to.

I have my own morning ritual of self-care

and you, dang Julia, are not in it. I get to you

when I get to you.

It might be 8 a.m. It might be 7:38 p.m. Deal with it.

And I didn’t take 12 weeks to do your course.

I only had four to give, but I gave them to you.

You should thank me.

I also have things—people—you don’t seem to have:

a husband, teenagers.

They take precedence. You say my artist is a child,

dang Julia.

Well, so are my children.

And you were right about quite a lot.

There is such a thing as synchronicity, dang Julia.

I received unimaginable gifts from unexpected sources,

like homemade granola and origami butterflies.

I learned I have blockages, but they’re in capillaries—

not arteries. I’m not about to keel over.

I learned I have it better than lots of folks

in ways I had not considered. And I learned that even you,

dang Julia,

will be not be remembered for your films or your plays,

only for this slim 222-page book.

You shook the apple tree, and the universe

delivered oranges,

just as you wrote in Chapter 5.


  1. LOVE, love this, Megan. I guess I called the pages ‘dang,’ and Sandy called dear Julia ‘dang.’ It’s such a great word – and I love what you’ve done with it here. Most especially, ‘deal with it.’ Oh my, YES. That is my attitude in 3 words. Now….to get back to those pages again. Oy vey.

  2. Very nice! For Julia Cameron, indeed. 🙂

    I liked the capillary vs. artery bit. And that you’re not about to keel over. *whew*

    You are a trooper. I put it on hold at the library. When I got there I flipped through a few pages before checking it out. It never made it to the self-checkout machine but went right back into the square hole in the green wall with “Returns” painted above it.

    Granola and butterflies made me smile.

  3. I like your poem 🙂

    I read and did this book many many years ago, on my own. i don’t recall making it through 12 weeks of the doing. To put it as nicely as i can; i wouldn’t recommend this book to friend or enemy. But, i love your sense of humor and your writing.

  4. You’ve taken her ideas and smooshed them into your life in a way that works.

    I think that’s how we have to work with all ideas and advice–we listen, we take what seems good, right and promising, and we squeeze and smoosh and slip it into the life we’re living to see if we can make it fit.

  5. I love the word “dang” (and can imagine you using it). Then, it invited the word “smooshed” in the comment above… awesome.

  6. Dang, I loved this! 🙂
    Julia’s got you stirred up and singing in your own voice now, for sure.

  7. Oh. My. Gosh! Did I call her dang? LOL.

    This. Is. Priceless!

    Love. Love. Love. Copying it–and tucking it into that dang book.

  8. Your response is so perfect. Children require much and it’s hard to be the person other people are, when their lives are so different from our own.

    I made homemade granola bars the other day from a Pinterest recipe Ann Voskamp shared. It was a miserable failure in appearance. The dang things crumbled into pieces when I tried cutting them into bars. I finally gave up, added more butter (never too much, we learned that from those almost cookies at Laity Lodge, right?) and squished them into little balls. The kids thought they were cookies and loved them. I was quite pleased with myself. 🙂

    By the way, my favorite expletive is “Stinkin’.” It feels the same as “dang,” to me.

  9. Oh, Miss Megan! I love you just so danged much! Deal with it.

  10. Perfect. Yes. I get to her when I get to her. I dunno. Yeah, she’s right about a lot of things but, dang, there are so many more important things. But i love her anyway.

  11. Dang it Megan! You’ve done it now. I’m actually going to have to give myself a break — and maybe some applause — cause dang it — I did my dang Julia’s every morning, and I didn’t give her 12 weeks and was all tied up in a knot about it — and now, I discover, it’s okay to do it my way too!

    Love this!!!!