The poetry of it all

In case you missed the big news, my friend, the staggeringly talented Julia Fehrenbacher is publishing her first book of original poetry and art. It’s called On The Other Side of Fear, and it’s absolutely beautiful. The poetry is honest, searching and inspiring. In it, Julia speaks of fear and power, hesitance and flight, creativity and, of course, love. Her art is vivid and whimsical (and it’s quite possible I will eventually cover all the walls of my house with it).

I asked Julia if I could interview her about her poetry and her art, and she said yes. (Yay!) Our subsequent email exchange went beyond questions of creativity, and into questions of faith, fearlessness and love. I’ll publish that interview next week, and… we’ll give away a book!

In the meantime, here’s a sample of why I’m so damn excited to share her with you. I love this poem; it crawls inside me every time I read it. I chose this poem and this particular painting because they both remind me that the world is made of poetry… I have only to open my eyes, and notice.


The Poetry Of It All

The way the Light kisses
the snowberry as if for the last time
the way the dew drop holds on for dear life
before it lets go
the way
the two winged ones share
the same fragile branch
makes me want to live better
Makes me want to, for all the rest of my days
bow and weep and sing
and promise to stay forever
wide-eyed Awake
to the undeniable poetry
of it all


  1. Marcie on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Her poetry brings tears to my eyes. So beautiful and inspiring! Can’t wait to read the interview!

    • j on June 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Me too. Her poetry speaks for many of us, I think.

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Marcie. It’s so good to be here with the beautiful J & all of you lovelies.

  2. Nancy on June 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I’m excited to read the interview; i was looking at julia’s site with my coffee this morning. I’ve been home for a few days recuperating from joint fusion surgery on my pinky finger (enough to take time off, and yet so minor one feels guilty… (one? who the hell am I? Me, i feel guilty).

    Just walked under perfect blue skies to the corner drugstore and back and thought if I spent less time trying to intellectualize “what is wrong with me?!” i would have a lot more time for creativity. i’m going to ponder that.


    • j on June 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      You make me laugh. You can be “one” if you want, but you shouldn’t feel guilty. By definition, any procedure that includes the word “fusion” is BIG.

      And yes, me too. Not so much that I could spend more time being creative if I stopped overanalyzing all the time, but I could spend a whole hell of a lot less time worrying. When we were traveling, The Boy was nervous at one of the schools we visited and he leaned over and whispered to me as we were waiting in line for lunch between presentations, “How do get myself to calm down.”

      I said, “Just be right where you are. Which is picking what you want for lunch. There’s nothing nerve wracking about picking lunch. Or sitting at the table eating it. Or even listening to these guys talk. Don’t think about possible futures, just think about right now. Right now, there is rarely anything to be nervous about.”

      I just need to take my own advice.

      • Nancy on June 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        I just guffawed out loud. One is going to ponder intellectualizing everything???

        I wish I could say this was related to the meds.

        • j on June 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

          I’m so glad it’s not! xo

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Nancy–I love the image of you looking at my site while drinking your morning coffee.

      I hope you heal very quickly & I hope you let go of every ounce of guilt and just let yourself rest with ease and deep breaths.

      Sending you love.

      • Nancy on June 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

        Big hugs, Julia. Thank you. I adored meeting you through the six word experience, and love visiting your blog. Just seeing “Julia” makes me smile.

  3. Julia on June 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    J. I am humbled beyond words at this beautiful introduction of me and my book. I really couldn’t adore and admire and love you more.

    Thank you–from every little part of me. So much.

    • j on June 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Thank YOU. If I could buy everyone I know a copy of your book, I would. xo

      • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        Deep breath. Thank you, my friend.

  4. Christie on June 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    That painting is lip balm for my chapped soul! The poem is so soothing as well – both make my heart smile ♥

    • j on June 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Right? Julia knows how to capture an emotion. Thank you for commenting! <3

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Lip balm for your chapped soul–that is just precious, Christie. I’m so happy I could bring some soothing to your day.


  5. Pam on June 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Both painting and poem are beautiful!

    Looking forward to the interview.

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you, Pam. I’m looking forward to the interview too. J is full of good questions–she’s just full of good, in general.

      It’s such an honor to be here with you beauties. Thank you for sharing your sacred space with me, beautiful J.

  6. Nuttin' on June 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Ordered my copy last week — waiting by the mailbox now.
    Autographed copy — worth millions soon!

    I discovered Julia from Brave Girls Club and fell in love… hard.

    I think Julia is one of the few people who are true, authentic. I truly believe that she is all the things she writes and paints — real beauty and real love.

    • j on June 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      I think so too!

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Dear Nuttin’-

      I am touched beyond words. Your words feel like a warm embrace at the end of what has been a very emotional day…so much vulnerability in putting this piece of my heart out in the world.

      I so appreciate you taking the time to let me know that you see me. It means so much.

      Blessings to you.

  7. Alia on June 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I am so deeply inspired by Julia’s courage to step right through the fear and birth this powerful book. Her love radiates through every painting and every word. Julia, my amazing soul sister, thank you for inspiring us all to be who we really are. Julia + J = authentic LOVE & TRUTH shining fearlessly into the world.

    • j on June 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Aw, thank you! I’m finally home from traveling with my husband and son where I had no time to myself and therefore no time I felt I could sit and watch your TED talk. But now… off I go! xo

    • Julia on June 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Alia, you are all love. I am so deeply honored to call you friend.

  8. Estrella Azul on June 26, 2012 at 1:00 am

    You warmed my heart with this post, j, I also love Julia’s art and poetry 🙂
    And I especially love that you chose to highlight “The poetry of it all” <3

    • j on June 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      I think I’ve read “The poetry of it all” a dozen times. It’s one of my all-time Julia favorites. (And that’s saying something.)

    • Julia on June 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Estrella.

      J, you rock.

  9. Poetry on June 26, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Poetry relies on visual and oral communication to express one’s feeling.

    • j on June 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Actually, I don’t know if I agree with that, but I do think visual and oral communication can add another dimension.

  10. Chris Edgar on June 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

    This poem definitely reminds me of the importance of stopping to notice details in nature, like the intricacy of the veins on a leaf or the contours of a piece of bark — the extraordinary precision with which something like a leaf is designed is probably what impacts me most profoundly when I’m “out in the wild.”

    • j on July 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Me too. And there’s something just enormously reassuring in the thought that the world is made of poetry.

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