H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, 29 January 2018


★ Messy hair. ☾ Stormy nights. ★ Starry skies. ☾ All black everything. ★ Early/mid-00s pop-punk. ☾ Crime fiction. ★ Blue velvet. ☾ Sugary coffee. ★ Yoga. ☾ Late nights. ★ Early mornings. ☾ Rewatching favourite films. ★ Rosehip oil. ☾ MA dissertation planning. ★ Glossier cloud paint. ☾ Caught between nostalgia and the future. ★ Blue glitter nail polish. ☾ Dr Martens. ★ Reclaiming my sense of self. ☾ Near-future tattoo plans. ★ Facing fears. ☾ Shutting away uncertainty. ★ Moleskine journals. ☾ Going my own way. 


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Dear November

Lately I have been sending all blog-related emails directly to the metaphorical shredder without even pausing to open them. It was just by chance that I saw the renewal email for this domain and for the first time ever, I paused to question whether this was something else I would purposely run away from this year. After spending the best part of nine months actively turning away from commitments and responsibilities that don't stir something in my soul in a way that I have yet to find adequate words to explain, I'd say I'm pretty much at expert level. Maybe I took the fact I even saw the renewal email at all as some sort of sign. That's probably not true. I don't know. I've sort of stopped looking for signs, instead just doing things that feel right in the moment because if this year has taught me anything, it's that none of us can ever know how many moments we have left. Maybe I'm just being reckless by denouncing the concept of regret altogether, I don't know. But I think when a new perspective or way of living life feels right, it's probably best to just go with it and see what happens.

Regardless, here we are.

Hello. Hi. So, I am probably the most depressed I have ever been, if it's really possible to quantify such a thing, which sounds flippant but I think it has to, otherwise it feels too heavy to carry, you know? Somewhat confusingly I am also currently probably the most academically fulfilled I have ever been. Are the two related? I hope not, but they probably are a little bit. Escaping into gender theory has been an outlet and I've developed a bit of a passion for championing women in literature who still get a lot of unnecessary flack from old middle-class white guys. And I'm still doing some freelance writing here and there, which is really great despite never feeling as though anything I write is ever quite perfect.

As for other things, well, I've been drinking a lot of Alpro coconut chocolate milk. That stuff is A+. Glossier lured me in with their pared-down approach to makeup and it's already love. I've been listening to a lot of Lorde (yep, I still cry every single time Hard Feelings/Loveless plays) and I've just rediscovered my love for Sons of an Illustrious Father. Fave tracks at the moment are Loveletting and Armageddon. I got a new tattoo and as soon as I find the last bit of courage needed to deal with the pain I'm pretty sure I'm going all in for a large-scale something on my chest soonish. I've been rewatching all the episodes of Raising Dad I can find on YouTube. And I was pretty into that vampire filter on Instagram for Hallowe'en. I can't do make up, but if I could I'd be tempted to make that my new look.

As always, I don't really know what this is. But, I suppose, it is what it is, whatever it is.

We can do brave things, together.

See you soon.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Perception of Unimportance, the Danger of Comfort, and the Elevation of Thinkers

There is so much going on, in our own private spheres and outside of them, resulting in a culture of finding it almost too easy to dismiss the minutiae as unimportant, irrelevant, or pointless, even. But it isn't. If something matters to you, it matters. If you need to write it down, you should. Even if it sounds silly. No, especially if it sounds silly. There is a power to writing things down that cannot be replicated in any other form, so often providing the perspective we need to process and to properly digest whatever it is that has been stumbling around our minds.

My mother has a photograph of me, I must be about 5 or so, wearing a silly white sunhat and grinning gleefully surrounded by the tiny buildings of what I think must be Wimborne Model Town. It's a photograph I can't look at for too long because there's something very disconcerting about it. Photographs are already split seconds in time that can't ever be relived, and seeing myself then surrounded by a model village trapped in its own time warp is, strange. The perfectly manicured greenery, the beautifully maintained facades. It's very Stepford. Very empty.

These thoughts were prompted by an article in The Paris Review entitled The Model-Village Preservation Society, although it's something I have thought about a lot since moving to a small village in the midlands that isn't even remotely picturesque. I would be purveying a distinct untruth if I said this place feels like home, not because it's not picture perfect, but because it feels a little bit like living in a time warp. No one would rush to make a model of this village, but the absence of diversity, the questionable views now aired somewhat more freely following the abomination that is Brexit, the desire to hold on to a past which, although is seemingly etched in so many memories, probably didn't ever really exist.

Consequently I am reminded that comfort can be a dangerous thing, especially when it is at the expense of development and of acceptance. There is a dignity in change that largely disappears in the stubborn longing to hold on to something that wasn't ever real. Not really, at least. And there is a sadness in choosing not to open a door that can lead to something more, in the name of protection or preservation. Because what is really being preserved and why is it more important than progression?

In his diaries John Quincy Adams berated himself for his ignorance of things he felt he already should have known, but there is undoubtedly a beauty in seeking out knowledge even if, in that moment, we think it's something we should already have known or we aren't quite sure what to do with it, or quite what to make of it. The older I get the more I believe that the refusal to form an opinion on everything is a profound act of self care, but the refusal to contribute to the elevation of the voices of thinkers, particularly marginalised voices, is, essentially, the exact opposite. Steinbeck's dairies are a reminder that even the most accomplished writers and thinkers can be plagued with uncertainty, and this doubt, this profound challenge must only be magnified by the wildly uneven playing field which writers of colour, LGBTQ, and feminist voices still face.

And so while I could detail that during the rest of the month of August I would like to complete the reading for my next assignment (on Milton's Paradise Lost and Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, if you were curious), to stop slacking on my skincare routine, and to visit Newstead Abbey, instead I want to remember that while it may seem small, or pointless even, not to ever underestimate the power of a single comment, share, or retweet.

After all, even the smallest things shouldn't ever be overlooked.


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