[ J 002 ]

On Reading

In 2023, I found myself fully embracing literature again. My aspirations were simple: to surrender to the allure of any book that whispered to me, immersing myself in the pleasure of reading, seeking a sanctuary where the cacophony of my mind could be silenced.‍

Here's the crux of it: I used to read all the time – whether nestled in bed with a steaming cuppa tea, amidst the hum of the subway, or lingering in cafes and eateries while awaiting companions. Books were my refuge, a sanctuary where my mind could both rest and roam freely. They were, unequivocally, my first and enduring love.

I've always been a voracious reader, though there were periods where I barely touched a book. Life's busyness or other interests would occasionally take precedence. Still, there wasn't a year that passed without me devouring at least a dozen books.

Then, I stumbled into a relationship that drained me of vitality, time, and, tragically, my sanity. It wasn't just reading that fell by the wayside; it was any semblance of joy. He usurped everything, leaving no room for solitude or personal pursuits. Even when miles apart, his grip remained tight, tethering me to the phone incessantly. And when he slept, oceans away, I found no solace in other activities. Exhaustion became my constant companion. But that's a tale for another time.

For nearly two years, I abandoned books, leaving an aching void in my soul. Yet, upon breaking free and rediscovering myself, I slowly rekindled my affair with literature. And read I did. Over the span of 14 months, I devoured 74 books. Therapy and heartfelt conversations with friends certainly played their part, but it was burying myself in books that truly led me back to myself.

In short: Take a plunge into the 57 books I devoured last year. And as an added treat – and with a hint of uncertainty regarding EU fair use laws – I even illustrated all their covers.

[ J 001 ]

Hello Again!

It's been some time since I've set pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keys.

Once, the ink flowed freely, weaving tales across the crisp pages of journals, the margins of novels, even the transient fabric of napkins, each surface a canvas for the words that danced within me. Until I found myself in a peculiar state of absence from the act of writing. My thoughts, once so vivid and urgent, now tangled in the labyrinth of my mind, too elusive for my hands to grasp, too chaotic to immortalise upon the page. Even when words dared to surface, there was no place online for their expression. The once-familiar avenues of Twitter felt increasingly discordant, while the relics of old blogs had long since faded into the digital ether, leaving me adrift in a sea of silence.

And so, here I find myself once more, nestled in a new digital sanctuary, a place suspended between the realms of labour and leisure. Here, amidst the ebb and flow of current projects and personal musings, I endeavour to carve out a space for myself. Whether this corner of the internet becomes a regular haunt remains uncertain, a question marked by the whims of inspiration and the demands of the everyday. Yet, in this virtual haven, I seek refuge from the constraints of obligation, embracing the freedom to chronicle the minutiae of daily life, the fragments of nocturnal reflection, and the snapshots of my creative journey.