June 11, 2014

Zine: Tender Journal #4

Tender Journal #4 is dream that floats us through female desire, plant love and more.

The latest issue of Tender Journal is a dreamscape. Each piece of artwork, poetry, prose and interview has an illusory truth that drifts the reader to the next page. Just like our dreams, each issue manages to create a telling collage of images and ideas.

Tender Journal #4 takes us through a myriad of topics, including pregnancy, female desire, plants and dreams. Emily Bludworth De Barrios envisions the zygote dividing inside of her, Grace Jensen draws vaginas as a way to counteract the constant image of penises we find in bathroom stalls and just about everywhere, and Katherine Angel is interviewed about her 2013 book Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell:

I wanted to capture what it felt like for me to think about sex, desire, power, feminism, and pleasure. What it didn't - doesn't - feel like to me is how these questions are often addressed, through writing that performs a kind of neutrality, and which frantically keeps at bay the personal vulnerabilities and tensions that animate any life, coming neatly to a conclusive opinion that tends to close conversation down. I wanted to capture a sense of continuous reflection and rumination, and of the dynamic relationship between reflection and sensation. 

Self-reflection is a running theme throughout Tender Journal #4.  For those of us who enjoy interpreting our dreams, reflection is often at the heart of it. Our dreams tell us things about ourselves that our awake conscious does not have the capability of accessing. We can read into them deeply or lightly. Rachel Zucker writes short paragraphs of her dreams that seem to be easily deciphered and applicable to other lives:

My window plant is growing well. It's out on a fire escape I never knew I had. I say to Josh, 'If I just forget about it and leave it alone, it does really well.' I turn the plant so the thriving part faces inside. When I do this I notice that the leaves and vines are rich and healthy, but the roots are withered. Father out on the fire escape there's a plant I've never seen before flowering with lush, white flowers. 

I've always viewed journals as conscious acts of dreaming. What else are we doing when we sit down with pen and paper and let our minds wander onto the page? We are recording out innermost thoughts, much like the collective work of the artists in Tender Journal #4; when we listen to our dreams, we are truly listening to ourselves.

Read the full fourth issue of Tender here.

Written by Cynthia Schemmer