Our First Home Together
These four walls
May not be ours forever
But they live on in our memories
Our first home together.
Be it vivid or vague
We’ll remember this love
And we’ll be grateful enough
For these four walls.
Original poem by Chaneen Saliee for Texture & Space
Chaneen Saliee gorgeously weaves the layers of motherhood and home life on her Instagram platform with a distinct and quietly confident appeal. She dishes out doses of a reality that is relatable and sometimes painful, whilst equally radiating a positivity that is refreshing and addictive. We see snippets of her beautiful girls playing and of her loved and lived-in home. We consume her comforting words and delicate illustrations.
Most recently Chaneen has self-published a book called Solidarity, which showcases both her impressive writing and illustration skills, and it is dedicated to the women in her life. Crammed full of beautiful slices of poetry and prose, it delves into an array of motherhood moments, from the quiet and still to the deafening and chaotic.
The book is divided up into four sections: Fluctuations, Perspectives, Gratitude and Solidarity; and it ends on a high with a collection of pieces inspired by the women who have impacted Chaneen in a profound way. There are also blank pages at the back “for your musings”, which is a meaningful touch. It’s a simple and comforting book, one to dip in and out of at your leisure. It’s like having a friend who understands the intricacies of motherhood.
Curious to know more about Chaneen, I got in contact with her to ask about her story to date, and of course her new book. She also kindly wrote the opening poem on this blog post, which resonates with my gratitude for home.
Please can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi, I’m Chaneen, I am a full time mother of two gorgeous girls, Jasmine and Ocean. I am a qualified teacher and that’s what I was doing up until I had my first daughter, Jasmine. Then, when I was considering going back to work, I found out I was pregnant with Ocean.
What I do day to day varies a lot, sometimes I’m illustrating and other days I am writing or recording videos of our life together. It’s great, I love that I am learning so much right now and finding out what it is I will want to do long term once both the girls are in school (scares me to think how soon that may be).
Can you tell me a bit about the space that you live in?
I live in a little flat in East London, it’s really little. I live with my daughters. We have one bedroom which we used to sleep in, but as of this last month we have taken to camping out on the living room floor which is doing as all a world of wonder.
I moved in (sort of) alone in 2017 a few months before Jasmine was born. So we have been here almost 3 years. It’s lovely, but pretty difficult because we have 60 steps and no lift, so little old me has to lug the babies up the stairs on the odd occasion we go out alone.
Let’s talk about your book, Solidarity. Why did you write it and who is it for?
Oh. Solidarity is probably one of my favourite things to talk about right now. I love it so so much.
It’s a book of poetry and prose straight from my heart into the hands of other mothers. When I wrote each poem, I did so without ever intending to share them with anyone. They were written in moments of absolute love, absolute heartache or absolute confusion.
I decided to create and share the poems I had written when I realised just how many mother could resonate with parts of my life that I share online @chaneensaliee. I thought, I feel less alone and I want to return the favour. So I set an intention, publicly and then I just had to do it.
It’s for mothers and women who may want to become mothers one day. I have a truly large and warm place in my heart for mothers. I think they’re incredible and don’t get a fraction as much credit as they deserve.
Chaneen’s favourite SPACE:
“I’m going to go with my living room floor; our camping space. The girls are so comfortable on their mattresses and they look so so peaceful. They’re there right now as I write this, and my space lay right there beside them. Also, anywhere with a warm and sandy beach. I cannot wait for our next holiday.”
Chaneen’s favourite TEXTURE:
“I am truly in love with linen right now. It just has a feel that makes me think of ease, quality and timelessness. I especially love little linen dresses on the girls. I can’t wait until the summer.”
All photos credited to Chaneen Saliee.