Skip to content

Christina’s Corner: January 2024

Hi, friends. Long time, no see! I hope you have been eating, seeing, and doing wonderful, life-giving, incredible things. If you’d like to tell me about them, I am all ears:

January means new planners for some, resolutions for others, the sign of another year conquered and lived through. It is a fresh, clean page… with a caveat. The word January comes from the Roman god Janus, who had two faces: one looking forward, the other looking back. Janus was the god of doorways, transitions, and probably the mythical place of young adult cancer survivorship.

I digress.

Janus is everywhere, as much as we are pressured to take a shower and debut a new year, new me. But life is more like: here, use this composition book that’s been sitting around to try to journal. Tear out the new pages and good as new. But the imprint of what you had written on the prior page is still visible. Hold it up to the light, brush lightly over the surface like a leaf rubbing, and there you see it. That snapshot, a literal impression left on the paper by the force of your hand, your pen, your pencil.

2023 left its mark on all of us, a literal impression. And personally, I’m hoping Janus is ready to have a phone call where I ensure I am signed up for the “all good shit, no bad shit” package.

Let’s get this year off to as best a start as we can.

Eat: It’s cold in New Jersey. I usually have soups and stews, or anything freshly emerged from the toaster oven or slow cooker. Salads even seem too chilly, too summery in their fresh insistent crunch. But I was introduced to a simple warm salad now over 10 years ago and it’s remained the thing I make for simple, warm, tasty food with a bit a tang. All you need are winter vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, some lentils, and dijoin mustard. Comfort. A great side, a filling and satisfying meal.

See: The Color Purple. The new one. It’s a musical and I can’t tell you how R E A D Y I am for this film. The cast? Impeccable. Look at this lineup: Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, and Fantasia Barrino, who played the role of Celie on Broadway back in 2007 and has already earned a Golden Globe nomination. And if you’re like me, and anything worth doing is worth overdoing: make it mini study unit. Read the book by Alice Waters. Watch the production from 1985 with Oprah. This book. See it. Hold on TIGHT.

Do: Several weeks ago I had a conversation with the cohort of writers and doodlers that came to our weekly Coffee and Oodles and somehow we ended up on the topic of pillow forts. Those intrepid bespoke homes allowed us to exist inside our own special space, where the magic was. Perhaps there was a pathway to the television or a Chair where the Food Sat. Either way: do yourself a favor. Make a fort today. even if it’s just a cozy blanket propped over your head by tall chairs, or a blanket between your laptop and your face. That works. Your fort doesn’t have to be large! And it can hold whatever magic you want. You can declare there is no whining in the fort, or no toxic positivity of the fort. You can declare nothing that makes you feel like garbage is allowed inside the fort. It’s your fort, your rules, that’s how it works. Please send photos, if you’d like, as well as your rules, to the email above.

May you have a warm yet tangy, purple, cozy-fort month, my friends.