Anja Charbonneau

Anja is a creative director living in Portland, OR. In November, she launched a free weed magazine called Broccoli.
website / instagram

01    Story: What’s the best story you heard this month?

My partner used to work in a small bar in a small town. Every night, the staff would drop the night’s earnings through a mail slot in a locked door, to be picked up at a later date by the owners. Money started to go missing, and every so often an envelope full of cash would disappear. It was a small crew with a lot of trust in one another, and no one was accused of stealing, but it created a weird atmosphere. Money continued to disappear for a couple months. One day, a chef was in the room next to the money room, and somehow ended up kicking a hole in the wall. Upon examining the hole, he found the world’s fanciest mouse nest, created entirely from shredded twenty dollar bills.

02    Nature: An encounter with the natural world

Every day I leave breadcrumbs on our balcony for the crows that live in my neighborhood downtown. They visit my crow cafe daily, sometimes solo customers, sometimes in small friendly groups (no fighting over crumbs). I try to guess who my regular customers are based on how close I can get to them while they are eating...I creep up towards the balcony door slowly. So far they’ve left a couple presents on the balcony for me, including a half-smoked cigarette.

03    Art Experience: An encounter with art (in any form)

I found a book at Goodwill called “Jane Seymour’s Guide to Romantic Living.” Other 90’s tweens may remember her as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In this book Jane Seymour shares her personal ethos on how to live every day with romance, promising that “it doesn’t require you to buy anything or to inherit a fortune, but it does require that you learn to know yourself and what you want out of life every day.” The book is primarily filled with full-color photographs of Seymour in various costumes, dressed as Ophelia, a Grecian maiden, or riding a horse in a shiny tophat. So far I’ve learned that cosplay = instant romantic life.

04    Change: a meaningful change that impacts the way you live (either that you initiated or that entered from outside)

I started my own business and have exclusively been working with other women and non-binary people. I’ve probably interacted professionally with over a thousand of these people in the last few months and have been talked down to exactly twice (by men, duh). This is the first time in years that I haven’t had to prioritize a man’s opinion at work.

05    New Idea: a new way of looking at things or something to attempt in the future

It would be revolutionary to have glasses with the correct prescription.

06    Object (new): a new object that held significance

In November I received finished copies of Broccoli, the magazine I’ve been working on for months along with my small team. I have lots of magazines, and I used to make magazines for another company, but this one is extra special.

07    Object (old): an old object that took on new/different kind of meaning

I like to make flower arrangements for a vase that belonged to my partner’s grandmother. It’s blue, with a white bird and branches, and now it lives in our home. For my birthday, his mom brought me flowers, and I sent her a photo of them in the vase, which belonged to her mother.

08    Discard: Something you decided to rid from your life (or that you are particularly happy this month to see come to an end)

In 2016 I ended a very long, very bad relationship and now it finally, finally feels far away.

09    Gratitude: something you have been specifically thankful for this month:

My dad passed away this summer, which has been very very hard. I’m so thankful to have a partner who wants to witness and share my grief. I never know when a big wave is going to hit, so I’m grateful to have that support.

10    Proportion: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe. That you are part of a greater whole.

Can I use the crows again? Thousands of them migrate through town twice a day, sunrise and sunset. They remind me that the day begins and ends, and in the middle that I have things to do.

 

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 Full house at the crow cafe

Full house at the crow cafe

 Jane Seymour's Book

Jane Seymour's Book

 Broccoli magazine proofs

Broccoli magazine proofs

 A vase of birthday flowers

A vase of birthday flowers

 a box of stuff with a photobooth strip of dad

a box of stuff with a photobooth strip of dad

 Migrating crows at night

Migrating crows at night