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Vignette 22/52. Moodling.

“The imagination needs moodling,–long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering. ”

― Brenda Ueland

When the world announced that it was time for “lockdown” (and continues to announce), fortunately for us, our family life was not affected.

The kids and Chris and I continued with our home routines, ebbing and flowing with solitude and togetherness. Even with AJ home with us for the first time, we all maintained our rhythms.

We are pros at staying at home. I can’t remember the exact moment that I even stopped identifying with the word, “homeschool.” Our life at home doesn’t feel like school at all. The family rhythm slowly shifted to a life of exercise, leisure, slow study, and moodling (see above).

When we are home, we wake up early, sit in stillness (whether in meditation, reading, or writing morning pages), exercise, walk the dogs, and cook/eat a leisurely breakfast together. The rest of the day is spent in idle wandering and wondering.

Long ago I gave up feeling guilty for this lifestyle. We had always imagined a life like this – a dream life – while many thought it unrealistic or impossible.

In the early spring, we also caught up on podcasts. A topic of interest was UBI (Universal Basic Income). Before the Hobbes-ian in you begins to object, put your pre-societal Rouseeau optimist hat on. As some countries gave generous support checks, we observed how many people took advantage of their sudden freedom to learn and do things that they would not normally have time to do – take an online Persian food cooking class, take a philosophy course, or even learn how to make their tiny apartment into their own garden of Eden filled with tropical plants. In our tiny community, people were out gardening and growing food with a zealousness to quell their fear and as an act of therapy.

My mom back in Canada complained that her local grocery store ran out of flour and yeast. My mom, who has been baking fresh bread since 1992, could not find ingredients for her own daily routine to keep her sanity. She was annoyed but I was pleasantly surprised. I also saw the resurgence of handwork – knitting, crocheting, sewing, woodworking.

We saw the world do what we had discovered years ago. When given the gift of time and the gift of a basic income, we move to a slower way of being, eventually reconnecting with the thing that makes our species unique, the thing that allowed me to create the life of my dreams – imagination.

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