Every now and then a day comes along where I am exposed to so many cool, thought-provoking ideas that my brain is going a mile a minute. Today was just such a day. From internet blogs to radio programs to book excerpts to conversations with friends, I can't even begin to write down everything that has been swirling in my mind. I apologize to my friend with whom I spent the morning and had to listen to the speeding train of ideas trying to pour out of my mouth. I can't even guarantee it was all coherent. I think my brain was using the forum to try and spew it all out so that I could put it back together in some identifiable form.
So instead of an essay on each idea, here are just some of them, for the record.
The moral ethics of work. The importance of working hard, not just to selfishly provide for oneself, but in order to benefit morally, socially, culturally and physically from hard work. The decay of today's society linked to our desire to avoid work. Life 100 years ago where you worked hard all day and slept like a baby at night because of the physical toil and lack of mental stress related to farm life. The desire to get all the work done so that we can fill our time with mindless entertainment. The desire to do as little work as possible, to avoid it, to shirk it, to give the minimum effort required.
Huge houses. A family of 12 living in a house the size of our main floor, with only a sleeping loft upstairs. No extra room was needed because other than eating and sleeping, no time was spent indoors in idle pastimes. The word "pastime" in that it denotes an activity simply designed to "pass the time" without accomplishing anything of note. The cozy nature of a home filled with loving and useful items rather than crammed with too many things of little use or necessity or beauty.
Living in the country, or living in a community. Realizing that the actual house structure is of less importance than I think. Weighing the ability to roam on rolling acres with the importance of community and neighbours. Wondering why I love the town we are in. Wondering if I could ever move out to a place like the one my friend is in. Seeing the importance and benefits of a small hamlet, even smaller than a village and certainly miniscule compared to my town.
Hating the idea of the middle man. Working for money to then spend the money elsewhere. Wondering how I can work more directly for my needs. Loving the idea of trading skills with others for that which we do need or want. Hoping to not feel the need to share of my talents or possessions in order to gain money, but simply to impart freely that with which I have been blessed.
Organic community activities. The natural gathering of children at a water hole to swim at on hot summer days. A gathering that isn't the result of a Facebook invite or carefully scheduled calendars, but instead the result of stepping out of our homes and being involved. Wishing TV had never been invented. Wondering how I can inspire more love of being outdoors in my boys.
Imagining a little cabin which could be a studio where we could write or play music. James and I working on our own writing oeuvres instead of grinding hard at a job which is not in line with our ideas of how to spend the precious days we have been given.
How church structure can inhibit spirituality. My grandparents in the far north having church in their living room. Defining my own relationship with God. Defining that relationship without the vocabulary given me by others and instead using the vocabulary given me by the spirit. My own role in a church community so that I benefit from gathering rather than being hindered.
Using food as medicine. Eating for health rather than just to fill my belly or fill a desire for junk food. Being intentional about feeding my family. Learning what foods can help and what foods can heal.
Being the calm centre (or eye) of the storm around me. Talking peaceably. Using a quiet voice. Modelling serenity. Finding quiet moments for myself. Teaching my children the joy and importance of quiet moments for themselves. Being a help to those around me instead of a burden.
I'm not sure if that eased the speed of my thoughts or spurred them on. Either way, I love all these seeds planted inside me, and I'm excited to watch and nurture their growth.