Is this my circle

Photo by Dan Fraser

When I don’t want to see

what I see

I turn away and turn away

around in a circle

now what do I see

do I see myself

or do I keep turning and turning

around in a circle

is this my circle

Mousie Paints Wildflowers

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The Mousie videos my wife is making have been a wonderful addition to our lives. Young children (and seventy old children) seem to really enjoy them. It is so peaceful in Mousies enchanted world. If you watch her painting wildflowers and think of any people who might also like to go there, please feel free to share it with them. Dan

Videos created by my wife for young children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo artist Adrienne Bouchard Langlois is creating a series of children’s videos about a toy mouse self-isolating in a dollhouse. (Photo courtesy Dan Fraser)

Nanaimo artist creating children’s video series about a self-isolating mouse

Adrienne Bouchard Langlois addresses coronavirus with delicacy for young audience

  • JOSEF JACOBSON, Arts & Entertainment, Nanaimo News Bulletin, May 8, 2020

Nanaimo artist Adrienne Bouchard Langlois is creating a series of videos for young children featuring a toy mouse sheltering in a dollhouse.

In the videos, Mousie’s daily activities reflect life during COVID-19. She has groceries delivered, puts hearts in her windows, reads, makes art, bakes and always remembers to wash her hands.

“I just thought of introducing the subject in a soft way just so children see that Mousie’s doing it too,” Bouchard Langlois said.

She said the videos are also a way for her to stay connected with her young grandchildren while they self-isolate, and so far “they really enjoyed seeing what Mousie was up to.” Bouchard Langlois is hoping to reach an audience beyond her grandchildren as well.

“I thought a lot of children don’t get to go out and they might enjoy something simple and something quiet,” she said. “I got some feedback on that. I didn’t realize they were going to be so simple and quiet, but adults were telling me they’re very soothing.”

The toy mouse was handmade by Bouchard Langlois’s sister and Bouchard Langlois built the house out of a large cardboard shoe organizer that she had been using to store craft items. She’s been making new accessories for Mousie, including a computer so she can take classes online, but the pandemic has forced her to improvise.

“I’m not going out at all so I can’t go to the thrift stores or the dollar stores and pick up little things. I just make do with what’s in the house and repurpose everything I can think of,” Bouchard Langlois said.

Although COVID-19 looms over the videos, Bouchard Langlois said her approach has been to avoid being “preachy” and to address the topic in an “unobtrusive” way. She said newer videos are less explicit in their messages and she’s avoided using words like ‘social distancing.’

“There are several of the videos where her friends are standing at a safe distance apart, and I do mention that, but then I thought it might be too heavy to use those terms so I stopped using those terms,” she said. “It’s pretty clear that they’re not touching but I also thought for very young children you don’t need to belabour the point. Basically I just want to give them five minutes of something that they’ll like and a little bit of fantasy.”

Adrienne Bouchard Langlois’s videos are available here.

Zero or one

Photo by Dan Fraser

This would be a good time

for zero

one seems to be too many

when you have all those numbers

the first thing you want to do

is make a list

I can I can’t I can I can’t

oh those aren’t numbers

lets start with green

I’ve always liked green

and blue

Turn and turn and turn

Photo by Dan Fraser

Despite his confidence

that he was an excellent manager

of the flow of time

through his hips and knees

he was forced to admit

that living in a dance-like rhythm

within every single minute

of every hour of every day

was not only a reluctant choice

but a secret fire 

that burned up and down

the hidden molecules 

beneath his naked skin

turn and turn and turn

Cracks are showing

Cracks are showing

in the drainpipes of my life

stress lines on the face of direction

memories pooling

on the hungry floor

past and future become a blur

the present is hard to find

pushed by the vacant stare of habit

I look in the freezer 

for my frozen desires

sealed in bags of time