The Mighty Columbia River - British Columbia, Oregon and Washington State


~ Text by Wendell Berry ~ 


Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.

Want more of everything made.

Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.

Not even your future will be a mystery any more.


Mural at the Heard Museum, Phoenix Arizona


Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something they will call you.

When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. . .




                                                                  Youth and Society


So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.



Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it.




Ask the questions that have no answers.

Invest in the millennium.

Plant sequoias. . .


Our old boardwalk at the lake


Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees

every thousand years. . .


Ronnings Garden daffodils



Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. . .


Our niece at the lake - Bruce Witzel & Francis Guenette



As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions

of your mind, lose it.

Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go.


Montreal Metro.



Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,

some in the wrong direction.


On Mesa Verde



Practice resurrection.


girl_meditating_hologram1 - photo source unknown

(photo source unknown)


Excerpts from the poem ~ Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front ~


by Wendell Berry



photo credit – Guy Mendes, Wikipedia


Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer.

According to him, the good life includes sustainable agriculture, appropriate technologies, healthy rural communities, connection to place, the pleasures of good food, husbandry, good work, local economics, the miracle of life, fidelity, frugality, reverence, and the interconnectedness of life. The threats Berry finds to this good simple life include: industrial farming and the industrialization of life, ignorance, hubris, greed, violence against others and against the natural world, the eroding topsoil in the United States, global economics, and environmental destruction.

Berry, who describes himself as “a person who takes the Gospel seriously,”[9] has criticized Christian organizations for failing to challenge cultural complacency about environmental degradation,[10] and has shown a willingness to criticize what he perceives as the arrogance of some Christians.[11] He is an advocate of Christian pacifism.  (Source – Wikipedia)


~ Happy Easter to All ~




Rainbow across the inlet - Vancouver Island,BC - by Bruce Witzel


We are capable of suffering with our world, and that is the true meaning of compassion. It enables us to recognize our profound interconnectedness with all beings . . . it is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.

Joanna Macy





A statue

I had a pious thought, but I am not going to write it down . . . The thoughts that come to me are stupid. I  feel knocked out, but I can think of no good reason to feel otherwise.There is not much use in making long speeches to  Jesus about our pains, especially on Good Friday.

Thomas Merton

The Trials and Tribulations of Ineffective Listening




My wife Francis, the novelist, also has a 2nd blog related to communication skills and counseling. She calls herself the “Saying what Matters Lady” and this is what she says…
“We humans have a critical need to talk and to be heard, and yet it is an area we rarely think of in terms of self-improvement. This blog is to provide snippets of ideas on how each one of us can become a better communicator. Being able to say what matters and having another person hear and understand is an incredibly powerful experience. I would say it is the single greatest gift one can have in terms of building a relationship…”

Head on over for her introduction here – or go directly to The Trials and Tribulations of Ineffective Listening. Maybe you’ll find an insight or two. And the photos are worth a look in themselves.

Saying What Matters - Ineffective Listening Post by Bruce Witzel & Franics Guenette

Originally posted on Saying What Matters:

In today’s post, as promised, we’ll take a look at a few ineffective listening scenarios.


This type of listening imitates real listening but obviously misses the mark.


As a busy mom in days gone by, I remember doing this type of listening. The kids talked and I went, “Uha, oh ya, uha . . .” Soon enough they caught on and told me how much they hated it when I said uha because they knew I wasn’t really listening. I’m sorry to say, right on the money, my dears. Oh, to be able to go back and do it all again.


This happens when we attempt to turn a conversation back to ourselves – usually accomplished through multiple interruptions. Oh boy, who doesn’t hate being in a conversation with someone who acts the stage hog?

Remember back to the last time you were in a regular everyday conversation…

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~ Owens Valley, California ~

Manzanar Monument in Owens Valley, California


Remembering Manzanar


Manzanar  National Historic Site


Model of Manzanar Internment Camp in California's Owen Valley


Sign to the relocation center


An unconstitutional expulsion - Francis Biddle


Map of explulsion zone of Japanese Americans in 1942, Western United States 


Shiro Nomura Memorial   Ten thousand stories at Manzanar
















A Forced Removal

Bruce at the Manzanar Monument - Nov. 2012 -photo by Francis Guenette


Peace crane @ Manzanar - sitting on the fence

“Peace Crane ~ Sitting on a barbed wire fence”


Essential liberty - Benjamin Franklin quote - photo by Bruce Witzel


Solemn tribute - photo by Bruce Witzel


“Solemn tribute”


Manzanar was a World War Two internment camp for people of Japanese descent – the majority of whom were United States citizens.

In the image of the monument above, the de-saturated color and the greyness of the background clouds and mountains, adds a solemn quality.


What I really like about it, is the light from the clouds breaking through.


I believe it evokes hope…


~ Peace to All  ~



Book review – The Light Never Lies, Francis Guenette


Franics-at-Lake-huron.jpgRoy McCarthy, from “Back on the Rock”, is a finance manager, track and field coach and talented writer from Jersey, one of the UK’s Channel Islands. His recent novel, Tess of Portelet Manor, follows the main character from 1935 to 1954, and is therefore set largely during the German occupation of the Channel Islands. Recently, Roy graciously reviewed my wife Francis’ 2nd novel of the Crater Lake Series. Please, head over to Roy’s blog to read his brief and informative 5 star review, The Light Never Lies, Francis Guenette.

Originally posted on Back On The Rock:

Francis Geunette did it again. It isn’t easy to emulate an impressive debut novel, but Guenette manages it very well simply by building on the same formula.

It is certainly advisable to have read Disappearing In Plain Sight as the residents of Crater Lake are reintroduced to the reader several months on. The often-complex relationships between the characters are the strength of these stories, and in one or two cases these have moved on. Izzy and Liam are now a firm item whereas the intriguing Beulah/Bethany relationship is showing signs of fracture.

We were left wondering what would become of young Lisa-Marie. We soon find out as she rocks up again at the remote Crater Lake location pregnant with Liam’s child. Well, I’ve never known the arrival of a baby have such a huge knock-on effect on a community. Major drama which involves Lisa-Marie’s aunt Bethany, Liam of course, Lisa’s sort-of…

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: A place reveals itself on its streets…

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that brings a street to life…” Cheri Lucas


Commentary from WIKIPEDIA ~ Photos by Bruce

Duck Lake was one of the Saskatchewan settlements settled by French speaking Métis from Manitoba in the 1860s and 1870s.

On March 26,1885, it was the site of the Battle of Duck Lake, a conflict between Métis warriors and the Government of Canada, at the start of the Northwest Rebellion. The skirmish lasted approximately 30 minutes. Five Métis warriors were killed in the skirmish, including Gabriel Dumont’s brother. The battle toll was high for the government forces. Twelve men were killed, and eleven men seriously injured.

Mural of John A. McDonald. Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel

This mural above depicts Canadian Prime Minister John A. MacDonald (left), with Métis Leaders Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel (holding the cross).

On May 12, 1885 the Métis were defeated at the Battle of Batoche. Louis Riel was later tried for treason and sentenced to death.

Gabriel Dumont made his way to Montana where he surrendered to the US Calvary. The United States government determined that he was a political refugee and shortly released him. Dumont joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West where he received top billing as a rebel leader.

The Canadian government granted a general amnesty in the summer of 1886. Gabriel Dumont retired to Batoche, Saskatchewan in 1893 eventually obtaining title to the lands he had settled in 1872.

Duck Lake and a Broken Treaty



Broken Treaty



Duck Lake, Saskatchewan


Wapiti Regional Library

The Métis are one of the recognized Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Over the past century, countless Métis are thought to have been absorbed and assimilated into European Canadian populations, making Métis heritage (and thereby aboriginal ancestry) more common than is generally realized. Geneticists estimate that 50 percent of today’s population in Western Canada have Aboriginal blood.


“Let us be English or let us be French… but above all let us be Canadians.” – Sir John A. MacDonald


Batoche, Sakatchewan - Loius Riel Memorial




DSC_0710Reinforcing last weeks theme of Passive Solar Design from Taliesin West, this re-blog was one of my first posts I ever did, that I have re-named to fit the Solar Sunday series. It takes us back 8 centuries to early Pueblo solar architecture located in modern day Colorado, showing us there is really nothing new under the sun. Enjoy this ancient wisdom and cheers to all – Bruce.

Originally posted on through the luminary lens:

To explain: Putting together this post on Mesa Verde National Park I saw the DP Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Beyond.  Pondering and rechecking the parameters of the challenge, I decided to take a chance and make these thought provoking connections  – a U.S. National Park and  the future of our planet. In 2011 my wife Fran and I visited Mesa Verde in south western Colorado. The enduring solar architecture built by the ancestors of the present day Pueblo peoples is amazing. We ourselves have built a sun tempered home and live comfortably with most modern conveniences, completely independent from the electrical grid.

A disclaimer: I am not meaning to imply that todays societies can live without fossil fuels. Rather, I am proposing there are practical alternatives. One example, to look ahead and beyond (to an upcoming photo montage I am contemplating), are the Merits of Solar Cooking  – for the rich world and the…

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