The person who binds herself to Joy

Doth the winged life destroy:

But the person who kisses the Joy as it flies

Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.


William Blake


This post was largely written soaking up the morning sunshine. It’s evening now, and not so different than a few nights ago when Francis and I experienced this full moon.

Moonlight on the Lake 15 - Bruce Witzel photo


While camping out or spending a night in the countryside, have you ever noticed how well you can see by the light of that silvery moon? It’s really just a celestial solar powered light bulb.  An effective solar reflector indeed.

Moonlight at the Lake - Bruce Witzel photo


Although moonlight is best unadulterated, we added some extra illumination for effect. . . 

Moonlight on the Lake! - Bruce Witzel photo


Listen to cosmologist Brian Swimme:

One of the gifts of science is in understanding that life exists by drawing in the sun; one of the gifts of science is to realize that what is surging through us in every moment of our life, with every breath we take, is the sun. So in a real sense the human is the human form of a solar flare. It is surging into the life of the Earth, and in all beings, in the fish, in the mammals, and in the human we have another form of the energy that first was captured by the early photosynthetic organisms. We are the sun in a new form.


Wow – I guess that’s why people called me sunny when I was a kid. . .

Mom and Bruce - 1960 photo by my Aunt Edith Fisher 

Fifty three years onwards, modern civilization now begins our long awaited embrace of the sun.

Solar power is one of the fastest growing energy sectors on the planet, growing exponentially as it becomes more economical. Compare this to fossil fuels with its dwindling supply and rising expense. Completing the equation is the incredible un-accounted costs of climate change. . .

Meanwhile, the average US taxpayer pays almost 100 times as much in subsidies for fossil fuels than for solar energy. 

Lets not be fooled.  Our whole lives and economy are based upon reliable sources of energy. Up until recently that’s been oil, but now the sun is setting – once and for all on hydro carbons.

Montreal industry along the St. Laurence River - Bruce Witzel photo


Picture this editorial cartoon, which I can’t reproduce due to copyright issues.

An executive sits behind a desk with a Big Oil nameplate, and the man says:

You want Coal? We own the mines.
You want oil and gas? We own the wells.
You want nuclear energy? We own the uranium.
You want solar power? We own the er..ah..
Solar power isn’t feasible.


Ya right. . .  Am I imagining things? 

Like this chicken – or maybe it’s an egg. Fran cooked one in the Sun Oven the other day.


Solar cooked Chicken - Francis Gunette



Cabin's solar array and solar hot water system

What about our solar electric array?

Do the windows  help passively solar heat our home? Well today they didn’t because it was hot outside so we opened the windows and created a cooling cross ventilation.


Solway Water heater , circa 1985 - Bruce Witzel photo

Look at this black tank behind glass. We have been using this solar batch heater since 1986. It was 2 years old then. That’s 30 years of hot water. Solar energy isn’t feasible, eh?


Here’s some facts from Wikipedia :

The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. . . The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.


Considering this, Stanford University professor Mark Jacobsen came up with a scenario for California to be completely independent of fossil fuels or nuclear energy by the year 2050. . .

 University of Stanford - Professor Mark Jacobson


Amazing. eh?

Lets do it.


Moonlight on the Lake - Bruce Witzel photo (2)


In this world of so much strife, danger and cynicism, let’s remember not to be blind or ignorant. The world is also filled with goodness, creativity, and love.

As you can see, even from this moonlit reflection –  The Solar Age is Dawning.


Arundhati Roy puts it this way. . .

Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.


Photo by daniel hui of Himin solar

Photo by Daniel Hui

Peace to all ~








The sun is my heart – borrowing from buddhist and catholic monks

bruce thomas witzel:


July 5th would be my fathers birthday – some of you will recall this memorial post. I’ve added this large leaf maple, a photo taken by Charles Brandt. He was a friend of my fathers. The “Great Work” goes on and each of us must contribute what we can – from our heart, our intellect or the sweat of our brow… peace to all. Bruce

Large Leaf Maple - Charles Brandt photo

Please click to open the full post…

Originally posted on through the luminary lens:

Washington State


nhathanh0001c brandt

View original


“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

~ Buckminster Fuller ~


In this weeks Photo Challenge: Between, Danielle Hark of the Broken Light Collective suggests that the word between might reflect a choice we need to make — the challenge of choosing one thing over another.

Thus, between these lines and images, I bring you the futurist Buckminster Fuller.

The photographs zoom in on “Biosphere”, the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller as the United States pavilion for the Montreal World Expo of 1967.

As Bucky once said, “integrity is the essence of everything successful.”

Today Biosphere houses a  series of exhibits by Environment Canada including Renewable Energy: Time to Decide, Towards Sustainable Transportation, and 1 Degree: What Difference does it make?     

Here is more to ponder from Buckminster Fuller. . .



“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”


Sault St. Marie Factory


                                                                      ON FAITH AND WAR:



  Google image


The Montreal Biosphere from the World Expo 1967


“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”


                                                     Saint Lawrence River



Mont Royal in Montreal



Montreal Biosphere  Geodesic dome was the U.S. pavilion at the World Expo 1967



“The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet’s surface at that time. Everything else will follow.”


Sunset on Lake Manitou, Saskatchewan



One of the great American visionaries of the twentieth century, Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) endeavoured to see what he, a single individual, might do to benefit the largest segment of humanity while consuming the minimum of the earth’s resources. Doing “more with less” was Fuller’s credo. He described himself as a “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” setting forth to solve the escalating challenges that faced humanity before they became insurmountable.

Source: Whitney Museum of Art – Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe


Google image


In hope for goodness

~ Bruce ~


This small home has a bedroom loft with a living and kitchen area below it, as well as a bath room, foyer and and utility area. There was no room left for an office.

Custom book case with desk behind

By rebuilding the stairs with winders at the bottom, I created extra space for a built in desk and the custom book case.


Finished desk detail


           It was constructed of yew wood and birch ply.


Construction of desk








Desk top detail - Bruce Witzel                    IMG_0444






 Construction detail 2      
















        Built in desk  @ Winter Harbour - Bruce Witzel photo













The stairs are yellow cedar with 2×4 hemlock treads…


Stair and desk with incomplete railings


As you can see from the reflection in the window, the room has a wonderful view of the pacific rain forest. The owners did not want a balustrade although it is usually required for safety.


New staircase with desk below - by Bruce Witzel


As responsible citizens of the planet,

lets try to use only what we need to, and use it well.



Mahatma Gandhi - photo source unknown 

As Gandhi said:

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but

not enough for everyone’s greed.”


Cheers – Bruce



Posted in response to the  Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

TWIST – Picasso, Merton and Pathways to Peace


A Picasso -  Photo by Bruce Witzel


We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are most dangerous. . .

~ A devout meditation in Memory of Adolf Eichmann  ~


from Raids of the unspeakable ~ by Thomas Merton


Statues in Downtown Montreal - The Illuminated Crowd


Montréal, Canada


Statue in Montreal - photo by Bruce Witzel


Peace Crane Project ~ Lindale Lake Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Peace Crane Project, Lindale park Gardens, Minneapolis MN


Spirit of Peace - Sculpted by Caprice Glaser, photo by Bruce Witzel



American Bull - Custer city Wyoming - photo by Bruce Witzel

American Bull ~ Custer City, Wyoming


Pathway to Peace, representing the Communities feeling about the meaning of peace - photo by Bruce Witzel

Pathways to Peace ~ Minneapolis 



Cheers – Bruce


Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist


If a person does not keep pace with her companions, perhaps she hears a different drummer. 

Henry David Thoreau (paraphrased)

New Mexico near Truchas - photo of a photo from The Milagro Beanfield War


~ A Book Review ~

Lately I have been busy as a bee while working at slowing down and taking my time. Ironic, isn’t it?  

The book Take Your Time by Eknath Easwaran (1910 –1999) drums to that different beat.

What I liked about Easwaran writing is his utter practicality. For example – focusing on one thing at a time, you or I will do that one thing better and with greater appreciation. With this simple bit of wisdom, Easwaran turns head over heals the modern western ethos that multi-tasking equals speed, efficiency and success.

Take Your Time: How to Find Patience, Peace and Meaning is a short read. I highly recommend it.

I’m reading it twice.


Here is a brief excerpt, in photo essay style. . .


Take Your Time – by Easwaran

Our civilization has developed a mania for speed, careening out of control in the fast lane of life – a race with no prize and no way of winning. . .

Ventura Freeway - photo by Bruce Witzel

One sure sign is that no one has enough time. Another is how many of us are hurrying to be late. Everyone seems to be trying to fit more and more into the same fixed twenty-four hours. That is the paradox: we hurry faster and faster only to find we have less and less time. 


Finnerty Garden at the University of Victoria - with added painting effect - by Bruce Witzel 

An unhurried mind brings the capacity to make wise choices every day – choices of how we use our time, of how we place our resources and our love. I am not just talking about avoiding the rat race, but about a life full of artistic beauty – a life that has almost vanished from our civilization, but is quite in reach of everyone.


An angel sitting with the Buddha2

The Buddha called this “living intentionally.” It is a way of life. Slowing down is not the goal; it is the means to an end. The goal is living in freedom – freedom from the pressures of hurry, from the distractions that fragment our time and creativity and love. Ultimately, it means living at the deepest level of our awareness.


Looking towards downtown Portland, Oregon - photo by bruce Witzel

In this, I believe, we do more than simply elevate our own personal lives. We begin to remake our civilization. We can began to transform our global jungle into a real global village…


A beautiful rainbow powered garden - Powell River, BC - photo by Bruce Witzel

Our children will remember naturally the needs of all the children on the face of the earth. This is our destiny. This is what we are all born for and what we have been looking for all our lives, whatever else we have been seeking.         ~ Easwaran ~


Woman and child - photo by Bruce Witzel



Montreal Art Gallery - photo by Bruce Witzel

“A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.”

~ Meher Baba ~


Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenges  – On the Move and Works of Art


~ the Brandt Series ~

“Photographs give me the opportunity to show people what’s out there. You have to fall in love with the natural world to want to care for it.” 

Text and photos by Fr. Charles Brandt (except where noted)

Rufous Hummingbird and Red Elderberry - March 24 2014 Charles Brandt photo 

Red Elderberry with Rufous Hummingbird

& 60,000 Pink Salmon return to the Recovering Tsolum River in 2013

Fish under the Farnham bridge - 2013 - by Charles Brandt


Meditations from the Wilderness ~ (part two)

~ by Charles A.E. Brandt ~


PearlLake - headwaters of Oyster River - by Charles Brandt

Historically we have gone to the wilderness for different reasons. The early rishis went into the forest to offer sacrifice and to live in harmony with the universe.


 BigLeaf Maple flowers May 2 2014 Charles Brandt photo

The early Christian hermits in the third and fourth centuries went into the desert of the Scete to practice perfect charity and constant prayer. Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond to find out what life was all about. Tom Merton went into the wilderness of Gethsemane to fulfill his need for solitude and to live a responsible “care-free” life.


Chestnut-Backed Chicadee Feb 19 2014 Hermitage - Charles Brandt photo

Aldo Leopold, the father of North American ecology, discovered in the Sand County of Wisconsin that he could no longer pose as one with control over nature, and that he was  simply a member of the biotic community. As he underwent his conversion, he began to ‘think like a mountain.” (Click this link for a short video of Fr. Brandt speaking about Aldo Leopold)


Comox Glacier - by Charles Brandt


In our own day, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme give us guidance through their “Universe Story,” the wilderness of the universe. They make it clear that if we grasp this “New Story” we must first enter into communion with the natural world.


      Skunk Cabbage - May 2 2014 Charles Brandt photo                                                            


Red-Flowering Currant March 27, 2014              Rufous Hummingbird Male at the Hermitage - April 9 2014 Charles Brandt photo


Banded Black Brant at the Oyster River Estuary April 7, 2014 Charles Brandt photo


Salmonberry with pollinator - April 14 2014 Charles Brandt photo


We must come to realize that the natural world is a community of subjects to be communed with, not  a collection of objects to be exploited. To do this, I believe, requires a transformation of consciousness. We must give birth to our deep, true self that lies awakened. Indeed the greatest thing we can do for the earth and for the universe is to become who we are…


                                             Fr. Thomas Berry @ left - Sr. Mary Southard painting

Painting by.Sr. Mary Southard

If we are to move into a meaningful sustainable future, it is necessary to bring the human community into a greater presence of the natural world in a mutually enhancing manner to form a single sacred community, as we once again establish a relationship of communion with the natural world.

Charles A.E. Brandt



One more thought for a Solar Sunday. . .


Looking across Georgia Staight towards mainland North America - Charles Brandt photo

“I greet the sun each morning just by reflecting for just a moment on the vastness of the sun, a million times the size of the Earth, in bestowing all this energy. And just in that moment, I remember that we are spinning around the star, and it’s because of the star’s energy that we exist. So that we are this star in a new form. And by doing that I remember my cosmological dimension. And it puts everything in perspective for the whole day.”

~ Brian Swimme ~


journeyoftheuniverse.org - brian swimme

Image from Journey of the Universe – Brian Swimme


 Google Image

 Embrace Sun Day

and this Earth Day

Every Day


Cheers ~ Bruce


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 639 other followers

%d bloggers like this: