Overview and Introduction


My name is Bruce Witzel – I am a journey carpenter keen on conservation, renewable energy and social ecology. My wife Francis Guenette, and I, live in an off- CROPPED SEL PORTRAITgrid home on Vancouver Island, part of Canada’s west coast. The past few years we have been enjoying the wonderful experience of 2 irresistible grandchildren.

My interests include politics, ecology, photography, architecture and reading – novels, biographies and current affairs. I also plink the piano and sing songs (sometimes out of tune) from Neil Young to Bob Dylan.

Now I am exploring the blogosphere and being introduced to a plethora of discerning people, from all over the world – the world wide web! “The increasing connectivity of the human race is advancing personal awareness of all relationships that make up a complex and diverse world,” writes Jeremy Rifkin in his book The Empathic Civilization. (pg594)

My blog is primarily visual and entitled Through the Luminary Lens. You may find it useful and intriguing to dovetail Francis’ writing blog, Disappearing in Plain Sight, as a useful counterpart to my photo blog, and vice versa. Besides, Fran is way funnier than I am and she is a gifted novelist with a past career as a trauma counselor, university researcher and an educator. Her acclaimed novels, Disappearing in Plain Sight, The Light Never Lies, and Chasing Down the Night are available online, or from the Vancouver Island Regional Library and a few select stores on the North Island.

My educational background is through BCIT where I obtained my Diploma of Building Technology with an Architectural Option.

Fran and I are members of Amnesty International and the Council of Canadians (a progressive non-profit citizen’s organization).

I am also a past member of the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Society.

If there were only one post I recommend you read here, it is Transformation and Age of the Earth,, with beautiful photography and an uplifting message from my good friend Charles Brandt. He is a hermit priest on Vancouver Island and a world renown conservationist.

Thank you kindly for visiting these pages and I hope you will find the posts enjoyable, informative and uplifting.

Namaste – The Sacred in Me recognizes The Sacred in You (translated form Sanskrit)

                                                                        Our cabin – Powered by Renewable Energy



129 thoughts on “Overview and Introduction

  1. Hi, Bruce.
    I’d like to send you a news release regarding Father Charles Brandt, whom you’ve written about before. Can you send me your contact info, please?

  2. Hello, Bruce Witzel! I enjoyed your blog info in the Winter 2017 “Island Catholic News”; so I signed for your email blog updates and will read many of your recent and past blog posts as I can find time. It must take courage and be quite challenging to live “off grid”, but then living in Vancouver is pretty challenging too.

    • Hi Susannah.

      I have always enjoyed the articles on your artwork in the Island Catholic News and it is wonderful to view them in “living colour” on your website. I will enjoy looking at them in more detail.

      As for living off grid, the challenges do arise… maybe a fire, a flood, or a storm that all takes its toll. It helps that we have learned to be our own emergency responders. I speak also of my wife and partner Francis. You would have read that she writes novels (loosely based on our North Island lifestyle, and much more). Incidentally, recently I’ve been writing a blogpost that describe more details about our off-grid adventure so you’ll see that soon.

      I do hear what you say about the challenges of city living. Whenever I travel to Victoria or Vancouver (and now Calgary, where my step daughter recently moved to) all the people and cars and malls do require courage! Thanks for your note now… it too, is encouraging. It has helped in the past few years of having the internet to be able to have connection with more people, even if it is in this manner. Connections, none-the-less.

    • Thanks.I have had interest in solar & renewable since i was a teen in the 70’s when I built my first parabolic solar oven out of cardboard. Amazing stuff your doing in India too, lots with renewables… and on your blog I like the post about the world’s largest Rangoli for Peace & Harmony… it must have been a few city blocks . And children’s art education too, is soooo important… Good work indeed. Ditto the follow.

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