Nightlife in Tenna

Tenner Nachtleben

Tenna under the full moon

Eine helle Mondnacht lud heute ein zum Nachtskifahren am Solarskilift (interessanterweise funktioniert der auch bei Mondenschein!), zu nächtlichen Schneeschuhtouren auf das Tenner Kreuz, oder einfach zum Verweilen und Betrachten der Ruhe und Stille im Luft- und Höhenkurort Tenna.

Tonight we had ideal conditions to do some moonshine skiing at the solar-powered ski lift (which seems to work just fine at night!), or to a nighttime snowshoe trek to the Tenner Kreuz viewpoint, or to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet in Tenna high above the Safien Valley.

The rest of the world, at least according to the news media, was obsessing over the super-blue-blood moon and the lunar eclipse that was not visible from here. Is it no longer possible for us human beings to simply appreciate beauty when it presents itself; to enjoy a night with a full moon, simply because the local conditions invite to do so?

Der Rest der Welt, wenigstens in den Medien, ereiferte sich über den Super-Blue-Blood Mond und die von hier aus nicht sichtbare Mondfinsternis. Ist es heute nicht mehr möglich, Schönheit zu erkennen, wenn sie sich präsentiert; eine Vollmondnacht zu geniessen, weil die örtlichen Bedingungen dazu einladen?

Night scenery with plenty of moon light

black in black - silhouette of Tenna against full moon



Nearer to thee

For one week in October, I left the hermitage and enjoyed the hospitality of the Sunnehügel community in the former Capuchin friary in Schüpfheim, Switzerland. I was invited to experience, live in, and contribute to this intentional community. I spent many hours working in the vast garden, “praying with my practical hands”. As part of the community’s daily rhythm, there were times of work, times for quiet reflection, as well as prayer times. I experienced the impulses for the worship rather dry and sometimes fabricated.

One evening, everything changed. During the repetitive singing of Agios o Theos, an orthodox sounding hymn, the spirit reached out to the gathered group. Continue reading “Nearer to thee”

Näher zu dir

Letzte Woche habe ich im Sunnehügel, einer Gemeinschaft im ehemaligen Kapuzinerkloster, in Schüpfheim verbracht. Ich durfte, als Abwechslung von der Einsiedelei, die Gastfreundschaft dieser Gemeinschaft erleben, mit leben, und beitragen. Neben der Arbeit im Garten (“beten mit den Händen”) und den Zeiten die zum ruhigen Rückzug zur Verfügung standen, gab es auch Andachtszeiten. Die Impulse dazu erlebte ich als eher trocken und zum Teil gekünstelt.

Doch eines Abends ergab es sich ganz anders. Während einem sich wiederholenden Singen von Agios o Theos (Άγιος ο Θεός), einem orthodox anmutenden Lied, ergriff der Geist die versammelte Gemeinschaft. Continue reading “Näher zu dir”

Feast Day of Service and Community: Maundy Thursday – Gründonnerstag

"The Last Supper - Abendmahl". Painting in the rural chapel of Helshoven in Belgium by an unknown painter of Flemish school (16th century). Gemälde eines unbekannten Malers aus einer flämischen Schule (16.  Jh)
“The Last Supper – Abendmahl”. Painting in the rural chapel of Helshoven in Belgium by an unknown painter of a Flemish school (16th century). Gemälde eines unbekannten Malers aus einer flämischen Schule in der Kapelle eines ehemaligen Johanitterspitals in Helshoven, Belgien (16. Jh)

During meditation this morning, it occurred to me that Maundy Thursday is the day during the lenten season and the holy week that embodies the calling of my life: To be of compassionate service and to live in community. Maundy Thursday is the day of the biblical last supper and the foot-washing ceremony, two strong symbols for community and service.

I took the above picture during my journey on foot through Belgium. In the following article, you can read how I came across this painting that is not quite a Rubens, but nonetheless left a strong impression with me. En route –  from Brustem to Tongeren (Belgium) , with more pictures here: Brustem to Tongeren (the pictures)

Während der heutigen Morgenmeditation wurde mir klar, dass der Gründonnerstag der Tag ist während der Fastenzeit und Karwoche, der meine Berufung im Leben am besten verkörpert: Im Dienste des Nächsten und gemeinschaftlich Leben. Am Gründonnerstag wird in der christlichen Tradition das letzte Abendmahl und die Fusswaschungszeremonie gefeiert. Das sind zwei starke Symbole für Dienst am Nächsten und Gemeinschaft.

Das obige Bild habe ich unterwegs durch Flandern in einer kleinen Kapelle geknipst. Im folgenden Beitrag kannst du mehr erfahren über die Reise die mich zu diesem Bild führte, das zwar kein Rubens ist, aber doch einen starken Eindruck bei mir hinterlassen hat. En route –  von Brustem nach Tongeren (Belgien) mit mehr Bildern von unterwegs: Brustem nach Tongeren (die Bilder)

The Last Supper celebration at the Capuchin friary in Rapperswil. Das Abendmahlsfest in der Kapuzinerkirche in Rapperswil
The Last Supper celebration set-up at the Capuchin friary in Rapperswil. – Der Tisch ist gedeckt für die Abendmahlsfeier in der Kapuzinerkirche in Rapperswil
Inviting the community to the table! - Die Gemeinde an den gemeinsamen Tisch einladen!
Inviting the community to the table! – Die Gemeinde an den gemeinsamen Tisch einladen!

En route – Antwerpen to Brustem

This morning, I have left Antwerp by train. The beautiful weather from yesterday is gone, replaced by the one that I would have expected for this region and this time of the year: A rainy grey, but at least not freezing.

It was good to get on the train, to put some distance to the port and the city. And the landscape changed slowly, from the urban to the industrial, from the commercial to the suburban, then fields and forest, creeks and towns. I feel better in these more rural settings. Although Antwerp did not strike me as extremely loud in term of ubiquitous advertising and commercial overstimulation, I was able to feel that hollowness of the commercialized city life.

Who is Who in Leuven - the extravagant Gothic town hall
Who is Who in Leuven – the extravagant Gothic town hall

Now I sit in a side chapel in the gigantic cathedral of Leuwen. Continue reading “En route – Antwerpen to Brustem”

2012 in pictures

Here is my 2012 in pictures! For thoughts to go with each picture in the slideshow, keep reading: Continue reading “2012 in pictures”

Aufbruch – Departure (+de)

Aufbruch – Departure 

Auf los geht's los! - ready... set... !
Auf los geht’s los! – ready… set… !

(Deutsche Übersetzung folgt)

I am sitting with my black travel bag in front of me. I am checking the carry-on policies of the various airlines. The dimensions seem fine, a weight limit is not stated and I wouldn’t have a scale to check it anyhow. Later on the train and the ship, it won’t matter anymore. Good thing I am starting with the most restrictive mode of transportation.

The lid is still open: Continue reading “Aufbruch – Departure (+de)”

Walking Home – a short film

“Walking Home – A contemplative journey along the Yukon River” is a short film conceptualized, directed, and produced by Othmar F. Arnold, with feedback and support from Celia McBride; filmed in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada).

Continue reading “Walking Home – a short film”

Contemplative construction

As I was looking in a contemplative gaze out the window – into a wintery morning scene with freshly blowing snow and some lights shining from the roof of a construction site across the street – I felt this gentle urge, this longing, to be doing something with my hands. I had this instant flash of memory of the project I was working off and on all summer long: a tiny house on wheels. I imagined how ideal it would be to have such an ongoing project set up and waiting for those moments where my hands call for meaningful activity.

The becoming of my passive-solar-design-tiny-house-on-a-trailer in summer 2012

But my little project is set aside for the winter. Choosing to embrace a simple lifestyle and not to maintain a permanent place to live has its consequences: I am not always in control and have to accept what the respective circumstances allow. Setting up the tiny house project within easy reach was not feasible this winter. Alas!

Continue reading “Contemplative construction”