“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”

(This quote is actually from environmental scientist David Orr’s book Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World.)

“I name you Samuel” (+de)

(c) 2001, Athabasca Witschi

To see, read, and enjoy the full story, please scroll down:

Um die ganze Geschichte zu sehen, zu lesen, und zu geniessen, bitte weiter scrollen:

Continue reading ““I name you Samuel” (+de)”

One Story of Simplicity – Reimagining the Good Life

‘Living in this intentional community of people with varied abilities was the first step away from a gainful career and towards voluntary poverty.’

Für eine deutsche Übersetzung klicke hier:
Eine einfache Geschichte

Othmar F. Arnold (2012)

My journey started more than fifty years ago in Switzerland. I was born the second child of four to parents who grew up still deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of a conservative Catholic society. The first fourteen years of my life I grew up comfortably and quite sheltered in a small town. My family was the perfect family: dad was working as an engineer (he was the first in his family to benefit from higher education, thus escaping the rural poverty of the peasant life or the hardship of the working class experienced by his forefathers). Mom stayed home after marriage, but before has mastered a professional qualification and has earned a living on her own (this was also a first in her family that had also very recent rural roots – her father was born into a migrant farm worker family with no possessions and very limited rights). They were very proud of their achievements and upward mobility in social class. They also had grand expectations for her children who were to be given all opportunities to make it to the top of modern society.

At age fourteen, I woke up from the dream. Continue reading “One Story of Simplicity – Reimagining the Good Life”

Stories of Simplicity – Reimagining the Good Life

The Simplicity Institute put out a call for stories for a book which aims to provide more insight into the various ways people are living simpler lives. It is worthwhile to browse through these stories. If you have your own story to tell, please submit it here: Stories of Simplicity.

The first book is available online and for free: “Stories of Simplicity – Reimagining the Good Life“. My own contribution can be found on pages 149 to 151 of the book.


For more publications from the Simplicity Institute you can follow this link: Publications.

Snow-carving storytellers travelling the world (+de)

Congratulations to Donald Watt, Terry Gunderson, and Michael Lane for their repeat successes in the International Snow Festival in Innichen/San Candido and San Vigilio in Italy. I had the honour of translating the descriptions for their 2013 snow sculptures into German and Italian.

Second Place Snow Festival in Innichen 2013:
The Brave Hunter and the Walrus - Team Canada (photo credit: Donald C. Watt/snowcarver.ca)
The Brave Hunter and the Walrus – Team Canada (photo credit: Donald C. Watt/snowcarver.ca)

The Brave Hunter and the Walrus

There once was a brave hunter who harpooned walruses to feed his village. This hunter would travel far out on the ice flows to where the giant walruses like to sun themselves. Once when hunting, he harpooned a giant walrus and was pulling it in when the walrus lunged forward to attack the brave hunter. At the same time the wife of the walrus came rising up under the ice flow the brave hunter was standing on trying to safe her husband.

Der Tapfere Jäger und das Walross

Es war einmal ein tapferer Jäger der Walrosse harpunierte um sein Dorf zu ernähren. Dieser Jäger reiste weit auf die Eisschollen hinaus, wo sich die riesigen Walrosse gerne sonnten. Auf einer dieser Jagden harpunierte er ein riesiges Walross und zog es zu sich hin. Da stürzte sich das Walross vorwärts um den tapferen Jäger angreifen. Zur gleichen Zeit kam die Frau des Walross an die Oberfläche von unterhalb der Eisscholle, auf der der tapfere Jäger stand, um zu versuchen ihren Mann zu retten.

Il Cacciatore Coraggioso e il Tricheco

C’era una volta un cacciatore coraggioso che arpionava trichechi per nutrire il suo villaggio. Questo cacciatore viaggiava lontano sul ghiaccio fino alla località, dove i trichechi giganti prendevano il sole. Una volta, il cacciatore aveva arpionato un tricheco gigante e lo stava tirando verso lui, quando il tricheco si lanciò in avanti per attaccare il cacciatore coraggioso. Allo stesso tempo, la moglie del tricheco si avvicinava da sotto il ghiaccio marino che il cacciatore coraggioso era in piedi, per provare a salvare suo marito.

First place Snow Festival in San Vigilio 2013:
Sister Sun and Brother Moon - Team Canada (photo credit: Donald C. Watt/snowcarver.ca)
Sister Sun and Brother Moon – Team Canada (photo credit: Donald C. Watt/snowcarver.ca)

Sister Sun and Brother Moon

A long time ago when the only light in the world was fire, the people lived in large round houses. In one such house a brother would always chase his sister around the fire. One time, while running around the fire, the sister grabbed up a brightly burning stick and headed outside the house to escape her brother, but brother then grabbed a small twig that burned less bright and ran out after her. They ran around and around the house but brother could not catch sister. They kept on running until they realized they were running across the sky. Sister’s brighter fire became the sun and Brothers dimmer light became the moon. Today you can still see Sister Sun and Brother Moon running circles across the sky.

Schwester Sonne und Bruder Mond

Vor langer Zeit, als das einzige Licht in der Welt Feuer war, lebten die Menschen in großen, runden Häusern. In ein solches Haus rannte ein Bruder immer seiner Schwester um das Feuer herum nach. Einmal, während dem sie um das Feuer herum lief, packte die Schwester einen hell brennenden Stab und ging aus dem Haus, um ihren Bruder zu entkommen. Der Bruder aber dann packte einen kleinen Zweig, der weniger hell brannte, und lief ihr nach. Sie liefen im Kreis um das Haus herum, aber der Bruder konnte nicht die Schwester nicht fangen. Sie rannten bis sie erkannten, dass sie am Firmament gingen. Das helle Feuer der Schwester wurde die Sonne und das schwächere Licht des Bruders wurde der Mond. Noch heute kann man sehen wie Schwester Sonne und Bruder Mond am Himmel kreisen.

Sorella Sole e Fratello Luna

Molto tempo fa, quando l’unica luce del mondo era il fuoco, la gente viveva in grandi case rotonde. In una casa un fratello avrebbe sempre inseguire la sorella intorno al fuoco. Una volta, durante il giro intorno al fuoco, la sorella ha afferrato un bastone luminoso ardente e si diresse fuori la casa per sfuggire al suo fratello, ma lui poi afferrò un piccolo ramoscello che bruciava meno brillante e corse dietro. Correvano intorno e intorno alla casa ma fratello non poteva prendere la sorella. Hanno continuato a correre fino che essi sono reso conto che corrono attraverso il cielo. Il fuoco brillante della sorella divenne il sole e la luce del fratello divenne la luna. Oggi è ancora possibile di vedere la Sorella Sole e il Fratello Luna giranti attraverso il cielo.