December 2017
News from Norway

Dear lovers of the wilds, fellows, friends!

For over a month now, there is ‘skiføre’ in Nord-Østerdalen, snow conditions which fit skiing. Thanks to mild temperatures, the snow has packed already and then got a cover of fine powder. The sun hardly reaches the tree tops on its low winter course, but gives a wonderful, warm coloured light, which helps to forget the cold. The old year is drawing to a close and the new one can be sensed in the air. A good reason to send this newsletter.

Today’s topics:

Ski Touring in Norway: Snow Magic(picture)

Snow Magic in Norway

An enthusiastic guest recently published this account of last year’s ‘NORDIC WINTER Backcountry Skiing Experience’ in the ski magazine ‘Snow’. Impressive pictures, descriptions and thoughts give a very personal and vivid picture of the tour.

This article is in German. In case you don’t understand the text, just enjoy the pictures!

Many thanks to Volker for this exciting contribution and the beautiful pictures! Thanks also to the editors and publishers of the ski magazine ‘Snow’ who made this article available for so many people.

Did the article spark your interest? Here is the full description of all my winterprograms:

Wolves, Bears, Predators: The Teachers of Nature (picture)

Messages from The Predators (1)

Big predators like bears and wolves oftentimes cause strong, conflicting emotions in us. Awe and admiration on the one, fear and burning hatred on the other side. But little attention we pay to what else these ‘dangerous’ animals can cause in us.

Perhaps you remember the wolf hunt which was planned to take place last winter. The wolves got off lightly, because the hunt was canceled after strong protest from the public. Also for this winter a wolf hunt was planned, but this time the World Wildlife Fund stopped it by a legal action. The hunt will not take place, but friends and enemies of the wolves are highly engaged in an argument again.

It’s a quarrel known from many other countries. And the dispute is repeated in concern of all the other big predators: bears, gluttons, lynx, golden eagles and many more. The presence of big predators causes complex problems for us people in fact. I wrote earlier about it, have a look at the Newsletter-Archives. Here, I’d like to talk about something else.

For perhaps thousands of years, the Naro San Bushmen in today’s Botswana have told their children the world’s probably shortest bedtime story: “A long time ago, the lions ate a lot of us.” And to stress the seriousness ot the story, they repeat: “They ate a lot of us.” That’s the whole story, which Jon Young cought at one of his regular visits there. And he observed what happens then: the kids get big eyes, their ears seem to grow, all senses turn on, and electrified the children look, listen, smell, feel, sense out into the the darkness of the savanna.

When I – rarely enough – come across big predators’ tracks, I get on like the Bushmen kids listening their unusual bedtime story: suddenly I’m fully awake and perceive the world in a multi-dimensional way. This ought to be our normal state of mind, but numbed as we are today, our perception circles around no more than the thoughts inside our skulls. But then you bump up against this, well, massive turd, full of remnants of ants or blueberries, depending on the season. And bang! you hit the here and now of the forest, all thoughts about the shopping list for the weekend extinct from your memory. Here and now, what otherwise takes years of meditation, the bear gets you there within seconds by – see above.

It is remarkable that the dangers which might arise from meeting a big predator are warded off in that same moment. When being present, I’ll know in good time, where the animal is hanging out and what it’s being up to, so I can avoid a meeting. The animals themselves do so, that’s why they are so elusive. And the Bushmen and their children do the same, who, therefore, can fall asleep relieved, even if hungry lions and hyenas sneak around the village.

As modern humans, we experience the presence of big predators as a terrible nuisance, because they might pounce on us out of the dark zones of our awareness, and startle us from our everyday’s trot. Instead we could see the presence of these animals as an invitation to light up the blind spots with our senses, and embrace not only them, but the whole world with our awareness. For giving us a reminder of this possibility, for giving us this wake up call, we could even be thankful to these animals.

The big predators can do much more to us than just help expand our awareness. What else they keep for us, is a topic for the newsletters to come.

Jon Young: The 512 Project (picture)

Cultural Secrets of Connection

The 512 Project is going to become Jon Young’s legacy. Having studied connective cultures all over the globe for his lifetime, he is now gathering all the valuable knowledge at this one place. For a limited time, you can get access to the distilled secrets which connect people to people, nature, and themselves.

The 512 Project is in ongoing development. There is a map of directions, which follows the natural cycle of life. Step by step, the white spaces of the map get filled, adding to the mosaic of knowledge. Having backed the project from the beginning, I was lucky to see it grow. Today, I partnered with the project to help spread the word and make the next steps possible.

If you’re interested in understanding the secrets of a connective culture, the 512 Project gives you a detailed and expanding view behind the scenes. I can highly recommend it!

Winter Solstice in Norway: Wilderness Life (picture)

Turning Point Winter Solstice

Nordic winter makes us feel it clearly: as more the sun retreats below the horizon, the fires of life shrink to embers, the energies turn inward. It’s time to reflect and to look ahead. Before something new can arise, the old shall be released and a vision of the coming created. It’s a turning point, worth to pass consciously.

I wish you all to find the time and leisure to do so. Allow yourself to look back at what did connect you during the last, and find out how you could do better in the coming year; what the blocks were and how you might resolve them; what you are good at and how you could shine your light still brighter; where you were guided and where this path might lead to further on; what has bound you in the past, and what you could let go. Imagine, how your connections could become to be, and how you could make this vision become real, step by step. I hope my work can contribute to that, even if it might be just a little.

I’d like to thank you for supporting me and my relations throughout this year, and for recommending Wilderness Life to others. This was, and is really helpful! For every new newsletter sign up, I’ll continue to donate 80,- nok (about 10,- eur) to the Indigenous Environmental Network. This non-profit organization supports indigenous communities in protecting sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both their people and all living things, and building economically sustainable communities.

So, please continue to ask your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances, and forward this newsletter to them! Everybody who’s interested can sign up for the newsletter here:

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Have fun reading!

I wish you a contemplative time, nice holidays, and a connected new year 2018!

Kind regards from Norway

Thoralf

Nordic Winter: Cold Camp in Norway (picture)

PS: I’m sorry for the speech mistakes you may have noticed: I’m not a native speaker and still in training.

 

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