Vivre sur la Terre – the French Edition of Living on the Earth

Cover of Vivre sur la Terre

See a flip book of the covers and opening pages, click here.

Here is an English translation of the introduction to the book written by the editor at Editions Ulmer, Lila Hervé-Gruyer.

“How Living on the Earth became Vivre sur la Terre…

“The story of this book is magical. For several years, I have dreamed of getting my hands on this mysterious book, but second-hand copies are sold at a high price on the Internet. One day, I came across a website that sold the Spanish version. When I received it, I was moved.

“Alicia’s drawings and words resonate very strongly with me. This 19 year old hippie embodies a freedom, a simplicity and a carefree attitude that we miss today. An almost dreamed life, a total commitment. Alicia proposes to live like a flowing river or a growing tree. To live in the middle of nature, in community, out of the consumer society and far from capitalism.

“50 years after the first edition of Living on the Earth, the biosphere is enoxerably degrading and anxiety is rising, even faster than the ocean level. Alicia reminds us that ecological movements are not new. Today too often derided, the hippies had the courage to question the very foundations of a capitalist society. It does a lot of good to delve into their legacy, full of struggles and inventiveness. Reading Alicia, the answer is here, almost obvious, in front of our eyes. I am convinced that living on love alone is not naive, but one of the possible solutions to face this ecological crisis. A fair, beautiful, desirable, joyful and fun path.

“One day, I bring this treasure to the office, to share with my colleagues. This hippie bible is a literary UFO! A bestseller that has gone around the world, translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish… And sold more than 350,000 copies for the American version.

“We bet with Emmanuelle and Antoine, Ulmer’s managers, that it could work. I contacted Alicia who quickly told me that the book would be published in English to celebrate its 50th birthday! What a happy coincidence, life is well done. Virginie started translating and Alicia agreed to rewrite everything by hand in French, a language she does not speak. Once the translation is finalized, Alicia starts writing, courageously. She spends more than 6 days on some pages. Until she injures her hand and the project comes to a halt.

“That’s where Harmonie the aptly named comes in. I was working with this potter-designer-artist on another book. I had shown her Alicia’s book and she too had fallen in love with it. She often asked me about the translation and I was disappointed to tell her that it wasn’t going well… Until I received a handwritten note from Harmonie: her handwriting looked like Alicia’s! So Harmonie started to rewrite the book with a lot of enthusiasm. 248 pages later, Agathe proofreads, Camille prepares the files, it goes to the printer’s.

“This is why you can now hold this precious book in your hands. The moving testimony of an emancipated young woman living as close to nature as possible, patiently rewritten to be as close as possible to the original. Because in 2022, we continue to have a great need for Peace and Love.

“I wish you all to live closer to the flowers!”

Lila Hervé-Gruyer

Artist Bill Wheeler’s story of my coming to live on his land in southwestern Sonoma County, in 1969

“Round, brown eyes, round, young body and round, curly brown hair, Alicia spoke softly but with assurance. After thinking quietly for a while, she asked me if I knew of any coffee houses where she could play and sing for money. Shortly before dark, she dressed warmly and set out to find a place to stay. My concern over her welfare that rainy night was unfounded as I discovered a few days later when she returned to the studio, bursting with merriment, and related her adventures. She had been welcomed at several people’s houses and was planning to go back to the city, get her things and come back to stay.

“Gray weeks passed before I saw her again. This time, Alicia wore the air of an established resident and nothing else. When most folks were still in warm sweaters, Alicia could be seen wandering around in the fog without a stitch of clothes, a book or some sewing under her arm. When the sun began to warm the air the following spring, she was in the garden almost every day, doing yoga and tending the vegetables. She was the only community member who gardened regularly that second summer. Without her care, the community garden would have never started. In those days she was also the only person on the Ridge who was neither ‘without income’ nor on welfare. She generated income from various creative projects which she sold, an activity then unique among Open Landers.

“Alicia began working on an intercommunal newsletter, describing in unpretentious script and with simple line drawings the basic skills needed by newcomers to live primitively in an isolated, rural community. She demonstrated with childlike fluidity how to build a shelter, shit in the ground, chop wood, have a baby, etc. The project took her over a year, during which time she left with the winter ’69 exodus that took many Ridge residents further north into Humbolt County.

“When she returned the next summer, she announced that the newsletter had grown into a book which was being privately financed and published by a Berkeley publisher with the title Living On The Earth. It turned out to be a phenomenon, the first edition of 10,000 selling out in three weeks. One copy found its way to Bennett Cerf at Random House. Delighted and impressed, Cerf bought the book and Alicia, now Alicia Bay Laurel, was sent on a national promotional tour to explain to America the joys of Open Land living. By the following Christmas, Living On The Earth had become a best seller with 150,000 copies sold. It engendered much sympathy and interest in a simple, non-technical life style. Whatever it was we were doing together on the land, people were hungry to know more.”

Alicia Bay Laurel, Wheeler Ranch, Bill Wheeler
July 31, 2017 – I visit Bill Wheeler at his homebuilt house and art studio on his land, six months before his death early the following year. Photo by Karin Lease.

In 2017, Kireei, a Spanish magazine about natural style, wrote a crowdfunding plea for the Spanish edition of Living on the Earth. It exists today as Viviendo en la Tierra.


Alicia Bay Laurel en Tokio, 1974, vestida en una blusa y una falda que
ella diseñó y hizo.

Verkami: Viviendo en la Tierra de Alicia Bay Laurel

por Cristina Camarena | May 25, 2017

Hoy os cuento este proyecto que busca fondos a través de Verkami porque me ha parecido maravilloso. Confieso que no conocía Viviendo en la Tierra de Alicia Bay Laurel, a pesar de ser un bestseller, una guía clásica para la vida natural, bohemia y alternativa en el campo escrita por Alicia Bay Laurel en la comuna Wheeler Ranch en el norte de California a finales de los sesenta. La biblia del movimiento back-to-the-land y las comunas hippies de la década de los setenta que capturó el espíritu de toda una generación.

Viviendo en la Tierra es para aquellos que prefieren cortar leña para el fuego antes que trabajar en una oficina para pagar la factura de la compañía eléctrica. Un libro diseñado sin índices, sin capítulos, sin reglas ni estructuras, un libro que se construye sobre el aprendizaje del día a día.

Escrito e ilustrado a mano por Alicia Bay Laurel cuando esta tenía tan sólo 19 años, como si se tratara de un diario, originalmente fue concebido como una guía destinada exclusivamente a distribuirse internamente entre las comunas. El libro fue publicado por The Bookworks en Berkeley, California y se agotó inmediatamente. Random House lo reeditó en 1971 y vendió más de 350.000 copias en pocos meses convirtiéndose así en un New York Times Bestseller. Viviendo en la Tierra cambió radicalmente la forma de concebir un libro y con su estilo ha influido durante décadas a numerosos artistas y diseñadores.

Kachina ediciones pone en marcha este proyecto, para hacer posible la traducción, edición, impresión y distribución de este mítico libro. Podéis contribuir comprándolo y eligiendo modalidad para las recompensas siguiendo este enlace. Es un proyecto valiente que vale la pena apoyar.

Paginas de Living on the Earth
Un niño, Charley Mikul, con un venado en el bosque, al comunidad hippie, Wheeler Ranch, 1969

La contraportada del libro
, Viviendo en la Tierra
Alicia Bay Laurel tocando una flauta de bambu que ella misma se hizo a sí misma.
La foto fue tomada en la ciudad de Nueva York durante una gira publicitaria de
Living on the Earth en 1971.
Las familias de la comunidad hippie Star Mountain en 1973.

Alicia Bay Laurel, al comunidad hippie Wheeler Ranch al 1969, durante el tiempo
que trabajaba al escribir y dibujar Living on the Earth, mostrando la colcha de
retazos que estaba haciend
o

Lisa Rovner’s Interview of Alicia Bay Laurel for “Wilder” Magazine’s Summer/Fall 2013 issue

Illustrated with art from Living on the Earth. Lisa is a skillful interviewer!

I am happy to say that I’ve now watched Agnes Varda’s joyously surrealist film about her uncle, my artist mentor, Jean “Yanco” Varda, many times. I also linked it to the page in my online store for the blue on blue t-shirt I designed with the Living on the Earth houseboat pages, which arose from my years living at Gate Five, Sausalito. I made a black and white version of the t-shirt as well, with the movie link there too.
Here’s where I found these pages online:

http://www.messageisthemedium.com/sites/default/files/AliciaBayLaurelWILDERSummer-Fall-Final.pdf

Vote for Being of the Sun in the 2022 COVR Awards Contest

Please vote for Being of the Sun in the “iconic book” section of the Coalition for Visionary Resources contest. The ballot is at: https://covr.org/covr-awards-public-voting/ Deadline is April 24th.

Note from Tracee Dunblazier, the president of COVR:

“The important thing for voters to know is that they cannot navigate away from the ballot once it’s begun. They’ll want to have gone through all the entries in the voter’s guide beforehand. Voters must make a choice in every category, even if it’s ‘none-of-the-above’.”

Here’s where to download the voter’s guide!

Author’s statement:

Behold:

I present for your consideration, Being of the Sun, an un-guide for curating your own path to higher consciousness, originally published in 1973, and re-released last October 2021 by Echo Point Books & Media.

In between then and now, Being of the Sun has done yeoman duty, providing ideas for ceremonies in the wild, chants, drone music and music theory, amusing craft projects, healing practices and freedom from dogmatic concepts to wiccans, pagans, Druids and unnameable other free-spirited beings for decades.

I am Alicia Bay Laurel, the author/illustrator/designer of the best-selling early sustainable living classic, Living on the Earth, which is newly in print in its 50th anniversary, 5th English language edition. I’ve created other illustrated books, fine art, and commissioned illustrations, as well as producing/designing/performing/touring eight albums of original and historic music.

I collaborated in 1972-1973 on the text and the music in Being of the Sun with composer, musician, author and philosopher Ramon Sender Barayón, a friend since 1969. I illustrated, designed and hand-lettered Being of the Sun myself.

You can hear me and Ramón improvising our ecstatic music in the soundtrack of the book trailer for our book, Being of the Sun:

I’ve submitted Being of the Sun as an “iconic” book, because it is, in fact, iconic – it’s not just previously published, but a book that has already moved thousands of people around the world to insist on spiritual creativity, freedom of consciousness, and oneness with nature, over the past 49 years.

Here is the history of the book and reader comments:

Here is the book’s page in my store, Indigo With Stars:

Ramón and I also made a recording of the music from the book. He recorded us on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1973. In 2013, I obtained a digital copy of the tape, took it to a recording studio, and had it remastered into a CD.

https://indigowithstars.com/…/songs-from-being-of-the-sun

“Your work still inspires and brings joy to so many!”

Alastair Gordon
Author, Architecture Critic
Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design
New York, New York

“Beautiful Extraordinary Book!”

Brigitte Mars
Herbalist, Professor, Author, Plant Expert, Natural Food Chef

“Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramón Sender Barayón share their vision of yoga, healing, sun songs, moon songs, meditation, ceremonies, communes, solitudes, and more in a how-to format connecting us back to our inner child, naked & free!

“May the holy words found in this book heal the world at a time when we need them most!”

Tracy Conti and Stephen McCarty
Solar Return Shop
Echo Park, Los Angeles, California

“We don’t own or keep much in our lives, but this is one of the most treasured. This book came into our lives and gave us such joy. Wonderful images and genuine words of love and care for the planet and each other. Gratitude each day for the arrival of the Morning Star, bringer of life and joy to each and every living being on this planet.”

Neil and Ness
Getting high on nature


Interview podcast and tea party with herbalist Bianca Scott

Podcast: November 2021 interview of Alicia Bay Laurel by herbalist/skateboarding goddess/millennial bohemian Bianca Scott, broadcast on Spotify.

Writes Bianca: “Alicia Bay Laurel, a pure child of the revolution. We seek the truth as we discuss Alicia’s journey of peace, love, freedom, poltergeists, acid and spirituality. We share our thoughts surrounding The Cockette’s pink velvet cock and balls of sexual anarchy to the power Media has over innocent human beings. For the first time on LifeFlux, I drank tea picked out by my guest. Who would have thought ginger tastes so good in hot water? It was a dream come true to speak with such a bright soul who’s book, Living on the Earth, gave light to my journey just a few years ago. Purchase Alicia Bay Laurel’s handwritten and illustrated, award-winning books and music CDs at aliciabaylaurel.com. If you are human, these books are meant for you. Cheers!”

Jessica King’s video of the Zoom launch event for the movie, Living on the Earth – The Musical, and for the book, Being of the Sun


Artist Jessica King created and hosted the Zoom launch party for Living on the Earth – The Musical, and the book, Being of the Sun, on the autumnal equinox, September 22, 2021.

A diverse group of Alicia Bay Laurel’s friends joined the party and shared their stories. Alicia opened the event by singing the autumn equinox chant from Being of the Sun, accompanying herself on a zither. Here is Jessica’s film of the whole gathering!

The woman in the cover photo is California digital graphic designer and fine artist Karen Tsugawa, who coached Alicia over Zoom , and collaborated with her in creating the digital page layouts of the new editions of Living on the Earth and Being of the Sun, as well as the two book trailers, among other digital design projects.


Indigo With Stars online store makeover

The opening page of the Indigo With Stars online store

I gave my online store a makeover. It has a new function called “Shop by Category” that makes it easy to find whatever you want to see. Just avoid the “Browse All Products” button, unless you love chaos, in which case, be my guest.

It’s at: https://indigowithstars.com/ or you can just click on “Shop” at the top of each page of aliciabaylaurel.com.

Clothing printed with Alicia’s art!

Except for the herb and spice chart from Living on the Earth, which is available printed on an apron.

Top row: “Hippie Hill” post card drawing from 1970, “You are Loved” painting from 2005, “Falling Star” ink and watercolor pencil painting from How to Make Peace, from 2003.

Middle row: “Joe Gallivan playing the Moog Drum” (detail from a concert poster from the 1970s), “Houseboat pages from Living on the Earth” (1969), “Alicia Bay Laurel self-portrait” ink drawing (2013).

Bottom row: “Peace Girl” watercolor pencil painting from How to Make Peace, 2003, “Meditation” page, watercolor pencil painting from How to Make Peace, 2003, and Apron printed with the herb and spice chart from Living on the Earth (1969).

You can browse the entire Indigo With Stars online shop here. There are style and color variants on some of these products, plus some are printed in and shipped from the UK or the EU.