The most famous, the most celebrated, hermits and recluses are men: Thoreau, of course, but also Christopher McCandless who lived (and died) alone in Alaska, as portrayed in the film Into the Wild (2007); J D Salinger, a recluse after the success of The Catcher in the Rye (1951) until his death in 2010; the polar explorer Richard Byrd, author of the memoir Alone (1938); the American poet Thomas Merton who became a Trappist monk.


6 thoughts on “Spellbound

  1. Nothing quite like having the freedom to listen to life ~ very wise words, and something I’d expect to hear from you 🙂

    There is something about getting out of the everyday grind of life, and escaping to solitude. At times, it feels as if it could be the greatest thing to escape and live a life with nature – the life of a hermit so to speak. However, I think happiness becomes much richer when shared…it was Chris McCandless who wrote that “Happiness is only real when shared” and I think there is a lot of truth to those words. Wish you a great weekend!

    • The whole story was at least in part, about the Hermit I wrote you about… I read an interesting article about him the other day (http://www.gq.com/story/the-last-true-hermit)… and his words were touching me:
      “Isn’t everybody, he said, seeking the same thing in life? Aren’t we all looking for contentment? He was never happy in his youth—not in high school, not with a job, not being around other people. Then he discovered his camp in the woods. “I found a place where I was content,” he said. His own perfect spot. The only place in the world he felt at peace.”…

      Don’t start asking me why, please 🙂

      Wish you a great weekend, too.

    • Reasearch says there are now as many as 1000 hermits in Italy, with several hundred more dotted across Europe and the US.

      However, instead of long, flowing beards and cave dwellings, the modern hermit can usually be found in a city apartment, and is even sometimes connected to the internet for convenience…. with or without cats:)

      How are you, my dear? Still freezing there?

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