Between Quiet and Solitude

Pegasus Books, Berkeley.
Pegasus Books, Berkeley.

This photograph has been deliberately fuzzed. That’s how my mind was and generally is when in a bookshop of any size. I’m an admirer of book covers, the design and fonts used, the colours and lately the plastic covers. Shining paper is giving way to mat flexible plastic. Feels good in the hand. But, I rarely look inside. I’m not there to buy I’m there because the door’s generally open and I’m irresistibly drawn into the cavern of yet to be explored delights. But, I don’t get past the covers, often.

I know a genuine writer who writes real books, which have been published. The most recent one Every Blade of Grass as a Kindle edition. At Pegasus I made a half-hearted attempt to find him on a shelf, his books, but not having my glasses cut the project short. He says that writers are readers and more importantly, for me, that readers are writers. Aspiring to be a genuine writer I guess I’ll have to get past the covers sooner rather than later. In the mean time books covers are lovely.

But that wasn’t what I had intended to write about tonight. I was sent a link to the most incredible story which I’ve been READING, on and off, for most of the day. The title of the news article is The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. It is an amazing story of a twenty year old chap who camped out in the woods in Central Maine…for 27 years. He survived by stealing food and supplies as well as books and magazines. It is a gripping tale. I was anticipating a sad ending but no. He went to jail, got a seven months sentence and let out on the understanding he wouldn’t return to the woods. He went back home to live with his mother.

When asked what insight he had into life truths while he was alone in the woods he eventually said, Get enough sleep! Then…

He set his jaw in a way that conveyed he wouldn’t be saying more. This is what he’d learned. I accepted it as truth.

“What I miss most,” he eventually continued, “is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness.”

Thanks to Julius for the link.

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6 thoughts on “Between Quiet and Solitude”

  1. He spoke mountains with a few words. It is hard to live in a city and find this stillness in spaces around you which may be few and/or far between. The stillness we as Zen practitioners find, lies within our meditation. I think he found it too – naturally present.

    1. I found this whole story really very interesting. That somebody could live that long under extreme conditions undiscovered, robbing to survive which involves a whole lot of stress and coming through the whole thing with an appreciation of stillness amazes me.

  2. Rev. Mugo,
    Related to reading in a small way I have always wanted to read many of the early posts you have done. Today I figured out the best way. When reading the current day I am going back through the archives and reading the same days posts from there.
    Its not so overwelming and gives way to many things to think upon.

    1. You know, sometimes I also go back a year to see what I was doing and saying and thinking. To be honest reading old posts is like reading what somebody else wrote and sometimes there is helpful teaching in them!

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