A Canadian-Jewish version of the story of Agafya Lykov, Russian Siberian hermit familiar to Hermitary readers, is pursued by a group of young writers, reported in the Canadian Jewish News as “Letters From a Hermit Raised In The Siberian Wilderness.” The drama is presented as an exchange of correspondence.
Ancient Origins offers a quick overview of hermits in history as a background to a story on Russian man Pavel Sapozhnikov’s experiment in living in wilderness alone in “Challenge Accepted: 6 Months as a Medieval Hermit in Russia.” The latter is a 2013 Russian-language film titled “Alone in the Past — Surviving the Russian Winter, 9th-Century Style” presented in a reality television style.
A BuddhistDoor item titled “Discovering Oneself in Woodland Solitude”reflects on the German concept of waldeinsamkeit, a term meaning solitude without loneliness or alienation while i woodland. The article reflects on how this feeling of reassuring solitude is evoked in natural settings such as forests. This article pairs well with the many current discussions of the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or forest-bathing.
In an article titled “Japan’s Most Interesting Newspaper is for Recluses, by Recluses,” the website Atlas Obscura reports on a Japanese newspaper addressed to and run by hikikomori, the young urban recluses of Japan.
“Naohiro Kimura, a 34 year old from Tokyo, launched Hikikomori Shimbun (Hikikomori News) in November 2016, after emerging from a decade spent as hikikomori, when he couldn’t bring himself to take his law school entrance exams and instead shut himself in to study. Hikikomori Shimbun, which publishes every alternate month, profiles individual hikikomori and provides news and resources for recluses and their parents, such as a list of events and support groups focused on reintegrating this collective of outcasts.”
The Telegraph reports on a Scottish hermit living in a remote forest rescued after he pressed the emergency button on his personal locator beacon. The device, his only piece of technology, signaled a medical emergency. Roger Milliard, in his seventies, “built his simple home, which has a gravel floor, in the mid-1980s near a remote loch … [he] has no running water or electricity in the log cabin, but a stream runs beside it and he bathes by lighting a fire under an outdoor bath.”
“I Nuovi Eremiti” is an Italian-language “blog dedicated to new hermits, metropolitan monks, and contemplatives. Articles, reviews, experiences, new communities and more. The blog aims to be a virtual meeting point for those laypersons who live experiences of contemplative life, eremitism, semi-eremitism, and for those who live following the principles of internalized monasticism.” The site is run by the anonymous “Pilgrim” since 2008. Entries are infrequent but useful in identifying the Catholic tradition of hermit spirituality in the contemporary world.
Media site Insider offers an item titled “Intimate photos show what it’s really like to be a modern-day hermit.” Among the hermits are some familiar, some less so: Rachel Denton (UK), Masafumi Nagasaki (Japan), Barry Edgar Pilcher (Ireland), Viktor (Siberia), Sostis (Greece), Valentin Pantin, wife Ekaterina, and four children, (Russia), Yiorgos (Greece), and several others.
India Today adds an update titled “See the daily routine an Old Believer hermit living in Siberia” re Agafya Lykov, the Russian hermit living in Siberia, who is regularly reported on in this blog and is the subject of several film documentaries. In December 2018, the 74-year old Agafya contacted a journalist because she lacked essential supplies, and a delivery of food, medicine and hay were delivered. Includes a short video from Ruptly (Russia Today, RT); see below.