40-day museum hermit

Ansuman Biswas has been selected by the Manchester (UK) Museum as its “hermit” in residence for a 40-day period, June 27 to August 5. Buswas will be alone and in silence in the Museum’s tower, functioning as “living art” among the 4+ million pieces in the collection of the Museum.

A museum spokeswoman said: “By documenting his existence in isolation through blogging and webcam we hope that he will become the museum’s ultimate exhibit.”


URL of the Manchester Museum hermit’s blog: http://manchesterhermit.wordpress.com/

Tenzin Palmo today

A Guardian interview of Tenzin Palmo, the English-born Buddhist nun in Tibetan tradition. The colorful title is “I Spent Twelve Years in a Cave.” Her story is an enduring (and endearing) one, made familiar in the biography Path in the Snow, by Vicki Mackenzie. Tenzin Palmo founded the Dongyo Datsal Ling Nunnery, which is the focus of her website.

URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/15/buddhist-retreat-religion-first-person

Brought to our attention by a friend of Hermitary.

Pete Seeger: hermit honesty

American folk singer Pete Seeger, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, tells a Voice of America News interviewer of a youthful desire built of rebellion:

As a teenager, Seeger says, he didn’t aspire to music, but to live in the woods. “I said I’m going to be a hermit. That’s the only way you can be honest in this world of hypocrisy. And I really meant it. I remember wondering, could I be a forest ranger? I went to a school where you learned to use an axe. And three days a week I was out there chopping trees.”

He returned to what his parents had surrounded him with in youth: music, musical instruments, and singing — and the rest is history. But Seeger still chops wood everyday and still lives in the log cabin he and his wife built in 1949 in Fishkill, New York.

URL: http://www.voanews.com/english/Entertainment/2009-05-12-voa14.cfm

Promoting silence

Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton is trying to designate Hoh Rain Forest (in the Olympic National Park in Washington State) the first National Quiet Place in the U.S.

Hempton is touring the country promoting his book, “One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World.” From an article in The Peninsula Daily News. His blog is One Square Inch.

How did Hempton come to such a calling?

A scare drove Hempton to take up his mission with fresh fervor five years ago. His hearing started to disappear for reasons his doctors couldn’t name. It was as if he were foreshadowing Beethoven, about to be robbed of his symphonies.

Hempton has his suspicions as to the triggers of his hearing loss. He worked on a loud train-recording project and has had infections — but never learned the cause of the problem that turned out to be temporary.

He regained 100 percent of his hearing after several months.

“I am thankful every day,” he said.

Brought to our attention by a friend of Hermitary.