This Slate article by Monte Reel describes “The Most Isolated Man on the Planet,” the last member of a Brazilian Amazon tribe slowly brought to extinction by ranching and logging. As the article notes,
He’s an Indian, and Brazilian officials have concluded that he’s the last survivor of an uncontacted tribe. They first became aware of his existence nearly 15 years ago and for a decade launched numerous expeditions to track him, to ensure his safety, and to try to establish peaceful contact with him. In 2007, with ranching and logging closing in quickly on all sides, government officials declared a 31-square-mile area around him off-limits to trespassing and development. It’s meant to be a safe zone. He’s still in there. Alone.
An article titled “Local hermit’s diary re-emerges after 20 years in Marco garage”
in the Marco Island Sun Times describes Naranjan, a hermit living on Dismal Island, among the Ten Thousand Islands, off southwest Florida.
Naranjan kept a diary of life on the island, a diary recently brought to light by a local captain who knew the hermit. Naranjan lived in a 1930’s-built shack, and began the diary in the 1980’s, highlighted by his experience of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The last entry before he apparently disappeared reads poignantly: “”Verdi’s Requiem w/Red Belly’s and Cardinals.”
Two Orthodox hermit nuns in a North Yorkshire monastery are interviewed in a 2002 article titled “And Then There Were Two” in the Guardian. The nuns live in separate hermitages, pursuing creative projects and spiritual practices, meeting for meals. And they grant the Guardian reporter an interview because they are seeking recruits. Brought to our attention by a friend of Hermitary.
One of the two nuns at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption mentioned in the article, Mother Thekla, has been well-known in British circles as a scholar and translator of religious works as well as a creative inspiration and librettist for the contemporary British composer John Tavener, with whom she broke communications because of his growing interest in Hinduism, as mentioned in a Telegraph article in 2003.
“Solitude” is a series of eleven woodcuts by contemporary Japanese artist Naoko Matsubara.
“Solitude” is presented as reflections on Henry David Thoreau. The style is expressionistic, wherein Matsubara strives to show the inner energy in living beings such as trees. To recognize this quality of sentient beings requires a sensitivity to solitude, for it sets aside our own consciousness to identify fully with — in this case — trees.
Solitude is Thoreau’s physical and intellectual setting, and the woodcuts seem to derive energy as much from his inspiration as from the physical beings themselves. Trees find their liberation into a charged nature sanctified by Thoreau’s presence.
A further clue into understanding the art is that fact that Matsubara was brought up in the Shinto tradition, which identifies closely the spiritual in living objects.