“Dwelling Alone”

“Dwelling alone” is a recent website by Brian Campbell featuring links to websites and blogs related to solitude and eremitism.

The site also offers an online survey soliciting general information from anyone who has lived alone. Information gathered will be part of research towards a Ph.D. dissertation at Emory University titled “Alone in America: Solitude, Nature, and the Sacred from Walden to the World Wide Web.” Brian describes his work as “a history of solitude in America, culminating with analysis of the fascinating but largely hidden flourishing of contemporary hermits.”

Brian has communicated with Hermitary and encourages Hermitary readers to participate in the survey.

URL: http://dwellingalone.org

Fate of CT “Leather Man”

An article titled “Let Private ‘Leather Man’ Rest in Peace, Teachers Says” in lohud.com, which provides local news for the lower Hudson Valley, New York and Connecticut, describes a controversy over the fate of the remains of the “Leather Man.”

As a team of scientists prepares to exhume the body of the famed “Leather Man,” a Connecticut resident is advocating to leave the mysterious 19th-century figure alone. In November, the Ossining Historical Society received approvals from the state Supreme Court to dig up the obscure leather-clad wanderer so forensic testing could be conducted on his remains. The society owns Sparta Cemetery, where the Leather Man was buried in 1889.

Donald Johnson, a Connecticut school teacher, opposes the exhumation. While the remains will be relocated to a safer site, the intent of the exhumation to extract DNA for research purposes, is wrong, argues Johnson, who launched a web site to express his opposition to the historical society’s plans.

URL: http://www.lohud.com/article/20110509/NEWS02/105090319/Let-private-Leather-Man-rest-peace-teacher-says?

This article is updated by a Huffington Post article.

URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-goldsmith/exhuming-the-leather-man-_b_862032.html

Br. Paul, “Night-time hermit”

Brother Paul Quenon is interviewed for the PBS “Religion and Ethics” program. He was inspired by the example of Thomas Merton to become a monk, and has since published several books of poetry.

The lumber shed at the Abbey of Gethsemani in northern Kentucky. It’s late February. Each night at 8:00, Brother Paul Quenon walks to the shed, as he has every night for 20 years. He goes around back, where he finds his mattress. This is where he will sleep—outdoors, no matter the weather.

BROTHER PAUL QUENON (The Abbey of Gethsemani): I can’t be a full-time hermit, but I can be a night-time hermit, and there’s something about waking up in the middle of the night, and there’s nobody around. There’s a kind of an edge of solitude that you cannot experience in any other way.

Both a video and a transcript of the program are available on the website.

URL: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/may-6-2011/brother-paul/8764/