RT , Siberian Times on Agafia

Hermitary readers will be familiar with Agafia Lykov, the Siberian hermit and Old Believer. (Find more on Agafia in this blog, photos in Features, video in Films, and a review of the book Lost in the Taiga.)

RT visited Agafia and prepared a summary “Agafia’s Story: Old hermit lives alone deep in Siberian forest, seeks help” in preparation for premiering a documentary film.

URL: http://rt.com/news/188532-russia-agafia-siberian-forest/

An additional item with an emphasis on the difficult straits of Agafia expected in the upcoming winter months is presented by <i>Siberian Times</i> as “Bear threatens the loneliest woman in Russia who begs for a companion to join in hermit lifestyle.”

URL: http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/bear-threatens-the-loneliest-woman-in-russia-who-begs-for-a-companion-to-join-in-her-hermit-lifestyle/

Silence & the brain

A Nautilus Magazine article on the neuroscience of silence titled “This is Your Brain on Silence.” A popularized review of the scientific research that demonstrates, surprisingly to many, that the brain is actively and positively stimulated by silence as much as by sound. The brain deteriorates as excessive sound or noise assaults the body via blood pressure increases and cellular changes. Further, silence promotes a higher sense of alertness and consciousness. Investigators mentioned ranged from neuroscientists and cardiologists to musicians naturally interested in the neurological role of silence in musical compositions, and tourism marketers seeking to promote Finland’s abundance of silence. From the article:

Noora Vikman, an ethnomusicologist … lives in the eastern part of Finland, an area blanketed with quiet lakes and forests. In a remote and quiet place, Vikman says, she discovers thoughts and feelings that aren’t audible in her busy daily life. “If you want to know yourself you have to be with yourself, and discuss with yourself, be able to talk with yourself.”

URL: http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-your-brain-on-silence; summary:

Clockworker’s solitude

A New York Times article about art historian turned antique clock restorer Sule Gurbuz of Turkey, who pursued the job because of its ample solitude. From the article “A Clock Restorer Makes Time for Solitude”:

“The clocks at the palaces were all mostly broken, or at least they seemed to be in very bad shape,” she said. “I thought if I could learn this job, I could be by myself, listen to music, read books, not be completely hermetic but maybe 90 percent,” she said smiling. “It seemed wonderful to me.”

“I enjoy being a clock restorer, to make a life that is different from that of other people,” Ms. Gurbuz said. “But mostly I love my job because it has helped me make this dream of a life, to work alone.”

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/fashion/a-clock-restorer-makes-time-for-solitude.html