Knock, knock. Who’s there? Me!

Hermitation is a strange condition. Of course, by its very nature, hermitation is an unknown situation and can only be experienced under very peculiar circumstances. For example, since a hermit passes nearly all his/her time without seeing or speaking to another human being, a particular environment is necessary – one with no people.

This happens to be my exact situation. There are no roads, no power lines, no phone lines anywhere near me. The nearest town is 40 kms upriver. There are a few neighbors scattered along the shoreline, but widely spaced – the nearest is half a kilometer away. Behind me are thousands of acres of primary rain forest.

Although I talk to no humans for long periods of time, I talk to myself fairly constantly, especially while engaged in mundane tasks such as cooking or cleaning or daily walks through the forest. During these times I talk quite a lot, scream sometimes, cry sometimes. I also talk to the animals and plants I live with. They’re good listeners, but rarely speak, and when they do it’s a language I don’t always understand.

Usually the talking helps organize my thoughts about a particular idea or analysis or related to work (writing). At other times, it’s simply a constant stream of free association – in essence, sheer nonsense. But occasionally this string of nonsense will hit on something truly hilarious and I’ll laugh all evening.

Even hermits can have fun . . .


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