Frankly, I am perplexed. I am well aware that I'm an odd person, odder than the regular allotted portion of oddness allowed by social norms. But, is it really so weird to love hermits?
Okay, it's not like I have a hermit photo collage on my wall (even if I wanted to I probably wouldn't, it's hard to get photos of hermits for obvious reasons). I've got a bit of a crush on the lifestyle, not any individual hermit, per say. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that the hermit way is a good one.
The secret is in the solitude. The traditional hermit has been reduced to an image of a crusty, bearded character-usually missing teeth, but the allure is not in the hermit but the hermitage. The place which the hermit resides, alone. The solitude. Solitude in not loneliness. Solitude is being content with your own company. There is something about being alone that is extremely frightening to the modern world.
I find this fear everywhere. As if social networking, and the invention of the "status update" weren't proof enough. As a society we are so afraid to be alone we will connect with complete strangers, just to connect. Even if that connection is meaningless. I hear it particularly related to those of my friends that are single, or rather trying to avoid being single. Solitude is the answer. If you don't want to hang out with you, than why should any one else?
But what's the difference, if the result is still - alone? Fret not, it's simple. Loneliness is something forced on you, you choose solitude. In that choice is the magic of being able to be by yourself without feeling that something is missing. I find my optimum solace in the dead of the night, when my house is sleeping. I can curl up with book, a cup of tea, a sketchbook whatever pleases me and just swim around in my own thoughts. Try solitude in small doses, it's quickly addicting.
I'm not thrilled with the entire cabala of the Hermitage, while I will delight in my solitude stolen in the gloaming hours of night and continue to day dream of a hermit's life, you won't find me wandering the woods in rope sandals just yet.