Tuesday, July 07, 2015

How I long for the Hermit life.

ntFor nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Uil one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest 

"But you must have thought about things," I said. "About your life, about the human condition."

Chris became surprisingly introspective. "I did examine myself," he said. "Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

Michael Finkel. GQ.

I must admit that when i read this article which appeared on fb I was captivated by the fact that here was a guy who did it; removed himself from having anything to do with humanity other than unfortunately steal from it to survive. How i wish i could have done the same was my selfish thoughts, at least in my present context of having my children and friends and relatives around me. But had i the guts and know how I would have done the same especially when I was living in Wisconsin pretty much free from real attachment and commitment after my divorce. I could have disappeared too and lived out in the woods somewhere, but the thought of the Wisconsin winters persuaded me otherwise. 
Later years when I was living two blocks away from the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco where i used to explore every chance i got I stumbled one day upon two tents hidden from view in a secluded area of the Park. There tents were totally enveloped by the undergrowth that i had to crawl through to get that there was no way anyone can detect their presence from outside until one spotted the tunnel like entry in the bushes and out of sheer curiosity crawl in to find out which I did. Lo and behold there were people living in them there woods and I crawled out as fast as i could for fear of being discovered for breaking and entering. 
I was married by then and so the experience did not move me to take on the idea back then but it did made me feel envious of the lifestyle. I realized deep within me that i never did cherish living the normal life among others unless i really had to and unfortunately I had to most of my life. These days I am getting the itch to get off my butt and hit the road again just to be on my own and away from people and especially the humdrum of the city life. The fasting month gave me the excuse to stay pretty much indoors and devote my time to reading and writing and do my painting whenever it moves me to. Call it being lazy or lack of this or that, but if push comes to shove so to speak, I would rather die alone in the forest somewhere doing what I love most ; nothing.
Having spent almost two months at the foothills of Lintang, in the inner Belantik, Sik area of Kedah was one of the best time I had in my life even though I did have to work along with the locals on the organic farm, it was in a way an added bonus as most of the time i was pretty much left to myself to do as I pleased. Perhaps as my son Karim mentioned once i was escaping from life of which I did not reply at once as i felt it wild lead on to an argument, but i just told him it is not an escape, i call it a retreat. Later on during one of my verbal unleash on him about doing the most simple things for himself like picking after himself or closing the gate, doing his own laundry and so forth, i said to him this is what i retreat from, escape from as you see it. I felt like most of my worries and anxieties stems from caring about others, how they are, happy or otherwise, if they need this or that or wondering if they had any idea what or where they are headed. I worry about every little thing which to the individual themselves are often overlooked as trivial. Now that i am being diagnosed with high blood, pressure it is not a good trait to have even if the continuous practice of meditation has helped somewhat. However i am still far from able to detach myself from caring about the welfare of others especially my own kids even if they feel otherwise. I take a retreat from what is going on in my country politically and economically which is on the way to becoming akin to the Greek meltdown. Racial bigotry is on the rise and the so called democratic process is fast becoming a farce. The country is no doubt headed for a big time shakedown and how or when is just a matter of time. 
Hence what is there to do but to take a step back and view all these from the fringe and do what I can if and when i have anything worthwhile to contribute but being in the middle of it all is not really a healthy place to be for my age and with my handicap of  being prone to a high blood pressure attack every time I get excited. So in the meantime staying put where I am doing as little as i can and remaining detached from making any in depth judgement over anything is best for me. And I know, this too will pass.

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