Although I am not living on an island, it sometimes feels like it.
Unless I make the three mile trek to town I hear no human voices. The only footprints around the house are from feathered or furry friends. I don’t mind the isolation, or should I call it insulation? Insulation protects from outside perils.
Without the moon nights have been pitch black. It is a joy to see the sun rise in the morning. Some days there is fog drifting down from the mountains, slowly burning off, giving way to a breath-taking scenery. Those moments make up for the long, dark nights and gray, rainy days.
“The isolation spins its mysterious cocoon,
focusing the mind on one place, one time, one rhythm
– the turning of the light.
The island knows no other human voices, no other footprints.”
M. L. Stedman
I have not read Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans”, which is apparently a novel about a couple living in a remote lighthouse.
”There is something that appeals to the human psyche about lighthouses because of their isolation. Their presence offers up a marvelous set of dichotomies the human imagination likes to explore – darkness and light, safety and danger, stasis and movement, isolation and communication”, she says.
I have read Bob Kull’s “Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes”, which is a diary about living alone for one year on a remote island off the Patagonian coast. He took his doctoral dissertation very seriously. At age 55, he traveled to Chile with enough supplies to study the effects of deep wilderness solitude on a human being, himself.
“We experience the earth as a stranger we know we should protect for pragmatic or ethical reasons, but until we individually transform our consciousness and come to experience non-human beings as family and the earth as our home, we are unlikely to relax our demands for comfort and security and make the changes necessary for our survival, joy, and sense of belonging.
His dissertation is available online. It’s an easy and interesting read. You can also learn how much stuff you need to bring to survive for one year on an uninhabited island off Patagonia.