Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: Solitude by Robert Kull

“In many cultures, solitude is recognized as an opportunity to journey inward; in our culture, spending time alone is often considered to be unhealthy because we tend to believe that meaning in life is found only through relationship with other people … one of the challenges of solitude is that you have to face yourself.”

Robert Kull is an extraordinary man. In 2001, he put together sufficient supplies to last one year, then he traveled to a remote island in the Patagonian wilderness with the idea of exploring the effects that deep solitude might have on body and mind.

Years before, a motorcycle accident had left him with only one leg, so, right away, one knows that the physical challenge would be greater than might otherwise have been the case. But does that physical challenge even come close to the mental one?

In Solitude (New World Library) Kull’s prose is journal spare: a deep thinker’s notes to himself. “Rock-sitting in the evening rain,” he writes on December 4, 2001, “and then a shift. Light, that seems to come from beyond, floods my soul and brings love, peace, beauty and the gift of Life.”

And the answers he found?

“Some of those answers cannot be put into words,” writes Kull, “but I hope they have come drifting up between the lines of my journal.”

Some of them have.

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