I don't know what it is, but I have this deep, abiding attraction to the eremitic life. I've had it as long as I can remember, certainly back through high school, when I read Catherine De Hueck Doherty's Poustinia for the first (then second, then third) time. I devoured Porter's Road to Heaven as soon as I heard about it, and I sat captivated for hours through Gröning's Into Great Silence and Burger's Amongst White Clouds on more than several occasions. OK, on many occasions. I check up on items relating to eremitism and solitude on The Hermitary website. If there's such a thing as eremitic geekdom, I suppose I'm a charter member.
When I put down the book or shut off the DVD player or quit surfing, though, I stop, and I wonder: is this a mere fantasy on my part, or am I telling myself something about myself that I've always known but have never really wanted to hear or act on? It's not totally a fantasy, since I really do keep quiet and alone most of the time, build my schedule around zazen, and try to avoid unnecessary entanglements as best I can.
But I know there's room to go further. Much further. And I'm not there yet.
Not even close.