Life Inspiration for How to Live Alone, Together

Inspiration for How to Live Alone, Together


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I am writing this from a village in southwest France where I have been confined for the past four weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that many of us find ourselves in enforced solitude, we have a sustained opportunity to practice being alone with ourselves. This chapter from my book The Art of Solitude tells the story of the Canadian Robert Kull, who in 2001 spent a year by himself in one of the remotest parts of the world. The lessons he learned may now help us live more wisely in lockdown at home. 


Deep Solitude

On Monday, February 5, 2001, a Chilean Navy patrol boat deposited Robert Kull and a kitten on a tiny, uninhabited, rain-and-wind-lashed island off the southern tip of Patagonia. Once his building materials and crates of supplies were unloaded on the beach, the boat departed. It was getting dark. Bob hauled some timber and plywood to higher ground, made a platform for his tent, put the kitten inside a cardboard box, and settled down for the night. At 54, he intended to spend a year here alone. The nearest human habitation was Puerto Natales, 60 miles away across impassable mountains and fjords.

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