The Solitary Life
We have a recent new member of our worshipping community – a religious sister who is living in the dale for a while to explore the ‘solitary life’. This means living, working and praying mostly alone, and in silence, although coming to worship with others on Sundays.
I am looking forward to learning more about her life. I am interested in this and have previously read a couple of books about the solitary – sometimes called hermit – life.
One is ‘A Book of Silence’ by Sara Maitland (pub. Granta 2008). She is an interesting person and a writer who ranges across religious and other fields. Her website is here: http://www.saramaitland.com/home.html. She is a Roman Catholic Christian, but not a professed religious sister (i.e. she is outside any formal structure). She explores the whole landscape of silence in her book, from the historical to the psychological.
The picture on the front cover of the book shows her remote home on a Galloway moor:
The other book I have read recently is ‘A Simplified Life’ by Verena Schiller:
She is a nun who lived in a wooden cabin in Wales for 25 years, and the book explores the inner and outer landscape of the place and of prayer. it is this aspect that I have been thinking about recently. More in another post on this…