“It Takes a Village” Does it?

We, living today, depend on vast other persons to make life the modern way. As long as this remains available to us, we should be ok. Will it remain this way? Will it get even better?  Worse?

I watched a video on Amazon Prime a few days ago called “The Hermit of Gully Lake”. It

is a documentary of an old Canadian Army deserter who lived many decades in a harsh

Canadian wilderness without ever seeing a doctor, dentist, baker, grocery store or in

fact many people at all. Not a life that would be chosen by any but an extremely few humans.

But he was able to live this way and die this way to a ripe old age.

Very few videos have had the effect on me that this one has. I have thought about what

this must have been like and how many among the millions of people alive today could

or would attempt this.

How much of what you think is absolutely necessary in life could you do without?

“It Takes a Village” Does it? was last modified: November 4th, 2017 by LoneRogue
Published in Interesting Stories

66 thoughts on ““It Takes a Village” Does it?

  1. roseinbloom

    Lone rogue, You think and you cause others to think also. I could do without junk food. I could do without refined sugar, so the modern food is to be avoided and fortunately, I was not raised on junk food and don’t eat much of it, but I still eat too much sugar, it is in just about everything.
    I could go on forever, but I have a full set of teeth and need a dentists. I am alive still due to doctors so I am thankful for modern medicine.
    We need our villages and the mental health of people in the USA is a huge issue. We are humans and we thrive with other humans. Just because one person survived does not mean that he thrived or was happy, nor does it mean that the rest of us would, but maybe some of us do need to rely on ourselves more and spend more time alone. Balance is good.

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      This is obviously an extreme case. By posting this I’m not suggesting it as a way of life but as an example of what humans are capable of. Sugar as with everything is not a bad thing in moderation.

      1. 55unicorns

        I am , and have been a rogue since I was old enough to know what that meant. Your post reminds me of “Waldon’s Pond” and Thoreau, and specifically… “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

        I actually wrote a novel based on that premise.

        1. Rockflower

          I love that quote Thanks for making me aware of it. You are a writer, I’m a visual artist both tend to mean we work alone. Some people can do their art work in company and love working together. I find that anything I do in company, I end up discarding. Could be the fault is mine and I just can’t concentrate LOL. I like working with the radio but then I don’t have to react to that. I also talk to myself sometimes when working so perhaps I’m ready to be locked up?

  2. starlette

    Hi Lone……..I am assuming he hadn’t much choice to live this way because he was a deserter……..this must have seemed more appealing to him than the alternative, did he say he had been happy and content living his life in this way……we all need the basics of food, drink, warmth……..some are quite happy to shut themselves away with their own company, we would call these hermits or eccentrics………I’m sure there must have been times when he had been in need of medical attention, but who knows, his diet would have been pretty basic I am guessing so wouldn’t have been clogging up his arteries up with gut busting fats, he would have had to remain active to fend for himself so got the exercise in…..we do pamper ourselves far to much, and its a fact we could survive on a lot less food than we do……..don’t think many would want to attempt it, but its surprising what the need to survive would enable you to do….

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      A very interesting part of this mans story is his mental attitudes. He feared prison and early on in his escape it was a very clear reason to fear. After decades in the wilderness it became pretty obvious that he was not being hunted any longer. By that time his personality caused him other fears of society. People in the general area near his small cabin knew of him and later became very concerned about him. Social worker arranged for him to be given a pension which built up over the years as he would not sign his name to the checks. I will try to search out other stories of similar hermits as it is interesting what they survived and how they thought.

  3. waylander

    Given a little preparation time I think I could do without virtually all of it, however living off the land in the crowded UK would be virtually impossible, so it would almost certainly have to be another country.

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      I think of myself as a hermit but my existence is luxurious compared with this hermit. My life was filled with social activity however at every chance I would escape to the country on weekends and vacations. For me I now prefer to be alone. It is a luxury actually to have all ones time to do only what you want.

  4. Rockflower

    LR…your man of Gully Lake was alive but was he living? He was lucky that he had no physical problems don’t you think? Like Roseinbloom, I can think of many things in modern life that I do not partake in much , could do without or maybe wish I do without, like medication and the dentist. I do spend a lot of time on my own and like being in the country on my own with nature. Yet I have to question the life of your hermit, to totally cut yourself off from everything? Is it healthy to never to want to communicate? Did he have no inner life? Ok he did not leave much of a carbon footprint LOL! He was not harming the planet much but he was not helping it either. In fact he was not giving period. He was not giving of himself to anyone, he was not doing any good for anyone . I can find his life of passing interest, he managed to survive but it was an entirely self centered life. Poor man probably had some deep psychological condition.

    There is much I could do without….. I don’t need coffee but I do enjoy a couple of cups per day. I do appreciate having electronic access to a world of music, theatre, art and being able to answer your question here!!

  5. waylander

    Why does modern society almost invariably resort to claiming mental impairment as the reason that some want nothing to do with others?
    Some of us just don’t like people in our faces all the time, or any of the time come to that.

    1. starlette

      Agreed, there is nothing written down that you have to have a bustling social life, an amazing network of friends for you to be able to function satisfactorily……..
      people read to much into what is recommended for us……..this in turn can brainwash us into thinking we are lacking and missing out somewhere………what suits one does not suit another………….go to all the fitness classes you want to, enrol in all the classes on offer……….join the reading groups and discussions…….but don’t tut tut at those who are quite content with their own company…

    2. Ms. K.

      I agree, Way. I’m pretty much a loner, too. When I started this new job at the boutique in August, I came home the first day, and crawled into bed with a pillow over my face. My husband asked what was wrong. “My boss talked the whole 5 hours -and expects me to answer!”
      He laughed, and patted my shoulder in sympathy. Us hermits like our solitude.

  6. roseinbloom

    Lonerogue, the more time we spend alone, the more time some of us want to be alone. I am concerned because many older people are alone because they have lost the people in their life who care about them and are also unable to get about and become isolated and unhappy about it, but third alternative is a nursing home and I have lost two friends in this way. The family members just deny access or make the whereabouts unknown or at a distant location.
    I also have friends that stayed in their community and in contact with others.
    This website is one way a lot of us stay connected and I am glad you share your thoughts with us here. I benefit from your blogs.

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      This site and the interaction is an important way of keeping in touch with others for those of us who have found seclusion a very satisfying way to live. I was the only care giver for 10 years of decline with dementia for my wife and gradually found satisfaction in the seclusion that brought. I have tried socializing through luncheon dates and did not feel the benefit was worth the effort.

      1. roseinbloom

        Lonerogue, I know the feeling but you may want to join a gym or pursue another group interest. Getting back into the social scene can be hard at first, but I think it is a good thing to be connected. You seem to be a very intelligent man and must have many interests to pursue that involve others. There are senior centers with all kinds of people and activities going on. I joined a senior center just to go on a planned trip. I also got involved with tutoring once a week and I go to the gym 3 times a week and I find that the I am making friends there which makes it easier for me to stick to the exercise which I don’t like. You will still have plenty of time left to be alone.

        1. starlette

          Rose you seem to have the need to keep busy and socialising in your life and that works for you……..Lone and many others are happy not to join clubs and interact much with others, and it is no bad thing…not everyone thinks alike and needs the same lifestyle, its like what I have written in my previous blog….we make our own choices and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty or that there is something wrong with us if we don’t want to be rushing here there and evey where…….we shouldn’t be made to feel we are not living life to the full because we don’t want the hustle and bustle……..I for one find lots of other people hard work and boring……but that’s just me……..I much prefer one or two who are on the same wave length as myself……

          1. roseinbloom

            Starlette, People are different, that is a fact, and if a person chooses to spend their time alone, that is a fact but from my experience, I know of no one who is happy alone and most of the older people that I know say they are alone too much.
            As for me, I don’t socialize very much, but I do like people and find them very interesting and I do get bored on my own too much. Most studies say that people do better when they are part of their community. I believe it from my own experience. A’s we get older we also become more dependent on others to remain independent. We have sickness and surgery and we are safer traveling in pairs, so it is not just socializing, it is about being able to function.
            The younger people will help in dire situations, or put you in a home but most are just too busy or live far away.

        2. LoneRogue Post author

          A large part of why I do not get out more is that I live near wilderness about 10 miles for shopping and the activity you mention.My next door neighbor has encouraged me to join the YMCA but that is a little farther. I have become what my dad called “A stick in the mud” …smile…

    2. starlette

      Maybe the thing to do would be to visit the elderly who you are concerned about……that works two ways….it gets you out and about and is company for the lonely people who can no longer get out….serves two purposes……that’s my way of looking at it anyway…….. I believe if you don’t know any personally there are places where you can contact who would vet you and introduce you to people needing company…..

  7. rose1943

    Good one, Lone. I am alone quite a bit. Hate to say but my friends either died, in Healthcare Centers, or moved to other warmer climates. One is just icky so I don’t want to deal with her anymore. One of those righteous people, everyone knows one of those.
    Right now Jim is working full time, leaves 7:30 AM doesn’t get home til 6:30 PM. Works til noon on Saturdays. In the warmer months golfs every Sunday and takes a few golf trips with the golf guys. I’m happy that he loves golf as he does.
    That leaves me much alone time. I don’t drive. Walks around here are not very nice, crossing streets you’re taking your life in your hands. So that’s that.
    Pretty surprised I’m still sane but I do my best. Better than prison or what the video guy had. I don’t go out of my way to take busses anywhere. Used to, don’t anymore. I find things to do. Laundry, ironing, cooking, shopping, cleaning…I hate to use the old saying but “a man can work from dawn til sun but a woman’s work is never done.” Hey, it’s true. I keep on schedule and won’t let myself get behind. It’s plenty of work just putting menus together for the week before my weekly shopping. I like TV, lots of it. Videos, the Firestick…news. As you know, Lone, I’m very political!! lol
    My daughter and I were both hacked on Facebook, so off of that! I do scrapbooking when in the mood. I sew, crochet, knit, fix things, call servicemen when needed, wait for them to come.
    In January Jim will be working only part-time as part of his company was sold….don’t know what that will be like, yikes. I’ve done all the classes I ever wanted, did all the excercise and yoga stuff…..I know them all and do them alone….well not always.
    Oh and I have 3 grown kids and 3 grandchildren. Son lives in our downstairs apt. and daughter and her husband 2 blocks away. We don’t crowd each other though. Other daughter lives a few miles away, only see them on holidays and special occasions. They’re BUSY!
    Knowing I have the simple comforts of home and family, food, heat and a/c when I need it. That’s good. Don’t know how I would do without internet but would survive I suppose.
    I think most of us have lots to be thankful for. I can’t stop thinking of those people in Puerto Rico…living with power for so long. What a horrible situation. Okay I think I’m done here. Sorry to go on so long but Jim is napping with college football on and I certainly have time. Thanks for reading and thanks for posting this nice blog.

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      I know what you mean about old friends no longer with you. I am from Pennsylvania originally and all my friends are gone. after I began moving around in business I traveled extensively and it seems never got close like the early friends.

      Nice you have family close. Mine son and family live 600 miles away and I don’t drive distances like that anymore and he is of course employed so limited in time and with 5 kids and livestock he can’t travel much.

      I’ve gotten very used to being alone and actually prefer it now. Many feel seclusion to my degree is not healthy mentally but I don’t think it is always so.

  8. jessamyne

    I do enjoy the benefits and convenience of societal living. But I’ve always thought the people on Gilligan’s Island were nuts to want to leave.

    As long as one of them were a dentist and a doctor, life would be awesome!

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      The hermit in the video did have some dental and health problems but did for himself in ways not described. Late in his life a near local doctor visited his and found him reasonably healthy. The doctor asked if he could write and he answered yes. The doctor then asked him to write a sentence. He wrote (I’m paraphrasing) “The world is a contrary place”. I might be a little off on that because I didn’t write it down and haven’t been able to find that part of the video again.

  9. Rockflower

    Waylander….I think nothing wrong with having your own company, but come on you have to agree that the hermit of Gully Lake was extreme. If it suited him and he was harming no one , the choice was his. Isolating yourself so extremely is strange and does indicate some problem to me. The longer he shuts down and withdraws the more difficult it becomes.But it is his choice he has the right to do this. Unfortunately there are many older people who have loneliness forced upon them by circumstances and this is cruel, it robs those people of health and happiness.

    1. starlette

      Enforced loneliness is different from the choice of being on your own …….loneliness and being alone are not the same……….the very elderly who can no longer get out need the visitors and company…….those who choose to spend time alone are not needy………its their choice

      1. roseinbloom

        Starlette. Choices are complicated. I thought a lot about choices I made in life and I realized many of my not-so-good-choices were in most cases the result of the lesser of evils and/or other factors.
        So deciding to be alone or not is complicated.

  10. vonMichael

    You describe it LR;….an old Canadian Army deserter who lived many decades in a harsh Canadian wilderness.

    You can’t compare this old man with any of us LR. When he left the army I bet he
    was young, in good shape, has lot of things learned in army about living in the
    wilderness a.s.o.

    It would be something different if you would say a sixty years old Canadian left
    the civilization behind him to live in the wilderness.
    Think of those thousands men who are not able to coke a coffee or boild an
    egg for himself.
    No that doesn’t work LR sorry to say that. Michael

  11. rose1943

    It was a choice for our own Henry David Thoreau. He built himself a hut on Waldon Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He stayed there alone for two years, two months and two days. He lived in the mid-19th century during turbulent times. The words of his essay, “Civil Disobedience” will be remembered by many. (Went there to see it)…awesome!

  12. jessamyne

    Well, what I got from the blog was to think about how I would survive without all the conveniences I’ve come to take for granted.

    I didn’t hear that we any comparisons were being made; just food for thought on what we would think that we could live without.

    I actually had to think about it. I don’t think I’d be very good at surviving in the wilderness the way that man did, lol

  13. Ms. K.

    I’ve always liked reading books about wilderness survival, even now. I used to take my girls into the woods and teach them how to make a lean-to, to use nature as hiding places, and the few survival tactics I know, lol. yes, my family thought I was weird, but I love tramping through the woods and living simply -as long as I have a laptop to write. 🙂

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      Glad to have you commenting like this. I too am so attuned to wilderness and love the dream of living with and from the land. I did a lot of it when able and now it is just dreaming. The very early trappers and mountain men were always my most read and admired of history.

      1. Ms. K.

        Lone, do you have any Charlie Baugh videos on youtube? I don’t have a full membership here and can’t access other areas.
        I love tales of those early explorers! In the summer, I make my little patch of yard an Irish cottage garden, full of wild things and unstructured beauty. I try to go for long walks, just for the joy and peace of it. Sometimes I get lost, but I always carry a knapsack of snacks, lol.
        Did you read that kid’s book about the boy who carved out a tree and lived in it? I can never remember the title, but I reread it last year.

          1. Ms. K.

            It’s “The Other Side of the Mountain”! I just had to look it up, lol. Thank you for the link. i’ll check it tonite. Have a lovely day, Lone.

  14. vonMichael

    Well LR another question came up to my mind. Your story tells about
    a hermit in the wilderness ok.
    But we have also hermit livong in our big cities in those living silos
    where no one knows each other.
    Those who live alone with their memories and no one come round to
    look after that person.
    Alone in the city can be compared with live in the wilderness by understanding? Am I wrong??

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      Not wrong at all von. Seclusion is the life of a hermit and it can be done anywhere. Another question can be is it really seclusion if, like me here, am in contact daily via the internet is it really seclusion?

  15. roseinbloom

    LR, I read about hermits and you don’t have to live 100% alone to be a hermit. The catholic church has hermits and they many hours in prayer, but may work some, The hermit that you are talking about did have some contact with people. He sold his furs and bought supplies. Most hermits have been religious.

  16. starlette

    Eccentric people often retreat from the world for whatever reason, they usually leave stacks of money behind after having lived a frugal life…….they are not out in the wilderness but in the Cities and Towns………very often classed as people with mental health issues……..but just because they choose the lifestyle they did does not necessarily mean they are insane…….they chose to opt out of the stress and strains of everyday living for a lot simpler life……..who can blame them…..sounds quite rational to me……

  17. Ms. K.

    Lone, I worry that if I join youtube then they’ll spy on me! Silly, I know. however, I did view your video on your page – and it was beautiful, and spiritual. The end seemed so sad as he talks about his final hour. He lived his life well, but his lonesomeness touched my heart. Are you ok?

    1. LoneRogue Post author

      I assume that I am spied on by the internet in general and who cares. I have nothing to hide and no one that I care to hide anything from. Modern life, if we partake of it’s resources is not very private. If you are concerned about being spied upon, it might be best to avoid some exposure. Not caring may be another part of why I don’t mind being reclusive. Mankind is not so perfect a specie.

      By the way I have 7 videos on Youtube so the link I sent may not have provided a complete list. If you think you want to see others let me know and I’ll try linking them for you.

      1. roseinbloom

        Lonerogue, I agree with you and I would rather tell my own story than have people lying and gossiping which I did have a and most people so. I may need to be more secretive but I feel each life or story shared can shine a light for other to follow or to benefit from and I appreciate you and other bloggers who share their life honestly and open up discussion on issues.

  18. LoneRogue Post author

    I am a good as an 84 year old could hope for. I am content. The 10 years of care giving without help made me a tough resilient loner. Dealing with people in a life of business I’ve had lots of sneaky deceptive things occur and I am not very trusting of strangers. All my very old friends are gone and I love nature and learning so much that I didn’t learn earlier in life, so I spend a lot of time on the internet. What a fantastic thing it is for a hermit. I would enjoy the company of another woman BUT I wouldn’t enjoy the time and effort spent getting to know and trust. I have lunched with 3 women and found not enough interest to pursue it further.

    I really am content.

    1. Ms. K.

      Ok, just making sure, in a friendly way – no need to get your hackles up like a porcupine. 🙂 I mother people, and stray cats, too. When my dad scowled, I’d fix him a café au lait, and make sure one of his “Doc Savage” books was handy. Even though he’d be about your age, his solitude was rich with gardening. He’s why I love nature.

  19. rose1943

    Then there is the choice to marry or not to marry. Most of us got married at about 20 years old. There were some of my friends that never married which was unusual in ‘those days.’ They seemed to feel they could not compromise as much as they would have to. Well, I guess that’s true, so they followed the path to be alone. As time passed they became somewhat anxious about their decision, seeing others having children, then grandchildren and completely different lives. They found it to be too late to meet anyone they would want to marry. They didn’t get into website dating and meeting, was not their thing. That was their choice. They refused to compromise. I personally don’t think it’s that difficult. Many do. Many divorces happen due to this. Well, I’m glad I made the choice I did and that we compromise still at 53 years together.

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