“Tweets Are Rare, But Precious”
October 12, 2015 5:35 PM   Subscribe

For Reuters, Neil Hall and Angus Berwick tell the tale of Lincolnshire hermit Rachel Denton. In 2006 Denton formally committed to living the rest of her days in solitude after a lifetime as a teacher and Carmelite nun. In addition to keeping a garden and raising chickens, she makes time in her routine to update her Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.
posted by ob1quixote (6 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Disappointed it doesn't get into how she squares "isolation and solitude" with being on the Internet. It may not be as good as the "real thing" for a lot of folk but it's hardly the same as swearing off contact altogether, yeah?
posted by curious nu at 5:51 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Here is an article that paints a more detailed picture of her life and motivations, and here is her twitter.
posted by Across the pale parabola of joy at 6:06 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is off the top of my head and I'm not a medievalist, but I don't think medieval hermits/anchoresses shut themselves off quite as much as people think. They spoke to people and often gave spiritual advice. Anchoresses often had cells tacked onto churches with windows they could speak at or squints to see the mass. Hermits could travel - the hermit of the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, for example, turned up at the royal court in Edinburgh with a gift of seals for King James IV in the very early 16th century (pre-reformation) and the king used to visit the hermit at home on the island. But I'm sure a medievalist will be along soon who knows more about the spiritual precedents.
posted by Flitcraft at 6:13 PM on October 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

I read Across the pale parabola of joy's link, and it basically describes my life when I was working from home:
-- talk to parents once a week
-- have parents visit once a year
-- have friends over once or twice a year
-- goes out once a week
-- works from home
-- napped a lot
-- wasn't getting any
-- had no TV

The key difference between our lifestyles seems to be that she went to mass and I went to pub quiz.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:19 PM on October 12, 2015 [35 favorites]

Now I'm imagining a catechism as pub quiz:
– Q. Which are the chief creatures of God?

A. The chief creatures of God are men and angels.

– Five points!
Except you would only be allowed one person on each team.

Or in the entire pub, really, so it wouldn't be much of a social activity.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:42 PM on October 12, 2015 [9 favorites]

I've got relatives over that way... she's probably a bit more gregarious than the average local especially with regards to 'townies' (ie anyone from more than five miles away)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:47 AM on October 13, 2015

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