I’m excited to announce that we have a guest author here on Roving Photography. Check out this post from my brother, Preston Alexander Long, about his current adventure in Oregon.
For the past week, and for the next five, I will live alone in a cabin. It’s located in the back corner of a massive piece of Southern Oregon forest. The owners reside out of view behind a hill about a quarter mile away.
When you walk out of the front door of the cabin you are welcomed by a beautiful tree line. To the left is a sprawling prairie scattered with cows and willows. The trees highlight the path of the Williamson River like a rail guard on the highway. To the right is a small field leading to a dense forest of pine and sage.
My days are spent hiking, fishing, and hunting. There is ample opportunity for all. I play music often. Around the early evenings I typically pour my first gin and tonic. At first my cell phone was like a pack of cigarettes in a recovery center, never far. I coveted it, as it was my only means for connection (no Wi-Fi). It’s common for me to go two or more days at a time without seeing or talking to another person so far. This is surely the first time in my life. Half way through my third day I came across the owners for the first time since arriving. I surprised myself when replying to his greeting. I had kind of forgotten I could speak, and my voice seemed foreign.
It’s amazing how socially dependent I am and believe we all are. After several days of having no audience, no judgment received or given, or reminders of self, I began to lose individual identity. I distilled. So much of my personality resides in my words. This experience has led me to feel that almost anyone secluded in the woods will act the same. We only know ourselves relative to others; we evoke and reinforce each other’s personalities. I think Hitler and Gandhi would be indistinguishable if observed alone in the woods.
Solitude can be an excellent means to reset. Boil yourself away sometime.