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kottke.org posts about Alexandra de Steiguer

The delight and challenge of true solitude

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 04, 2018

Many of us feel alone from time to time or spend a day or two holed away working or worrying without seeing another person. But true solitude is difficult to come by these days. For the past 19 years, Alexandra de Steiguer has been the off-season caretaker for the Oceanic Hotel, located 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire. During the winter months, she’s the only person on the island. Brian Bolster’s meditative short film looks at de Steiguer’s life on the island and her embrace of solitude.

Winter’s Watch explores de Steiguer’s relationship to extreme isolation. Its meditative imagery contemplates the beauty of absence, while de Steiguer reflects on the unique challenges and rewards of solitude. “There are no other distractions,” she says. “You have to decide how to fill your days….and yet it is peaceful, and I can use my imagination.”

The hulking-and possibly haunted-hotel bears a striking resemblance to The Shining, but de Steiguer maintains that “if there are ghosts out here, they are being extremely kind to me.” Rather, she has embraced what she calls “the great waiting of winter.”

See also how to be alone. (via @ifyoucantwell)