Position Vacant…..Hermit

“The community of Solothurn has placed a job advertisement for a local hermit to continue a 600-year-old tradition. But this time, they are looking for someone who’s sociable enough to get along with curious tourists and locals.

“Are you an idealistic, religious person who gets joy out of meeting people?” asks the notice in the regional Protestant Press publication advertising the position.

While those criteria may not seem to meet those of a typical hermit, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper reports that hermits who previously occupied the position were often overwhelmed by the number of hikers and visitors coming by their house in the Verena Gorge near Solothurn.

So, the community is now seeking a more sociable person who doesn’t mind greeting visitors or hosting events like weddings and baptisms that take place in a nearby chapel.
hermit swiss 2
The most recent hermit, the first-ever woman to take the job in its nearly 600-year history, announced her departure in March following five years of living in the gorge and caring for the house. She moved to a retirement facility citing health reasons, according to the Solothurner Zeitung newspaper.

During her time as a hermit, she had expressed difficulty in dealing with the hype surrounding her role and retreated to a nearby monastery for one day each week.

The Verena Gorge is one of the places in Switzerland believed by some to hold mystical powers related to its geography. The first records of a hermit in the gorge date back to 1442.”

swissinfo.ch and agencies
April 16, 2014 – 19:44 http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/Swiss_town_seeks_outgoing_hermit_.html?cid=38403436
verena hermit
Accommodation (as shown in photograph) provided…

See also http://www.recruitmentgrapevine.com/article/2014-04-17-hermit-sought-for-traditional-job

“North of the city of Solothurn Switzerland, in the tranquility of the Verena gorge, lives a hermit. The gorge is luscious with ferns and moss blanketing the majestic boulders … and in the winter, blanketed in quiet snow.

A mountain stream cuts through the landscape, and a secluded path leads you toward caves and coves that make it possible for you to believe in fairies. Although, this isn’t really a stretch. You have believed in fairies since the age of four—but this magical spot emphasizes your belief like an exclamation point.

You fantasize about becoming a hermit yourself someday. However, this isn’t a stretch either. Ever since you heard the news about Martha Stewart going to prison, you have imagined jail as some sort of dreamy, far-away refuge meant only for the most privileged. In prison, you imagine … you would have simplicity: One bed. One book. One pen. You would have uninterrupted time to think, and write and dream. You would have hours of solitude. Nobody would expect anything from you, because you would be in prison. Social obligations? No longer an issue—not when you are behind bars. You would be left alone.
hermit swiss
However, now that you have seen prison reality shows, you have changed your tune. One show featured a female inmate fashioning a maxi-pad across her eyes like a sleep mask … “Because they never turn the lights off on the inside,” she said. And Rod Blagojevich’s fifteen-year separation from his family doesn’t exactly seem like the stuff dreams are made of. Plus, now that you know ‘hermit’ is a viable option—all the better.

In order to be a hermit in Solothurn Switzerland, you must first endure a rigorous application process. The potential hermit must have some sort of resume that highlights qualifications for hermitage. You wonder what these requirements are.

“Does not play well with others,” or “Likes to spend long hours prostrate in prayer,” are likely traits.

Certainly a girl who repeatedly got, “She’s a good student but she talks too much,” on her report card would be disqualified. Especially since the last Solothurn hermit was chastised by the townspeople for, “Having too many visitors.”

Word has it that the Solothurn hermit must have a skill, craft or trade … something he or she can do to help pay room and board. This skill must be useful, like candle-making, yet it cannot involve too much human interaction. The town’s current hermit is the first-ever female. You are proud of her … “GIRL POWER” and all that. She makes soap and sells it at a shop in town. You suppose an online business would be too robust according to the rigid, Swiss townspeople. You also suppose the hermit doesn’t have wireless. Heck. She may not even have electricity. Maybe this hermit thing isn’t so terrific after all.

You know, deep down, that if you were better about clearing the clutter out of your life … and about setting boundaries … and about not over-booking, over-planning and over-cramming … you wouldn’t feel the need for prison, or hermitage or any other sort of enforced solitude. If you reserved more time for yourself to simply think, sit, meditate, dream, write, and create … you would be freer on the outside, where you belong.”



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