The Last Lighthouse Keeper

Few of us haven’t dreamed about living in hermit-like solitude, snowed in, locked up, off the grid, where we can think and commune with nature and write poetry or paint water colors, but we like our isolation seasonal. Kerouac spent just 63 days in his Desolation fire tower, Abbey summers in Arches. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” wrote Thoreau of Walden, neglecting to mention that his mother continued to do his laundry while he, um, deliberated. It’s all romantic and such living off in that cabin, until you run out of Slim Jims.

So, what then, of the life of the last lighthouse keeper in a long line of lighthouse keepers? Cabo Polonio is “a remote cape in a stretch of Uruguayan coastline rich in shipwrecks and sunken treasures,” where keepers have been keeping the light unbroken since 1881. Now it’s Leonardo Da Costa’s turn.

“He leads an unassuming life, the tranquility of the almost intact landscape keeping him company,” write the filmmakers. “Serenity and silence merge with the daily tasks and chores he carries out.”

Could you do it? Would you do it? For a season, maybe…

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