Staying in Robert Lax’s Old House

The front door of Robert Lax’s house on Patmos, 2024. (Photo by Michael N. McGregor)

In late January and early February, I spent two weeks living in Robert Lax’s old house on Patmos while doing research for my forthcoming book An Island to Myself: The Place of Solitude in an Active Life (Monkfish Publishing, spring 2025).

I’ll be posting more about the book and my experiences in writing it in coming days, but for a taste of it now, you can go to and read about my thoughts while looking over the only reminders of Lax still in his house: his books.

Manuscript Delivered! AN ISLAND TO MYSELF To Appear in Spring 2025

Sitting in one of the monk caves near Grikou on the island of Patmos.

I just delivered the manuscript for my book An Island to Myself: The Place of Solitude in an Active Life to Monkfish Publishing.

Look for it in the spring of 2025.

Another Contract–This One For a Book about Solitude

When it rains, it pours. I’ve signed another contract, this one for a book on solitude to be published by Monkfish Publishing in the spring of 2025. The title is still TBD but the subtitle will be: The Place of Solitude in an Active Life.

The book is centered on my experiences during a month of total solitude on Patmos when I was 27 years old. It was after that month, while I was still on the island, that I met Robert Lax. The rest of the book will feature my later experiences of solitude, some on Patmos, some elsewhere.

The book’s last section will be about a return to Patmos I have planned for next month, during the same time period I was there the first time. I’m going to see how an older man’s experience of solitude today differs from that of a younger man at a time when absolute solitude was less difficult to achieve.