Exploring this Earth Together

Twisted Ficus Limb
Twisted Ficus Limb

Today, I wanted to share some more shots from my adventures on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. One of the many reasons I enjoyed my time in the field was the opportunity to explore the rainforest. With my friends and fellow students by my side, I immersed myself in its enormity and stately solitude. We were awestruck by the most glorious sensory overload imaginable. Fortunately, there was no need for conversation in those moments. We were all tuned in to our common surroundings, and we had plenty of time to chat about our experiences when we re-convened at camp in the evenings. Read more

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Admiration

A roadside hunt breakfast after a childhood foxhunt
A roadside hunt breakfast after a childhood foxhunt (I’m just left of center)

I have high expectations for everyone, including myself. That means that the list of people I admire is limited. Generally, I don’t admire people for their qualities alone, but for what they make of the things they have. No matter their character traits, material possessions or privileges, others only earn my respect if they use what they have to act admirably. That includes living life fully and without regret. I’d like to point out that living your own life should never occur at the expense of someone else’s quality of life. In fact, striving to actively exert a positive influence on your surroundings while avoiding any negative impact on others is an important part of living a good life. Nevertheless, living a good life begins with pursuing your passions and doing what makes you happy. Read more

Embracing the Morning

A thought-provoking ocean view
Morning on Moraca Playa, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening…

excerpt from “Morning” by Billy Collins

Morning is my favorite time of day. I like to be up bright and early, but, if I can help it, I don’t like to leave the house first thing in the morning. That way, I can start my day in the most unhurried way possible. If I have the luxury of waking up slowly, I feel calm and focused, and then I’m ready to start my work. Like the speaker in Billy Collins’ poem, I feel potent and alive in the morning. A little caffeine coursing through my veins doesn’t hurt, either. Read more

Observations from a Writing Workshop

The words haven’t been flowing, and I didn’t want to bore you with a post that clearly didn’t have my full attention. If my heart’s not in my writing, I know as well as you do that it’s just going to lay prostrate on the page, dead on arrival. I want to share words that shape my thoughts and experiences, capturing some small grain of truth, so that you can connect with what I’ve written. With that in mind, I simply waited until something inspired me to get involved in my writing before I published another post. Read more

Inside My Shoes

Inside Llewyn Davis is my favorite Coen Brothers movie about folk music. I like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but it’s altogether a different beast. Inside Llewyn Davis still has enough ridiculous dialogue and John Goodman cameos to keep any longtime Coen fan entertained, but it’s just a little bit more subtle than I expected. It’s serious and real—a perfect slice of life story—with just a touch of dry, grown-up humor. Read more