Fleeting Beauty

Flower Petals on Concrete

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge had me on the hunt for something abstractly beautiful. On Sunday, when I walked around the side of my apartment building to get to the laundry room, my subject found me. Read more

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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

A Drug That’ll Do for the Healin’

I believe that Bob Dylan’s lyrics are poetry, plain and simple. He strings words together in an incredibly dense, evocative way. Putting them to music doesn’t overshadow the power of the words, either. It simply lends subtle, understated support to the effect they produce. Good folk music has that incredible ability to convey feeling without manipulating the listener’s emotions. It doesn’t tell you how to feel. It puts you in touch with what’s already in your soul, because it appeals to the things that we all have in common. Read more

Open to the Future

University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge

Maybe I’m overly influenced by my own choices, but I can’t imagine a better way to prepare myself for the future than through education. While I’m drawn to the values of traditional academic institutions like the University of Cambridge, I’m not only referring to this type of education. Opportunities to study at institutions like these are few and far between, and are mostly offered to students who have had the chance to distinguish themselves in the past. Furthermore, significant financial resources are needed to take advantage of these opportunities. I’ll begin studying at one of these universities in the fall, but most of my more valuable educational experiences have, in the past, taken place outside of a traditional classroom.

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There May Be No Answer

Farm dog

For you will be invincible
          and vulnerable in the same breath
          which is the breath of your patients
For their breath is our breathing and our reason
For the patient will know the answer
          and you will ask him
          ask her
For the family may know the answer
For there may be no answer
-John Stone, “Gaudeamus Igitur: A Valediction”

 
I first learned to interact with poetry as a college freshman. Because I tested out of calculus, I was automatically signed up for a literature class focusing on medicine. I have always loved to read, but I was terrified of a 300-level English class. I had absolutely no useful academic background in the subject, but I did my best to keep calm. The course, along with subsequent courses in the medical humanities, turned out to be one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. With the help of engaging content and a dedicated professor, I learned to read, write and think. Most importantly, I learned that the act of seeking understanding is as important as acquiring definitive knowledge. Read more