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

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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I Think I’m Home

Chalk cliffs at Beachy Head
Chalk cliffs at Beachy Head

The landscape of the South Downs at Beachy Head in East Sussex is one of the most visually striking scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Lush, rolling, green hills set against stark, cream chalk cliffs create an otherworldly effect. When I visited the area, cloud-filtered winter light gave everything a hazy, yellowish-gray tinge. A strong wind blew salty mist in from the sea during the entirety of my three day stay. Contrasting elements of harsh and soft had all of my senses working overtime. Read more

Glut Thy Sorrow

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge really speaks to me. The prompt challenged bloggers to “share a photo inspired by a poem, verse, song lyric or story.” Photography and poetry go together like beauty and melancholy, like joy and sorrow. Opposites attract and complement one another, each bringing out the best in the other. Appreciation of these seemingly incongruous pairings is one of the biggest reasons I’m a fan of Romantic poetry, and John Keats in particular. His “Ode on Melancholy” is one of my favorite poems. It reminds me that life is full of deep sorrow and unbridled joy, but one cannot exist without the other, and neither one lasts indefinitely. Keats’ lines also suggest that beauty is, perhaps, best appreciated in a sudden fit of melancholy: Read more