As an Opinion Columnist for The Harvard Crimson, I published articles on alternating Monday in my column titled "The Experiment of Life."
For a moment, imagine holding a pencil. Can you feel its weight? Its straight edges and sharp point? Instead of understanding this possession as an abundant, limitless commodity, is it possible to instead feel the pressure on our fingertips and understand that we’re holding the weight of an entire life that has been gifted to us in the name of creativity?
"Paper, Pencils, and the Gift of a Tree"
"A Monster Among Us"
Reflecting on this tale, I feel it was never cannibalism that truly defined the Windigo. The root of its existence extends beyond gnarly teeth and pale skin. The real monster that the Anishinaabe are warning of here is greed and over-consumption. It’s harboring infinite desire, and then all the things a person is willing to do in an effort to indulge it. Leave simpler ghost stories to be told around the campfire — this one is for the adults in the room. Where there is humanity there is greed, and where there is greed, there is the Windigo.
"You Had Me At Goodbye"
Moments in life do not come and then taunt you from the past; they come, ingrain themselves in your being, and integrate into your essence. From that time on, you carry them with you as you continue on. In this way, there doesn’t need to be departures as we currently know them and it makes me think that a life full of goodbyes might be a life well-lived.
"Giving Something New"
At the core of many of these altruistic advertisements is the same motive that has always been there: the desire to convince more buyers to buy more products so that the company can make more money, regardless of impact. So, while it’s encouraging to see big corporations setting new standards for everything from carbon reduction to reductions in packaging, I still can’t seem to find peace in my holiday gift shopping this year.
"Taking Life's Trains"
"The Philosophy of Leaves"
Aging of the body does not connote aging of the spirit. With the decline of the earthly vices and the responsibilities that often accompany those younger years, the spirit is finally given room to expand. Without the constriction imposed by the duties inherent to being young, a person can do away with the world’s judgment of them and, more importantly, expectation for them. Freedom during aging comes in having the wisdom to give more worth to the increased spiritual strength than to the decreased physical ability that accompanies those years.
To “suck the marrow out of life,” as Thoreau puts it, takes the sacrifice of our favorite distractions, a conscious step away from comfort and a legitimate commitment to interacting with the world as it stands in front of each of us. Perhaps, though, the work it would take is worth it.