et al.

et al. – Latin abbreviation. et alii. (and others.)

on being content.

“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together


Another new post has been published on my column. I write about Walker Percy, G.K. Chesterton, and the first step towards a fulfilling sense of contentedness. I hope you enjoy! Check it out and join the conversation.


brewing communitea.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
― C.S. Lewis

My next piece has been published in my new column! This one discusses coffee, tea, and the bad blood running through Americans since the Revolution. Check it out and join the conversation!

a threefold cord.

“I have heard of a man lost in the woods and dying of famine and exhaustion at the foot of a tree, whose loneliness was relieved by the grotesque visions with which, owing to bodily weakness, his diseased imagination surrounded him, and which he believed to be real. So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural society, and come to know that we are never alone.” ― Henry David Thoreau


I was recently offered a column in my school’s student newspaper. This is a new piece for the column on the topics of American individualism, King Solomon, and the benefits of strong community. Check it out and join the conversation!

leather-bound life.

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

I was asked over winter break to write a piece for the Arts & Ideas Review. The theme of the issue is writing, and I encourage you to read the whole issue of compelling, insightful pieces. It’s an honor to share publication with such talent. Here is my piece, and thank you in advance for reading!

AIR – Leather-bound Life

my park bench.


This is a departure from my usual blog post. I’m trying to write more fiction, which is what I loved to do when I was younger. This is a short (one page) story based on a simple prompt: “There is a man sitting on a park bench, reading a newspaper.” I… adapted the prompt a bit. Enjoy!  Read the rest of this entry »

chin up.

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” 
― Charlie Chaplin


I heard it said once that you can tell New Yorkers and tourists apart by the direction they’re looking as they walk through the city streets. New Yorkers have their eyes locked on the sidewalk a few steps ahead of them. Tourists, on the other hand, mosey along with their eyes turned towards the rooftops.  Read the rest of this entry »

a study in silence.

“But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence
than in the answer to a question.” 
― Thomas Merton


Ian Dougal was waiting at the bus stop, as “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” as he had promised when we spoke on the phone. He and his wife Martha had volunteered to pick me up and bring me a few miles out of town to my lodging at The Abbey of the Genesee, a monastery in upstate New York. After a short drive, we pulled into the driveway of a guest house down the road from the abbey grounds. Read the rest of this entry »

why thrift?

“The scope of thrift is limitless.” – Thomas Edison


In Philip K. Dick’s alt-history novel The Man in the High Castle, Hitler wins. World War II goes to the Axis powers, and Japan and Germany split the U.S. between themselves. The story follows a collection of characters in the Japan-occupied “Pacific States of America.” Robbed of their national identity, Americans cling to objects from a different, prosperous, happier era – Americana products like Mickey Mouse watches and six-shooter pistols.

Read the rest of this entry »

the red sweater.

“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” – Thomas Merton


I opened my closet and took a shirt off a hanger. With some difficulty, I pulled it around my shoulders and slowly buttoned up. A flash of color caught my eye as I reached for the light switch; it was my favorite red sweater, neatly folded on a shelf above the hanger rack.

After a moment’s hesitation, I reached with my left hand and pulled it down before wobbling to my bedside to take a seat. I took a moment to check the back of my head. The scar was still fresh from my surgery, and the ends of the stitching pricked my probing fingers. Read the rest of this entry »

et al.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ― John Donne, No Man Is An Island


Et al. is an abbreviation of the Latin loanphrase et alii, meaning and others. It is similar to etc. (meaning and the rest), but whereas etc. applies to things, et al. applies to people. It can be used in citations or bylines, and thus is primarily found in academic papers (for example, ‘written by Benjamin Gotchel, et al.’)

So why should you care? Read the rest of this entry »