Category: Ian

Dirge Without Music

Many years ago, I sang an oratorio piece in a choir at my congregation in Brookline. We spent months rehearsing and preparing for the performance in the spring. As a musician, it was by far one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever taken on. At the same time, practicing and performing with the other […]


Time is something that I deeply value. I firmly believe that many significant parts of who we are and what we value tend to develop gradually. Important things to me such as friendships, beliefs, and perspective often do not emerge overnight. With that said, I occasionally encounter deeply significant moments that occur spontaneously and abruptly, as if […]

Panta Rhei

There is a saying in Ancient Greek, attributed to the philosopher Heraclitus. That phrase, in Greek, is “τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει” (ta panta rhei kai ouden menei). It roughly translates to, “everything flows, and nothing stays.” Another saying attributed to Heraclitus along this vein is that you can’t step into the same river twice. […]


There was a lit candle standing on the round table of the Thurman room. I had seen it before. Its flame had glowed and flickered softly, yet warmly, many times in that same room in the past. But what exactly was it doing here now? In our one-on-one meeting, Soren asked me how First Sight and Second […]

Belief, and Questioning

In my post from last week, I mentioned two things about myself: one is that I study neuroscience, and the other is that I happen to work at Marsh Chapel. This speaks to the fact that science and religion overlap significantly in my life on campus. You are as likely to find me doing neuroscience […]

First Sight, Second Thoughts

“First Sight means you can see what really is there, and Second Thoughts mean thinking about what you are thinking. And in Tiffany’s case, there were sometimes Third Thoughts and Fourth Thoughts although these…sometimes led her to walk into doors.”   –Terry Pratchett My name is Ian. I am a senior studying neuroscience at Boston […]

Art Museums

I have a confession to make: I’m not particularly fond of going to art museums. I don’t feel this way because I think art is dull, boring, or worthless. To the contrary, I think art is an incredibly powerful means of expression. It pushes our intellectual and emotional boundaries, can convey deep messages, or it […]

This Too Shall Pass

“Weeping may linger for the night,     but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30, verse 5 One of the hymns that that was sung in this morning’s service was hymn 383 from the United Methodist hymnal, “This is a Day of New Beginnings.” As the congregation began singing the melody, I recalled two things. One was […]

Eating an Apple and Religious Experience

I recently heard a rabbi give some advice during a sermon. Someone once asked him, “How can I have a religious experience?” His answer was as follows: Take an apple, and eat it with your entire body. His answer was so simple that I had some difficulty wrapping my head around it. He stated this in the context of a sermon […]

The Morning After Easter

I celebrated Easter at Marsh Chapel this morning, beginning bright and early with an Easter Sunrise service followed by much preparation, two more services, and an Easter Egg hunt. After all of the joy and excitement of this morning, I can’t help but stop to ponder one line in today’s sermon. While I can’t remember the exact […]