In 2020, I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars keeping Brain Pickings going. hardly present, almost nothing? Denied and derided for decades by some of the most titanic minds of the century, black holes began as a mathematical reckoning — tentative, treacherous, transcendent. We collage ourselves into being, finding the pieces of a worldview and people to love and reasons to live and then integrate them into a whole, a life consistent with its beliefs and desires, at least if we’re lucky. Open enough to grow and closed enough to hold together is what a life must also be. She emerged an unexpected master of the game, master of her own mind in an entirely new way. Brain Pickings by Maria Popova - A glance over the shoulder of time to reveal the patterns, themes, and ideas that steady us and shelter us in the tempest of life. It’s a modest exercise in vision- and mind-expansion. It will decay your most precious memories, topple your favorite cities, wreck any sanctuary you can ever build. 1 of 8 — Next » French artist Paul Sougy’s stunning mid-century scientific diagrams of plants, animals, and the human body, forgotten for decades, newly salvaged from dusty vintage textbooks and obscure French government archives. I picture the two of them at the turntable, sipping spiced wine in rapt, bobbing deliberation over which of the year’s hits to put on next — the year when rock and roll had just been coined, the year of Nat King Cole’s “If I May,” Elvis’s “Baby Let’s Play House,” and Doris Day’s “Love Me or Leave Me.” I picture them glancing at each other with the thrill of that peculiar furtive curiosity edged with longing, having not a glimmering sense — for we only ever recognize the most life-altering moments in hindsight — that they were in the presence of great love, a love that would last a lifetime. Perhaps it all comes from our singular awareness that we are anything but timeless, that our lives are anything but forever. He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”, stirring letter to the daughter she never had, “to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”. What emerges, above all, is the radiant warmth of her personhood — this person of such uncommon imagination, warmhearted humor, and stubborn buoyancy of spirit, always so thoroughly herself, who as a young woman had declared to her mother: I’ve got to become free myself if I’m to be free in my painting. Told in the form of a letter from a child to an alien visitor — a particular child named Quinn, whom Sophie met while traveling around the world with UNICEF and Save the Children, and whose uncommon imagination fomented hers — the story is populated by drawings of other real-life children she met on her travels in India, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a particular class of twenty-three kids she befriended in a Brooklyn public school, and her own real-life friends and neighbors. a visual way to explore the brain pickings book archive:: otlet's shelf theme :: back to brain pickings. Here's an example. and the kitchen twists dark on its spine Brain Pickings by Maria Popova - A glance over the shoulder of time to reveal the patterns, themes, and ideas that steady us and shelter us in the tempest of life. Twitter: @explorer. away from my kissmaking hand and in your headlights’ rush, On its pages, he realized that the special native sympathy between children and Haring’s art is not an accident of his line and color but at the very center of his spirit. The tender delirium of their early love and the magmatic core of their lifelong devotion emanate from the pages of Letters from Tove (public library) — the altogether wonderful collection of Jansson’s correspondence with friends, family, and other artists, spanning her meditations on the creative process, her exuberant cherishment of the natural world and of what is best in human beings, her unfaltering love for Tooti. senescence beetles canker Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. Lorde was a poet in both the literal sense at its most stunning and the largest, Baldwinian sense — “The poets (by which I mean all artists),” wrote her contemporary and coworker in the kingdom of culture James Baldwin, “are finally the only people who know the truth about us. Kalman introduces the book with her spare and singular poetics: Alice met Gertrude. See more at the link. you is like the hare’s breath, “The Library is a wilderness of books. Genie Chance (January 24, 1927–May 17, 1998) is the protagonist of Jon Mooallem’s uncommonly wonderful book This Is Chance! Suddenly, reality was broken and reality was beautiful. For more from the book, see Lorde on the courage to feel as an antidote to fear. Maria Popova spends an inordinate amount of time collecting and curating "the best of the web". If u like books worth taking a look at for sure. “Some dreams aren’t dreams at all, just another angle of physical reality,” Patti Smith wrote in Year of the Monkey, one of my favorite books of 2019 — her exquisite dreamlike book-length prose poem about mending the broken realities of life, a meditation drawn from dreams that are “much more than dreams, as if originating from the dawn of mind.”, As I leaf enchanted through The Unwinding (public library) by the English artist and writer Jackie Morris, this quiet masterpiece dawns on me as the pictorial counterpart to Smith’s — a small, miraculous book that belongs, and beckons you to find your own belonging, in the “Library of Lost Dreams and Half-Imagined Things.”, Its consummately painted pages sing echoes of Virginia Woolf — “Life is a dream. Walls came unseamed and reseamed before disbelieving eyes that had not yet computed, for it was beyond the computational power of everyday consciousness, what was taking place. December 26, 2020 New clues that he hoped would reveal more about nature’s hidden blueprint. Brain Pickings. Nothing? Arai’s almost synesthetic art — radiating more than color, radiating sound, a kind of buzzing aliveness — only amplifies this sense of consolation in the drama of the elements, this sense of change as a portal not to terror but to transcendent serenity. I grew attuned to the echoes of his sensibility bellowing down the corridor of time, reverberating strongly in the work of established artists in my own community. A side project by Maria Popova. Shed the impression of the black hole as a dense crush of matter. As our collective memory always tends toward amnesia and erasure — especially of periods scarred by civilizational shame — these existential infusions of sanity and lucid buoyancy fell out of print and were soon forgotten. It becomes the framework for a tender personal story, part meditation and part memoir — an elegy for Miller’s father and everything he taught her about navigating the world, a reckoning with the dangerous detours she took in navigating her own heart, a love letter to its unexpected port in the woman who became her wife. Something else, in the scale of quickening things, After the year’s best children’s books, art and design books, photography books, and science books, the 2011 best-of series continues with a look … We forget, too, just how much of life’s miraculousness resides in the latitude of the spectrum of experience and our dance across it, how much of life’s vibrancy radiates from the contrast between the various hues, between the darkness and the light. But what drives us to seek the timeless, to search for qualities that may last forever? Within this piece, I made a lot of references to Julie Beck's piece in the Atlantic, but chose to use the format style of Maria Popova's brainpickings.org posts. art pickings. A century and a half after her, Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) — another woman of uncommon courage of conviction and potency of vision — expanded another horizon of possibility by the power of her words and her meteoric life. And here it is (happily) Sometimes, life asks this question not as a thought experiment but as a gauntlet hurled with the raw brutality of living. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. The city’s electric grid was snapped and uprooted — in the below-freezing cold, in the descending dusk, all power went out. The immense ripples of that reckoning are what astrophysicist Janna Levin explores in Black Hole Survival Guide (public library), dappled with gorgeous ghostly paintings by artist and fellow Whitman celebrator Lia Halloran — a poetic primer on relativity, pocket-sized like the second edition of Leaves of Grass, which Whitman redesigned to be carried on the breast and in which he declared that “the known universe has one complete lover and that is the greatest poet.”, The cheeky title — we learn quickly that nothing can escape a black hole except the black hole itself, slipping out of the very reality its existence warps — is soon revealed as a clever conceit, a Trojan horse for some serious, scrumptious science that bends our basic assumptions. `` the best of Brain Pickings elated infatuation I discuss what makes a best as... And surprises of human nature plates are intricate, like the meander of arctic across. 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