Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “culture”

Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity
Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity

“Don’t start with a big idea. Start with a phrase, a line, a quote. Questions are very helpful. Begin with a few you’re carrying right now.”

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The Handle on the Door to a New World: Poet Jane Hirshfield on the Magic and Power of Metaphor, Animated
The Handle on the Door to a New World: Poet Jane Hirshfield on the Magic and Power of Metaphor, Animated

“A metaphor is language that simultaneously creates and solves its own riddle; within that minute explosion of mind is both expansion and release… It is how the mind instructs itself in a more complex seeing.”

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Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson
Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson

Rewilding the landscape of possibility for the poetry of being.

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How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain
How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain

“We are our memory… that chimerical museum of shifting shapes, that pile of broken mirrors.”

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Whom We Love and Who We Are: José Ortega y Gasset on Love, Attention, and the Invisible Architecture of Our Being
Whom We Love and Who We Are: José Ortega y Gasset on Love, Attention, and the Invisible Architecture of Our Being

“Love is an impulse which springs from the most profound depths of our beings, and upon reaching the visible surface of life carries with it an alluvium of shells and seaweed from the inner abyss.”

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From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas
From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas

How the world relished the world before Instagram.

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The Creative Urge: John Coltrane on Perseverance Against Rejection, the Innovator’s Mindset, and How Hardship Fuels Art
The Creative Urge: John Coltrane on Perseverance Against Rejection, the Innovator’s Mindset, and How Hardship Fuels Art

“Innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields… Quite often they are the rejects, outcasts, sub-citizens, etc. of the very societies to which they bring so much sustenance.”

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Rilke on the Relationship Between Solitude, Love, Sex, and Creativity
Rilke on the Relationship Between Solitude, Love, Sex, and Creativity

“There is only one solitude, and it is large and not easy to bear… People are drawn to the easy and to the easiest side of the easy. But it is clear that we must hold ourselves to the difficult.”

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The Other Great Gertrude-and-Alice Love Story: The Life and Legacy of Pioneering Photographer and Bicyclist Alice Austen
The Other Great Gertrude-and-Alice Love Story: The Life and Legacy of Pioneering Photographer and Bicyclist Alice Austen

Quiet courage and improbable redemption under the sycamore tree.

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Darling Baby: Artist Maira Kalman’s Painted Serenade to Attention, Aliveness, and the Vibrancy of Seeing the World with Newborn Eyes
Darling Baby: Artist Maira Kalman’s Painted Serenade to Attention, Aliveness, and the Vibrancy of Seeing the World with Newborn Eyes

“You will look at everything. And everything is really quite beautiful. Quite.”

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