Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “diaries”

How to Keep Criticism from Sinking Your Confidence: Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Self-Esteem
How to Keep Criticism from Sinking Your Confidence: Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Self-Esteem

“I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood.”

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Audre Lorde on Kinship Across Difference and the Importance of Unity Within Movements for Equality and Social Change
Audre Lorde on Kinship Across Difference and the Importance of Unity Within Movements for Equality and Social Change

“How can we use each other’s differences in our common battles for a livable future?”

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Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Five Elements of a Great Work of Art
Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Five Elements of a Great Work of Art

“You come to doubt whether there is any secret there; it seems that you touch the depths at once. But ten years later you return to it and enter still more deeply.”

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Against Busyness and Surfaces: Emerson on Living with Presence and Authenticity
Against Busyness and Surfaces: Emerson on Living with Presence and Authenticity

On cultivating “the power to swell the moment from the resources of our own heart until it supersedes sun & moon & solar system in its expanding immensity.”

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Thoreau on Knowing vs. Seeing and What It Takes to Apprehend Reality Unblinded by Our Preconceptions
Thoreau on Knowing vs. Seeing and What It Takes to Apprehend Reality Unblinded by Our Preconceptions

“We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.”

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Darkness in the Celestial Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Arresting 1927 Account of a Total Solar Eclipse
Darkness in the Celestial Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Arresting 1927 Account of a Total Solar Eclipse

“We had seen the world dead. This was within the power of nature.”

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Thoreau on Nature as Prayer
Thoreau on Nature as Prayer

“In the street and in society I am almost invariably cheap and dissipated, my life is unspeakably mean.”

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A Burst of Light: Audre Lorde on Turning Fear Into Fire
A Burst of Light: Audre Lorde on Turning Fear Into Fire

“I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out my ears, my eyes, my noseholes — everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”

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A Placid Ecstasy: Walt Whitman’s Most Direct Reflection on Happiness
A Placid Ecstasy: Walt Whitman’s Most Direct Reflection on Happiness

“What is happiness, anyhow? … so impalpable — a mere breath, an evanescent tinge…”

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“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity

“When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.”

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