Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “letters”

Hermann Hesse on Hope, the Difficult Art of Taking Responsibility, and the Wisdom of the Inner Voice
Hermann Hesse on Hope, the Difficult Art of Taking Responsibility, and the Wisdom of the Inner Voice

“If you are now wondering where to look for consolation, where to seek a new and better God… he does not come to us from books, he lives within us… This God is in you too. He is most particularly in you, the dejected and despairing.”

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A Velocity of Being: Illustrated Letters to Children about Why We Read by 121 of the Most Inspiring Humans in Our World
A Velocity of Being: Illustrated Letters to Children about Why We Read by 121 of the Most Inspiring Humans in Our World

A labor of love 8 years in the making, featuring contributions by Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma, Jacqueline Woodson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mary Oliver, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Gilbert, Shonda Rhimes, Richard Branson, Marina Abramović, Judy Blume, and other remarkable humans living inspired and inspiring lives.

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‘Frankenstein’ Author Mary Shelley on Nature and the Meaning of Happiness
‘Frankenstein’ Author Mary Shelley on Nature and the Meaning of Happiness

“Coming to this delightful spot during this divine weather, I feel as happy as a new-fledged bird, and hardly care what twig I fly to, so that I may try my new-found wings.”

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How to Break Up with Integrity: Rilke on Unwounding Separation and the Difficult Art of Recalibrating Broken Relationships
How to Break Up with Integrity: Rilke on Unwounding Separation and the Difficult Art of Recalibrating Broken Relationships

“Nothing locks people in error as much as the daily repetition of error.”

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Van Gogh on the Beauty of Sorrow and the Enchantment of Storms, in Nature and in Life
Van Gogh on the Beauty of Sorrow and the Enchantment of Storms, in Nature and in Life

“Oh, there must be a little bit of air, a little bit of happiness, but chiefly to let the form be felt, to make the lines of the silhouette speak. But let the whole be sombre.”

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Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert
Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert

“Come with me this morning to the church within our hearts, where the bells are always ringing, and the preacher whose name is Love — shall intercede for us!”

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How to Make Difficult Decisions: Benjamin Franklin’s Pioneering Pros and Cons Framework
How to Make Difficult Decisions: Benjamin Franklin’s Pioneering Pros and Cons Framework

A worksheet for the moral mathematics of decision-making from America’s original prophet of self-improvement.

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Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions
Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

“A passion, like the torrent in the violence of its course, might perhaps too, like the torrent, leave ruin and desolation behind… My love for you… is deep and calm, more like the quiet river, which refreshes and beautifies where it flows.”

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The Difficult Art of Giving Space in Love: Rilke on Freedom, Togetherness, and the Secret to a Good Marriage
The Difficult Art of Giving Space in Love: Rilke on Freedom, Togetherness, and the Secret to a Good Marriage

“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”

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Loneliness in Time: Physicist Freeman Dyson on Immigration and How Severing Our Connection to the Past Shallows Our Present and Hollows Our History
Loneliness in Time: Physicist Freeman Dyson on Immigration and How Severing Our Connection to the Past Shallows Our Present and Hollows Our History

An antidote to today’s perilous self-expatriation from history.

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