A recommendation for your online surfing for interesting content. Try Brain Pickings.

The first time I saw that name I thought of George Carlin’s Brain Droppings which he described as “thoughts, musings, questions, lists, beliefs, curiosities, monologues, assertions, assumptions.” Brain pickings are somewhat better polished droppings.

Maria Popova. Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

Maria Popova does Brain Pickings as her “one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.”

Like my Poets Online website, her site began (2006) as a weekly email and then was brought online.

I started Poets Online in 1998 as an e-mail exchange amongst four poets taking turns and suggesting a writing prompt. As more poets joined the group, it became an awkward mailing process, and so I made a web site in 1999.

Maria describes Brain Pickings as being “full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more” and about how “different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.”

Big topics. Some of which I also touch on here on this blog. We don’t do these things to make a living – though wouldn’t it be grand if that was possible – but because we are seekers and we are sure there are others like us out there.

I haven’t put into words for others to read what I have learned on this online journey, but Maria has and I feel pretty akin with most of what she says. Join her on the path.

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