Maria Popova

Maria Popova


Reader. Writer. Bicycle-dependent. Author of "Figuring."

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“What counts is what we are, and the way we deepen our relationship with the world and with others, a relationship that can be one of both love for all that exists and of desire for its transformation.” The young Calvino meets Dr. King, born OTD in 1929

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“A poem … is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth.” Here is a French illustrated burst of loveliness for your day:

"The day ends. The night falls. And in between… there is the blue hour." The Blue Hour – a stunning illustrated celebration of nature's deceptively dominant but in fact rarest color

“The self, the place where we live, is a place of illusion. Goodness is connected with the attempt to see the unself… to pierce the veil of selfish consciousness and join the world as it really is.” Thank goodness for Iris Murdoch, and for art.

When artist Ronald Searle's wife fell ill with cancer and began chemotherapy — an experimental treatment at the time — he made her a love drawing after each session. She lived another 40 years after her diagnosis. Ronald died a few months later, at 91.

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Stendhal on the 7 psychological stages of falling in and out of love – exquisite insight from 200 years ago

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” Remembering Mary Oliver, who died two years ago today unregretful

Virginia Woolf on the relationship between loneliness and creativity

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“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” Writing advice from James Baldwin, born 96 years ago today:

"One person, … one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death." Elie Wiesel, now

Watch to the end. The most optimistic thing I’ve seen in ages. If this tiny friend can make it across the abyss, and with such uncomplicated grace, so can we. (Nail for snail scale.)

If the ancient Arab world had banned Western travelers from its borders, we’d have no mathematics, no astronomy, no medicine. #MuslimBan 

"(How frail the human heart must be — a throbbing pulse, a trembling thing — a fragile, shining instrument of crystal, which can either weep, or sing.)" Sylvia Plath would have been 87 today.

“Art like prayer is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts.” Kafka, born on this day in 1883, on the power of music and the point of making art:

Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson were married on this day 1992. His lovely reflection on the secret to their mutually sustaining marriage and what his mom taught him about love:

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