Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Best

Here’s the trail of breadcrumbs. Chuck subscribes to The New York Times. That means in addition to the Sunday newspaper being delivered to our home, we also get full digital access. My favorite way to read the Times is on our iPad. Near the beginning of December I clicked on the Times icon. Before the edition refreshed I spotted an article about a blogger with the phrase “big ideas”. Then it disappeared and the new edition filled in. Some searching brought me back to the article which had caught me eye. Here’s the piece.

When I finished that article about 28 year old Maria Popova I clicked through to her website “Brain Pickings”. I was hooked. I quickly added the site to my RSS feeds and followed it on Twitter and Facebook.

Tonight I e-mailed my sister Gail in Georgia and mentioned it to her. That was when I realized I had never posted about Brain Pickings here. For which, I sincerely apologize!

Calling Maria Popova a blogger may be technically true but she is more accurately an editor, a collector, a curator, a librarian of all that is interesting. But not interesting the way CNN Headline News or USA Today are when you are stuck in an airport on a layover. Nor is Brain Pickings interesting the way BuzzFeed and Gawker can be. Brain Pickings is classier, deeper and draws you in with beauty, history and brilliance.

Brain Pickings has a separate page called The Literary Jukebox. Ms. Popova pairs a song with a quote or a poem. Sounds devilishly simple doesn’t it? I don’t believe it is and once again she makes it something special. Here is my absolute favorite combination which joins
John Steinbeck and Natalie Merchant. I find it both inspiring and beautiful.

Not every single Brain Pickings post is fascinating to me. But I am always happy to see the yellow avatar pop up in my streams. And I find it comforting to know that someone is working so assiduously to bring important and wonderful things to the attention of an ever widening audience.

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