This blog post is about blogs, so it’s a meta post. I have two favorite blogs that I regularly read. One is published daily, while the other comes to my inbox twice a week.
I know and love some people who are having a hard time right now. Two of the biggest reasons are a feeling of isolation and loneliness due to the pandemic, and anxiety and distress over the fraught political situation and cultural divisions in our country.
These blogs aren’t elixirs for all that might ail you. But they’ve been a positive resource for me and so I’m sharing them in case anyone out there might need more inspiration or knowledge than you can get from reading my blog (ha!).
Brain Pickings is Maria Popova’s one-person “labor of love exploring what it means to live a decent, substantive, rewarding life.”
Her blog and twice-weekly newsletter focus on philosophy, literature, and art—and contain some of the most profound and substantial ideas I’ve ever come across. Her writing makes me think in new ways, see from fresh perspectives, and appreciate the complex conundrum of being alive.
Popova’s content is free. There are no ads on the website or in the newsletters. Donations accepted.
Here’s are just a few snippets from her blog:
A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety.
That specific post contains this image by Catherine Lepange, which explains a lot with just a few simple lines:
Also on Brain Pickings, this sweet and touching short film (just 3 minutes) about what it takes to “recover the light of being.” You might think it has to do with houseplants, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. (Side note: I have 21 houseplants that I’m currently responsible for, some thriving, some struggling—all of them appreciated. If you are in need of a plant, let me know. I’ve got one for you.)
Heather Cox Richardson
Heather Cox Richardson is a historian and professor who writes a daily newsletter/blog called “Letters from an American.” Her newsletter sums up and provides historical context for the daily dose of insane news crossing our transoms each day.
I first discovered Richardson a couple of months before the 2020 election. Because of her, I was able to escape the flood of stressful rhetoric, lies, and outrage that was drowning me every day, and instead at least be able to tread water by focusing on facts and historical significance.
Yes, her newsletter expresses a point of view. Its first line today was “The most prominent story these days is that the Republican Party is sliding toward a full-on embrace of authoritarianism.” But her newsletter always includes sources and notes—it’s not just made up shit shouted through a megaphone.
You can read samples and subscribe here.
If you have favorite blogs or newsletters you’d like to recommend, please let me know.