Maria Popova, like philosopher Julia Kristiva (b. 24th June 1941), was an immigrant from Bulgaria. In Kristeva’s case it was to France, while for Popova, it was to America. Popova describes herself as “a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large.” The means of disseminating her reading, curiosity and thinking is her website Brain Pickings, founded “mostly”, she writes, as “a record of [her] own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.
Popova has been able to scale her journey to a size I would never have the time to do, but our interests and motivation remain very similar. I too am a reader, a collector, a thinker, an asker of questions, an explorer, a wayfarer, a person who sees connection and layers of meaning and significance, and a sharer of what I discover on my own journey and quest to become more fully human, free, authentic, truthful, alive and whole. Very modest and low budget by comparison, Prodigalkiwi has been in existence for well over 10-years. It has a small readership, and at its heart it is the record of a journey: my journey, interests and explorations through the fields of theology, spirituality, art, philosophy, literature, religion, psychology, architecture, film and more besides.
I only discovered Popova via the Australian publication Dumbo Feather (conversations with extraordinary people / issue 36 - 2013) and then most recently via a regular US-originating conversation now called On Being (and before that, Speaking of Faith). I had not seen her site Brain Pickings, but since the On Being conversation I’ve visited it many times. It’s been such a fascinating experience – the intersection of so many interesting themes, stories, and people.
You’ll find the On Being conversation here.