Tag archives: Brilliant Thoughts

Have a Heart
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 4, 2022

Contrary to what someone might think, a cardiologist does not collect cards – not even such collectibles as those my little Company produces. The word comes from the Greek kardia, meaning “heart,” which has given us such spin-offs as “cordial,” and the French and Spanish “Coeur,” and “Corazón.” Where I live, there is a local […]

Why Heaven?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 27, 2022

“Ah, but a man’s reach must exceed his grasp – or what’s a Heaven for?” This quotation, from Robert Browning’s long poem, “Andrea del Sarto,” may be all anybody remembers of that work (if any of it is remembered at all). But the idea itself is certainly worth thinking about. Whether or not you truly […]

Too Much Love
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 20, 2022

Loving one another is OK – but let’s not overdo it. Can there be too much love? We’ve all heard of “smother love” – a kind of emotional swaddling that comes near to stifling the object of affection – particularly associated with over-protective parents. Some people are surprised to hear that my own parents, when […]

Not What You Think
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 13, 2022

“Fool me once, – shame on you –Fool me twice,Shame on me.” It may surprise you to realize in how many ways our lives, literature, and entire culture are based on misleading each other and our fellow creatures. To start with, there’s the matter of clothing, and all kinds of other things we put on […]

On the Move
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 6, 2022

One line I remember from the many years I spent listening to radio comedy was this: “You know I think the world of you . . . And you know what everybody thinks of the world these days.” Be that as it may, we can probably agree that, if anything is certain about what we […]

Where We Came In
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 30, 2022

There was once a common expression, “This is where we came in.” The meaning was originally quite literal. In the early days of movies – and at least into my childhood in the 1940s – when movies, especially new releases, were still something most people went out to, rather than seeing them at home – […]

Please Be Seated
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 23, 2022

Because of the way our bodies bend, the most comfortable position, when not prone, tends to be with the buttocks emplaced some distance above the ground (depending on the length of our legs) and our backs resting, if possible, against a vertical surface. This is known as “sitting,” and, for all the improvements, in housing, […]

Respect
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 16, 2022

There used to be a comedian named Rodney Dangerfield (a name which is somehow funny in itself) who built his whole career on a five-word catchphrase: “I don’t get no respect.” This too had its own built-in funny-ness, because we tend to have less respect for people who use grammar incorrectly. But Dangerfield specialized in […]

Innocence
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 9, 2022

There’s only one reason why the following lines linger in my mind. They’re from a poem called “Daisy,” which we studied in English class, when I was at school in England. The poem, by Francis Thompson, describes his encounter with a little girl, who, to him, was clearly the personification of innocence. But the reason […]

Happiness
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 26, 2022

One of my more popular epigrams (at least popular with me) says “A good friend is worth pursuing – But why would a good friend be running away?” In the case of this article, the good friend is Happiness, the pursuit of which, according to our hallowed Declaration of Independence, is a God-given right. So, […]

What’s Good For You
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 12, 2022

The Guinness Brewing Company of Dublin, Ireland became famous by providing its customers with one thing they needed in addition to beer. That was INFORMATION. Conversation in bars often degenerated into arguments over facts, particularly facts concerning extremes – of such matters as speed, or altitude, or age. This of course was the origin of […]

Letter of the Law
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 5, 2022

Nowadays, it’s hard to avoid being a criminal, because, whatever you try, there’s bound to be a law against it – perhaps several laws, some of which may be in conflict with the others – that’s how lawyers make their money. Many such legal eagles are in fact known as “criminal lawyers.” Their avowed purpose […]

Take It All Off
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 28, 2022

One of the best known, not to say notorious, celebrities of the 1920s and ‘30s was a buxom blonde actress and writer named Mae West. One of her best-known lines came in the 1933 film, I’m No Angel, in which, in a starring role, she says to her maid, “Beulah, peel me a grape,” which […]

Nurses and Curses
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 21, 2022

Many of the titles of Ernest Hemingway’s best-known novels are derived from earlier literature. The Sun Also Rises comes from the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes, (one of the most pessimistic parts of the Bible, which begins by saying that “Everything is meaningless”). For Whom the Bell Tolls comes from a sermon by the English […]

To Wit to Woo
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 14, 2022

In the history of courtship, no words have resonated more profoundly than two lines by that great poet, Ogden Nash: Candy is dandy,But liquor is quicker. However, we must admit that, over the ages, many other techniques of wooing have been developed. For example, there are music and song, as celebrated by that other immortal […]

Shadows
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 7, 2022

Alexander the Great cast a giant shadow over History, conquering most of the known world in his short lifetime (356-323 B.C.). On his way eastward, he visited the city of Sinope (on the north coast of modern Turkey), and there encountered its most notorious inhabitant, a crusty old philosopher named Diogenes. Knowing this man’s reputed […]

Has it Got Legs?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 31, 2022

Here is a riddle for you: What goes ninety-nine CLOP, ninety-nine CLOP, ninety-nine CLOP…? Answer: A centipede with a wooden leg. I don’t want to go into all the biological reasons concerning the numerous varieties of centipedes, showing that, even apart from the wooden leg, this story can’t be true. What I do want to […]

Ages and Ages
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 24, 2022

How old? The answer to that question is usually expected to be in terms of years – that is, of Earth journeys around the sun. We owe that idea to a Polish monk named Copernicus (1473-1543 AD). But even before Copernicus, in those good old days when the sun still went around the earth, the […]

Innards
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 17, 2022

Different parts of our bodies have come to be associated with a variety of emotions and characteristics. Love supposedly springs from the heart, integrity is in the backbone, and inquisitiveness in the nose. But, when it comes to truly deep-seated feelings, for some reason, we commonly attribute them to our intestines. And it’s not only […]

Help
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 10, 2022

Most of us need help of some kind, at least occasionally, and there are, of course, many different ways of seeking it. In an emergency, we immediately think of sending out an “S.O.S.” Contrary to popular belief, those letters do not stand for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls” – nor, for that matter, […]