Taking Aim
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 29, 2022

Archery began with the discovery that a propelled arrow could travel farther than a thrown spear – but has subsequently gone in many strange directions. In late Victorian England, there were two outstanding schools for women, which each had an eminent headmistress. At the North London Collegiate School for Ladies, there was Frances Mary Buss; […]

Have Arms, Will Hug
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 1, 2022

The activity called boxing may not have contributed much to the field of athletics, but it has certainly enriched our language. The fighting once took place outdoors, in a “ring” made by the encircling spectators. Indoors, that area became a roped square, which – however – is still called a “ring.” In many nations, it […]

 

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Sad Beauty
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 22, 2022

Why do we like watching the sun set? Is it the beauty of changing colors and shapes? Or is it rather the emotional impact of experiencing the passage of time, the ending of another day of our lives? These two closely interwoven themes, the sad and the beautiful, permeate our culture. Three of my favorite […]

Learning From the Young
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 15, 2022

A friend who was about to turn 50, knowing that I’m in my late 80s, asked me what advice I might have for a person reaching that milestone. I had to tell him that I thought all such “landmarks” artificial and insignificant, being based on our arbitrary counting in tens, which in turn derives from […]

What’s in It?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 8, 2022

Much of our folklore, including Greek mythology, has to do with explaining the origins of things. For example, why are there so many troubles in the world? Well, it seems they were once all contained in a certain neat, secure box. But some naughty female named Pandora, hardly realizing what she was doing, opened the […]

Sin-tegrity
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 1, 2022

In the popular mythology of our culture, women have had a bad rap. The stereotypical images of the Mother-in-Law (never the Father-in-Law), the Dumb Blonde, and the Woman Driver – to say nothing of the Stage Mother, and the Spinster Schoolmarm – have been the butt of innumerable jokes. There has also been the legendary […]

Purely Passionate
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   January 25, 2022

Congratulations! You have won a lifetime supply of Life! But what to do with that supply? For some people, what makes life worth living is something they are passionate about. “Passion” has many connotations – religious, sexual, psychological, even culinary. But the essence of it is very strong positive feeling and interest. (Despite our culture’s […]

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Regrets
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   January 18, 2022

Life would be very empty, if we had nothing to regret. The most celebrated song of Edith Piaf, France’s most famous singer-songwriter, was “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I regret nothing”). But sadly, she had plenty to regret, dying in 1963 aged only 47, after many years of alcohol and drug abuse. Does the […]

There’s Treasure Everywhere
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   December 21, 2021

The first place to look for treasure is within yourself. Don’t dismiss me as some kind of inspirational motivator if I start blathering about your internal riches. It’s a simple fact that unused, unexploited, almost unknown resources lie inside every one of us.  Sometimes it takes a crisis or catastrophe to reveal our hidden strengths. […]

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Who Really is Who?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   December 14, 2021

The identity question has bedeviled mankind from the beginning of civilization. And, although we now have fingerprints, DNA, and many other methods of distinguishing individuals, it continues to be a problem today – as evidenced by the fact that, at your bank, pharmacy, or airline ticket-counter, and other places you regularly deal with, you will […]

Are We Really Free?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   December 7, 2021

None of us is really free — nor would any thinking person really want to be. We are captives in our bodies and our minds. We are victims of all kinds of circumstances we cannot control – the weather — world events — the whims of natural catastrophes, and the mysterious fact of our own […]

Prime Times
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 30, 2021

There are people who believe that, after they die, they’ll be reunited with all the people to whom they were closest in life. It’s a beautiful vision – but what condition will we all be in, and at what age?  Few of us would prefer to meet our loved ones again as they may have […]

Holding On
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 23, 2021

I’ve long been aware that a potholder I use very frequently was provided, many years ago, free of charge, by a popular local politician, in connection with one of his campaigns for Congress. I couldn’t help being aware of this, since his name, with a brief political message, is emblazoned very prominently on it. He’s […]

In Good Faith
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 16, 2021

One of the wonderful things about people, is that, in general, we trust each other.  Betrayal is a violation of trust – but it is the exception, not the rule. Formal marriage is a solemnization of trust, particularly in terms of sexual fidelity. Divorce is common but getting married is still very popular. We even […]

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