Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

Mondays are just young Fridays

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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Getting Past The Voice

Posted on February 19, 2020 by j.g.lewis // 1 Comment

A three-day weekend with not a lot to do, I spent a great deal of it shopping some of Toronto’s fine record shops. Yes, Record Store Day is a few months away, but it’s not like I need an excuse to search for some new vinyl.
   Nothing brightens a cold winter’s day like music.
   I had no specific music in mind, and I keep a list in my head (and on my mobile device) of rarities I’m always searching for; though some days you’ve just got to get out and search for something.
   Music is, and has been for most of my life, my strongest vice or addiction.
   I bought my first Bob a Dylan LP on the Monday. Yes, for the first time in 49 years of buying recorded music I finally bought a Dylan album. It was by no means a spontaneous decision. I’ve been thinking about buying this particular album for more than 40 years, since it was released in 1979.
   Slow Train Coming: I’ve heard most of it, at various times, in bits and pieces, on FM radio or at friend’s home. I’ve even picked up the CD a couple of times, at garages sales, thrift stores, or assorted clearance bins, but something else always captured my imagination.
   I always felt there was more worthwhile music than a Bob Dylan album.
   There’s only one other time I came remotely close to buying Dylan, and that was for the song Knocking On Heavens Door (from the Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid soundtrack), but I never bought it. I just couldn’t. Not for the song and mainly because of Dylan’s voice.
   No matter how introspective, or amazing, his songwriting was or is, I simply could not deal with a voice that is as annoying to me as Tiny Tim, Leonard Cohen, Siouxsie Sioux, or Brittany Spears.
   Yes, I realize now (and I supposed I always have) that Dylan is an icon. I’ve read about him in the pages of Rolling Stone for almost as long as I’ve been buying albums. I know the songwriter has few peers in his genre, or on the level of this popular musician, but I could not bother buying his music.
Besides, you could always hear his songs on many other albums by so many other musicians. I could fill a page with artists who have covered Dylan’s songs. Hell, I could fill a page with artists who have recorded Blowin’ In The Wind, or Mr. Tambourine Man. Or I Shall Be Released.
   Yes, he is that good a craftsman; I would never even joke about the man’s songwriting skills. Lyrically he is astounding; I mean, he did win a Nobel Prize for poetry in 2016.
   The man can’t sing (his voice can only be described as ‘honest), but he does have a certain place in rock and roll history. I became somewhat enamored with the guy about a decade ago when he had his own show on Sirus XM Satellite Radio. I’d tune in more regularly than I’d care to admit, and listen to the music that caught his ear, or what he listened to as a kid. I was often pacified by his storytelling abilities.
   I also enjoyed reading about his life through the eyes of Joni Mitchell and Robbie Robertson in either of their fairly recent autobiographies. Despite the occasional differences each of the musicians documented in the pages, there was respect for the man.
   I guess I finally acknowledged my respect for his talent by buying one of his records on the weekend.
   It was probably because I’ve always, sort of, kind of liked the song Gotta Serve Somebody. Maybe it was for the message itself?
   Maybe I’ve softened, maybe his voice is recorded a little better this time around (producer Jerry Wexler did have his soulful ways of working), or maybe it was Mark Knofler’s guitar work that had been calling to me (Knofler himself having been accused of a Dylan-esque voice when he came onto the scene with Dire Straits).
   Point is, music will often find a place in your life. It may be a new style, or band, or something from your past. Maybe it is a certain melody or lyric that brings forth an important  moment.
Or maybe, like the times, I am a changing.
Slow Train, I’ve come to realize over the past few days, is one damn good album. I probably should have bought it decades ago.

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One reply on “Getting Past The Voice”

Getting used to Bob Dylan’s voice is like developing a taste for a strong and bitter IPA. Once achieved you can’t put it down!

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