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

I; also me: first-person singular.
   It is personal.
   It is how I may view the world, but not as I might write about it.
   I look at what is there and how it affects me as much as the cause and effect of all that may be.
   But, it goes deeper.
   What remains underneath letters disguised as action, place, or point of view, is not lost, perhaps only hidden between the lines.
   Observation; no, self-observation is required, now and then, to check your path and see where you have been or where you might be going.
   Perhaps now is the time, as now is the present, and this may be as good a time as any to look a little deeper into me, myself, and I.
   It is necessary. Now.
   I feel it, but I don’t know why?
   I wrote, many years ago:
     I’m like a pencil;
     sometimes sharp,
     most days
     well-rounded,
     other times
     dull or
     occasionally
     broken.
     Still I write.
   A mantra as much as an explanation, it is personal. I still write, but (again) I must ask myself ‘why’ more as a process of understanding than of questioning.
   We all must wonder, at times, mustn’t we?
   Shouldn’t we all take stock of our movements and memories and emotions?
   I think this is a good time for me.

07/04/2022                                                                                                                              j.g.l.

The Entire Experience

As my world has opened up — and perhaps the sign that we are slowly getting back to some kind of normal — I’ve been able to get out to concerts recently.
   I’ve been to four concerts in the past three weeks, which is more than usual and not as much as I’d like.
   Friday night, I watched and listened to Go Go Penguin. The English jazz band is back to touring after the COVID lockdown we all went through. Seeing the tight trio working through new and old material in its powerful metronomic, if not hypnotic, sound was inspiring; to say the least.
   The crowd in the packed hall was delighted, appreciative, and supportive. You could feel the reciprocal vibe between the band and the audience. The energy was sustained the whole evening through.
   I was overwhelmed by the entire experience. There truly is nothing like live music.

07/03/2022                                                     j.g.l.

the time between

You are here.
What remains of what was
matters less and less as
distance replaces the time
between then and this.
That was then.
This is now.

06/30/2022                                                  j.g.l.

this country

Unity, or
diversity,
does not mean
conformity.
Each of us owns
hopes
and dreams;
they belong to us
individually, just as
we all belong
to this country.
Our views are
different,
but this country
is the
common bond.
Celebrate
where we are
and
who we are.
Accept
the differences
in yourself
and others.
We all share
the same sky.
Happy Canada Day.

j.g.l.

 

Try To Remember

It is too easy to get caught up in pushing through physical pain and trying to get to the point where you are feeling more like you. Often we become so concerned about the body that the mind, or spirit, is neglected.
   One part of you cannot be healed without the other.
   You need that balance.
   Maintaining equilibrium can be difficult when part of you is off. Mental health is health and needs to be nurtured as much as your body. When your spirit is low it feels more like you’ve got no place to go, no matter how hard you try to remember.

06/28/2022                                                                                 j.g.l.

Bearing Witness

I was fortunate over the past week, blessed even, to take in the stunning contemporary exhibition of art and artifacts currently on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
   The exhibition — a collection of collections — celebrates the art of everyday life in the moment, at the time, as it was; and the way it was.
   More than nostalgic, I AM HERE pulls at the memories of certain styles and trends, movements and moments.
   On display are lists, photographs, home movies, illustrations and paintings, sound and sights and everyday stuff culturally relevant to a history that makes us aware of whom we are now. You are not just viewing art; you are bearing witness.
   I AM HERE, a pandemic project by the AGO, is an exhibition that gets you thinking, feeling, and remembering. I’ve been twice, already, and will go back again (and again).

06/26/2022                                                                                        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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A Despicable Duplicitous Act

Posted on July 2, 2022 Leave a comment

It’s popular, and it’s alarming.
   Plagiarism has become a bigger problem than ever, and more apparent as social media further casts its spell across every platform and screen. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are all full of bright shiny examples; you see it all the time.
   It’s out there. It is trending.
   A disturbing, disrespectful act, plagiarism is stealing, passing off the ideas or words of another person as one’s own. Examples lack credit or attribution.
   I’ve called out a couple of people over the past few months for blatant
misuse of quotes belonging to someone else.
   One person, a couple of times on her social media feeds, matched lovely quotes (including one by T.S. Eliot) with beautiful black and white photographs of herself. The combination looked great, but nowhere was the poet credited with the original genius.
   Another influencer — in a stylized format featuring her name and image — used the words of a popular motivational speaker. An earlier post, in the same branded format, featured a paraphrased quote by Toni Morrison.
   The Instagram post was made to look like the influencer was the one offering up such compelling advice.
   It was so wrong.
   I sent a comment to the owner of the post (but not the words), informing her the quote belonged to someone else. “It’s great to be inspired, but share the credit,” I said.
   She quickly responded: “I had no clue it was him as it’s just a widely shared quote without his name.”
   See, that’s the problem; nobody does the research. Nobody takes the time to find the source of their inspiration. Nobody bothers.
   It’s sad because the same device used to create the post has the capability to trace the source of the statement. A Google search is so easy.
   Attribution is important. Behind every quotable quote is a writer, an artist or musician, politician or fortune cookie philosopher who laboured over the correct phrasing or came to them in a flash of brilliance.
   They deserve the credit for the deep thought or clever observation. But, these days, they don’t get it.
   Now, I’m not saying that the people I called out are not capable of such profound thought, but it seems they don’t even try. One of them, by simply taking a phrase that has already made its rounds on the Internet, shows how little she was trying to come up with eye-catching content.
   It’s really too bad.
   Plagiarism is a despicable, duplicitous act. It is ethically wrong, morally reprehensible, spiritually bankrupt, and grounds for dismissal in the halls of academia. It should be a source of shame to anyone who seriously commits such a tasteless endeavor.
   Plagiarism is fraudulent, leaves little to the imagination, and corrupts the concept of free thought. No matter how brave and bold the original work was, it becomes empty of its meaning when it is bastardized.
   I’m not saying that every time you plagiarize a kitten dies, or another COVID-19 variant is released unto the world, for it is more serious than that.  Each time you claim the words of others as your own; you dilute the original message of a fellow human being. At the same time, you weaken your own content.
   Be creative. If there is a point you are trying to make, or you are attempting to inspire or provide insight, use your own words (or give credit where credit is due).
   If you chose to pass along an inspiring quote, be inspired yes, but provide attribution (and don’t just hide it deep down in your content).
   Show you know who said it.
   Show you know what you are talking about.
   Show that creativity is more than a pretty picture and a few happy words.  Show the true worth of the words.
   You’ll feel better about it.
   Believe in yourself, and others will believe it too.
   Be authentic.
   Be you.

© 2021 j.g. lewis

We Only Think We Remember

Posted on June 29, 2022 Leave a comment

Costs of living intently rising with greater momentum
than we have experienced in decades. Inflation. A dollar
eroding, daily, hourly, overnight as markets contract or
give way to pressures we have not known; for a while.

Geo-political influences, war we cannot ignore, news
streaming 24 hours a day. It is the way we live. Digitally.
Death toll accumulates; we have been watching the
numbers climb for well over two years now. This virus.

Pandemic focused our psyche on the ebb and flow of
what little we know. Climate change we once ignored,
heat or rain in amounts we have not seen before, in areas
once plagued by drought. We only think we remember.

The earth is changing, and we with it. How can we not?
Efforts all for nothing, we take stock of what we have and
all we have lost. We feel a deficit, financially and morally.
We contemplate circumstances never before considered.

Money is more than our own concern; and concerned
we must be. Drastic shifts of the dollar; our wallet not as
bulky as it once was. Common cents. Pump prices rise,
daily, to record levels. It will again, the costs of this pain.

So much has been misplaced, most of all this sense of
community. Look around. Do you see the abundance of
friends and colleagues we used to know? How did they go?
How can we afford to sustain the inevitable unavoidable?

© 2022 j.g. lewis

Meaning Comes With Age

Posted on June 25, 2022 Leave a comment

   Summer doesn’t speak;
it whispers a conscious melody
to high-heeled fashionistas with open toes,
sunburnt brats with runny noses, and
old men who know
evening air is sweeter
when dusk has had its way.      Humidity.
Sweat of the glass,
                                 Tangueray and tonic
will take away the pain,
Mosquito bites, lonely nights
sitting on an ever- creaky veranda,
Dinah Washington crackles from the speaker.
Suddenly you appear. . .
   Any other day
flowers stand taller, like
the younger women strolling by,
getting younger by the day.
Watch them
                    and wipe
the perspiration from your brow;
the once-crisp handkerchief has
soaked up many nights of lustful thoughts.
Old men just grow older,
the meaning comes with age.     Humility.
Summer lasts as long
as a savings account wastefully spent.
Then you are gone. . .
   Over time
most of the flowers will perish
well before first frost,
mostly from neglect.     Naturally.
We will all grow tired
of looking at them,
                         or forget the beauty.
Our minds go to other places.
Yet summer, in its capricious wisdom,
will breathe again
to those of us who will listen.
To young women
and older men.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

Watercolour painting by Kevi Remple

*selected lyrics from Invitation.
Written by Bronislaw Kaper/Paul Francis Webster,
the jazz standard was memorably recorded
by Dinah Washington in 1962. Has desire ever
been captured more sensually in a musical state?

 

Affinity

Posted on June 22, 2022 Leave a comment

We take all dreams with a grain of salt.
Emotions take a licking, worse for wear,
bruises bear witness to the challenge
of friendship.      At any age,
infatuation infects common courtesy,
unknown among misfits and hangers-on,
in the desire to be together.
     You are among friends.
Among thieves, even casual acquaintances,
honestly it is difficult to see the honesty
apparent in our everyday strife.
     But it is worth looking for.      Affinity.
     Fragile masculinity, genuine femininity,
     no distinction, no distractions, imitation
knows no limitation, Humans being human, as
tricky as it is, as finicky as it was, we all
want to belong, It is the people in our lives
                    that make our lives worthwhile.

© 2022 j.g. lewis

We Wait

Posted on June 18, 2022 Leave a comment

Undetermined hesitancy,
well past procrastination, yet far less than wasting time.
Waiting is less a function and more of a state.
It is not stillness; for that to occur the mind must settle, not
impervious, but free to allow thoughts in. And out.
Then become silence.
We, then, are waiting, knowing time will tick on anyway.
If we can stop even for a moment, to simply breathe,
we can find perspective.
It is searching for something meaningful
from something meaningless.
We seek further meaning,
knowing our lives are deeper than our pockets.
We understand there is greater nutrition in a shared meal,
that Friday will arrive each week, and a bicycle and a car
each have a purpose.
We wait; believing home has nothing to do with boundaries.
For our past to catch up with our ever-present worry, for
today to be the gift we were told it would be,
the future must unfold as it should.
In searching for this equilibrium,
have we become stuck in the balance?
Our mind is occupied.
Waiting.
We know there are people, who miss us as we miss them,
and we wait in one space thinking that one person may find us.
Waiting may be a reminder
they are not coming.
As we wait, we attempt to determine if
our response is an action, or a reaction.
We know inaction.

© 2019 j.g. lewis

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