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 . . .

coud songs

Everything within your grasp,

         and that so far removed, 

   is as consequential 

   as it feels.

 

             Breathe 

     between the space 

within the enormity of it all.

 

   There, right there, 

                   is liberation.

 

Freedom awaits 

those that recognize 

personal growth, and them 

         who continue to look.

 

07/19/2024                                                                                                  j.g.l.

knowledge

Did you realize, or

do you? Now, was there 

   more or less gravity to the

                    situation at hand? 

 

All present and accounted for, 

   yet still we want a little more

knowledge.      If you know

                                       you know. 

 

Perspective is far greater than

   a simple rationalization, or a

sudden realization. Do you care, 

                                           truth or dare.

 

07/18/2024                                                                           j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

Last Friday — inspired by a horoscope offered in a publication I had never read before — I went silent. The words in the free community newspaper suggested I keep opinions to myself for a single day, and I took the words of wisdom to heart. 

   Breaking my usual routine I made coffee at home, freeing myself of the need to speak even civilities to attentive coffee shop staff. I did not speak. I can’t recall if I muttered anything under my breath, but I did not offer any opinions to anyone. From what I remember, not even myself.

   I spent the day painting, reading, and thinking.

   I didn’t listen to the radio or stereo, avoided the television, pretty much shred away from social media, and in the afternoon paid particular attention to birdsong emerging after a torrential downpour.

   I simply painted, and read, and thought, and that was all that was required. I didn’t even write. 

   It was placid, serene, and especially comfortable.

   I enjoyed this slight respite; it was almost meditative, to a point (but I didn’t overthink that angle).

   Instead, I stayed in the moment, contemplating the moods and the colours of the day.

   There was a lot of thought, self-analysis and otherwise. Self-thought entirely, not another voice to suggest, scold, or alter my perspective.

   My opinions may have mattered only to me, but does it even make sense that on that day I chose not to have any, even subconsciously?

   That was good enough to me. It was good for me. I may even choose to do it again, perhaps even regularly.

   There is power in silence.

 

07/15/2024                                                                                                                     j.g.l.

as you wander

Gather your thoughts,
be calm
through the day.
Find balance
and confidence
as you wander
your own way.
Be curious
and open-minded,
for the wonders
will never cease.
Let go
of all your worries,
and
pick up the peace.

© 2017 j.g. lewis

awareness

Your thoughts influence your actions.Your perspective allows you to see, or feel, and act in your own way.

We are all unique that way; we all wonder.

Still, you keep your thoughts to yourself.

What were you thinking?

 

07/14/2024                                                                                                    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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Finding the purpose

Posted on July 17, 2024 Leave a comment

The card makes it look so easy.

   A handout, with detailed instructions, entitled HOW TO MEDITATE provides a step-by-step guide to mindful meditation, listing the many common benefits on the reverse side.

   I have tried to meditate in the past; I’ve made a conscious effort to calm myself, and clear my mind, but never have I been able to achieve the intended results. I retrieved the card from the tiny little neighbourhood library thinking these instructions would be more useful than those I have attempted in the past.

   This card, or this style of meditation suggested using a chair, in a quiet spot where I won’t be disturbed, for a few minutes. It appealed to me because I could never ger comfortable in a cross-legged position for any length of time. Despite my ability (and enough flexibility) to conquer the 26 postures and two breathing exercises required of Bikram yoga, folding my legs into a criss-cross pattern has forever been uncomfortable for me.

     So, grounding myself in a chair should not present any problem. I thought. I can surely get comfortable for, at least, the five minutes suggested as the starting point for this style of meditation. I thought.

   After sitting comfortably in a chair, the instructions to FOCUS ON BREATH seemed easy. The breathing I have pretty much mastered through significant dedication to a continued yoga practice some years back. Again, I am reminded to focus on my prana, and feel the breath going in and out, my chest rising and falling with my thoughts.

   It is the thoughts I seem to have trouble with. 

   Step 5 on the card says to NOTICE THOUGHTS THAT ARISE which is quite the opposite to yoga, where I have spent enough time in savasana to know that resting in a supine position is a more beneficial place to release thoughts that clutter the mind. If a thought arrives, I’ve been taught to let it go and release it with my breath.

   Even the 9-step meditation guide instructs me CALMLY LET THOUGHTS PASS AND COME BACK TO THE PRESENT, so what should I do with the thoughts I feel I need to meditate on?

   A conundrum, indeed. Confusing, at least.

   But it is only for five minutes, to start. It’s not a lot of time, and when I think of it, I’ve been able to sit for hours at my computer, or my desk, or in a coffee shop. So, maybe, using a chair for meditation makes sense.

   Though it doesn’t feel productive, to me.

   I have always thought my thoughts were better put to use writing, or thinking, or composing poetry. I can even sit in a car in traffic (for much longer) and let my thoughts flow, even my anger, as the congestion that has become downtown Toronto truly tests my patience.

   Patience is not one of my strong suits, and this search for wholeness, authenticity, guidance and mindfulness will surely test me. It already has.

   Still, I try. And I keep trying.

   I’ve tried before, I’ve tried many methods, but have yet to master meditation. Is it something that can be mastered, even with an observant mind like mine: always active, always searching for answers, always trying to find the point of it all.

   Maybe meditation is not about finding the purpose, but simply allowing myself to think about it.

   Perhaps that itself is something to meditate, or pontificate, on.

© 2024 j.g. lewis

Artifice

Posted on July 10, 2024 Leave a comment

Is it even truth if you are not prepared

to hear the depth of details? Never.

 

We live with lies daily. Conspiracy theories 

and counterfeit counterpoints. Fallacy.

 

Fake news from another point of view,

the source or speaker deceitful. Artifice.

 

Can you look past the mask of indifference?

Will you recognize what is real? Rarely.

 

 

© 2024 j.g. lewis

a little more pride

Posted on July 3, 2024 Leave a comment

Dear Mr. Politician,

   This is not “your” flag. This is our flag: it belongs to all Canadians.

   It is not your brand, but our identity: a definition of who we are determined by where we live. Citizenship has its benefits, as well as concerns.

   This past Monday, as Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast celebrated Canada Day, I was offended by the paper, hand-held flags freely distributed amongst the crowd at a local celebration. It is a simple flag: a brilliant red maple leaf with a bold red strip to each side, miniature, but still effective; a flag designed to be waved with pride. Nowhere was this more obvious than Monday’s event; and there were many such gatherings throughout both this city and wonderful country.

   It was, at first, a rather joyful sight to see people walking about the park with these bright symbols of our country. Then, upon closer inspection of one of the flag’s two sides, was the name of a politician, his position and website address.

   I was shocked. 

   As a proud flag-waving Canadian, I have never been more offended (even disgusted) by the use of our national symbol. For as long as I have known — as first instructed by my mother, then primary school teachers, and later by a few wise old veterans — you do not write on a flag. Anywhere.

   You sir, and I’m not naming names because the obvious speaks for itself, have defaced an emblem I have grown up learning to respect.

   Now I’m sure you are not the only politician to consider yourself important enough to include your name on our flag (there are so few politicians you can accuse of original thought) but as an elected representative, you are here to set an example. You should know the rules. If unfamiliar, please check out the government website  www.canada.ca where you will find the section ‘Do’s and don’ts when displaying the flag’:

“The National Flag of Canada should not be written on or marked in any way…”

   You sir have made a mark on our collective dignity. You are not the only one.

   Later in the day, I came across a lawn sign, the size of which is displayed at election time by any brand of politico wishing to represent this country. Again, the brilliant and highly identifiable Maple Leaf emblem could be seen blocks away. As I walked closer, I saw that included along the bottom of the placard was the name of another politician, like he was important enough to be publicly viewed as a footnote on our flag.

   Again, I was offended. 

   Now, given its firm base of corrugated plastic material with metal spikes driven into the grass, it is not a flag per se: but simply a sign, not designed to be waved or held high. Nonetheless, its dimensions and exacting proportions prove the sign to be a flag in another form.

   The Canadian flag is a brand; respected world-wide (as are its citizens) as being fair, just, friendly (polite) and accepting. By slapping your name along the bottom of the sign, you are unjustly attempting to make it “your” brand. 

   You are using this symbol of freedom and equality as marketing material. By doing so, you have elected to use this as your logo, and in doing so have removed the flag’s dignity and integrity.

   The Canadian flag is much more than a common logo. 

   Please Mr. Politician, show us a little more pride and a little less self-importance.

© 2024 j.g. lewis

longevity

Posted on June 26, 2024 Leave a comment

What will you ask of me? What can I ask of myself?

Loyalty is often full of scrutiny, even for me. Beware.

I knew enough about you to know the little I do.

Co-dependent, confused contradictions, soften our

virtues and values, moral superiority, questions even 

I cannot answer about myself, certainly of thee.

 

What emotions have you survived? Have you truly 

known a ride and die? What of the detours you didn’t 

see coming? Then, I felt you deserved more; even an 

excuse or explanation, but someone else had other ideas. 

The levity and longevity of any relationship formed over

time, will forever sit in the mind. If you think about it.

 

 

© 2024 j.g. lewis

be moved

Posted on June 22, 2024 Leave a comment

A shifting shadow, the curious
moon, drop of rain resting on a
gentle leaf, a song or sound
from a passing car, laughter
caught in the night’s slight
breeze. Exacting opportunities
like these just happen. Naturally.
Sometimes it’s the
simple things that inspire.
Be moved. All day you’ve been
waiting for this moment. Now.
Create when you can.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

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