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

Very early this morning, I couldn’t help but glance westward to the brilliant full moon hovering above the CN tower and office buildings of downtown Toronto. The lights inside the sky-high structures not nearly as bright as Luna, but nonetheless picturesque.
   It was a beautiful scene capturing the city I live in and the celestial delight that has guided me for as long as I remember.
   And, I without my camera.
   Pre-coffee, I was not awake enough, or wise enough, to reach into my pocket and at least snap a few shots with my mobile device. I didn’t think, at the time, my simple phone would do the Moon any justice. I instead held the scene in my head.
   While there is a certain convenience to the trusty mobile device, I prefer to use my camera where I have a greater selection of focal lengths and can more artistically control the light entering the lens.
   The camera, I feel, gives me the control I need. Even in the darkness.
   It is all about control.
   I have spent a lifetime learning the intricacies and settings of a camera and its lenses, both digitally and in the more traditional film format. A true camera allows me to make photographs and not simply take snapshots. I like to control and compose as I go through this life. My camera allows me to do that, when I have it with me.
   I later searched the digital files of my computer to find one photo or anther of the Full Moon. I have many times captured both the subject and its essence, but I did not this morning.
   I will however remember this morning’s Moon.
   And I will regret not being prepared enough, or aware enough, to capture what was before me. I did not have the control I wanted.

02/26/2026                                                                                   j.g.l.

times change

When do you decide to make a change?
   Are there circumstances that force you to rearrange the way you run your life?
   Health concerns, living arrangements, sudden interests, or new people and possibilities.
   Change is not always organic.
   Sometimes we have to fight with old habits and patterns, while other times change just happens (good or bad). We still need to rethink what is important.
   How do you decide, and where do you begin?
   The answers can be found, only, within.

© 2019 j.g. lewis

02/23/2024

Words intentionally scribbled in an old notebook, a quote from someone or somewhere. that often comes to mind.
   ‘Do what is right, not what is easy.’
   Many people have said it (or variations of such), so attributing the inspirational words to somebody specific is more difficult to understand than the moral itself.
   A powerful thought from someone who probably thinks more than me (and I do a lot). It is not easy, and sometimes my thoughts are not right, but I try to own them.

02/23/2024                                                                                           j.g.l.

deliberate actions

Forgiveness
not always possible, or
so it seems.
Too much confusion and conflict,
too many altercations,
such little hope.
So many people caught up
in cruelties
we have little chance of erasing.
Harsh words
only accelerate deliberate actions.
Can peace be unavoidable
if our actions
take on greater intentions?

02/25/2024                                                                                       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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Out of Habit

Posted on February 17, 2024 Leave a comment

Do you ever think about the things you do every day? Those things you don’t think about, you know, you just do them. Those things.

The eating, sleeping, the way you wash your face each night, the direction and path you follow when you shave, how you tie your shoes, or which leg of the pants you put on first. The method of brewing your coffee, or how you take tea, that glass of wine at just about nine, the manner in which you butter your toast. The route you drive to work, or the fashion in which you iron your shirt; there are certain things you do because you’ve always done them that way. It becomes routine.

We are all creatures of habit. The things we do, and the way we do them, are how we function; it is our way of making it through the day. Habits are the things we, unconsciously, live our lives around. What you do every day influences how you do each day.

I have many habits (we all do); some are good, and others, perhaps, not so much. Still these habits become ingrained in the psyche. These behaviours, at one time, were learned. Now they are just lived. Some of the habits even form our personality. People know us, or know how we are, because of the things we constantly and continually do.

Whether or not we realize it, we are continually picking and choosing habits as we continue on this journey called life. People we encounter, those who grow to be more than a passing occurrence, will often cause us to rethink or adapt our patterns and protocol as we adjust. A change of workplaces, or move to a new city, the loss of a family member, or distance from others will find us recalibrating our existence. Along the way we pick up, or drop, habits. Some people are habit-forming, maybe even yourself.

Habits are formed easily — many times we don’t even realize it — and can take as few as seven days to become part of our process. The longer you do them, the more they become habitual. Studies have shown it takes an average of 66 days for a practice to firmly take hold. It’s all about conditioning, the brain transforming actions and behaviors, and the sequence of movements required, into habits. In little time we undertake the tasks without even thinking.

Still we try to think, or we try to adapt habits that may make our lives easier. We look at others and try to take on what we assume to be habits that will make our lives better. Who hasn’t read and tried to adapt The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (or any of those popular self-help books) into their lifestyle at one time or another? Who is still trying?

We think more about adopting new habits this time of the year. We make resolutions to exercise more, eat less, or become bolder, or stronger. Early in this new year, we are all trying to foster new approaches, add new dimensions to our lives, or trying to rid, or escape from patterns or people that have not served us well. It’s a part of our evolution to try and change, always for the better. Ridding yourself of an old habit can be harder than adapting a new one, but still we try.

If, for no other reason, the adaptation of a new approach or undertaking is a way of adding excitement to, or breaking up the monotony of, our lives. Trying something different doesn’t necessarily mean trying something new. You might choose to write in your journal at a different time, or move your yoga class to another time of day. You might even try a new yoga style or studio. Perhaps you’ll rearrange the furniture and move the reading chair a little closer to the window. Maybe it’s eliminating that one thing from your diet that has been giving you grief.

Trying something different, and shaking things up a little, might just be the right habit to get into. It may only take seven days, but it might also last a lifetime. If nothing else, it is a way to break up your routine and, by now, we should all know the difference between a routine and a rut.

“The secret of change is to focus not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
                                                                                                                                – Socrates

 

February 14

Posted on February 14, 2024 Leave a comment

hugs and kisses
and more
 
       flowers   chocolates
      words of endearment
      or romance
 
                     for those so inclined
 
              love is expressed
              in so many ways
 
                     today above any other day
                     (though every day counts)
                     some days more than others
 
       show your love
       like it matters
 
                                it does

© 2024 j.g. lewis

 

Casual Collector

Posted on February 2, 2024 Leave a comment

I like to say I collect postage stamps but dare not call myself a “stamp collector”.
   I’m not that organized. 
   I don’t have numerous albums sorted by year, country, and issue date, and rarely do I study the catalogues or updates from Canada Post to remind myself when the next issue is released.
   The term “philatelist” does not apply to me. I am more of a casual collector, tearing the circulated stamp off the corner of a letter or postcard and tucking it into one of several envelopes where stamps accumulate until I decide to do something with them. When I’m motivated, which is not often enough, I glue them into whatever journal I happen to be working in.
   I enjoy the art of, or on, the postage stamp that signifies a person, event or some significant piece of history.
   I know that a black history month stamp will be issued any day now, and that the post office will issue a new floral collection as it does every spring (we first must get there). The flowers are always favourites of mine. There are many other releases throughout the year to satisfy collectors, and I pick them up when needed. I correspond regularly with friends and family across the globe (some more often than others) and prefer to use the “special’ stamps” as opposed to the common issue. 
   I enjoy sending and receiving letters, I always have. Part of the enjoyment of a letter is not only news from others contained within, but first seeing the stamp and the postmark. It started when I was a kid, and I still get excited — it is one of my few geeky traits — when a letter arrives. It seems there are less and fewer letters arriving now than there was before.
   I suppose electronic communication has a lot to do with it; it is more convenient and less costly. But, a handwritten letter provides the kind of communication you don’t get from an email. 
   A letter, with a stamp, is far more personal.
   And appreciated.
   Over time, the written words and stories told in letter form become less relevant or memorable, but the stamp and postmark always remind you how important letters are. 
 
© 2024 j.g. lewis

All of this

Posted on January 24, 2024 Leave a comment


Movement, not always motion. Steadfast in  
my intentions, I will seek a deeper understanding, 
not always evident, or available, in the moment 

Somewhere not far behind these sullen thoughts, 
materialities of bygone days will eventually creep  
into patterns I wish to avoid. 

I have been here before, mentally or spiritually. 
Geographically it does not matter. 
The streets continue to blur on by.

Alone with my consideration or apprehension, 
I can only try to look beyond the days, behind 
shadows of the ever-present aftermath.

I am trying not to do anything I have done. 
Before. All of this. Still constant conviction 
haunts me, as it often does. 

Why should this evening be any different? 
Only the direction has changed. 
I am going to, instead of coming from. 

© 2024 j.g. lewis 

torn away

Posted on January 17, 2024 Leave a comment

Words that were there, affixed
to a streetlamp or storefront window.
A public notice. Not a poem
with words as bold as Neruda, or as cynical
as Bukowski. Perhaps pro-Palestine proclamations,
explanation or justification of a conflict
on the other side of this world.
Political turmoil, opposing views attempting
to indemnify culture and common cause.
Inhumanity’s debate seeps further into our space
here in this country or city, then removed
Torn away from the realities we face.

We cannot understand the sentiment;
even a sentence. Nary a word is now
comprehendible, but it meant something
to someone. Defenseless. How can we
explain what was there when you, yourself, cannot
understand your own thoughts.
Yet you do know the need for expression,
communication, even protest.
We have all left words behind for somebody else
to read or relate to. Unappreciated offerings.
Like a poem, protest has
so many meanings and misunderstandings.

© 2024 j.g. lewis 

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