Our dreams, scattered
amidst our memory, last night
or the one before.
The dream, the day
the music that plays
in the coffee shop.
It is all noise
cluttering the silence
we think we want to hear.
original content and images ©j.g. lewis
I seem to spend more time reviewing the camera manual than I do shooting with the damn camera.
With my new camera, about six months ago, I have already enjoyed many hours capturing the sights and my surroundings at all hours of the day. There are several images I’ve created over the months, of both people and places, that I’m especially proud of.
I make an attempt, as often as I can, to practice a craft I have spent much of my life studying.
But I want to learn more.
I continue to establish what has often been trial-and-error proficiency in the craft, and art, of photography. It is what I do, and have done.
It is about finding value in what you do and how you live.
Involve yourself in what you can, find the lessons or the learning as you go, in everyday experiences. It becomes a rewarding challenge as you broaden your interests with a new topic, or focus deeply on what gives you pleasure
Not everything is immediately enjoyable, but with a concrete focus you might see greater possibilities.
There are a handful of albums that signified a change in music in the late ‘70s. Many of those albums were British, but you could hear an immediate response — even revolution — from a select few American bands.
Television was one of those bands, and Marquee Moon was one of those definitive records.
You didn’t hear the music on the radio, not in the middle of the Canadian prairies, so I listened to it intently on the stereo at home.
In the years that followed, I could hear the influence of Television’s singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Tom Verlaine on other bands of the time; even on the radio. I still hear it now.
Tom Verlaine passed away yesterday at age 73.
We document, in our journals, things we have done or make lists of what we have to do: it is a plan.
We all have an agenda.
A to-do list, either on a scrap of paper, an errant post-it note; a laundry list or even mental notes (often forgotten) seem to make it easier.
It makes us feel we have a purpose.
What’s on your list?
I'm like a pencil;
Still I write.
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.
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Our foremost thoughts emboldened by optimism, perhaps hope, if only chance could elevate from the deceit or dysthymia clouding a never-ending gap of misfortune. If only they had cared, if they had listened beyond the words they thought they wanted to hear. Experience is a moving force in its presence or absence. I have learned to say nothing. I, instead, have pages full of words describing and detailing corporate ineptitude. No decisions have been made or will be considered by a hierarchical system designed to keep people in a place separated more by class than by skill. Each level must pledge allegiance to the one before, and cater to the one above, respecting conditions imposed simply because they must. It is how it has always been done, even in days of rampant change — societal, political, or technological — the old ways of the world persist and will continue to as long as the need for power exists. And it does. It will. It is the way, as before and after. Continuity persists. We all may advance, but is it progress? Will we always question? Are we moved?
© 2023 j,g, lewis
You do not see what I see. We all see everything differently.
We count on our eyes, daily, to navigate our way through this life. We count on our eyes to witness everyday events with friends and family, capture beauty, and see the dangers ahead.
Each of us interprets what we see.
This is highly personal.
You do not see as I do because I have a visual disability. You cannot even imagine how long it has taken me to say that out loud, even as I began to realize, or understand, what I am dealing with.
It is far more than pride.
By admitting I have a disability, I am confessing to a flaw. This is a hard thing to admit to anybody, let alone yourself.
It is highly personal.
When faced with diminished eyesight, at any level, you begin to think about how, and why, you use your eyes. My vision has always been important to me. My first career and educational training was in photography. I worked for many years as a photographer, then a writer, with a mid-size Canadian newspaper. What I saw became what readers of the paper read and looked at daily.
Even now, as a writer, my eyes are what allows me to place ideas, poems, and thoughts on a page. This is important to me.
My eyesight is now limited, in some way. I’m not sure if I can call it mild. At this point I still function well with most daily duties. I do not require a white cane (perhaps the greatest stereotype surrounding a visual disability), I can drive (save night vision, and my choice not to drive at night), and, for the most part, I get along well.
I have been receiving treatment, in the form of monthly injections, and have adjusted the prescription to eyeglasses I’ve worn since age five. Seeing things at a distance, or just the everyday stuff you associate with getting around, has not been substantially altered.
The difficulty I have been having is with my field of vision at close range – particularly when doing certain tasks, or multi-tasking at the computer. This, of course, begins to create problems with employment.
We all know most jobs now require an element of computer literacy and time in front of a monitor. Our lives are now, pretty much, reliant on a screen of one size or the other. We all text, we tap, to keep up, to communicate, to get our news and views, or do our shopping or banking.
I can do all of that, and with some consistency. I, however, have problems when running multiple programs on multiple platforms. This is a daily occurrence at work, and this goes past the eyestrain we all experience when you spend too much time in front of a screen (we probably all do).
My eyes do not react quickly, not as they once did, and this is not about age. This is more than a period of adjustment for me.
The greatest difficulty I encounter is that my disability is invisible.
Nobody sees how I see. Nobody sees that I have, or could have, potential problems.
Instead, I become the problem when I tell them I have a disability. I shouldn’t need to explain my impairment to the degree they are asking, and still they ask; or they ignore; or they doubt.
There is a stigma attached to the word disability. Many people believe disability means difficulty. I know this personally.
I continue to have difficulties with daily work required of me, even after months of adjustments and consultations, and appointments with medical professionals. Some of the measures have worked to a degree, yet some of the difficulties have not been about me, but rather the faulty equipment I have been working with. I question if the acuity of my vision will be further damaged by prolonged exposure.
This remains a contentious issue, obviously, because it has not been corrected. I, still, routinely experience eye strain, blurred vision and headaches like I have never encountered.
It hurts, yes.
What hurts even more is the lack of understanding, even ignorance, and attitude towards the disability I am facing.
We don’t see things the same. Some people don’t even have the foresight, or sensitivity, to look beyond stigma and stereotypes.
I’m choosing to look further ahead.
© 2018 j.g. lewis
I set the wristwatch each morning.
time calculates the depth of distraction.
simply a few minutes.
In the digital realm consistency is provided.
Analogue time needs to be acknowledged.
A favourite watch keeps track of the nostalgia.
It is not always accurate,
© 2023 j.g. lewis
I can’t be the only one who notices the stray flashes from car headlights, shadows, and shifting colours of traffic lights mirrored in the morning’s gentle rain. Can we think of another way to describe time — the moments we live – as it routinely happens, as it so often does, and we pay such little attention to sidewalk snow as it melts, obscure reflections in storefront windows, a continual din of morning traffic or children making their way to school. Do we notice parents seemingly focused more on take-away coffee? Observations. Baseball caps and yoga mats, packsacks stuffed with what is required to make it through the day, this procession moves forward (as do I) of little consequence with the canopy of night shape-shifting into reality. A yappy attention-seeking puppy breaks up the minutes and seconds that have passed without notice. The animal barks like nobody is paying attention.
© 2023 j.g. lewis
Three weeks since winter’s arrival with its clouds
of dysthymia and discontent.
A grey day, darker than most, today is
another period of insurmountable sadness.
Maudlin melancholy; I cannot say it doesn’t affect me,
as I know it does, as I know it must.
It is seasonal, this daunting depression,
days like today make you appreciate the otherwise.
© 2923 j.g. lewis