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 . . .

what could be

Believe in the coming day, the opportunities that will come, and the generations to follow.

   What is now is not what will be, and all we had is only a shadow of where we were.

   Evolution happens, no matter how well, or how poorly, we are prepared. If we have not readied ourselves for the times ahead, we may well gain a more meaningful experience by simply maintaining a spirit open to the expansion and contraction of our lungs, and allowing our eyes to wander.

   If we only look straight ahead, we will certainly miss out on uncertain wonders, necessary distractions, and our true potential.

   Breathe and see what could be, and let others notice exactly what you are.

Celebrate the darkness, and the light, that will guide you through another year.


© 2017 j.g.l.


ruminations, noise, 
nonsense and  
contradictory advice 
comes with a price .
What was said 
and what was  
meant were 
two completely 
different things. 
By all means  
say what you mean 
but please try  
your best to mean 
what you say. 

12/08/2023                                                                                                                       j.g.l. 

Mondays are just young Fridays

With the wars, chaos and conflict, and proliferation of hate speech that surrounds all of us right now, it is difficult to subscribe to the familiar mantra espoused in this season: 
Peace on Earth, good will to all men. 
   We can only wonder if this will ever be possible. More so, how have we even believed for so long that it could ever be probable. Globally or locally, peace and good will are notably absent from our lives. 
   Few of us are even in a position where we can affect enough change, and those who have any sort of ability are caught up in fruitless negotiations within the politics of it all. 
   Hatred has too much power 
   Love thy neighbour; who even tries? Locally or globally is anyone attempting? I do not wish to sound pessimistic and know there is nothing I can do personally to resolve the global catastrophes and calamities, but I am going to do what I can to create, or acknowledge, peace in my own little world. 
   In these coming weeks I intend to connect with family and friends who have been there when I needed them. I will reach out, even to those from a distance, to let them know I am thinking of them and what they mean to me. I should have been doing this long ago, and more consistently. I have neglected thanking people when I should have.  
I need to be more thankful. I need to express my gratitude more often than I have been. 
   We can all do such a thing, even if it is something as simple as sending a Christmas card, dashing off an email, or picking up the phone. 
   We can all pick up the peace.
   Yes, there are big problems on this planet we cannot avoid on the news of the day, but by making a daily attempt to reach out to those we care about our world can become a little smaller. 
   I believe we can find our own peace even in the absence of probability. 
   I still believe that peace is possible. 

12/04/2023                                                                                          j.g.l.


I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
other times
dull or
Still I write.

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

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Infuse Your Muse

Posted on June 24, 2015 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
                                                                                                                                                         – Marcel Proust

It’s different for each of us; the power, the magic, the light or spirit that guides us through what we love to do. All of us have a muse, tangible or intangible, we come to rely on to keep the creative juices flowing.

In fact, we may have several muses we count on (depending on the project or circumstance), but sometimes they are not easily accessible, or can’t be summoned exactly when we want.

We are demanding of our muses, expecting them to provide the inspiration to make it through another page or poem. We expect them to be there; we expect them to be as easily turned on as our laptop. It’s when they do not meet your expectations that you begin to expect more of yourself. You push yourself harder, stepping past the point of creativity.
You start forcing the work, and most often the results appear exactly as they are. Forced.

This is when frustration sets in and, often, when we begin to run dry. When the inspiration for your work goes missing or is ignored, productivity decreases and the results are less than enthusiastic. The term ‘writer’s block’ (a convenient excuse, more than a syndrome) is often used, but it is far more than that.

When your work becomes routine, you have probably been working too hard or have become too focused. It gets to the point where you begin to ignore life as it surrounds you. In doing so, you fail to notice your muses.

Like the sister goddess they are (the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, as Greek mythology goes), a muse is to be treated kindly, and not as slaves or implements. A muse must be respected and treated as the gifts they are. They cannot be overworked, and they, along with your self, need time to rejuvenate.

When you are at odds with your inspiration, it is time to infuse your muse.

There are easy ways to restore the creative process, sometimes it’s as simple as giving yourself permission to step away from the page or palette for a while. This is a good time to read, to take a walk or short trip, listen to live music, or go out for coffee with a friend. Feed your muse and it will continue to provide the mental nutrition you need.

Then there are times when the simple becomes complicated, when you don’t feel like talking and dumping your problems on a friend, or when reading the book everybody is raving about becomes more about analyzing another page of words.

This is when you need a wholesale change in how you have been functioning. As Carpal Tunnel syndrome may settle in when certain muscles are over-used, your creativity may become cramped in its current isolation. This is a perfect time to find a project or passion that uses another part of your brain or body, a time when you need to stretch other muscles.

For a musician, it might be taking up yoga. The graphic designer who spends too much time hunched over a Mac may take to the garden (I think the ‘high tech, high touch’ philosophy was introduced in the early ‘80s). A painter may take up sculpture as a means of providing an alternative artistic vision. A writer may take up painting, or a musical instrument. Sometimes
it is doing quite the opposite of what you have been doing.

I have been stuck in the edit mode over the past months, rechecking, reformatting, and (in some cases) rewriting past works, all with a certain goal in mind. Editing, while necessary, does not have the same creative spark as writing fresh material. It can be laborious, soul sucking, occasionally painful (you are, after all, killing your babies) and immeasurably frustrating. The more you edit, the more frustrating it becomes.

I often use poetry to counter to process, to give myself time to let words fall onto the page. It can, and does, work, but it still finds you in the same place; sitting in front of a keyboard trying to formularize feelings for the greater world.

It does not allow a fresh perspective.

Over the past months, I’ve stepped back behind a camera as a means of getting beyond the now-familiar fictional worlds I have created. Photography is also very familiar to me, having spent my first career as a photojournalist, but it is not an art form in which I have become immersed for many years. Even then, my former camera work was more focused (no pun intended) on what was newsworthy and what needed to be recorded. It was a career of learning how to fit art and intuition into a deadline.

These days my photography is more specific to composition and controlling, capturing or defying the availability of light. It’s a challenge, as much as it is enjoyable. It’s forcing me to look at life differently, to find a new perspective. It is about stepping beyond boundaries and comfort zone. As you look deeper, you begin using a separate and distinct side of your psyche.

Although I am still mainly in edit mode, these regular breaks from my current reality are allowing a new vibrancy into my poetry, and have fostered a greater overall sense of well-being. It comes from not doing something that is usual. While it may not be unusual, it is something different.

The adage ‘a change is as good as a rest’ rings true. Your creativity is refreshed by not using your talents in the same manner you have been. As you return to the work that brought you down in the first place, you can approach it in a different context. You may discover elements of your regular craft that you had not noticed before, simply because you are now looking at them in a different way.

Sometimes it is not what we look at, but how we look at it.

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