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 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.

01/30/2023                                                                                                 j.g.l.

the influence

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.

01/29/2023                                                                                          j.g.l.

you wait

killing time
without concern for
productivity
nothing to prove
nothing to see
you wait as only
you can
killing time like it
means a damn

01/27/2023                                                                                   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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She Said

Posted on September 23, 2015 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

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All she asked was for honesty, occasionally cab fare, and
a knife to cut the crusts from her sandwich.
She had no expectations, always washed her dishes, and
made the bed each morning, so as not to leave a trail.
She arrived with June.

Summer began, as summer does. You always know
it is coming and then, one night, it’s just there. She was there.
She said she wanted a summer love, the kind you would read about
in vintage magazines or a Harlequin paperback. Uncomplicated.

Unplanned, as it was. A patio.
A bartender, a warm breeze and a bottle of Malbec,
then another. The ream of bangles on her wrist chimed
with each movement. Her eyes shone bright,
but hid an untold sadness.
I didn’t have a type, and she wasn’t it, yet
she insisted she was.
She said she would prove it, almost as if it were a dare.
Many days were
daring adventures you would know nothing about
until you were caught in the middle.

Jazz clubs, after hours, because she knew a person
who knew a person. A foreign film, without subtitles,
or an evening at the Fringe, on a whim. Picnics at Sugar Beach,
wicker basket full of import beer, consumed quickly
from paper cups.
We rarely made plans. She was routinely late,
and blamed it on her father’s wristwatch. It needed a new battery,
and a cleaning, she said.
Sometimes you like it slow, when there is no place to go.

The universe has a plan, she said. Sometimes we
are not in control, although we like to think we are,
or would like to be.
I was more the planning type.
In my button-down world, things had a place,
although I was never quite sure of mine,
nor was I sure the universe would follow through.
So I tried to plan.

Romance. I tried to do my part.
Flowers were appreciated, she said, but an unnecessary expense,
easier liberated from gardens in late-night strolls through
unrecognizable streets and parks. Not fond of daisies, she said
she always ended up with the love me not. Black-eyed Susans
were her favorite. Lovely, and common, she said.
They could withstand the rain,
and the heat.

August heat.
She could convince you, with an unexpected phone call,
that a beach was a better place than a desk to spend the day.
Paperwork could wait, there’d always be more, she said,
but sunshine,
and summer for that matter, was in limited supply.

My honesty was not hers. She worked evenings, and later,
knew her wines, loved the tips, and enjoyed her job,
but that’s all it would ever be.
A few credits short of a useless degree, she said
she was too young to have a career. Her mother had a career.
Her father died when she was a teen, so Mom was always working.
A career never allowed for fun,
she remembered.

Maybe, after kids, she said,
and then
would then say nothing.
She had tried, once before,
with the husband and the house.
He was older, as well. A lawyer. She was wife number two
and spent most weekends alone while he said he golfed,
or tended to the kids from wife number one.
Or was, more likely,
on the search for soon-to-be wife number three.

Trust was her nemesis,
and truth rarely worked in her favour.
She’d said she had spent too much time alone, and
walked away from a relationship that promised nothing
and provided even less. If she were to be alone, she would do so
on her own terms.
Her terms included a downtown apartment
with more clothes than closets, and few close friends.
She adored dresses from the Sixties, hairstyles
from last week’s magazines, music that was now,
and would rather go barefoot than wear shoes without heels.
She walked her bike
more than she rode it.
It’s harder in a skirt, she said, and even more difficult with heels.

She rarely answered, or charged, her phone. Showing up
when she wanted, waking me with a whistle from the street;
the kind of tomboy whistles my mother would have detested.
Or she would sweet-talk the concierge
into letting her up.
Middle-of-the-night grilled cheese paired with one particular Bordeaux,
or another. Prosecco with scrambled eggs, or Zinfandel, because
it was chilled, and went well with the humidity,
and the colour of the clouds
at daybreak.

I woke once at 4 a.m. to find her naked on the terrace, the spray of the summer
showers dripping off her hair. She said she wanted to feel the rain on her skin.
She wanted me to feel it too, and brought her storm to bed.
The pillows will dry, she said.

She thought nothing of interrupting and would, often, correct my verse
with words that wouldn’t fit. Often, she said, my poems were about her
and I wouldn’t reply, as I knew they couldn’t be.
A muse has to play with your heart as much as your body.
There was not the time.

Summer ends, as it does. Cooler nights hint of autumn,
the new girlfriend smell fades, you tire of sand in the sheets,
panties left drying on the shower rod, and music,
if not of your generation, then of your choosing.

All I wanted was honesty, at least with myself, and a knife
to cut away patterns preventing me from seeing what this could be,
instead of what it was. Spirits wilt slowly with the Black-eyed Susans
in the melancholic mood of mid-September.
She said the universe does have a plan, but one
I wouldn’t accept.

She was like poetry, and had become a distraction.
While I spent time noticing the flowers, or savoring the taste
of new wines, I had been putting aside what was important.
Should you simply accept the convenience offered,
you may never know a deeper taste, greater love,
or the likely truth.

 

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