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

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            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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Check It Out

Posted on February 24, 2016 by j.g.lewis // 1 Comment

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I got a library card last week. I’ve been meaning to get one for while, having moved to a new city some time ago, but never really found the time.

It’s not like I haven’t been reading; I brought a box of books with me, and have picked up a lot of new material along the way (I’m a sucker for a used bookstore), but it had been a while since I’d done something as normal, or as regular, as dropping into a library. Since moving, I’ve replaced all the documents required when you arrive in a new province, and had even renewed my passport, but in doing all the stuff that needed to be done, I never found the time to do what I wanted to do.

A library card, in so many ways, is like a passport. Once in your possession, the card can take you wherever you want to go, allowing you to explore foreign countries, meet new characters, and explore the world without ever leaving your city.

As a kid, regular bus trips to the library were commonplace. I learned very early that if you want to know anything, if you want to learn about something, you could always find the answers in a book from the library. I remember when the Brandon Public Library moved from the dusty, musty basement of a historic building to expansive (by the city’s standards) sun-drenched premises.

During University, the library was a place to duck out of the hustle and bustle of the campus, sequester yourself in the quiet under the guise of research, and maybe even catch the occasional nap.

As a young parent, Saturdays were library day with my daughter, where she’d select the maximum amount of books (and many times the same favorites) for her pre-bedtime reading. Books were more than a treat.

In Winnipeg we celebrated the opening of the Millennium Library, a magnificent structure with comfortable places to read, and functional Wi-Fi workspaces where you could plug in or tune out. Just as comforting, but in such a different way, was the Cornish branch; the same library my father used to ride his bicycle to in his younger years. The breadth of the selection at the Cornish was never as great as the downtown facility, but the room spoke to me.

All libraries provide a similar sort of comfort. Often, as an excuse to get away from my regular writing desk, I’d haul my laptop or scribbler down to a Winnipeg library and work away, inspired by a new setting. I’ve written short stories based on what I saw at the library, characters have been developed, or described, from the people I would see wandering through the stacks or waiting in line.

I’d also find three or six books from the holdings, usually an author I’d never read (or heard of), a novel a friend had recommended, or a volume of poetry from one of the masters. I always, still to this day, keep some kind of poetry book in my packsack, a way to take a break from the everyday and become motivated by someone else’s words. You can always find poetry in any library. You can find, pretty much, everything.

The beauty of a library is that it offers so much, and thanks to Melvil Dewey and his unparalleled system for classifying every subject known to mankind, you can generally find what you are looking for. And more. It’s amazing how the Dewey Decimal System, a program created more than 140 years ago, using digits, few letters and a well-place decimal point, still functions supremely well in this digital age.

Libraries have adapted through the years, as movies, music, and magazines have all been added to the collections. Along with the histories and mysteries, there is always something that can take your mind away from the day-in-day-out stuff we all deal with. The price is always right.

Library cards are free, but they are infinitely valuable. Time with a book is always well spent.

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One reply on “Check It Out”

My thoughts exactly! The sad part for me though is that 90% of the “tweens” I teach regard paper books as ancient artifacts that people were forced to use before the invention of the Internet and Wikipedia! Call me old fashioned but I will always prefer paper pages.

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