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

What has been heard, what has been said, after 24 or 27 months give or take? More or less, what was said (even wished) was mainly, and above all else, that we wanted things to return to normal.

We were longing for the everyday day-to-day, the regular way, sort of; or at least, some semblance of such. We wanted, we said, to be with people again, doing the things we usually did.

We wanted to see smiles, again, on stranger’s faces, we said from behind our masks and wanting so much for our lips to be read as much as our expressions of joy. Or reality. Or anything other than what it was for the 26 or 25 months of what came to be.

We weren’t asking for much, really, or nothing any more spectacular than what life grants us on any given day. We wanted the ordinary, if nothing else.

What we have known is not over. How we are living, coping, or struggling, is not the same as it was eight months, or 11 months, back (or 25 or 23). It was a long time, and longer still will be this shadow of a virus that has hung over us (more than a footnote, and still not quite a chapter) in this never-ending story.

What was, or what is, close to some kind of normal, feels closer now. Dare we say it? We wished it, didn’t we, and here we are now more than two years later, finally gathering in parks and parades, galleries, shopping malls, and back at the office.

Masked or unmasked, we might not be as close as we were before, but we are working on it. Aren’t we? Can’t we now see, or hear and experience life, a little bit like we did before?

Yes, we want more, but right now this is as good as it gets for those of us still cautious, yet relieved, that we are here to see what’s going on.

It is, or seems to be, a return to the usual, the normal, and the everyday ways. For some of us it will never happen, for many of us it will never be, but for all of us there is a new (or another) opportunity for ordinary.

The ordinary: after all we have been through, that may even be better than it sounds.

06/27/2022                                                                               j.g.l.

 

cloud songs

     Morning begins it all,
yet it is much later
                    you notice
   nights become shorter
when the day is no longer.
          We see less
       than we want to, and
   know more than
          we should.
   Darkness allows silence.
        May your thoughts
            be understood.

 

06/21/2022                                                                           j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

The lush canopy of green above us seemed to take its time arriving.
   The recent sunshine, warmth, and humidity contribute to a general feeling of euphoria.
   No specifics required.
   The changing of the seasons is not lost on us; nor is the change of reasons.
   In the grand scheme of things, this feeling doesn’t last as long as it should.
   Shouldn’t we appreciate this more than we do?
   Look up. Look around.
   Think of where you are now and why you are here.

06/20/2022                                                                            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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Along The Path

Posted on May 11, 2016 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

IMG_9849

I love bicycles. From the sheer freedom of the ride to the aesthetic of a purposefully functional design, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with the two-wheeled glory.

With youthful memories of careening down lakeshore paths and sidewalks on a rusty red CCM, receiving my first non-hand-me-down bike with a banana seat and butterfly handlebars, and discovering increased acceleration with my first 10-speed (Apollo brand; a thing of beauty), each of my bikes has marked another stage of life.

The first poem I remember writing in grade school began with the line ‘Bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes’. I can’t recall the rest of the verse, but I do know it was written about the time I discovered the thesaurus.

It has always been more than transportation for me. As a teenager, the bike served as off-season training for a competitive alpine skier. There is also a certain romance to the bicycle, exemplified by a high school girlfriend who shared the same affinity. I remained true to the two wheels, even after several serious accidents, broken bones, and more than a few outbreaks of road rash.

I didn’t bring a bike with me when I moved from another province, but this summer may be time to get back in the saddle.

There is a tremendous circuit of bike trails and paths throughout Toronto, and soon to be more. Maybe. City council is debating a long stretch of pavement, unencumbered by streetcars, which will further link existing routes. Unfortunately, the plan also seriously reduces on-street parking in the area, and will hinder traffic at peak periods.

I believe in bike lanes. More so, I believe bike lanes are necessary in this car-centric city (or any urban environment on this continent). It is all about safety, and it has been a growing concern for decades. Years ago cars and bikes could inhabit the same roads, quite easily. Then both cars and bikes got faster, and the numbers increased. At some point the animosity grew between the two factions. We now have far too much road rage. It happens all the time, and happens year round.

Now I have a lot of respect for those committed cyclists who pass on the gas guzzling vehicles the majority of us rely on to get to and from work. Bless the bastards who shun the environmental hazards and ride through the sleet and snow, navigating the ruts and drifts of a snowstorm, thumbing a nose or waving a finger to inclement weather (bonus points to those Winnipeg cyclists who take on the -40 prairie temperatures).

But curse the confused; the riders who, without a light or helmet or common sense, weave through traffic on the icy roads at night with a bag of groceries on each handlebar. Damn the careless souls who give cyclists a bad name; those who exhibit little care about safety for themselves or others.

The bicycle lanes being proposed here, and in others cities, address the need for safety that planners of the modern roadways of North America have been blind to. Quite simply, cars and bikes cannot co-exist on the roads they way they exist right now. There needs to be lanes that give cyclists a place, and drivers the space, without concerns.

A lot of talk centers around the dangers a car presents to a bike, but there needs to be greater caution on the part of the cyclists as well. Yes, bicycles have the same rights to the road as a car, but they must also operate under the same rules. A rolling stop at an intersection is the same for a car as it is for bike; it is not a stop. It is, technically, illegal. As is weaving through traffic, or not signaling turns and lane changes (a problem with both bikes and cars).

Bike lanes, on so many points, go a long way towards reducing both concerns and the conflict. Yes, the lanes might slow traffic slightly, but they will keep people moving safely along the path.

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