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 . . .

Truth and Reconciliation

comes at a cost

those who have already paid

the process

takes time

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.

Mondays are just young Fridays

Each morning, every morning, there is time to consider plans for the day, for the weeks, months, perhaps years ahead.
   Formulated in quiet thought, these goals might not be concrete, or complete, but they are personal reminders of what can be achieved over time.
   If I write them down they seem real; more than dreams and wishes. Maybe even more than I should ask for, or more than I am allowed?
   Only time will tell.

09/26/2022                                                                           j.g.l.


Comfort food,
as the temperature dips.


Restaurant special,
mom’s recipe or
make it up as you go.

Is there a better day
than today?

Be nourished.

Take the time
to enjoy.

Remember the leftovers.

09/23/2022                                                                    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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Some Kind Of Salvation

Posted on December 16, 2016 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

Handel’s Messiah crackles from a plastic radio, enough
to mask the comings and goings of anonymous neighbours
or drugged-out strangers across the hall. Time doesn’t matter
after midnight or later. Single mattress, scratchy blanket
stained with sweat and sorrow. Always alone. Humble room
in a derelict Eastside hotel; a symbol of how
something once full of purpose can go so desperately
wrong. It is not home, but it will have to do.
Sleeping as often as he wakes, to sirens, gunshots
and screams, a drunk or delusional singing White Christmas
to everyone awake or anyone who cares.
Mental illness wanders the Eastside; feeble minds and hard lives
part of the landscape. It is never white around here, always
grey and ugly. Rarely does he see the mountains. Day
by day. Meetings most mornings, if only for the free coffee.
Hot meals at the mission fill his stomach and his time.
Not much else to do but wait for welfare, another Wednesday,
 or a day without rain. When the waiting is done, he will wait
again, watching what’s left of this society walk on by. He
no longer feels a part of it, and is not sure if
he ever did. Always on the outside. Passed by. Beneath
the streaky window, alley littered with bottles sniffed
dry, orphaned needles, spent condoms,
crack whores and men like him, or worse.
He no longer plays guitar like he did, or at all. Gnarled knuckles,
arthritis deep within his fingers, and knees. And conscience.
The instrument collects dust in the corner, a depiction of both
something he once could do and something of value. He owns
so little and has even less. Three years sober and friends are
no longer convenient.  What else to do when
you no longer drink, and who else wants to do nothing
with somebody else. One day at a time.
Waiting. He can’t call it healthy. He can’t even call it
living, but existing will do. For now. Nights are a constant
battle. It is always dark, and wet. Rain into sleet. Winter months
are difficult for those on the street. He is more fortunate,
having found some sort of salvation. He does have something
to be thankful for. It is safer in this room, sheltered from the
violence, reading yesterday’s news and the only book he owns,
listening to talk radio and smoking hand-rolled cigarettes.
Ashtray overflowing, Bible opened on the table, blurry snapshot
taped to the wall. A boy on Santa’s knee, smile reflecting the
spirit of the season. Decades ago. He was hardly a father. It is
hard to regret what you can’t remember. It’s harder not to know
what it would feel like. Family. Who knows where anybody lives
now. Who would know he is here. Time doesn’t matter.
Christmas is only a word on the Eastside.
There aren’t enough hallelujahs to go around.
©2016 j.g. lewis

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