Uncertainty can often
blur your surroundings.
The map is always there,
the lines signify the path
you need to follow.
You simply have to find
It is all in your hands.
© 2017 j.g. lewis
original content and images ©j.g. lewis
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 . . .
There is very little that can be said about Eric Clapton that hasn’t already been said; except I saw him last night.
I’ve been listening to the musician, in all stages of his career, over the past five decades and he has been around even longer than that.
Through the years I’ve grown to appreciate Clapton more as a performer, recording artist, and as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but I’ve never seen him live; until last night.
He was everything (and more) that I expected, playing selections from his lengthy career, and paying homage not only the blues artists who have influenced him but also to friends no longer with us.
Clapton and his band kicked of the Toronto concert with a cover of The Band’s The Shape I’m in, a fitting tribute to his longtime Canadian friend Robbie Robertson. Then, later, a tune he once recorded with Tina Turner: Tearing Us Apart.
The show was filled with both popular hits and selections you could tell he felt like playing. With a catalogue like Clapton’s there could have been even more hits, but he did what he had to do.
At age 79, Clapton’s seemingly effortless prowess on electric and acoustic guitar was both mature and effective. There were a lot of “wow” moments.
It was quite an evening.
What else can I say?
I'm like a pencil;
Still I write.
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.
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A year ago, out of frustration over what and who was dominating the news, I wrote and posted this right here. Somehow I thought (or hoped, or dreamed) that we, as a society or global community, would come to our senses. The situation has not changed, and neither has my hope that it will.
In all the scintillating sentences, salacious sound bites, news and views published, broadcast and available 24/7, there is a lot of nonsense about who belongs where.
Much of the talk, originally (though not original) comes top-down from leaders or potential leaders of nations as they stand tall to proclaim rights and responsibilities that clearly go against the way this planet has been evolving.
In this ever-hungry news cycle the comments make headlines, grab the first seconds of the newscast, and the views proliferate and become coffee-shop talk and idle banter. Those people stuck in the past herald these tired, old bigoted views and the velocity of these harmful ideals accelerate.
Intolerance has become the catchall word towards any of the isms, but the only thing inclusionary about the word is its ability to dress down a huge swath of the population in one swift breath. It is hatred, pure and simple, occasionally wrapped in imprudent puffery or packaged in some sort of theme-based oratory proffering intelligence.
I’m growing intolerant of intolerance. Lately it is all you hear about, whether gender-based, nationality, faith, or sexual orientation. The ‘anti’ talk comes from many sources, but right now there is one particular politician trumping out divisive language devised to prop up beliefs that one race, one religion (one country) is superior to all others.
It’s posturing, yes, but it goes far deeper. It pits people against one another, even those within the same nation.
Now I wholeheartedly believe in free speech; it is what keeps us growing intellectually and allows cultures to flourish. Part of that freedom comes with the responsibility of listening, learning, and even accepting or acknowledging the viewpoints of others. Freedom of speech does involve speaking one’s mind, but the words, phrases and diatribes need to be mindful. Even when hurtful, thoughts spoken should be founded in research and reason and not simply used to perpetuate stereotypes.
Where free speech is concerned, a well-formed argument is acceptable, even applauded. But there is little room for acceptance in any form of intolerance. Free speech comes from open minds. All the hate speech currently being bandied about promotes violence, elitism, and a shameful ideal that denigrates entire nations at a time when borders between countries are being eliminated (at least where trade and commerce is concerned).
Yes, sadly, history contains many, many examples of how opposing beings are, and have been, responsible for epic conflicts. There are currently evil powers at work in this world focused on mass destruction and devastation. But if we are to be hopeful we must look beyond these vengeful and revengeful acts and try to salvage our humanity. The trade between nations must be more than monetary.
If we allow this unruly and uncaring behaviour to repeat itself — if we allow this ever-enlarging global community to be ruled by closed minds — we are certain to not only repeat history’s past mistakes, but also deal with consequences we cannot even fathom.
Now I may be a dreamer, yes, but if people put as much effort into understanding as they do into standing their ground we may find ourselves in a position of truly being able to work out age-old conflicts.
Yes I dream big, but life is too short, and the planet too small to categorize and sub-divide the population in an effort to keep out anyone who does not look, sound, or hold the same beliefs we hold.
We live in an era of multiculturalism and mixed race. North America was, and continues to be, built on immigration. As we grow physically in size and spiritually by understanding, and as the population expands, as cultures blend and races and religions cohabitate, we must look favorably on this opportunity to grow as human beings.
We cannot paint everybody with the same brush; we can’t systematically decide who is right, or moral, or worthy, based on the hue of the skin, gender, sexual preference, language spoken, country of origin, or beliefs believed. By blindly discounting a certain population you are overlooking the opportunity to become involved with, influenced and inspired by, and more knowledgeable in the process.
It is unreal, unconscionable, and unacceptable to allow intolerance and this type of deterioration to continue. This is not about race. This is about disgrace.