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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Breathe To Please

Posted on March 15, 2017 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

A breath is not something we have to think about. You’ve been breathing as long as you’ve been living. It’s quite organic. And necessary. You either do, or you don’t.

Through the day your breath is constant (as it is through the night), but for the sake of sleep and in the interest of dreams, now is a time for a think about how we breathe.
 
In yoga terms, this is your prana, and in so many ways your sleep is like a long savasana (corpse pose). The body is still and you set your intentions for what lies ahead. The first breaths of this period should guide you to your dreams.
 
Eyes shut, arms and legs fully extended in a comfortable, non-static position, breathe in deeply, filling your lungs with fresh night air and hold it in for four to six seconds. Then release, a full exhale. Let out more air than you take in, and with that exhale, release any nervous energy, negative thoughts, and compromising emotions. Empty your lungs entirely. Pause. Then inhale again; this time deeper, more, fully expanding your lungs, and another pause. Exhale.
 
This is not how you will breathe through the night, but the pattern should be repeated several times. It is fully conscious breathing, a complete inhale and full exhale, five to 10 times, or more. You will feel what works for you, and you will feel it fully.
 
These should be the final steps in ridding yourself of the day. Think of this as filling a paper bag with the stray thoughts. No, it’s not hyperventilating, but you can visualize, if you must, a balloon increasing in size. Then release.

Let everything out to make room for what will arrive through the night.
 
Your next set of breaths is still focused, but not nearly as deep. Chose a mental focal point, as simple as a colour, to train the mind to one place. Increasing the intensity of the colour as you inhale, deflating to the lightest shade possible on the exhale. Repeat, steadily, setting a rhythm from light to vivid, brightness to dark, and back again.
 
In a short time after a precise, pre-sleep breathing regime your body will begin to do what comes naturally. Your pulse will lessen, your blood pressure will drop, each cell of the body will react to this restful state. Slowly you will succumb to this drowsiness. Let everything go. Allow each part of your body to slacken; your jaw will drop, eyes slip further back in the sockets, and the muscles release any tension. You’ll feel the meat falling off the bone.

The lungs will continue to fill, but the chest will not rise and fall, as you enter a halcyonic state. The brain appreciates the dose of fresh oxygen, free of negative ions, and full of purpose.

You may remain in this neutral, seemingly motionless stage, or you may slip into the sleeping position that has served you well in the past. Stillness. The mind will remain active through several documented sleep stages, including REM, where the dreams (the major ones any way) mainly take place.

Like your breath, dreams can become a life force that pulls you through the day. Research indicates the mind is more active during the nocturnal state. By setting yourself up with a mindful breathing practice, without all the decisions and diplomacy that have dogged you through the day, you are better able to rejuvenate the body, activate the brain, and then wake up to the new day and do it all again.

deep breath
deep sleep
deep thoughts
deep peace

© 2017 j.g. lewis

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