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

I seem to spend more time reviewing the camera manual than I do shooting with the damn camera.
   With my new camera, about six months ago, I have already enjoyed many hours capturing the sights and my surroundings at all hours of the day. There are several images I’ve created over the months, of both people and places, that I’m especially proud of.
   I make an attempt, as often as I can, to practice a craft I have spent much of my life studying.
   But I want to learn more.
   I continue to establish what has often been trial-and-error proficiency in the craft, and art, of photography. It is what I do, and have done.
   It is about finding value in what you do and how you live.
   Involve yourself in what you can, find the lessons or the learning as you go, in everyday experiences. It becomes a rewarding challenge as you broaden your interests with a new topic, or focus deeply on what gives you pleasure
   Not everything is immediately enjoyable, but with a concrete focus you might see greater possibilities.

01/30/2023                                                                                                 j.g.l.

the influence

There are a handful of albums that signified a change in music in the late ‘70s. Many of those albums were British, but you could hear an immediate response — even revolution — from a select few American bands.
   Television was one of those bands, and Marquee Moon was one of those definitive records.
   You didn’t hear the music on the radio, not in the middle of the Canadian prairies, so I listened to it intently on the stereo at home.
   In the years that followed, I could hear the influence of Television’s singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Tom Verlaine on other bands of the time; even on the radio. I still hear it now.
   Tom Verlaine passed away yesterday at age 73.

01/29/2023                                                                                          j.g.l.

you wait

killing time
without concern for
productivity
nothing to prove
nothing to see
you wait as only
you can
killing time like it
means a damn

01/27/2023                                                                                   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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The Swoon Of The Train

Posted on March 8, 2017 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

A sleepless summer night. No dreams to placate an unsettled mind, yet, off in the distance, there was a train.

I’m young, I know. I’ve never been anywhere, not on a train, but nowhere even seemed significant. On a train. Lying in bed. The window wide-open, curtains pulled back, allowing any available breeze to circulate through the house. My door is not closed, everyone else is asleep. There are no middle-of-the-night sounds in this little city, except the train.

Night moves, along with the train, and I with it. Each click-clack, click-clack, of the track takes me further along. I am not alone. My eyes might be open as I take in a world streaming by this place I call home. An Imagination stoked by Hardy Boys books and The Wonderful World of Disney, the swoon of the train took me places, long before I even understood the concept of romanticism. Or surrealism.

I travelled the train many times, sitting up with the conductor or hopping a freight car with an errant hobo or two. Occasionally one or two of my friends would be along for the ride as we’d move from city to town; the thrill of travel to a young boy growing up in a city surrounded by wheat and silence.

There were always trains in my dreams, in my life, and near each home in every city I have lived. Until recently. Trains, off in the distance, signaling their place in our world. In one small town the tracks ran straight down the middle. At night you would hear the whistle as the engine approached, or wake to the rumble of the house as it passed through. It never frightened me. I’ve always been comforted, or grounded, by the sounds of a train.

Was it the train stories of Jack Kerouac that pulled me into his prose, or was it reading and knowing that adventure is the foundation for any dreamer’s life?

Trains have a purpose, connecting the country, bringing people together, and moving freight from wherever to destinations unknown. In daylight I would marvel at the layers of cars rolling down the tracks, or wonder what could be contained in the big box cars, or try to make sense of the graffiti sprayed on to the surface. I still do. I still wonder where the train is going. Trains are always on the move.

A train is more than transportation to a young boy, is it more than a toy or electric trainset you would set up in the living room to bide time. A train is adventure.

Adventure is something worthy for a boy to be dreaming about. It is something that boy still does now, as a man. Endless dreams, without notice I will wake from adventures on a train. I meet people and see places. I can be places, on a train, in my dreams.

I may never get back to those faraway places, but finding a train in your dreams indicates you are on the right track of your life’s journey. I’m uncertain whether I am headed in the right direction, and there have been a few significant stops along the way, but, like the train, I continue moving forward.

What made my dreams so hollow was standing at the depot
With a steeple full of swallows that could never ring the bell
And I’ve come ten thousand miles away, not one thing to show
It was a train that took me away from here
But a train can’t bring me home
Tom Waits
Train Song

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