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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The Letters Remain The Same

Posted on July 12, 2017 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

No matter how quickly our technologies evolve, or how fast our processors process, we still rely on ancient methods to make our way through each day.

Just yesterday I wrote in my journal, printed out a card to a loved one, and tapped a text message to my daughter. I started a letter to a friend, composed a forceful email to a pharmaceutical company, and contributed to ongoing dialogue with a curious collection of sensitive souls.

I scribbled out a couple of lines to a poem, added onto the grocery list, jotted down an upcoming appointment in my agenda, and recorded a client concern warranting further investigation.

I wrote with a pencil in a notebook and used a pen on a preprinted form. I also employed a laptop, then a desktop computer, and made use of a few apps on my mobile device.

Through it all, my daily communication — regardless of the format, font or function — was done using the same standard 26 letters and 10 digits that have been used for centuries, along with a handful of punctuation marks for proper order.

In a society that wants to do everything differently than we have on the past, we are stuck on such a simple practice. My country is bilingual; both languages (English and French) use the same characters.

In my life as a writer I have used all the traditional hand-held writing instruments from crayon to fountain pen, and mechanical devices including typewriter, mainframe computer, tablets and my phone.

But the alphabet has not changed in my lifetime, nor that of my father’s, or my father’s father.

The alphabet is old, its roots dating back to 2700 BC. Since the early days of hieroglyphics, we have used similar symbols to show love and anger, and to emphasize sadness or fear. Our wants, our struggles, and our fantasies are illustrated as they always have been.

The letters remain the same. A combination of curves and lines, an R is always an r, the S is the same, again and again, like an A is an a: upper case or lower. We have barely even altered how the letters are used. Today’s Apple keyboards are essentially laid out the same as the keys on yesteryear’s Underwood.

Even the meanings of words can change, but not how they are produced. Words keep the world moving, and learning; they maintain order or spell out anarchy. And we understand. At the turn of the millennium, the printing press was named the greatest invention of all time because of its ability to help spread the written word.

We use the written word more than we ever have. Yes, the format has changed (again) but it is still both our primary form of communication and the essential instrument in recording history.

Years ago, just as this whole digital thing was really catching on, as personal computer sales began to dramatically increase, there was talk about a paperless society. Oh how wrong they were. Newspaper and magazine sales (and production) have declined, but we still shuffle an awful lot of paper at the office.

While we don’t mail letters like we used to, yet our email inboxes continue to fill up.

It’s only words.

We can boast about how society has changed or evolved (even improved), but the foundation of communication are the letters that grew from symbols once scratched out on the walls of caves.

How simple; how profound; how enduring.

©2017 j.g. lewis

 

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