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 is a substantial record: Clues.
   The 1980 album by Robert Palmer took new wave sensibilities of the late ‘70s and ushered in the magnitude of what would become standard ‘80s popular music.
   I listened to the record intently last week, twice in a row. It has been decades since I have done that, but I had to. I enjoyed listening to the music that much.
   Years ago, I used to do it often. As a teenager, I remember the excitement of buying a new LP and listening to it repeatedly for hours and days. These were the times when radio wasn’t playing a lot of rock and roll. I grew up in a city that had only one AM station for the longest time (until a country music station took to the airwaves), and it was more focused on news, current events, and mostly my mom’s kind of music. Evenings they would play to a younger generation, but only the more popular pop songs (there was also an FM station but it played only classical music.
   Records and Rolling Stone magazine were then my link to real music.
   Back then you would play new records repeatedly, learning the songs, studying the lyrics and cover art. Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me comes to mind and, of course, Dark Side of the Moon.
   As my music collection grew over the years, as important as each record was, albums would be played less frequently; I had more albums to choose from. It had to be a damn good record to be played frequently.
   I know that changed when I owned my first car. The radio was still reliable, and I used to tape albums to play in the car’s cassette deck. Prior to that, listening to music was a stationary experience. Because of the limitations of the turntable, you had to stay in one place and listen, usually on headphones.
   I decided I wouldn’t buy any new albums this year, but instead listen to the music I already owned. I have a lot to select from, in all genres, on both vinyl and compact disc. I listen to music a lot, and in past years would frequently visit record stores to search out and both new releases and unfamiliar vintage albums by artists I was both familiar and unfamiliar with.
   I’ve now got a lot of alums that all need a good listening to.
   Clues was one of those albums.
   The album rocked a little harder than Secrets, his previous effort, but also dwelled in the synth-pop territory. One song, I Dream of Wires, written by new wave darling Gary New is sonically propulsive, a noticeable change of direction from the sophisticated strains of Palmer’s soulful, occasionally jazzy, sound. Palmer was the first artist I heard described as “blue-eyed soul”.
   This record captured the spirit of the times, without now seeming nostalgic. His albums that followed, both solo efforts and his work with The Power Station (an unlikely hook up with members of Duran Duran and Chic) continued in a similar groove, appealing to the Pepsi generation on MTV with his movie-star good looks and videos with the highly stylized back-up babes he became associated with.
   As I flip through my music collection, I am finding more and more albums worthy of re-discovering. All this music was purchased for a reason, and no doubt hasn’t been listened to with the intensity it deserves to be.

02/19/2024                                                                                        j.g.l.

truth or dare

Landscapes, like weather forecasts,
altered daily. Attitudes of how
we view our world, however,
remain stagnant.

Acid rain, climate change, dangers
inconvenient as carbon footprints in
freshly-fallen snow. We wait only
for it all to wash away.

Fossil fuels and solar flares, impotent
political dialogue of truth or dare.
Do we pay any heed past what
remains of the day?

Shame and blame living as we are.
What we do, or what we can do?
If only we would comprehend
how we have devolved.

Temperatures rising, though you
couldn’t tell it now. Common sense
approach far too common. We accept
what we cannot know.

We struggle, unknowingly, ignorant
of our ways. Messages lack meaning.
All talk. No action. Zero-sum gain
if all we do is complain.

02/16/2024                                                                                          j.g.l.

work in progress

I need to remind myself, more often,
who I am and what I have become.
More so, I need to remind myself of
what I am becoming.
If I am truly a work in progress, how
much progress have I made?
How can I tell if I don’t remind myself
or question myself?
Only I can really know.

02/15/2024                                                                              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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Look Closely At Your Selection

Posted on August 9, 2017 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

Farmer’s Markets and produce stands are, right now, brimming with nature’s bounty. Vegetables and fruit — blueberries and blackberries now in season — are boasting the ever-changing colours of life.

This is the season for the senses, with an abundance of healthy, natural food packed with nutrients and flavor. This is the time of the year we seem to pay more attention to what we eat. The selection and quality are all right there, fresh and ready for the taking.

The adage “you are what you eat” becomes evermore obvious. But it is more than that. We are everything we ingest: food, drink, information and culture.

Yes, the ingredients of our diet — whether a carnivore, herbivore, or an omnivore — is the easiest to track, because food is considered both a habit and a necessity. We are naturally, and physically, aware of the six to eight hours it takes for a meal to travel through our body from consumption to elimination.

The politics or the poetry we absorb is not as easy to trace, and, generally, remains with us a whole lot longer.

As we are, or should be, conscious of the sugar, salt, and fat in our sources of food, we should also be keenly aware of the loving thoughts, negative attitudes, insults and nuclear threats to our lives.

If all we are is food, our lives would not be as nearly as complete or complicated.

We can, and should, enjoy each meal. It should always be more than simply sustenance, as should the literature we read, the music we listen to, and the conversations we have with families and friends.

We feed our bodies with food, our minds and souls with people and the naturally-occurring daily drama. So as we carefully select our groceries, we should pay the same attention to what we watch, the information we take in, and the knowledge we hold.

It is our choice.

With the number of television channels and streaming services, it should be easier than ever to select a quality documentary or drama. With libraries and electronic access to a greater selection of titles than ever before, summer reading should last straight through to December. There need not be a moral to everything, but it should be more than junk food for the mind.

We can choose to listen to the ramblings and rhetoric of talk radio, or we can tune out and tune into any style of music that will uplift the spirits and wipe out the white noise. The menu is all about choice.

And, just as you scrutinize the display of peaches or packets of berries, you should also look closely at your other choices in life.

Are you sated by what you take in? Are you nourished by your relationships? Are you making healthy choices?

You are what you eat, yes, but you are so much more.

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