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 . . .

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
other times
dull or
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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What You’ve Been Looking At
Posted on November 29, 2017 by j.g.lewisLeave a comment

Look closely.
You may have to — depending on which screen, tablet, or device you are reading this on — because how it is presented is not how it was intended.
Things are not always as they appear.
It’s not like it used to be, where at one time the size of the text you read to obtain information and entertainment was consistent, but lately you may even have to squint to stay informed.
It used to be about the pica.
You know, the pica? Sure you do; the pica was the standard unit of measurement for the copy you read in newspapers, magazine, books. Okay, it was more industry jargon, but you, in selecting the size of font to write or print a document, made use of this measurement.
There are a dozen points to one pica, thus when you choose 12-point type, you are selecting a measurement of one pica. You get the point. As typography changed through the years, and computers replaced traditional typesetting in the 1980s, the sizing and measurement was altered slightly.
Published documents used to deal with standard sizes. Whether it was legal or letter-sized stationery, or a broadsheet or tabloid-sized newspaper, the type sizes were consistent. The traditional printed page is now less and less important as much of our reading is done on a screen of some size or another. It makes it difficult, Much of the print we read these days is simply too small.
It is becoming a problem.
When web page designers and companies create sites for the retail or service sector, they are going for a certain look. They want to attract attention and appear different than everything else out there, all the while they are selling something.
The nature of online business is to catch the eye, and in trying to do so with captivating images and layouts they are paying less and less attention to the written word and how it is read.
All too often they are selecting fonts in point sizes that may graphically look wonderful on the screen they are designed on, but translate to something insignificant when transformed to the reader’s screen
Do you ever wonder why your eyes are tired at the end of the day?
Look at what you’ve been looking at.
I recently flashed through the Apple website on my iphone. I even have the larger screen of a recent model, and still I had to “pinch” the screen at one point to increase the text size. I was unable to do so with two of the banking apps I scrolled through. I actually opted to make a transaction on my computer because the information I required was not easy to comprehend on the mobile app.
I’m quite used to reading type, and I wear progressive lenses in eyeglasses to aid my vision. Still I was having difficulties.
Often I find a virtual page has been designed with a larger type in some sections, but some of the sub text was almost incomprehensible.
Yes, you can increase the size of the text size in the settings on your mobile device, but those settings increase the overall text on the screen, and that is not always required.
Most times it is not required, nor should it be.
Micro-sized text is not limited to computer-related screens. Forever we have dealt with tiny type on a package’s ingredients, cooking instructions, or the disclaimers and finer points to a legal contract. Do you remember how difficult it was reading the liners notes and lyrics on Compact Discs?
There were times you even needed to pull out the magnifying glass.
It’s a shame that, sometimes, you might need to do the same thing on a mobile device.

Image: Testimony ©1987 Robbie Robertson

How Does It Feel From The Inside
Posted on November 22, 2017 by j.g.lewis // 1 Comment

Collar upturned, scarf scratching
against the skin, eyes tearing as furious winds
find their way, we protect ourselves
from the intermittently indifferent month
of November. As only we can.
Atmosphere duly moistened
by pent up frustration in joys not found,
unfostered friendships, and decline
in the value of our self-worth,
deceit flows freely in these darker hours.
Our hardened hearts impervious
to even favoured words, we can hardly
hear ourselves speak, and better we not.
Each question delivered during these days
cannot summon an answer; even decisions
arrived at in November will wait.
December, with its warmer spirit and
delicate snow is then a softer month
for broken promises or shattered hearts.
We count not the days, but tolerate
this month of indecision, our time instead
sorting out emotions, impositions,
and lack of interest.
How does it feel from the inside?
The bitter cold slams against our silhouette,
while souls cry out for attention, admonition,
gentle hands or comfortable shoulder.
Even young bones creak loudly against
this change of season.
Even old souls forever remember
the intolerable month of November.
© 2016 j.g. lewis

Looking Beyond The Obvious
Posted on November 15, 2017 by j.g.lewisLeave a comment

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always had.

We are all overly-familiar with this all-too-familiar adage. As humans, more than anything else, we are creatures of habit, so it seems that doing things the same old way is how we survive the day.

As we sort through personal problems, perennial predicaments, unexpected uncertainties, or unwritten questions with indecipherable answers, we keep looking for the correct result, the right solution, or a different outcome.

What has worked well in the past may not work as it once did. Disappointingly so, we know we need more. It could be addressing a strategy for the office, mastering a specialized skill, polishing a manuscript, or realigning our fitness routine to meet expectations or soothe our aspirations.

To get a different result, we need to look for what is not there by stepping away from the current thought process. At one time it was cleverly called ‘thinking outside the box’, but now it is simply an overused cliché. Everybody is now avoiding the ‘box’, so we need to go to a different place.

We need to begin thinking outside the thought.

In this digital age of instant, all too often, we end up clicking through any of the available search engines for answers. That, itself, has limits. Too many times, too many answers are all the same. Our reliance on contemporary technologies tends to confuse, dumb down our spirit (or curiosity), and lead us to programed or predestined results.

The answers are not always on Google.

Maybe, without even thinking about it, we are trying too hard. Stop that. Think a little less. perhaps the answer is right there; or there; or under there.

An original answer is not easy, that you know. It never has been. In fact, you know you can’t take the easy route. You’ve done that, time and again, and rarely does it provide effective results. Think, indeed, but think differently.

Look closer. At times the obvious solution is the most difficult to see.

Of course, solutions to what seems to be impossible and improbable cannot be guaranteed. Most times the only sure way of knowing is trial and error. You don’t know until you try, and you need to try and think from obscure angles, or with a different perspective.

What you end up with might not yield the correct result; it may not even be a reasonable facsimile. Hell, it might be the most miserable attempt at something you’ve ever had. But that’s good, because you’ve done it like you’ve never done before.

An original solution, how unique. Aren’t there already too many boxes?

© 2017 j.g. lewis