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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Motherhood is. . .
Posted on May 8, 2018 by j.g.lewisLeave a comment

By Heather Marr

Motherhood is. . .

Reheating that third of a cup of coffee for the third time.

A constant pile of laundry—maybe clean, if it’s my lucky day.

A small hand in mine on the walk to daycare.

A not-as-small-but-just-as-soft hand in mine on the walk from school.

After years of grumbling about it, suddenly understanding that this is THE LAST TIME I’ll have to accompany my son during the whole weekday-morning, seven-minute-long, stripping-off-the-piles-of-snow-clothes deal…
…because next year he’ll be in kindergarten and doing it all himself, without me.

Feeling melancholy about all the “lasts” in life I missed while they were happening.

Grumbling again when a mid-spring snowstorm renders null and void that “last” I was actually fully present for.

Rereading Anne of Green Gables with my daughter at the same age I was when I first read it…
…and delighting in how truly well-written it is and how progressive Lucy Maud Montgomery was for the time.

Rereading the Little House series with my daughter at the same age I was when I first read it…
…and being horrified by how racist Ma was.

Cracking up at Teen Titans Go! at least as much as the kids do.

Realizing my son picked up those questionable phrases from Beast Boy…but my daughter picked up those curse words from me.

Feeling proud when my kids, without shame or giggling, use the correct names for their genitalia.

The gift of an unsolicited “Mommy, can I hug you?” from my daughter, age 10.

Attempting to write this piece uninterrupted—unsuccessfully—while said daughter is home from school, sick and apparently bored (too bad).

@2018 Heather Marr

Heather Marr is a Montreal-based writer, editor, mom of two, certified birth doula and owner of Rio Doula Montreal, world traveller, native Californian, and lover of long runs and coffee. She strongly believes that life is about the journey AND the destination. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Mondays are just young Fridays
Posted on May 7, 2018 by j.g.lewis // 1 Comment

I grew up listening to music. It wasn’t really a choice.
  My mother always had the radio turned on, or a record on the turntable. In our home it was her soundtrack that would set the mood of the day. Often I would hear her wonderful voice singing along; she could really belt it out. She was a mother who knew that music was best played at a decent volume.
  Most of the time it was the big band music of her youth, and she was especially fond of Sinatra, but Mom would continually pick up popular records of the day and keep up with the times. The copies of The Beatles Blue and Red albums, that I now own, both have her signature boldly written on the front cover as if she was staking claim to the music.
  Her tastes were wide and wonderful. I enjoyed some of the sounds, others took me years (or decades) to fully appreciate.
  The point is, my mother exposed me to music, encouraged me to listen, to learn, and even to perform (she actually allowed a set of drums into the house). Heck, she even bought me a few albums (of my choice) before I had a job to support my habit.
  A love of music was something we shared. It is a hobby/passion/obsession that continues today, long after my mother has passed on.
  Mothers do this, and not just with music. It’s your mother who will probably notice your interest in something when you were a kid. It is a mother who will encourage you to take it further. It could be dance, or drama, reading, or hockey, but chances are the hobbies you enjoyed when you were young were supported by your mother.
  It really doesn’t matter what that hobby was, what mattered was that your mother gave you a chance to discover, and to explore, an interest. In that way, it did matter.
  Thanks Mom, I’ve still got the music in me.
05/07/2018                                j.g.l.

Sunday Sounds And Scents
Posted on May 6, 2018 by j.g.lewisLeave a comment

by Abena Buahene
I grew up believing there was something magical about Sunday mornings.

Snuggled deep in my featherbed as frost from a Canadian winter framed the window, or laying on top of a crisp sheet and breathing the scent of Freesias that had hitched a ride on a Mediterranean breeze to my bedroom, Sunday mornings, no matter where in the world we lived, always had their own predictable and comforting rhythm.

I would lay there in that delicious state of being awake, but not quite ready to jump out of bed and begin the day. Unlike the other days of the week where mornings were about getting to school, work, or Saturday wash day, Sunday mornings were about my mother’s ritual.

Always I was quite happy to lay there and let ritual unfold.

The coffee grinder was the first sign that my mother was up and about. Now, you have to know this noise was reserved for only Sunday morning coffee or when my parents entertained. Instant coffee was the order of the day through the week, but my mother (as with her mother) was a great believer that coffee made from freshly-ground beans was Sunday worthy.

Soon the kettle whistle would blow and then, ever so gently, the smell of brewed coffee would waft from the kitchen, down the hallway, to my room. The first part of the ritual was complete.

I would next hear the sound of the mixer scrapping the sides of the brown plastic bowl, the one with a chip near the pouring spout. On Sundays, my mother would make something special for breakfast like blueberry-banana pancakes, raisin scones or zucchini muffins. If she was up especially very early, she’d bake Finnish cardamom bread to be served with her homemade strawberry jam. The sound of the oven door closing signalled that the second part of the ritual was done. By this time, my growling stomach was telling me it would soon be time to get up.

The opening and closing of cupboard doors, rattling of dishes and cutlery, combined with the smell of baking, completed the ritual. It would now only be a matter of minutes before my mother, sitting on the edge of my bed, would be tousling my hair and telling me it was “time to start the day”.

We all have certain sounds, scents, sights, or sayings that evoke memories. Some memories bring on a smile, laughter, or just that plain old feeling of happiness. Others make us tear-up, bring on grief, anger or frustration. This Mother’s Day will be the seventh one where my father, sister and I will place Freesias on my mother’s grave. We will each be lost for a few moments in our private thoughts of remembrance; her kindness to strangers; her loyalty to friends; her pride in her profession; her joy of picking raspberries and, above all, her utter devotion to family.

My mother’s Sunday morning ritual. Even now, in my dreams, I hear the coffee grinder, smell freshly-brewed coffee, and feel her hand on my head.

Sunday sounds and scents, a perfect reminder of my mother’s love; predictable and comforting.

Abena Buahene is a daughter, mother, sister, and street photographer who lives and loves in Toronto. She enjoys baking and still treats her father to many of her mother’s favourite recipes.