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 . . .

good intentions

I am going to yoga later this morning. At least, that is my intention.

   It’s almost 6 a.m., and a mat that hasn’t seen much activity in quite a while is waiting beside my packsack. It has been years, really, since I have stepped into a class. I’ve been feeling, lately, like it is time to do what I used to do regularly.

   Almost a decade ago, yoga was a true constant in my life. It was a practice that, for all intents and purposes, consumed me physically, mentally, and spiritually.

   Today, I’m trying to get that feeling back.

   I have very few expectations.

   My balance is not what it once was, I am often stiff and struggling, and I’m feeling the need to give this body the stretching it needs. My birthday a few days ago reminded me I am not getting any younger.

   So, I’m off to yoga in a few hours and I am doing so with good intentions.


06/14/2024                                                                                          j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

   within the company of others

                   we navigate space


           between now and then

                 choosing where we go

         and with whom we travel


                 at times it gets crowded

                       and still seems lonely

         otherwise comfortable

         on our own


             companionship makes

             the journey worthwhile



06/10/2023                                                                                          j.g.l.

in hindsight

Reasons are excuses,
explanations simple
rationalizations for
what you are thinking
or feeling. History is
full of reasons and,
in hindsight, excuses.
Or promises.
I have known many.

©2019 j.g. lewis

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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Capturing The Essence

Posted on May 5, 2021 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

I took time yesterday, during my morning walk, to stop in the park and sketch the tulips.
With this latent spring, I’ve been waiting for weeks — perhaps all winter — for some colour after these devastatingly long months.

One of my lifetime joys (and we should all keep a list) is seeing tulips in the spring.
It’s not simply a sign that I have survived anther winter; tulips are my favorite flower.
Tulips remind me of my Mom. She loved springtime.

With the cooler temperatures of late, despite a decent offering of rain, the tulips have not been abundant in the park this year. Yes, there have been a few brave souls who have managed to push through the dirt, but it’s not the same as it has been in this particular park. I’ve been checking daily, on my walks, waiting for a chance to spend some time with my camera.

The longer I waited, the more disappointed I became. While even the leaves are greening on the magnificent trees, that thick crowd of tulips has yet to appear.

Yesterday, I decided I had waited long enough. I questioned myself. Why was I waiting for something specific to appear (perhaps to match an image in my mind) when I could simply capture what was there?

I was letting expectation get in the way of my intentions.

Walking through the park, I settled on a bench with my morning coffee (easily the best kind of coffee) and found a couple of red tulips emerging from the greenery; too few to call them a cluster, but just enough to inspire some creativity.

My camera wasn’t with me, so I chose instead to make use of the small sketchbook in my packsack, and I’m never without a pencil. I sat and sketched.

I overlooked the boastful daffodils — which have managed for a while to show off their brilliant yellow (though less than usual) — but I did not ignore their persistence, punctuality and commitment to schedule. Daffodils, in a few shades, appear with consistency, as they always have, and then give way to stronger, hardier flowers. Quietly, they go about their work.

Not like tulips.

Tulips put on a dramatic show, in any stage, as they evolve from straight stems with tight bulbs of slight colour. They offer style and texture as they begin to blossom, elegantly twisting and turning in their own characteristic ways, first reaching up, then stretching out with wild abandon, following the sunlight or lack thereof.

As tulips open up, they share the colour of their inner secrets, offer a smile over a period of about a week before bowing and slowly shedding their petals.

Tulips, through their entire life-cycle, put forth uncommon beauty and dignity. They give their lives to offer us brightness, a sense of hope and possibility. They perish, leaving us waiting for the next year. Next spring.

Tulips leave us something to remember.

I took 10 or 20 minutes yesterday (I actually lost track of time) following the muse of the moment. Without my camera I could not record the perfection of the flowers, but instead captured the essence of what they reveal (to me anyway).

I produced a series of small sketches, a continuation of a practice I adopted last August that I call ‘mindful, non-judgmental art’. Usually I set myself up with some watercolour paints and create a series of small masterpieces of one subject or another. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Yesterday I had no paints and brushes, as I had no camera, but I still managed to create. You do what you do with what you have. I wasn’t worried about the results, or the process, but simply the feeling of the flow.

Sometimes you have to stop and sketch the flowers. I recommend it to anyone. Take a little time out of your day to capture the life that is there.

Yes, especially these days, it seems more difficult as the workplace and home-life have folded into one. Finding that spare half-hour for a mid-day walk, let alone 10 minutes to randomly sketch, is difficult. You’ve got back-to-back ZOOM meetings through the afternoon, and have been struggling to complete that multi-page terms of reference document for, what, a week? Nine days?

What’s another 20 minutes?

Take that time. For. Your. Self. Grab a notebook and pencil and head to a nearby park. Sit on the steps in your own backyard. Sketch out the flowers that are there, or the trees, or that brick wall you pass by or stare at every day. Sketch. Something.

Take the time to mindfully create.

It will do you good.

It might even help clear your mind enough to complete that ugly terms of reference document. You’ll breathe easier knowing you took a little time to specifically do what you wanted to do. Mindfully.

© 2021 j.g. lewis

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