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 Main Focus

Posted on September 10, 2022 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

When did we stop paying attention to the world around us?

A teenager cruises through an intersection on a bike, one hand on the handlebars, eyes focused only on the cell phone in his other hand. An office worker charges off an elevator and into a tray of steaming, hot coffee, her eyes never lifting from the tiny screen. A distracted businessman steps onto the crosswalk on a red light and a car with the right-of-way narrowly misses him.

I’m not surprised, but I am bewildered. When did our handhelds become the main focus of our lives?

Nobody can doubt or discount how beneficial our mobile devices have become to society. We have access to information, essentially, wherever we are. We can communicate, share photos of our pets and partners, seek advice, and get directions to wherever we are going. We can shop, do our banking, and be entertained by social media.

It is wonderful, yes.

The thing is, we are forgoing what used to be considered regular, everyday, activities and allowing our cellular phones dictate what we do, and how we do it.

We are, quite simply, spending too much time staring at our screens. I did say we because, I know, I am doing it myself.

I’m trying to cut back. I should have snapped a photo of the careless teen, but my phone was stowed away in my messenger bag; I’m making a point of putting it away when I don’t need it. I decided I was needing it too much.

I’ve sat down for lunch with coworkers and instead of talking about weekend plans, politics, sports or art, each of us was catching up on whatever was on our phone. We didn’t share what we were absorbing. We even tried to converse between bites of a sandwich or salad, but the content of our discussion was about as meaningful as most of the stuff I was catching on my newsfeed.

Do we need to take frequent breaks from real life to watch the latest nonsensical sound bite emanating from the floppy jowls of the attention-seeking politician? Or do we need to read, right now, the ramblings of an ordinary guy who believes we all spend too much time gazing at hand-sized screens?

Couldn’t it wait until later? Like maybe when you sit down for your next bowel movement?

We are missing out on what’s really happening. I have seen people miss transit stops, or walk by an intended destination, because they were too busy reading or watching something that has totally taken control of their mind.

What’s so important that you can’t take the time to walk down the street and actually look up to see the latest fashions in the windows, flowers in the park, the artwork of a fabulous tattoo, or all those smiling strangers (those who aren’t face down and blindly stepping forward) passing you by on a glorious summer day.

We haven’t simply become addicted to our devices; we are being controlled by them.

We’ve been manipulated into watching content and commercialism that algorithms have determined will be of personal interest. All social media platforms are programmed to distract you. Service providers, browsers, and platforms, are all collecting data. If you click on a travel site one day, soon you are flooded with offers, suggestions, and other destination opportunities. If you do a little online banking on your coffee break, and you’ll soon get hit with credit card offers, payday loan proposals and interest rate alerts from other financial services.

It does not stop. Each click, each time you move from site to site, little bytes of information about you and your viewing habits are being collected. We are being manipulated into looking, seeing, and buying. Our reality is being hijacked.

What are you missing out on?

p.s. This ordinary guy thanks you for reading my ramblings – I do appreciate you taking the time.

©2018 j.g. lewis

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