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 . . .

look forward

The Tulips at St. James Park have run their course, the bulbs dug up and stored away until planting this fall.
    Right now it is just dirt, but I can feel potential.
    In the coming days, gardeners will fill the plant beds with a fresh crop of flowers to see us through the summer. I am anticipating beautiful things.
    Over the past couple of years, St. James Park has become a regular part of my landscape. It began during the COVID lockdown when I found myself passing through the park on my daily walks around downtown Toronto. It was more than a habit.
    The park became an oasis in my day; comfort within the concrete of the city. The shade of the magnificent trees always gave me a reason to stop.
    Sometimes I would sketch the flowers and trees, write a poem when the muse called out, or simply spend time with my journal or my camera.
    Some days I would just sit, as I did yesterday and the day before. Some days you only have to listen or look around.
    Yesterday, I noticed the water has been turned on in the bird bath after a two-year absence. It’s not quite a fountain but I know I’ll find myself, at some point, wasting time with my camera and capturing birds as they refresh themselves in the heat of the day.
    I look forward to it; time well-wasted is good for the soul. It’s always nice to have a place where there is the potential to do just that.

06/02/2023                                                                                                                   j.g.l.


We live in a world of what ifs.
What if we did something else,
or what if we weren’t there (as
sometimes we shouldn’t be
when it comes down to the
wrong place at the right time).
What if it never happened?
What if we had responded
differently or if we had taken
the advice we were told?
Would we have been so bold?

05/30/2023                                                                                        j.g.l.


As it is, not
as we wish it to be.

You have days
to think back on,

and you do…

05/25/2023                                                                                           j.g.l.

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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Humanity and Homelessness

Posted on December 7, 2022 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

Hourly we see the signs and statistics, daily and nightly, more than we need to and not as often as we should.
   We only see pieces, but never the complete picture.
   In an article a few months ago, the Toronto Star reported “an unrelenting increase in homelessness.” In one year, as of August, the number of actively homeless people in Toronto went from 8,479 to 9,724.
   More or less, at last count, give or take. The numbers are an underestimation of the crisis. Shocking and convenient, but how accurate can the assessment of an impermanent and transient population be?
   We see the problems daily, but not solutions. The politics of poverty hold much of the blame, but not the sole responsibility, and we see only pieces of the puzzle that don’t fit.
   There are social agencies, non-profit charities and church groups doing their damndest to stuff a finger in the dike. Lack of social housing, mental health issues some of us will never know (but we will know of), drug and alcohol addiction, and violence, all contribute to the flood they are facing.
   Our government, provincially, has confused homelessness with housing and its plans and promises going forward contain no real hope for unhoused, the unhealthy or the unholy, all out of luck, out of time, but never out of eyesight.
   On top of everything, inflation is climbing and the COVID-19 pandemic aftermath continues, as certain as it exists.
   Toronto’s shelter system, emergency or otherwise, is stretched to capacity. Nightly, as winter continues to come, the wicked winds leave little room for even the brave inside. Outside of overflowing shelters, the bold struggle to find a place in all-night coffee shops, cardboard upon cold concrete of tenement steps, or in tent cities that continue in city parks..
   It is a puzzle indeed, and not a pretty picture.
   Charity is a start, but it is never enough.
   Humanity hinders as often as it heals.
   How can we care for each other?
   Most of us have something to give, many of us have more than we ask for, while some of us can only ask because there is nothing left to give and even less to live for.
   This is the emotional ground that we walk on: daily, nightly, hourly.
   An incomplete puzzle, do we only see the pieces we want to see?
   Do we shield our eyes from that which makes us uncomfortable?
   Can we not consider the comfort of others?

© 2022 j.g. lewis

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