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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Tired, dirty and hazardous

Posted on May 10, 2023 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

About a month back, some cutting words were tacked up on the community bulletin board on the side of a bus shelter in my neighbourhood.
   This City Sucks read the small sign with a big message that hundreds or thousands of people walked by every day.
   I glanced at it daily.
   The bus shelter itself, even without the sign, is a prime example of what the sign was talking about. Too often street refuse, takeaway coffee cups, empty liquor bottles, used syringes or condoms, dog shit (or human feces) littered the space.
   It is unsightly and unsanitary to say the least.
   The sign remained tacked up on the side of the shelter for more than a week, but not quite two.
   People walked by, as did I.
   Nobody immediately felt a pang of civic pride and thought to remove the message (I know that I didn’t). No city employee was moved to tear the thing off the board on one of the irregular service visits (I, perhaps, mistakenly imply that there are, in fact, service visits of any regularity).
   The bus shelter is a representation of how the entire city looks and feels right now: tired, dirty and hazardous.
   Toronto is broken and only slightly functional, much like the trash and recycling bin not far from the bus shelter at this, or any of, Toronto’s street corners.
   Abject neglect is everywhere.
   In late June Toronto is holding an election for mayor only as, this past February, Mayor John Tory resigned after admitting he had an inappropriate affair with a city staffer half is age.
   Nominations have not yet closed but there are, so far, 73 or 75 candidates running for the position (the number goes up daily, and will, until nominations close this Friday).
   It is a crowded field.
   Among the contenders are three sitting city councilors, four former city councilors, a former police chief, a previous provincial representative, and an outspoken journalist, each of them spouting promises as empty as the next candidate.
   None of the current and former city councilors who have chosen to run for the office now even bothered to contend last fall, believing the former and now-disgraced mayor was either doing a great job or was unbeatable in his third (successful) campaign. So, we are mainly seeing politicians who sided with the mayor’s actions and attitude or harshly opposed his representation.
   Tory was popular, yes, but it was mostly after his resignation that city residents began to see his sins, secrets, and shortfalls.
   Right now we need a mayor more than we need a mascot.
   This election campaign will accelerate over the next six weeks. In the meantime, the city’s problems continue to stack up. Toronto is dealing with more than a deficit and budget shortfall, a provincial government not doing what it is supposed to, and a Federal government doing as little as it can.
   This country’s largest city has a lot of big problems.
   Toronto is a violent, deadly city with shootings or stabbings daily (or nightly), increased automobile theft and carjacking, ever-increasing homelessness and an opiate and street drug crisis. With soaring record-high rents and an apparent affordable housing shortage, an infrastructure implosion and traffic gridlock that results in some of North America’s longest commute times, and the public transit system is both dangerous and unreliable.
   On top of everything, Toronto is as messy as it is dirty. The biggest mess might be political.
   This city, right now, sucks. It’s going to take a whole lot more than a new mayor to reverse its fortune.
   It will take a civic pride which, obviously, is lacking.

© 2023 j.g. lewis

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