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 . . .

these days

tomorrow is another chance

but what about today?

11/29/2022                                                                                                               j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

Morning fog limits perspective.
As much surprise as wonder,
as isolating as illuminating,
we naturally want to see further.
Your vantage point stays the same.
Captivated throughout the day,
you may well stand where you are,
only the focal point broadens.Daylight eventually finds its way,
you can easily see the difference.
Darkness will come, it always does,
the view will be different tomorrow.
11/28/2022                                                                                                                                                                                        j.g.l.

be content

hold the image
speak the silence
feel the clarity

11/27/2022                                                                                                                 j.g.l.

cloud songs

                  Direction uncertain,

                   destination unknown
   or definite

               We share
                                                 the same sky.

                         Look up,
    know where you are,

       if only for a moment.

                           If only for your self.

11/24/2022                                                                                                                                                      j.g.l.

unencumbered thought

Take what is there, observe the
confluence of ideas, the merge of
unexpected honesty with the
reality you gaze at.
Unencumbered thought is simply
too easy to ignore, yet we put off
decisions we need to make all
too frequently.
We don’t question our behaviour.
We wait for conclusions to be
made for us, thinking it easier to
simply go with the flow. In doing
so, we avoid what is right in front
of us. We look no further.
Observe what is there; do with it
what you may. Discover the true
consequences of your own actions.

11/22/2022                                                                                             j.g.l.

Wicked Winters

The hints of winter remind us what is to come: snow squalls, icy storms, those horrendous wind chills and descending temperatures.
   We can only imagine what is ahead of us, our fears augmented by seasonal memories of the coldest nights, frostbitten fingers, slipping and slipping on highways, and slip and falls on neglected sidewalks.
   Our minds can go way back in time documenting wicked winters, but we still must think of the present, and the future, and the vulnerable. The unhoused and the hungry will struggle with what is ahead: the birds and the people.
   Is it within our humanity to find simple charity, a gesture in kind, shelter, food when required, a hand up to those who need it?
   It is the season to feel more than the frigid temperatures.

11/20/2022                                                                                                    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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She Wants To Breathe

Posted on February 4, 2015 Leave a comment

 

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Restless now. Really for months, an urge
a need, to do something. Feel something.
An interest in objects, as much as anything.
Certain things mark a time. A sugar bowl, a
cookie tin; items, almost sacred. Empty, at
a glance, yet brimming with moments.

Grandmother long gone, she now finds
herself in a place. Voices. Ushered forward
by a child, young woman now, and held back
by memories. Her flesh, her blood, those
who raised her. Comfort. Restless still.
Words and thoughts, she wants to write.

She wants to write, but never has. Not like
this. Father’s firm disposition, a mother’s
tenderness, a voice that softened her reality.
She wants to write, like she wants to believe.
Decisions made, not regretted, but pondered.
The ink is fresh, the pen permanent.

A snap of memories, broken, diminished joys
not of parenthood, but of partners. She wants to
write about love; past and present and perhaps
more. She wants to write like she wants to breathe.
Ink flows smoothly. Her blood. History always
an interest, this is more personal.

Shameless, blameless admissions, only to herself
and a page presenting itself as a stranger. Now
it offers its skin as a lover. The smooth, thick pen,
heavy and hard between her fingers, finds a rhythm.
An object desired. She wants to write, like she
wants to feel. She has, and will again.

Never like this. Minute details reiterate her faults. The
pen’s nib, ever constant, captures lives left behind,
but still within. If only her heart, if not in her life.
The pen moves forward, she still there. Now. Every
letter, each stanza reveals a voice. A need.
She wants to write, like she wants to bleed.

Of Patience and Pain

Posted on January 28, 2015 // 4 Comments

 

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Of Patience and Pain

Saturday night in the ER, it could be 11 or
thereabouts. Time matters not when you are
waiting. Each visitor here has a purpose,
they would not be here had they not. Incessant
florescent lighting obliterates all time. It
could be morning, as easily as it is night.

Settling into chairs of modicum comfort, we wait.
Mothers clutch screaming children, a husband
and a wife, not speaking. Who knows what each
is feeling? Minutes pass slower, punctuated by
coughing and crying. Conversations about nothing,
ailments and symptoms. Disease. I am here, alone.

Why bother someone else with a pain I cannot
control; a pain only I can explain. It is personal.
We all sit, amidst yesterday’s newspaper and
someone else’s problems. We muster the patience
to deal with the sickness, the boredom, the pain,
and the antiseptic scent of helplessness.

An elderly couple sits, three hours now, immune
to the commotion of reckless drunks with bloody
noses. They are quiet, respectful. More people come
and go. And wait. Gradually others take their turn, as
the rest of us wait, not knowing when our time
will come. We hope it is soon, but know it is not.

The elderly gentleman does not remove his hat. She,
tired and hurting, rests her head on his shoulder. He
is her strength. He is there for her, as always and now.
At one point he stands, takes her arm and guides
her to the washroom. He waits outside, as if guarding
his cherished possession. She is there for him. Always.

All those hours in the ER, he held her hand the
entire time. I know nothing of her ailments or
of their history, but I recognize, can plainly see,
all that is there. Love. In his palm, it is in their
lives. A type of love I do not own, perhaps a kind
of love I might have known. Not here.

This couple, a lifetime of love that keeps them
holding hands, in sickness and in health. Closer
now. Till death do them part. Patience, even
through the commotion of the ER and all they
have experienced in life. Love. Time matters
not, when you have the patience required.

The all-important Hyphen

Posted on January 21, 2015 // 2 Comments

 

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The all-important Hyphen

The hyphen: there is really not a lot to it.

At first glance, a small stroke using up less ink than a capital I (or lower
case for that matter), the hyphen holds many roles but is mainly used as a
joiner.

The hyphen brings words together.

Conveniently located adjacent to the numerals on your keyboard, the hyphen is
one of those reliable punctuation marks in a writer’s tool kit. It’s fairly
popular, rather practical, occasionally suffers from overuse, but has never
really been one of my go-to keys; I’m more of a semicolon guy.

The hyphen’s use and usefulness cannot be ignored. It’s helps modify and can
brighten up even the most euphorically-sunny day, further define a well-dressed
man in a made-to-measure three-piece suit, and can attach lovers joined by their
wedding vows. The hyphen, many times, can also be used to delineate parts within
a written date, or represent a span in time.

I suppose the weight of the hyphen really just occurred to me as I, again,
thought of my father and of his recent passing. I glance at his obituary and the
88 years summed up with a simple keystroke. Beneath his name sits a date of
birth and a date of passing; important dates indeed, but what of all the years
in between?

My father was just that, a true father. A Dad. But he was also son, and a
brother as well. He was a husband, uncle, brother-in-law, and a friend,
colleague, partner and co-worker. With each of those roles came responsibilities
he never seemed to shirk in a life filled with events and occasions, holidays,
graduations, weddings and anniversaries, career advancement, new cars and homes,
and fatherhood.

All those hours spent guiding his children, the lessons learned and wisdom
passed on, all represented by an insignificant hyphen.

It got me thinking about all the time between the start and stop of his life,
and mine. He made so much of his time on this planet, and I am just here.

I’m living in the hyphen right now and I have no idea when my full stop might
come. I would like to think the present is just another comma in the pages of a
life that still has many sentences and chapters to go, but maybe it’s time to be
more.

There are goals still not realized, and a purpose not fully defined. I have a
great deal to offer my family and friends, and to those I have yet to meet.
There is more life to live, and more air to breathe. I’d like to think there are
many hyphens still within my grasp.

I guess its about deciding to make the hyphen important and squeezing as many
memories and moments into this one small dash. I need now to be more open to
changes that will inevitably happen, to be prepared to accept compromise and
compassion.

It’s also time now to start paying attention to the smaller hyphens, the ones
that fall between self and awareness, or realization. Or preservation. Call it
self-examination. I don’t think I’m much different than any of us presented with
our middle-aged life (talk about a shocking hyphen). We all look at where we
were, and consider where we are going. How we will get there, and where exactly
is “there”?

I know I need to worry less about situations beyond my control, to be less
suspicious of others, and make myself more susceptible to options and emotions
presented to me. I need to be a more-reliable brother, and father. I need to be
a better friend, and I need to be able to become a stronger person. I need to
forgive more and criticize less (myself and others). I need to show a greater
aptitude for gratitude.

I need to live my life more by the example set by my father, and less like the
reckless self-absorbed teenager who once doubted his advice.

As stubborn as I am, I’ll still live by my words (or I will try), but in doing
so I will pay more attention to the hyphenation, beginning with less self-doubt and
more self-respect.

Decision Time

Posted on January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Decisions

Decision Time

What will I do today? This week?
Each day I ask this, of myself. I ask this of others;
daily, hourly . . . each second of every minute I ask questions,
and
with each question comes a decision.
We all make decisions
all the time.
Continually.
Where to go, what to do, what to buy, whether to stay,
what to say,
how to say it, how to ask a question. ?????
All decisions.

Each and every act, goal, accomplishment or
failure, begins with a decision.

How can I be sure the decisions I make are right, or proper, or ethical . . . even moral?
I can’t.
I can try.
I can leverage all my knowledge and experience, and hope, and plan,
but even then I can’t be sure the decisions I make, at that time, are correct.

I am like everybody else.
We all struggle with decisions.
Many, or even most, of the decisions we make involve someone else. In fact, many of the decisions we make must function, or cooperate, or align, with decisions made by others.
And that is hard.
Even the simple decisions we must make are hard.
Every decision is one of hundreds of inter-connected, though seemingly unrelated, decisions made each day.

Life is a cumulative series of decisions.

Your decisions impact the lives of those around you; those you love
or those who, just by their nature of being where they are or what they are,
are just there.
Every day.
Every day we make decisions.
You decide how you will be viewed, how you will be remembered,
how you will be accepted, or how you will accept others.
All decisions.

We wake and walk upon each decision we make.

Some, in fact most, decisions are irreversible; resolution is not even in your hands.
And the decisions made by others may possibly be the most difficult decisions to deal with.
You are forced, without having to decide, to deal with the consequences
you had never intended.
One decision leads to another, and there is always the danger of collateral damage.
And if we don’t question the decisions made by others, we wonder: why they did that; why they said that; why they left, or let you go?
All are questions fuelled by decisions, and decisions made without your input. Mainly
decisions made with little care or without concern for you.
Then again it’s not the actual decision that hurts, as much as it’s how you react to the decision.
If you don’t react properly, there is certain to be conflict.
Decisions can lead to arguments, as much as agreement, or conclusion, or worry . . .

Without decisions we do little, or nothing, to contribute to
this grand parade we call life.
Think about it.
There, right there, that’s a decision; you have to decide how you will think about it
and what you will think about.
What will you think?
What choice will you make?

If you don’t make a choice, you are leaving it up to a chance, or fate. Kismet.
And taking a chance is nowhere near effective as making a decision.
It might be easier, at the time,
but really it’s not.
Not at all.
When we make the decision to leave it up in the air — to leave it to chance — that in itself
is a decision; not one to be taken lightly,
and one that can only lead to indecision.

Indecision can kill you, if not physically then morally, or spiritually.
Just as the wrong decision, or even the right decision at the wrong time, can
take its toll on how life should, or could, be lived.

With decision comes responsibility.
We own each decision we make, and every mistake made.
Spur-of-the-moment decisions often haunt us the longest.
So how do you make the right decision, without worry, without regret?
I suppose, above all else, it’s a matter of being flexible, and even more so,
being fair.
If you are making a decision it should be made in fairness, and with intention.
And it should be made for all the reasons that are good and whole,
and right.
Not just right for you, but those you care about.
Think about it.
Ask yourself: What do I want . . . what do I really want?
Or,
is what I have what I really want?

Is it?
Make that decision.

My January Breath

Posted on January 7, 2015 Leave a comment

 

January Breath

My January Breath

Snowflakes. Only movement.                                                                                                                           Twilight comes until twilight goes.                                                                                                              Daylight leaves too early. Swiftly.                                                                                                                 The deeper the night, the colder                                                                                                            the darkness.

My January breath suspended,                                                                                                                 my thoughts wishing to go                                                                                                        somewhere. Anywhere, other                                                                                                                than here. A deafening                                                                                                                         winter silence.

The air is slow.Still. Almost.                                                                                                                   Alone, even in the shadow                                                                                                                            of the streetlamps. Nobody to                                                                                                              shield your ears from the cold,                                                                                                                   or dampen the inevitable.

Pointless the task, reviewing patterns                                                                                                   and paths carved into the cartography of                                                                                              the ego. Realization. What once was,                                                                                                     may never be. This season                                                                                                                       stays the longest.

Even with full sunlight. The wind,                                                                                                     should it decide, rips through me.                                                                                                      Harsh. I am not here, not really.                                                                                                 Permanent as my                                                                                                                                 January breath.

Flurries obscure constellations and                                                                                                         the moon. Isolation. The circumference                                                                                                   of my being is reduced. Limited.                                                                                                      Blinded by temporal                                                                                                                             beauty, or tears.

Nothing has happened, or is                                                                                                        happening. The brazen wind chill                                                                                                    clashes with body heat, the atmosphere                                                                                                the victor. Obvious. The world                                                                                                                 still gets in your eyes.

Time agape with a grey known only                                                                                                           to the night. A solitary trek through the                                                                                      ordinary. Undisturbed. Each step resonates                                                                                         the soul-crunching scream of                                                                                                                      a thousand snowflakes.

Beneath winter’s fickle facade, the ice                                                                                             cracks. The fragility of the planet apparent.                                                                            Vulnerable. Each season has precious moments.                                                                             Gone. Time stands still. This is                                                                                                                   my January breath.

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