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 . . .

cloud songs

        Our paths shift, circumstance and
              attitude shaping our trajectory.
   The company we keep alters both
       our outlook and destination.
           We are where we are
        mainly because of who we are 
                          and whom we are with.

 

04/16/2024                                                                              j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

A wish for words more delicate and 
refined will only lead to
an unnecessary edit, constrained curiosity,
and a smudge of indifference.
Emotions scoured from the page,
its patina reflective now of a chaotic mind, 
you are no longer (or never have been) 
satisfied with what is there.
Speaking freely, nowhere near the truth, 
a humane reaction may not be soothed.
Not always. No matter what.
No longer plain and simple. Perhaps
it never was?
You question the questions.
The flaws in your self can only add up
to a greater expression of your being.

04/15/2024                                                                                       j.g.l.

 

April is Poetry Month
flaws and all

 

damn truth

We do not touch the money, now
only digits on a screen. Ingredients
in our foods unknown, or what
scientists contribute to the scheme.
Price at the pump keeps going up,
still our cars can’t seem
to get enough.
Politicians are not worth knowing, or
deeds in which they partake, sin or
scandal widely-known, we
elect them anyway.
Damn truth be told,
between utter lies; they won’t salute
the dead, so many innocents die.
We won’t wash our hands, but
still waste the water
and share the blame.
We don’t care if we don’t want to,
our days continue just the same.

© 2018 j,g, lewis

easier than it seems

Hypothetically, yet ironically, 
intellectually constructing a poem or 
patch of prose should be far easier 
than it seems.
Even those known to craft delicious, 
heartwarming verse have surely faced 
the dreaded fear of an unscathed page.
Yet, those bards who have risen to the 
challenge, or occasion, with steely
mind, fortitude, and passionate
persuasion have found the strength.
So many any of us struggle with 
ambient thought, perpetual notions, 
recycled emotions barely blatantly 
disguised by foolish promotions 
ending up with feeble attempts at 
stanza, scansion, muted meter 
metronomically fashioning words 
far from adequate. 
Still, we try daily to find even a 
slight modicum of a successful poem, 
whatever that might well be. Each 
line an effort, every day an opportunity 
for more than we bargain for.
 
04/14/2024                                                                         j.g.l.

April is Poetry Month

 

drop in the bucket

little things all add up

takeaway coffee

then another cup

later in the day when

you finally find time

between

obligations and imperatives

always there

drop in the bucket

give and take

back and forth

here and where

the cost of living

truth or dare

04/12/2024                                                                                    j.g.l.

haiku 4 you

08/09/2023                                                                                       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 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.

Only Wednesday

Posted on December 31, 2014 // 1 Comment

IMG_5467

 

Only Wednesday

Wednesday sits naked                                                                                                                               and ordinary                                                                                                                                          waiting

between the bookends of social Saturday
and restive Sunday. The day is                                                                                                                little more

than a cluster of hours or a stop on the                                                                                        treadmill. Indecisive and                                                                                                                       lonely

nobody chooses a Wednesday. Nothing                                                                                       happens                                                                                                                                                           on a Wednesday

and it’s the same each week.

 

Sept 11/01, a Tuesday. London Subway bombings: July 7/05, a Tuesday, also July 21/05, and also a Tuesday. Assassinations: John Lennon on a Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. a Thursday, and John F. Kennedy a Friday. Kurt Cobain’s body was discovered on a Wednesday, but he chose his way out three days earlier. Nothing happens on a Wednesday.

There are fewer concerts mid-week, and opening night is never a Wednesday. They never open the Olympics on a Wednesday. Nobody gets married on a Wednesday.

Yet I will choose Wednesday, or I will start with a Wednesday. I’ll begin with a page, a place where I can plant my thoughts. I have many thoughts, each week, every day (even on Wednesday), but I will commit to posting something once a week. There are seven days to choose from, and I chose Wednesday.

Now I may post something else on some other day, I’m like that (a true Gemini). If I am moved or if I have time, if the stars align or the moon gives me a nudge, or if something is really bothering me, I won’t wait for Wednesday. But I will post something each Wednesday.

Something will happen each Wednesday, every week. Right here. If you want to see, or wish to be reminded, sign up. There will also be a daily breath (usually 140 characters or less) and it will not be limited to Wednesday, but will, or should, arrive every day.

Until Wednesday . . .

-j-

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