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

I; also me: first-person singular.
   It is personal.
   It is how I may view the world, but not as I might write about it.
   I look at what is there and how it affects me as much as the cause and effect of all that may be.
   But, it goes deeper.
   What remains underneath letters disguised as action, place, or point of view, is not lost, perhaps only hidden between the lines.
   Observation; no, self-observation is required, now and then, to check your path and see where you have been or where you might be going.
   Perhaps now is the time, as now is the present, and this may be as good a time as any to look a little deeper into me, myself, and I.
   It is necessary. Now.
   I feel it, but I don’t know why?
   I wrote, many years ago:
     I’m like a pencil;
     sometimes sharp,
     most days
     well-rounded,
     other times
     dull or
     occasionally
     broken.
     Still I write.
   A mantra as much as an explanation, it is personal. I still write, but (again) I must ask myself ‘why’ more as a process of understanding than of questioning.
   We all must wonder, at times, mustn’t we?
   Shouldn’t we all take stock of our movements and memories and emotions?
   I think this is a good time for me.

07/04/2022                                                                                                                              j.g.l.

The Entire Experience

As my world has opened up — and perhaps the sign that we are slowly getting back to some kind of normal — I’ve been able to get out to concerts recently.
   I’ve been to four concerts in the past three weeks, which is more than usual and not as much as I’d like.
   Friday night, I watched and listened to Go Go Penguin. The English jazz band is back to touring after the COVID lockdown we all went through. Seeing the tight trio working through new and old material in its powerful metronomic, if not hypnotic, sound was inspiring; to say the least.
   The crowd in the packed hall was delighted, appreciative, and supportive. You could feel the reciprocal vibe between the band and the audience. The energy was sustained the whole evening through.
   I was overwhelmed by the entire experience. There truly is nothing like live music.

07/03/2022                                                     j.g.l.

the time between

You are here.
What remains of what was
matters less and less as
distance replaces the time
between then and this.
That was then.
This is now.

06/30/2022                                                  j.g.l.

this country

Unity, or
diversity,
does not mean
conformity.
Each of us owns
hopes
and dreams;
they belong to us
individually, just as
we all belong
to this country.
Our views are
different,
but this country
is the
common bond.
Celebrate
where we are
and
who we are.
Accept
the differences
in yourself
and others.
We all share
the same sky.
Happy Canada Day.

j.g.l.

 

Try To Remember

It is too easy to get caught up in pushing through physical pain and trying to get to the point where you are feeling more like you. Often we become so concerned about the body that the mind, or spirit, is neglected.
   One part of you cannot be healed without the other.
   You need that balance.
   Maintaining equilibrium can be difficult when part of you is off. Mental health is health and needs to be nurtured as much as your body. When your spirit is low it feels more like you’ve got no place to go, no matter how hard you try to remember.

06/28/2022                                                                                 j.g.l.

Bearing Witness

I was fortunate over the past week, blessed even, to take in the stunning contemporary exhibition of art and artifacts currently on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
   The exhibition — a collection of collections — celebrates the art of everyday life in the moment, at the time, as it was; and the way it was.
   More than nostalgic, I AM HERE pulls at the memories of certain styles and trends, movements and moments.
   On display are lists, photographs, home movies, illustrations and paintings, sound and sights and everyday stuff culturally relevant to a history that makes us aware of whom we are now. You are not just viewing art; you are bearing witness.
   I AM HERE, a pandemic project by the AGO, is an exhibition that gets you thinking, feeling, and remembering. I’ve been twice, already, and will go back again (and again).

06/26/2022                                                                                        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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Fact

Posted on May 25, 2022 Leave a comment

Guns keep killing people.
I’m just putting that out there.
I am just stating the obvious.
It is simply a fact.
It’s a fact that will continue
to prove itself correct
each time
there is a shooting.
Guns kill people,
and they keep killing people.
It is a fact.
It is.
It is common knowledge.
A common occurrence;
too common an occurrence
if you ask me, but
you needn’t ask
because the facts
speak for themselves.
Guns.
Kill.
People.
They did yesterday, and
the day before, and
last weekend multiple times
in my city (more than most
weekends, more than many
cities, and a lot more times
this year). My city is really
not that different
from any other place where
there are guns and people.
Guns are everywhere.
People are everywhere.
Guns kill people.
They did yesterday in
a very noticeable way.
We will grieve the event
and question why. We will
ask questions of ourselves
and questions of our
politicians and each other.
Fact.
And we will hope, and
we will pray, but
guns
keep
killing people
anyway.
It is a fact.
It is far too obvious.
How can we change
the fact without
allowing emotions
to become involved.
Just the facts.
How do we deal with
a fact, and how can we
alter the fact that guns
kill people?
I’m just putting that out there.
Just the fact.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

I am numb. Like everyone else I was shock by the news of another school shooting. Again. It was 10 children, then 14, yesterday. This morning the headline I first read was “19 students and 1 teacher killed in Texas elementary school shooting.” I can’t write; what more can I say that hasn’t been said. It has been said again and again. I wrote this four years ago. It reads the same today as it did then. Nothing has changed. Guns kill people. It is a fact.

j.g.l.

 

 

As What Will

Posted on May 21, 2022 Leave a comment

Frequently designated a dreamer, in perpetuum,
among many other things, he does, he admits,
allow little space to plan.
                                          Rightly or wrongly,
        this is the path
            he has ended up on. Difficult, perhaps,
              at times when cracks in the concrete led him astray.
Only recently discovered, by accident more than fault, is balance
maintained in a world cluttered with discrepancies and dogma
forced upon him by conspiracy theorists, self-serving henchmen,
   Jesus freaks and hangers on, black hole believers
      and Masters of the Universe
        who continue, ad nauseam, to propagate fear.

Erstwhile encounters not forgotten, not
soon enough, minutes bypass memory, he has clung to details
      accounted for nostalgically and passionately,
       each plank of a moral platform galvanized and scandalized.
   He continues, white-knuckled grip, adhering
to a belief system founded over time; tested, altered,
as deemed fit or favorable.
Fully aware and seemingly appreciative, he has crossed the line
from seeing himself merely as a character in this long drown-out drama
     to bearing witness
                   to what happens, as it happens.
He, alone, will not wait to understand, but
   carpe diem, record the state of a disingenuous planet.

Each event, as it unfolds, to be accepted as what will.
No longer a second-hand story in third person narrative,
                  this first-person view could offer confusion at worst,
discomfort at least, through instant, authentic, and liberating in ways
only he will determine.   Tenet nosce.                                                               Each element of freedom comes at a cost.
       He will taste the summer ahead, open mouthed, open-minded,
             without concern of those in the past, but
                with a belief not to get too far ahead of himself
in the dreams he conjures.
Self and the spirit pacified today with the joy offered,
      instead of looking for what
               is no longer there. It is easier that way.

© 2018 j,g, lewis

direction

Posted on May 18, 2022 Leave a comment

     we can only wonder

how big is this planet
and how many

     steps

              we must take

this is a journey
as much as
an adventure

    each of us gets lost

all of us lose our way

     at times

if she didn’t know her direction
you could always leave a few

     breadcrumbs

should she follow the path
perhaps then you
          would share

your sandwich

          we could all use
               more picnics

©2022 j.g. lewis

All You Can Hope For

Posted on May 14, 2022 Leave a comment

I have five favorite words. Individually, each is strong. Together, in any order, in any amount, they are powerful.

Inspiring.

Life-affirming.

Peace

Faith

Hope

Love

Trust
Five words; words worth waiting for . . . or searching for, fighting for,
or hoping for.

For many years, the words had become a mantra of sorts, my mythos; so to speak. Not so much an incantation, but more of a statement, or laundry list, of words I believed in.

Then, it seemed, I didn’t.

A few years back, in frustration mainly with myself, the word hope lost its power. By circumstance or consequence, I lost my ability to communicate authentically. My words, my thoughts, my actions and aura, were not connecting, as they should have. I didn’t realize this until it was far too late.

I went numb. I settled into a pattern, and hope never once gave me a nudge. Without hope you are hopeless. I wasn’t. So, I removed the word hope from my vocabulary. It seemed like the right thing to do, at the time.

It came to me at the wrong time, but I realized there is nothing to hope. Hope it is a useless word. Unlike the other four words, hope has no substance. You can know peace, you can feel love, you learn and earn trust, and you can find faith. But all you can do is hope for hope, and that itself says something.

Hope keeps you wondering, hope keeps you waiting, and hope keeps you thinking. There is no resolution in the thoughts hope provokes. You just keep hoping, and that is wrong. Or it certainly isn’t right.

There is nothing tangible to hope. Hope is wishy-washy.

Hope does nothing but prolong pain, anger, or insecurity and fear. Hope, eventually, does little more than create doubt and disappointment. While hope comes from euphoric thoughts or feelings, there is nothing concrete to it.

If anything, hoping creates false hope, or it seems as if that is what true hope is: false. It tends to create unsubstantiated ideals for desiring what may be, when instead you should focus on what you have or what you want.

So I stopped hoping. I began planning.

I settled into a routine I believed would accomplish my goals and remove the sadness I had encountered, simply by staying busy with my plans. And, for a while, it seemed to work. I planned, and I followed through on my plans. They were concrete, they could be adjusted, or altered, or erased. Plans were made, plans were acted on, or plans were dropped. It seemed easier when I didn’t include hope.

Hope is a difficult word; it is tenuous, at best. It lacks definition. I, then, lacked definition. I was lost, and there was no hope. I could not even aspire to hope. You can want, but it is not hope. You can dream, no, you can wish, but that is not hope.

I had stopped hoping.

What I was doing, I thought, was a far cry from hope. But, as you go, as you grow — as I evolved — I then realized you couldn’t erase hope. No matter how I continued to deny myself, hope was always there. It may not always be bright and shiny, but it reaches out, or occasionally whispers from the shadows. Perhaps it is subconscious, but as you plan, as you accomplish even in small increments, there is this bit of hope that keeps you moving forward.

You just have to acknowledge it.

Not including hope in your life is like painting a rainbow without violet; the rainbow is not complete. Life is not complete without hope.

Hope, as a word, has returned to me. I have allowed it back into my vocabulary, and into my life, though I know it never left.

I don’t think you ever lose hope, which is not its nature. Hope keeps you believing, I think hope is what drags you through the grief, or giving-up stage, and keeps you looking further ahead. Hope is the root of all planning.

The thing is, the hope you seek must be self-contained. It’s a lovely thought to hold out hope for someone else, but you don’t really have that power. Hope is internal. In the face of tragedy or despair, I think the greatest hope is how you respond to the situation, and how you deal with the aftermath. Hope is always there, in the back of your mind, or at the core of your being.

It’s when I stopped hoping, that I stopped being.

© 2022 j.g. lewis

 

Clarity

Posted on May 11, 2022 Leave a comment

I keep a little notebook tucked in the front pocket of my packsack. Actually, I have a selection of small notebooks in a selection of bags, and a couple of spare pads on my desk.
   While I keep a daily journal — and always have a notebook on the go for reminders, poems and observations — the pocket-sized scratch pads are there should I come across a random thought, idea, or phrase that needs to be written down.
   Everything needs a place to go.
   I write every damn day. Sometimes it involves hours of composing (or editing) at my computer, other times it is playful poetry in a park. Often times it is sitting in a coffee shop; as it is today, where I am lamenting my neglect in packing my pencil case.
   Like the small notebook in the front pocket of my packsack, I always keep a spare pencil (or pencil stub) with every bag in my possession; you never want to be without a pencil.
   You never know when something needs to be written down.
   Part of my process, my practice, or my purpose, is taking notes. Notes become poems, essays, chapters, letters, or simply remain notes on the nonsense we all encounter.
   For me, writing provides time to make sense of the madness.
   Writing, for me, provides clarity.
   Does it become any clearer if you take the time to write it down?

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