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

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

cloud songs

               Look closely at your truths.
   Everyday experiences,
small blessings, are life’s little gifts
     that we need to acknowledge
as they present themselves
   The when is as much a why
         and for each
     we should be thankful.
                 Truth.

09/29/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

stating the obvious

No matter the weather,
the day of the week,
or the task at hand,
coffee gives the soul
a pep talk.

09/27/2022                                                                   j.g.l.

 

Progress

Don’t get too comfortable where you
are or with what you are doing.
We can all do more than we do, and
more than we are capable of.
Progress can be uncomfortable.

09/25/2022                                                                                       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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unspoken

Posted on July 9, 2022 Leave a comment

after all has been said
there remains far more to know

space
filled with
merely breath

a void

vacancy requires attention

it can hurt
it can heal

there is nothing more to say

silence
is a battle

it can become comfort

a path forward
will move in either direction

what guides you
what haunts you
shimmering light or silken shadows

do you hear the unspoken

forgiveness

do you care to know details
after all has been said

© 2019 j.g. lewis

A Despicable Duplicitous Act

Posted on July 2, 2022 Leave a comment

It’s popular, and it’s alarming.
   Plagiarism has become a bigger problem than ever, and more apparent as social media further casts its spell across every platform and screen. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are all full of bright shiny examples; you see it all the time.
   It’s out there. It is trending.
   A disturbing, disrespectful act, plagiarism is stealing, passing off the ideas or words of another person as one’s own. Examples lack credit or attribution.
   I’ve called out a couple of people over the past few months for blatant
misuse of quotes belonging to someone else.
   One person, a couple of times on her social media feeds, matched lovely quotes (including one by T.S. Eliot) with beautiful black and white photographs of herself. The combination looked great, but nowhere was the poet credited with the original genius.
   Another influencer — in a stylized format featuring her name and image — used the words of a popular motivational speaker. An earlier post, in the same branded format, featured a paraphrased quote by Toni Morrison.
   The Instagram post was made to look like the influencer was the one offering up such compelling advice.
   It was so wrong.
   I sent a comment to the owner of the post (but not the words), informing her the quote belonged to someone else. “It’s great to be inspired, but share the credit,” I said.
   She quickly responded: “I had no clue it was him as it’s just a widely shared quote without his name.”
   See, that’s the problem; nobody does the research. Nobody takes the time to find the source of their inspiration. Nobody bothers.
   It’s sad because the same device used to create the post has the capability to trace the source of the statement. A Google search is so easy.
   Attribution is important. Behind every quotable quote is a writer, an artist or musician, politician or fortune cookie philosopher who laboured over the correct phrasing or came to them in a flash of brilliance.
   They deserve the credit for the deep thought or clever observation. But, these days, they don’t get it.
   Now, I’m not saying that the people I called out are not capable of such profound thought, but it seems they don’t even try. One of them, by simply taking a phrase that has already made its rounds on the Internet, shows how little she was trying to come up with eye-catching content.
   It’s really too bad.
   Plagiarism is a despicable, duplicitous act. It is ethically wrong, morally reprehensible, spiritually bankrupt, and grounds for dismissal in the halls of academia. It should be a source of shame to anyone who seriously commits such a tasteless endeavor.
   Plagiarism is fraudulent, leaves little to the imagination, and corrupts the concept of free thought. No matter how brave and bold the original work was, it becomes empty of its meaning when it is bastardized.
   I’m not saying that every time you plagiarize a kitten dies, or another COVID-19 variant is released unto the world, for it is more serious than that.  Each time you claim the words of others as your own; you dilute the original message of a fellow human being. At the same time, you weaken your own content.
   Be creative. If there is a point you are trying to make, or you are attempting to inspire or provide insight, use your own words (or give credit where credit is due).
   If you chose to pass along an inspiring quote, be inspired yes, but provide attribution (and don’t just hide it deep down in your content).
   Show you know who said it.
   Show you know what you are talking about.
   Show that creativity is more than a pretty picture and a few happy words.  Show the true worth of the words.
   You’ll feel better about it.
   Believe in yourself, and others will believe it too.
   Be authentic.
   Be you.

© 2021 j.g. lewis

We Only Think We Remember

Posted on June 29, 2022 Leave a comment

Costs of living intently rising with greater momentum
than we have experienced in decades. Inflation. A dollar
eroding, daily, hourly, overnight as markets contract or
give way to pressures we have not known; for a while.

Geo-political influences, war we cannot ignore, news
streaming 24 hours a day. It is the way we live. Digitally.
Death toll accumulates; we have been watching the
numbers climb for well over two years now. This virus.

Pandemic focused our psyche on the ebb and flow of
what little we know. Climate change we once ignored,
heat or rain in amounts we have not seen before, in areas
once plagued by drought. We only think we remember.

The earth is changing, and we with it. How can we not?
Efforts all for nothing, we take stock of what we have and
all we have lost. We feel a deficit, financially and morally.
We contemplate circumstances never before considered.

Money is more than our own concern; and concerned
we must be. Drastic shifts of the dollar; our wallet not as
bulky as it once was. Common cents. Pump prices rise,
daily, to record levels. It will again, the costs of this pain.

So much has been misplaced, most of all this sense of
community. Look around. Do you see the abundance of
friends and colleagues we used to know? How did they go?
How can we afford to sustain the inevitable unavoidable?

© 2022 j.g. lewis

Meaning Comes With Age

Posted on June 25, 2022 Leave a comment

   Summer doesn’t speak;
it whispers a conscious melody
to high-heeled fashionistas with open toes,
sunburnt brats with runny noses, and
old men who know
evening air is sweeter
when dusk has had its way.      Humidity.
Sweat of the glass,
                                 Tangueray and tonic
will take away the pain,
Mosquito bites, lonely nights
sitting on an ever- creaky veranda,
Dinah Washington crackles from the speaker.
Suddenly you appear. . .
   Any other day
flowers stand taller, like
the younger women strolling by,
getting younger by the day.
Watch them
                    and wipe
the perspiration from your brow;
the once-crisp handkerchief has
soaked up many nights of lustful thoughts.
Old men just grow older,
the meaning comes with age.     Humility.
Summer lasts as long
as a savings account wastefully spent.
Then you are gone. . .
   Over time
most of the flowers will perish
well before first frost,
mostly from neglect.     Naturally.
We will all grow tired
of looking at them,
                         or forget the beauty.
Our minds go to other places.
Yet summer, in its capricious wisdom,
will breathe again
to those of us who will listen.
To young women
and older men.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

Watercolour painting by Kevi Remple

*selected lyrics from Invitation.
Written by Bronislaw Kaper/Paul Francis Webster,
the jazz standard was memorably recorded
by Dinah Washington in 1962. Has desire ever
been captured more sensually in a musical state?

 

Affinity

Posted on June 22, 2022 Leave a comment

We take all dreams with a grain of salt.
Emotions take a licking, worse for wear,
bruises bear witness to the challenge
of friendship.      At any age,
infatuation infects common courtesy,
unknown among misfits and hangers-on,
in the desire to be together.
     You are among friends.
Among thieves, even casual acquaintances,
honestly it is difficult to see the honesty
apparent in our everyday strife.
     But it is worth looking for.      Affinity.
     Fragile masculinity, genuine femininity,
     no distinction, no distractions, imitation
knows no limitation, Humans being human, as
tricky as it is, as finicky as it was, we all
want to belong, It is the people in our lives
                    that make our lives worthwhile.

© 2022 j.g. lewis

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