It was William James, the American Philosopher (and brother of Henry James the author), I think, who first coined the phrase "stream of consciousness". The phrase was adopted between the two World Wars by the "stream of consciousness writers" - in particular Virginia Woolf.
There is little doubt that we all have a stream of consciousness; the trouble is that sometimes it streams past so quickly that ones best ideas have vanished into oblivion before they have been given the light of day.
James went on to say that, although he liked the term "stream of consciousness" he felt that as it streamed through ones mind in such an irregular way - sometimes crowds of thought and sometimes very little - it was perhaps more akin to a bird flying, perching, flying again and so on. My previous husband used to liken my stream of consciousness to the life of a butterfly - similar kind of idea I suppose.
But I was reminded of it today when I read the last two posts of Loren (In a dark time the eye begins to see.. see my blog list) in which he speaks about a Forum in the States to encourage writing. If you go to his site there is a link and it is well-worth a good read through.
I, for one, could not live without writing. And blogging has become a way of crystallising my thoughts on various subjects, so that now I almost feel that I couldn't live without blogging. It has so many facets to it:-
I am able to practise my writing skills.
I can crystallise my thoughts.
I can be on the look out for photographs to take.
I can learn computer skills as I go.
It gives me a discipline in that I try to blog every day.
It opens up communication throughout the world - I m in contact with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Eire,France, Venice. That contact has so often made me get out the Atlas to check exactly where somebody lives.
And, best of all, it has been instrumental in making me a lot of new friends. And for anyone who reads this and thinks, "ah, but they are only virtual friends" I am sorry, but I don't agree. I have met Elizabeth when I went to New York, I occasionally meet Fiona, who lives fairly near to me, I have plans afoot to meet Denise when she is coming this way - and I cannot think of a single person I blog with who would not be welcome at my table anyday.
For somebody like me, who is house-bound in this kind of weather, and who let's say is not getting any younger, it has been a revelation. And I would say to anyone who doesn't think they can muster up the words necessary to blog (see the comments on Loren's site) - switch the computer on, make yourself a blog and put your fingers on the keys - something will come, something of your stream of consciousness will exhibit itself on the page - and remember that practice makes perfect - it will get easier every day.
So, thank you dear blog friends for reading me, for encouraging me and for giving me yet another raison d'etre.