Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Streams of Consciousness.

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.


Granny Sue said...

You speak my thoughts exactly, Weaver. My blog is an essential part of my day, and my blog friends are near and dear to me. I've met several (even Susan from Ireland) and it's always like meeting an old friend--we know each other from the beginning of the conversation.

In 1996 I joined an online discussion group of storytellers from all over the world. That group became my storytelling family. I've stayed in their homes, and many have stayed with me. We meet at conferences, festivals, or just when passing through. We rejoice and mourn together, celebrate triumphs and examine failures to see what happened. We share resources and stories, and offer advice when asked. We argue sometimes, as all good families do. The group has changed a bit over the year,s but many original members are still there and I count them among my best friends.

Heather said...

I would feel very disappointed if I couldn't blog - it has become an important part of my day too. I can't say that it makes my thinking any clearer, and on occasions I have re-read something I have just left as a comment and thought how disjointed it sounds. My brain is like a compost heap - a badly made one at that - just full of various thoughts all jumbled up. When I've tidied the boxroom, and my workroom, and all the cupboards, etc., maybe I'll get round to reorganising my thoughts!

The Solitary Walker said...

Well said, Pat. It's so nice to read a blog so genuine, honest, interesting and from the heart. And so well written too. I don't know how you manage it every day... Truly amazing!

PS I'm addicted to blogging too! But you probably realised that...

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Aaaah Pat, the pleasure has been all mine. It's always a delight to visit you and enjoy your turn of phrase.

willow said...

Pat, I don't think I could live without bloggging now, either. My stream of consciousness is flowing right out of the bloggy spigot.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, I really do think blogging is a wonderful form of therapy.
As Weaver says:
we love to write
we love to communicate
we love to observe things
we love to meet people
we love to create and make a record of things large and small.
I have met Pat/Weaver and probably about 15 other bloggers. (Maybe more) All have been really interesting and many have become real life close friends.
Blogging has really enriched my life.
The only drawback is that it takes up time and I was exactly the sort of schoolgirl who would never sit quietly. I longed to talk and talk, so now I go to visit my blog chums.........and find the day has whizzed past!
ps. Pat, next time you are in New York we will continue our discussions.

Rachel Fox said...

Some people tend to associate the internet (and particularly bloggers) with crazy outpourings of dubious worth. What such people don't know is that there are many pools of calm, thoughtfulness and sanity on the internet too...your pages for example.

Sandy said...

Your words on how blogging (i.e., writing) has opened you to worlds you never dreamed of rang true to me. I have been reading blogs for about two years and just took my big step publishing my blog in November. So far I love it. At first I thought no one would want to hear from little old me but I have been overwhelmed by the gracious comments and most positive welcomes I have received. I was shocked that I have over 20 followers just since Nov. 15, 2009! Bloggers are wonderful - so many share their lives, their dreams, their homes and their expertise and knowledge. I don't consider myself a writer - words do not come easy to me and I'm the worst speller. I decided my goal as a blogger was to try to take good photos to post and keep my text short and to the point. Now that I'm retired I have the time to devote to blogging. I never had a "pen pal" as a child or young adult but now I have many friends around the world and worlds opening up to me. It's an education on a global stage.

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Keep going, my friend.

Jenn Jilks said...

Weaver, I am starting a new class next week.
Cr. WR. for cons in our local minimum security prison. I have been reflecting abstractly on how much blogging and other bloggers inspire MY writing.
These men are not allowed computer access. So I'm getting my mind around other means and ways. It should be interesting. I'm going to blog about it on my Thank your Teachers blog (That's post #1), and see where it all heads. I'd love your feedback and/or suggestions as you work with adults, too.
I last taught gr. 8 Cr. Wr. and these men, I believe, will be aabout this level in terms of skills. We'll see!

Love your posts, and your poetry group. You are an inspiration.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Yours is one of my very favourite blogs, Weaver and I'm thankful for your stream of consciousness!

Coastcard said...

Well said, Weaver. You give us all such a lot of food for thought and we always look forward to those colourful rushing rivers (this is how I think of the beautiful Swale) and those calm tributaries of your stream of consciousness.

There is no doubt in my mind that blogging unlocks wide horizons and builds global bridges. It is time-consuming, for sure, but there are definite rewards. I keep thinking e.g. about the new words I have learned through blogging over the last year. And then there are the ideas, the images, the collaborative opportunities... and above all the friendships.

Perhaps we should designate 2010 the Year of the Blog!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I always enjoy reading your blog, I think that meeting people through blogging is a way to real friendaship. I've met several people who I first encountered through blogging.

Loren said...

I think you've said more clearly what I was trying to say in my post, weaver.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I'm glad you keep your stream of consciousness flowing! Blogging almost daily is a challenge, I know, to which you respond admirably. We're snowed in today and looks like tomorrow will be the same. I'll be seein' ya!

Penny said...

Like you Weaver I have met many bloggers and there was no hesitation, we were like old friends.I am sorry we didnt manage to meet but perhaps another time.
I began blogging really to keep in touch with far flung friends, and it seemed to go from there.
Thank you for your thoughtful, and thought provoking posts.

Robin Mac said...

Your blog is always so inspiring Weaver, and I will make a bigger effort to blog much more often. I feel privileged to have made some wonderful friends in blogland and have learned much. I am like Heather however, I don't think blogging has made my thinking any clearer! I hope you are safe and warm in all the snow you are getting. Cheers, Robin

Kim said...

I have not had the opportunity to meet up with those people I chat with through blogging as almost all of them live overseas or on opposite sides of the country, however, I consider them friends still. We share our thoughts and ideas in the same manner as any other 'real' friends do, perhaps at times more so as we seem to have at times more in common than I do with some of my real world friends. I certainly enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing and hearing more of your thoughts over the next year. Love the new blog header picture, so cool when it is so steamy here at present!

elizabethm said...

Love blogging and reading blogs, like you I can't imagine life without it now. I don't know how you manage every day though, you must get up very early! I have also made some very good friends and have never met a blogger in the flesh who wasn't just as a I imagined them to be. You really get to the heart of people if you read them over time I think.

Moonstone Gardens said...

I agree, Weaver. My writing is my therapy and if I couldn't blog, or write in some other way, I'd go insane. I've been writing since I was a little kid.
Thanks for your blog. I always look forward to reading your words.

Sapphire said...

Your snowy blogger header is FABULOUS!

Nice thought on blogging too - i began blogging due to the encouraging efforts of Beloved who feels the need for evidence of a life lived .... not so sure I need that, but I am beginning to enjoy blogging anyway.


Elisabeth said...

Yes indeed, Weaver, the stream of consciousness is wonderful.

It applies now even as I write this comment. But the process of writing itself creates a different stream of consciousness from the one you have when you are alone with your thoughts, from the one you have when you're engaged in conversation. Your stream of consciousness is different when it flows mid conversation through a soliloquy as opposed to a conversation you might have in therapy or when you are half asleep in bed chatting to your husband.

I also think the process of writing in this stream of consciousness is different when you are writing in blogland to a vast partially known, partially unknown audience, as opposed to writing a letter to a loved one, and even more so when you are writing to yourself with no other audience in mind, other than yourself.

Ah me, how many different tributaries there are in this one stream of consciousness.

Anonymous said...

For me it's been a creative outlet, one I have come to cherish, and a way of documenting this phase of our lives..

And I get to take a walk in different lands, learn traditions, history, even recipes!... from different regions of the world.

It's a wonderful thing, blogging.

Cloudia said...

Here Here!

Well said, Weaver. Me Too!

Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral

rallentanda said...

You write very well and the thoughts you express ring sincere.
There's a natural conversational flow of intimacy that characterises your style which I like .I think you can discern a lot about a person from the way they write and I'm a bit of an expert at reading in between the lines.Cheers and stop ambushing the postman with snowballs!

dinesh chandra said...

stream of conciousness is a litrary term , in one time we thinking of past as well as present , we can say falctutation of thoughts.

Your post is great to read.


dinesh chandra

Anonymous said...

With you all of the way here, Pat.

Hildred and Charles said...

Late at night and I have been writing letters, but before I quit composing Weaver I must tell you how much I agree with you. I look forward each morning to reading your blog and cherish it and others that take me into other climes, other lives and other friendships.

Time doesn't seem to allow me to write every day, but when I am not at the keyboard my mind is attentive to what is happening, and I write in my head about whatever and wherever my stream of consciousness takes me. It's a lovely pastime and it stirs my soul and makes me alive to each moment.

BT said...

Marvellous post Weaver (can you tell I'm on a catch up with your blog tonight)? Our gas froze, our water has frozen, no heating but the very worst were the 2 days without internet. Jim and I didn't know what to do with ourselves! We ended up watching television! I just love the blogging community and you can be sure when I'm up your way, I'll be calling for a cup of tea and a bun!

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