Monday, July 20, 2020

St. Paul and Spontaneous Utterances

I remember the first time hearing the words, "stream of consciousness writing," while listening to my favorite priest, Fr. David, teach about St. Paul's letter to to the Romans in a bible study class long ago. The words stuck in my brain, "stream of consciousness." I must have rolled them around in my head over and over again, dissecting the meaning. I liked the way the words sounded. I wanted to know exactly what they meant. But, I tucked them away and focused my attention back to St. Paul and his letter to the Romans. 

St. Paul the Apostle icon by Theophilia on DeviantArt
Up until that time, I had no idea who St. Paul was except that he became a disciple of Jesus after Jesus had died. While in that bible study class, I learned more of who St. Paul was and what he had contributed to the world then, and the world today. I loved learning about the letter to the Romans. I enjoyed Fr. David pointing out the nuances in St. Paul's writing. The nuances brought the letter alive. It was in that bible study that I realized the book of Romans was actually a letter, not merely the title of another book in the bible. Fr. David told us that St. Paul profusely wrote his thoughts. He had something to say, and he used a lot of words to say it. But, his words were very succinct. They made sense. If you ever read any of St. Paul's letters in the bible--and he wrote a lot, most of the New Testatment--if you read them like they were written, like a letter, you will feel like he's talking to you. In some places, you can even tell where he loses his train of thought a little. I loved this. I identified with this. 
This stream of consciousness type of writing, it's the type of writing I like best. I like to feel as if the author of what I am reading is standing next to me and talking to me. I like to hear the author's voice, or feel like I'm hearing it. I like to feel as if I personally know the author. St. Paul wrote this way, and he is not the only person through history, or even today, to write like this. There have been many authors, so many letter writers, and the subject matters vary. 
Blah Blah Blah Speech Bubble - Blah - Sticker | TeePublic

I imagine that St. Paul also spoke in this stream of consciousness manner. It just seems likely to me. Whoever writes in this manner probably speaks in this manner, don't you think? I imagine this, because I do this. My stream of consciousness often finds its way straight from my brain and out of my mouth. At times I've been told I have no filter, so I've learned to think a little more thoroughly before I speak. If I don't I will have what I like to call "spontaneous utterances." I've learned, mostly in my adulthood, to keep my spontaneous utterances a little better reined in. There are times when what I'm thinking does not need to be spoken. Other times, it's very good to speak your mind. 

But wait. I'm getting a little off track. I think I was starting to have a spontaneous utterance in my writing. I started speaking my mind. Actually, I was writing what I began thinking in my mind. That's how stream of consciousness works. Although, speaking your mind and having a spontaneous utterance are not quite the same. Speaking your mind doesn't always take into consideration others around you. Not that I haven't been guilty of this. Most people have been guilty at one time or another of forgetting to bite their tongue. What I do more often is always having something to say. My mind doesn't shut off, so I can comment on just about anything. I don't always, but I always can. I always have something I could offer in any situation.

My stream of consciousness fluidly and quickly moves from one situation to the next. I am able to quickly take in my surroundings and understand what is going on around me, practically in any circumstance, while at the same time remember what I am going to make for dinner or how beautiful a sunflower is or how fun it is to grow tomatoes and potatoes.  

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Unlike St. Paul, I don't always have something profound to say. But, what's funny is that St. Paul had no idea his words and letters would be studied by millions of people for thousands of years when he wrote his letters. He was just writing letters. He was just trying to do a good job about teaching people about this great man he grew to know and love.
I don't think any of my spontaneous utterances will be so esteemed, but I do like to think that every now and then I say something that makes someone stop and think, "Hmmm...." and maybe they smile or ponder my words a little while or even Google what I have said or written. I do have a lot to say, and I do enjoy writing. What I say or write might not always be very important, but every now and then, maybe it is. Maybe my spontaneous utterances are important to someone, or will be, now that I have started this blog and have a bit of a platform. I just need to remember when I speak my mind, when I write my stream of consciousness, my spontaneous utterances need to entice a smile. I hope to do that. I hope whoever reads is entertained or wowed or made to ponder some of my posts. I know I've pondered St. Paul's writings. I've even Googled them so as to understand exactly what he was trying to say. He's made me smile, feel good about the world, and sometimes stop and think, "Hmmm..." 
I enjoy my stream of consciousness and all my spontaneous utterances. I'm appreciative of that bible study long ago that taught me, among other things, just what stream of consciousness writing is. I hope, in my writing, my reader will feel like I'm talking to them, having a lovely conversation which makes them smile and maybe to stop and think...
Hmmm'' speech bubble | Public domain vectors

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