I really don’t know how many people read my blog posts. For the past year or so, at various times, I have posted several pieces with subtitles like “A stream of consciousness rant, or lament, etc. from “The Red Wing Chronicles (A stream Of Consciousness Personal Exorcism). This is my latest book- part memoir of my first 30 years or so, and part stream of consciousness rant. Stream of consciousness is a technique in which the writer’s thoughts are quickly rendered into written words with minimal thought or fermentation. James Joyce, Jack Kerouac, and Virginia Wolf have used this technique in various of their works and when it is successful it often is akin to a jazz improvisation in words.
Although the words often flowed, this was a difficult book to write. My childhood was hardly a pleasant one. It was rife with serious illness, bullying and family abuse. The serious illness was ulcerative colitis, and during a six week stay in a “teaching hospital” (charity ward euphemism) I nearly died. Whether my precarious condition was due to the illness, or patient neglect (as evidenced by permanent bed sore scarring) or both, is conjectural. I will leave descriptions of abuse and bullying in the book, for those who care to read it. A heads up- today there is cyber bullying. The abuse and bullying from my childhood was physical and emotional, and much of it would be deemed criminal today.
The memories in my story trigger the rants, which are often raw and vehemently emotional (but still peppered with my cynical, sarcastic and sardonic sense of humor pervasive in my blog posts). They are also cerebral, and deal with topics such as the fragility and illusory nature of memory, the subjectivity of sanity, the relativism of good, evil and morality, and the hypocrisy of authority.
Catharsis is never easy. Nor is exorcism of one’s personal demons. This book is, I believe, unique; not just in content but in conception. It was conceived and written with my feet up on the couch, staring as if in trance and being steered and inspired by the greatest pair of shoes ever cobbled. My scuffed up, wise and seen it all from the ground up shoes. My dear old Red Wing friends.