Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 23, 2009

Falling Behind – A Soul Searcher’s Confession

Those who know me, or have followed the Marking Time blog , are most likely aware I’ve been posting very few entries here since the summer of ’09 (and even longer in the case of  a simple desire , the other blog I help out with occasionally). That’s not an altogether bad thing, but I thought a note here to explain myself would be in order right about now.

I’ve still been writing, but much of the material has been of a deeply personal nature. I’ve continued to generate some interesting poems, or at least first drafts of some good stuff. But another poet friend recently told me that poems published on the web have even less chance of getting into print or being “sold” than poetry usually has. (In other words, one in ten thousand, as opposed to the usual one in a thousand…)

I’ve also been doing plenty of journaling, but that also is of a type that needs to stay private. It’s material that may lead to public material, but it’s pretty raw and needy right about now. Wrote a couple of sermons in my capacity on the lay preaching team at church, and also collaborated on a unique performance art piece for the St. Francis/Men and Nature event sponsored by Illinois MALEs and the CAC in October (see blogroll links on the right at Marking Time).

My dream journal in particular will probably yield a few short stories, and has been pretty wild so far. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried this faithfully, and I recommend it, to artists and non-artists alike. When we give our souls and our subconscious permission to speak, what they have to say can be pretty radical. And the transformation of dreams into something more fully understood, and rational, and useful, takes time. So putting them in print increases our opportunity to chew on that material for a few days, a few months, or longer. If  that translation or interpretation even needs to happen, which in some cases it does not. Dreams do their work on us and change us in ways we may not ever fully comprehend.

So this goes out to you to say I’m still here. Still okay. Glad to get an email, comment or phone call by any means necessary. I still read a few other blogs each week. And I’ll keep dropping little items into Marking Time as I’m able. Look for a new poem tomorrow, in fact… despite what I said above. A guy’s gotta blow off a little steam now and then, after all, and my blogged poems have gotten more positive responses over the years than any of my essays or columns. But my higher priority these days is to get a decent day job. And I gotta get my head together (What? Again? Yes… again.) before I give a whole lot of time to blogging, volunteering, or the other ways I’ve spent so much time the past few years. I get a lot out of those activities, of course. But I need to find new ways to give back to the world, ways that don’t keep me emotionally drained and financially strapped. And I need to get over loving the sound of my own voice far too much…

So for now, just keep me in your prayers. I’m doing the same for you.


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