Posted by: Mark Nielsen | October 16, 2010

Swamp & Mountaintop/Write and Rant

View from Piz Nair. St. Moritz, Switzerland -photo taken by me, July 2010.

If there’s one thing I want to be able to pass along to everyone I know, both young and old, it’s that everyone has a story to tell. And there’s something very healing and powerful in the telling of that story. Whether it inspires others, or just helps you process your puzzling existence on this swiftly tilting planet, your story deserves to be told.

In other words… write your s$&* down, man! (Or woman.)

Journal, etc. You can’t process it artfully later unless you get used to recording it in rough form now. Stay in touch with your core, what Brother Thomas Merton called the True Self.

The more you do it, the stronger the muscle becomes, …and you’ll find that the more you give yourself to the process, the more God will come to you in the midst of it. His gentle Spirit walks your dark halls within, walks alongside in swamp and on mountaintop. She is there, whispering in your ear to counter all the crap you tell yourself about yourself and the world (or the even worse crap others tell you, about yourself, or their warped view of the world).

It’s a complicated world, and writing to help figger it out is a good strategy. Aim for 500 words a day at first. Any less, and you’re not giving the seeds time to germinate. Don’t worry about style or artfulness, or even grammar. Write for an audience of two: yourself and God.

Small miracles happen all the time, but not if you don’t make space for them in your life. Prepare the ground. Till the soil of your soul. You may be surprised what treasures the plow turns up in the field of your heart.


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