IVP - Strangely Dim - Cedar Journals

June 22, 2005

Cedar Journals

by David A. Zimmerman

I spent a week recently at Cedar Campus, a camping facility associated with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I was serving as staff for "Encountering God," a study track for college students. I drove there alone, and I drove home alone, but in between I ate, played and bunked with a bunch of people I'd never met. Being a neurotically social person, I found my transition into camp life difficult, and I caught myself doing the type of writing that I rarely do--journaling, for example, or in the case of today's post, poetry. I feel like such a hippy.

I present these poems for your amusement, but keep in mind a couple of warnings:

1. These poems don't rhyme, so don't lose sleep trying to make songs out of them.
2. I'm no John Donne, so don't hold me to a poet's standard. I couldn't bear the scrutiny. To quote another would-be-poet, folk singer Jewel, "Please be careful with me; I'm sensitive, and I'd like to stay that way."

Tuesday, May 16, 2005
The Chaos of Water

I am an island surrounded by water.
Water frustrates my efforts to extend beyond myself.
Water erodes my landscape
threatens to whittle me down to nothing.
I am reined in
and rained on
by water of my own mind
chaos of my own creation.
And I sink.
And I dissipate.
And I am carried away.

But God's Spirit hovers over the waters.
And God speaks
"Peace, be still"
And the waters recede.

God separates the ground from the water.
God puts the water in its place.
God puts me in my place
And calls it good.

Wednesday, May 18
If Adam Fell, Why Do I Hurt?

It hardly seems fair.
I didn't do anything to him,
And now I'm

dispossesseddislocateddisheveleddisrespecteddiscombobulated dishonoreddisgusteddisguiseddischordantdisreputablediseased disengageddisturbeddisinteresteddistantdisillusioneddisappointed

Let's face it: I'm distraught.

I could blame those who hurt me.
I could blame those who betrayed me.
I could blame those who corrupted me.
I could blame this world that forsakes me.
But it hardly seems fair.
They may have hurt me,
But they didn't hurt Adam.
And we can all trace it all back to Adam.

Still . . .

They did hurt me.
And I suppose I have hurt them.
And Adam is nowhere to be seen.

So . . .

Is Adam our greatest enemy,
or our greatest excuse?


My exploitation of superhero movies continues; I'm working on a discussion guide for Batman Begins that I hope to post at an online magazine in July; in the meantime, the same magazine is considering whether to post the discussion guide I wrote as a companion to my book. Trust me--you'll hear all about it when something happens.

I'm biting my fingernails in anticipation of the Fantastic Four movie--here's hoping it doesn't stink.

By the way, my thanks to Rick Stilwell for linking his blog to my Pop Matters article "Cape Fear." Rick has renamed and reconceived his blog, now known as "Caffeinated Adventures." Always worth reading.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at June 22, 2005 8:34 AM Bookmark and Share


Wonderful poems! Thank you for sharing them.

Comment by: Macon at June 23, 2005 7:48 PM

you said you hope F4 doesn't stink. i've got the same idea for WotW, too - after all the TomKatie rigamarole, i just hope dakota fanning does a good job in that one!

Comment by: rick at June 24, 2005 2:20 PM

I hope X-Men 3 doesn't stink - because Bryan Singer is at work on Superman.
He's got an interesting video blog for the fans at: www.bluetights.net/bulletin_list.php

Comment by: steve at June 27, 2005 12:53 PM

A. Dakota Fanning always does a good job, although I think she's reached a difficult casting age: she doesn't look like a little kid anymore--so she looks awfully weird being carried around by Tom Cruise--but she doesn't look like she's ready for a teen movie either.

2. How did I manage to miss Fantastic 1-3? Ha ha. Haven't heard that joke yet. I'll bad mouth F4 a lot, but I'll still see it twice and buy the DVD. I am getting pretty pumped about Superman Returns, but I share your concern about X3. It seems to be wandering the desert right now.

Comment by: dave at June 30, 2005 8:58 AM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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