June 3, 2005
The 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 journaling quite a lot. The journal is presented here, in chronological installments, for your own amusement.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
When I’m alone by myself, I do pretty well. But when I’m alone in a crowd I regress. I’m childishly protective of my space and my stuff; I’m desperately clingy to people who have left me an opening. I eat too much; I don’t think straight. Even my jokes suffer—they’re too forced, too contrived, too desperate.
My cell phone doesn’t work here. I don’t have access to the Internet. There’s no town within range for me to console myself with the trappings of suburbia—no movie theater, no shopping mall, no Starbucks. There’s no TV to watch, and I just read the last page of the book I brought to read.
My only hope against this encroaching sense of isolation is God and the four hundred staff and students he has surrounded me with. My hope—and my fear—is that I will go to him, and he will send me to them.
In other news . . .
This summer's theme for youth services in Illinois public libraries is "Superheroes--powered by books!" As a result, I'm getting invited to speak to a number of library groups. It's a book geek's dream, but I suspect I'm going to get shushed by many a librarian before it's over.
If you're bored in the next several weeks, it's not for lack of sweet action movies. Three (count-em) superhero-themed films are coming out between now and the end of July: Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, and Sky High. I'll have articles online related to these films: two on Batman (at Pop Matters in June and In the Fray in July) and one on the Fantastic Four (at Christianity Today Online in July). What can I say? I babble about superheroes.