Sunday, July 31, 2005

Memories...

I finally watched Memento tonight, and I found that it satisfied and slightly exceeded my expectations, especially as it remained on my "must watch" list for several years now. Interestingly enough, I found that I could identify with the film's main character, Leonard, whose short-term memory was irreparably damaged in a traumatic incident, and who is attempting to solve a mystery from the clues he has given himself. Obviously, I still have my short-term memory, but the continuous events of the past year often just become a blur when I reflect. I still have the capacity to remember dates and most events, but unlike previous years, when I can remember everything in a crystalline manner, this year all the feelings and minor events all run together. This problem has been somewhat exacerbated with all the events of this summer and the rather nomadic nature of my existence since school ended. It is hard to believe that I have been at camp for only a month, and that there is only one short month until school begins. And that I really only know where I'll be for eight months for sure, with most of the other details about that time yet to be filled in and nothing really in stone after that at all. The world outside of camp seems not to exist most of the time. I have this week off from camp, but I don't really even know what that is going to mean. I'm just waking up each morning and doing what I need to do and going to bed each night hoping that I didn't leave anything undone. Maybe I need to start getting tattoos to remind myself... (cf. Memento).

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I'm too old for this...

Camp has made me feel old. Not that I am that old (twenty-two and a half and a bit), but realizing that I am now closer to my ten-year high school reunion than I am to my high school graduation made me feel old, as did hearing the testimonies of my fellow staff members, most of whom are three or more years younger than I am. It's not that I'm "old," but it's always as a measure of comparison. In the camp counselor environment, I'm ancient to be doing what I'm doing. A parent at camp tonight who knew me when I was junior high age commented that I seemed a "little old for playing camp," and I agreed with him wholeheartedly. It's not of my own volition that I am where I am this summer, but only as a product of God's leading. I love it there, but it's definitely been a challenge to be having the same kind of energy as I did four or five years ago. As I spent the last week with three of six eleven- and twelve-year-old campers being medicated for ADHD, I often thought that it was a good thing that wisdom comes with age, because I don't have as much energy for stupidity any more. It's really interesting, being where I am. I feel much more connection with the older staff, many of whom are close to my own age, and happen to be married. I guess I feel a lot older than I am at camp, and I feel a lot more world-weary. Most of these other staff members have different concerns in their life which seem to take up less time. It gets harder and harder the older I get to just do the uprooting thing and move away. I'm not living at home, so I'm trying to figure out stuff storage and renting. I'm figuring out what I think about love and life and everything inbetween. Then again, it is kind of fun to have a second chance at this camp thing, and to have the youthful indifference of a counselor once again, and yet to be able to share wisdom well beyond what I could have shared in my first year of camp counselling in 2001. When then I offered energy and willingness, now I feel like I can offer wisdom and guidance and use my energy when it is needed. Now just to work on that waking up in the morning thing...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A fond farewell to the World of Schmidt

I received a difficult but not unexpected phone message at camp yesterday. Mike Schmidt, a friend, former roommate, and commenter on this very site, decided on Monday to take his own life at the age of 21. After a lengthy struggle with depression and bipolar disorder, he finally reached the conclusion that he would rather be home with his Heavenly Father than endure any more pain and suffering on this earth. Although technically this was a suicide, it truly seems like more of a case of euthanasia, as Mike simply locked himself in a running car in the garage and fell asleep for the final time. He has touched many lives both in life and now in death, and you can read some of those thoughts on the blogs of M, B, and Lee. This is the first close friend that I have had who has died. Mike and I shared a lot of life experiences, particularly in the time that we lived together, but also afterward. It was so clear that God put us into one another's life, as he constantly encouraged me with his infectious personality, and I felt that the Lord used me as somewhat of a mentor in his life, particularly in music selection. I have no doubt that Mike has gone to be with the Lord. I know his heart was for God, even though his flesh was weak and often interfered with that desire. Mike was a person who had such great potential, but for whom the circumstances never quite worked out to allow those possibilities to become realities. At the same time, I feel as if we have been robbed. Mike had so much more life to live, and God had some amazing things in store for him. I know the spiritual attack that Mike had been enduring over the last two years is not an indication of sin in his life, or problems with God, but of the desperate attempts of the evil one to prevent the amazing things that the Lord would do through Mike. But praise God that Satan does not have the ultimate victory. Even now, God is working through this in ways that we cannot even imagine. Mike was a friend dearer to me than he ever could have guessed, and so much of my repertoire of stories and jokes is shared with him. That year at 1840 Rae St, with Schmidty, The Rev, Trent of the Cave People, and myself (Papa Turner, as Mike called me), will always remain close to me, and the list of things that Mike and I shared will always stay with me, in my memory and in my stories. Thankfully, I do also have some physical things that remind me of Mike. The "Fake Jesus Movie" he got for me for my twentieth birthday. The recipes for bush burgers and macaroni tuna casserole. The Mega Man songs that he spent a lot of time ripping from a video game primarily for me. Pictures. And all those memories. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the funeral, but in a way I am glad that I cannot go. I want to remember Mike as I do, which is as the fun, goofy, friendly and Godly person he was in the good times. And that's what I will keep in the forefront of my memories of Mike - the good times. Instead of regretting that Mike didn't have longer on this earth, I will praise God for the twenty-one years he had, and that he now has eternal life with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Goodbye, Schmidty. I look forward to rocking out to Demon Hunter with you someday in a place where the streets have no name. See you on the other side.

Papa Turner out.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bubble Boy

This week in world news...Live 8 rocks the world, London rocks the IOC by being rewarded the 2012 Olympics, then gets rocked by extremist bombings, and David Ahenakew rocks the media with comments delivered after he is found guilty of inciting hate with comments against Jews. In news at camp, some kids got scraped knees, the kitchen ran out of seconds of bacon at Thursday's breakfast, and Turner got a sunburn. Notice a dichotomy here? This is life in the bubble. Events that rock the world register barely as a blip at camp, where all focus is given to the day-to-day activities that occur within the confines of the camp boundaries. I know it is easier for some people to live in the bubble than it is for me. People who have lived at bible school for the year or who have been on missions trips or even just people who are generally unaffected by the goings-on of the greater world that exists. But it is tough for me to be in that bubble. Don't get me wrong - there are some very good effects that the bubble has on me, such as making me seriously evaluate my entertainment habits; but it has its difficulties, such as not being able to know what is happening in the world around me. Jesus told us to be in the world and not of it, but I find that in the bubble it is difficult to even be in the world because I feel so removed from it. One of my primary reasons for not attending bible college was because of the bubble, and as a then-aspiring journalist, being cut off from the world did not appeal to me. Still, I learn from my time in the bubble, and I come to appreciate my out-of-bubble experiences that much more after leaving the bubble. Go bubble boy.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Redberry Bible Camp

My summer starts today. I have restructured my blog to suit my summer plans, and as you read this I will be beginning staff training at Redberry Bible Camp in preparation for a summer of counselling. I have been eagerly anticipating this for a few months, and the time has finally arrived. I have made it through the past two months of job searching, wallet watching, road tripping, packing, sorting, moving, wedding-ing, people-ing, cleaning, downloading, and just plain existing to get to this point. It has taken a lot more effort than I had anticipated it would, but it will all be worth it. I am pretty tired right now, but I think the complete change of pace of going to camp will help re-energize me and get me ready to go for campers in less than a week. I will be leading cabins of boys of all ages, but mostly in the 9-13 age range. I will also be responsible for teaching skills and other duties that come up at camp, more of which I will discover when I am there. This summer promises to be good. After my last summer of cabin leading at Stoney in 2003, I did not think I would counsel again, and especially not at a camp like Redberry. But God works in mysterious ways, and I find myself where I am, which is right where God needs me to be. Wow. As a result, my online presence will become fairly scarce over the summer, as will my physical presence. I will be making a couple of forays into civilization for weddings, and maybe some CD-buying and a Slurpee run or two, and with the exception of the first week of August that will be my week off, I will be at camp until the end of August. If you are the praying type, here are some of the requests that you can be upholding in prayer this summer: wisdom in cabin leading, sharing the gospel with campers, endurance (physically, mentally, emotionally) in a busy schedule, and my personal relationship with God. Also please pray for speakers, support staff, the other cabin leaders, safety for the camp, the financial needs of the camp, and for God to be moving in kids' hearts there. Your prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Have a great summer, and I will see you all on the other side. God bless.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The moving chronicles

It finally got finished yesterday. The move that wouldn't end ended. Normally moving is not a big deal for me at all, but this was easily the most difficult move I have had since I moved out originally five years ago. Maybe it is because it has been drawn out over two months, since I finished school and helped my future roommate move at the end of April. Maybe it is because I had to sort through an entire house's worth of stuff and help my roommates do the same. Maybe it is because I had not moved in over a year and a half, so I built up a significant amount of stuff and I had gotten more comfortable. Maybe it is because a sizable portion of the things I own were fit only to donate to Value Village. Oh to own things that are worth keeping in a move. For the years that I lived in Regina, it was easy to just pack up what I could in the car and move back to Saskatoon and then up to camp. But since I moved back to Saskatoon, it has been far more difficult to move. Maybe I have actually begun to grow out of the inherently nomadic lifestyle and begun to find moving stressful. Whatever the reasons this move was difficult, I'm glad that it's now over. Of course, then I have to unpack everything in a month, and then move in a year again. Such is life.

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