Wednesday, August 25, 2004

'Dja Hear the One About the Bulimic Birthday Party?

The cake jumped out of the girl!

Part of me still finds that terribly amusing. The part of me that isn't feeling pretty raw from the latest in a nightly series of conversations with area teenagers who apparently have nowhere else but the radio station chatroom to go to be shriven:

"Forgive me Ben, for I have etched records of my sadness into my beautiful skin, pulled crimson wads of hair from my scalp, sought for divinations in my own coughings-up, and tasted the coolness of gunmetal against my tongue, thoughtfully . . . thoughtfully . . ."

"Oh, my child, I see that you are heavy-laden. I want you to pray with me, then go eat brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream until you stop crying, and tomorrow get a restraining order on your bastard of a boyfriend. Go in peace."

11 Comments:

Blogger DaffodilPrincess said...

What to say? It's sometimes much to easy to judge, or to pass advice on, or to get tired of hearing it all over again. Keep your compassion Benj, I fear I've lost some of mine. Remember what it's like to be in the pit. But remember and share what Corrie Ten Boom said "There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still."

You're almost wandering again, I look forward to the posts that come from your journey.
And I hereby bequeath my raisin bran in the cupboard downstairs at the studio to you. Enjoy!

August 25, 2004 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger M. Lumpkin said...

Ben,

Many nights the drive home from church felt heavy and seemingly hopeless. Teenagers vomit their messed up lives at your feet and ask you to clean it up and make it into something that won’t repulse people. Or at least they want to see if you are repulsed.

Take heart in knowing that many messed up teenagers grow up to be compassionate adults.

Pray for them. Cry with and for them. Listen to 18 Bullet Holes (on Sink or Swim) and realize that when what we see looks hopeless, we only see the now.

I think that is enough imperative sentences. The A BEKA books I teach from tell the students to vary their sentence types throughout writing, I will follow that advice now. (declarative). What a good writer you are! (exclamatory) How did you learn to write so well? (interrogative)

Seriously, if you have some time to read, check out Reviving Ophelia. It talks about a lot of struggles that teenage girls go through and offers some hope (although it is quite depressing). I commend you for listening. They need that more than anything. We all do.

I’ll leave you with this light note from Shel Silverstein:

MEMORIZIN’ MO

Mo memorized the dictionary
But just can’t seem to find a job
Or anyone who wants to marry
Someone who memorized the dictionary.

[insert “elody”]

August 26, 2004 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Viator said...

Odd thing, commenting on comments one's own. It's like . . . buying a puppy for your puppy to play with, or scrutinizing your reflection in a second mirror, or . . . No, I'm not sure just what it's like, actually.

In "Nickel and Dimed," a late-middle aged woman recounts an experimental month of folding and hanging in the ladies clothing department of Wal-Mart. After developing a nice, glowing resentment for most of the shoppers, who would fly through the aisles leaving a mess of recently folded apparal in their collective wake, she realized something. These women weren't acting out of disdain for Wal-Mart employees, nor from a basic disregard for order; on the contrary, these were weary souls fleeing the chaos of their own pre-schooler-infested homes for a few precious moments of catharsis. They could be agents of entropy in SOMEONE ELSE'S house--whee! The poor, beleaguered folders and hangers-up of Wal-Mart were, she concluded, all that stood between these harried mothers and a major wave of infanticide, and accordingly deserved a rate of pay increase befitting the therapists they were. Say, $50 to $100 an hour.

I'd put in for a little raise myself, but that I can think of exercises in futility that do not violate the vow of poverty that dark Papish agents (sure to be the subject of future Dan Brown "novels") seem to have surreptitiously worked into the fine print of most contracts signed by Protestant ministerial and ministerial-types.

Many thanks to Mel, for a Shel poem I've not seen before, but have tucked away for future rueful recitations.

August 26, 2004 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Pepsica said...

Ah, Viator, can the weight of the world exceed its mass? But who can comprehend the mass of the world? Perhaps the only One who can and will carry the weight of it on His shoulders.

August 26, 2004 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger joel said...

viator,

this afternoon, i was up on the 10th floor of the hospital to meet a kid who has a brain tumor that may or may not respond to treatment and so a 16 year old kid may or may not live to be 17. in walked a pack of chaplains-in-training wearing their various religious paraphernalia, all following the alpha chaplain. i imagine the conversation went something like this: "This is the hematology/oncology floor. Oncology is the fancy word for cancer. Get used to this floor. You'll spend a lot of time here. Comfort the people here as is appropriate." I wish the conversation would have continued along the lines you began: "You'll see these children are heavy-laden. Pray with them, then have them eat brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream until you stop crying. For we know that if the earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling because when we are clothed thusly, we will not be cut, we will not be beaten, we will not slowly be overcome by an enemy that can neither be seen nor fought. And while we're in this tent, we groan and are burdened and wish that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." Thus, my friend, we do not lose heart because though outwardly our patients are wasting away, inwardly they can be renewed day by day.

I've enjoyed your posts recently. Sorry i haven't commented until today.

August 31, 2004 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

I've used that joke a few times since I saw this... lol

So you are hosting a radio talk show? THat's groovy! Where are you? Why are you there? Do you remember your good ole friend mister Adam Langley??

September 2, 2004 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger tracy said...

this is a bit of a late response to this post, but i was just wondering how stuff is going on your end? still dj-ing or have a change of mind?
i know some of those conversations with the borderland teens can be frustrating/trying/hard, but its admirable that you are able to listen and give them feedback. i know i wouldn't know how to respond to someone with pain like that. i might be wrong, but you probably give some of those teens something they have a hard time finding anywhere else (at home or with friends) and that is a compassionate, listening ear.

September 9, 2004 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Viator said...

In answer to that, please direct your attention(s?) to my most recent post.

September 15, 2004 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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November 6, 2005 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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November 10, 2005 at 1:07 PM  
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December 18, 2005 at 3:08 PM  

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