Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a meme

Helen tagged me for the 10-20-30 virus. You're supposed to write about what you were doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago. god I'm getting old.

10 years ago I was at Debron Conference Center in the Netherlands, at the global action launch conference for my cohort of Global action, hanging out with about 400 other people from all over the planet who were all there to hang out and learn for a couple weeks before departing to more places all over the world to "spread the gospel" (quotes because I have *absolutely* no idea what that means). We played a game in which half of us were the "missionaries" and the other half the "natives". The natives spoke a slightly altered version of english in which there were a couple simple but hard to figure out rules for beginning and ending sentences, which the missionaries were unwittingly trying to figure out. the deal was when one of the missionaries finally figured out the rules, but used them ever so slightly incorrectly, the native to whom they were talking was to shout "crucify" at the top of thier lungs. At this point, all the other natives (some 200 of us) were to take up the shout "Crucify" as loudly as possible, and chase all the missionaries out of the building.

That was actually astoundingly disturbing and frightening from both sides--that whole 200 people angrily shouting crucify. I had known it was gonna happen, and I *still* found it terrifying.

20 years ago. I was about to turn 13. There's a tough time for anybody! We had just returned from 3 years in (the former) West Germany, where I had two enormously good friends, Neil and Gary, for three years. So I was missing them terribly, and feeling really confused and super alone in the world. And we were just beginning to get involved in the sect in which I was to spend the next 10 years. And I was just about to jump off into a 12 year process of becoming increasingly and altogther entangled in addiction.

30 years ago I was about to turn 3 years old. My mum was about to quit her then 5 (?) year long Air Force Career in order to stay home with baby Benjamin. My dad had not yet ever spent time in a psychiatric ward anywhere (I think), and He was ... 10 years into his 20 year long Air Force career. He had probably already sustained a lot of the physical damage that would lead to decades of chronic pain and heart disease. I can almost guarantee that both of my parents were fun loving, hard working, hard playing individuals who were mostly altogether delighted by my existence =)

I tag Wayne Taylor (dude--get a blog =), Megan Ady, Deanne, Russell, Jim, and Jennifer


Helen said...

Benjamin, thanks for participating!

I didn’t know you’d lived in Germany. Did you learn much German? Do you remember any? I also didn’t know your father was ever in the psych ward. I feel sorry for anyone who has been through that; maybe it’s the best option sometimes but even so as a patient I thought it totally sucked. (Yes, it sucked way worse than church ever has, for me :-))

20 years ago you were about the age I was 30 years ago…I was also thinking that age wasn’t great and I wasn’t sure what to say about it.

Megs said...

10 years ago - 1997 - I was studying journalism at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. I was rather reclusive, going for long walks on the beach every day with Emma - our beautiful black labrador. My photography class was unusually small, meaning inordinate #s of photo assignments for each of us. I had a front page story about prostitution, which was very interesting to write!

20 years ago - 1987 I was a senior at Bendigo High, Victoria. My brother Stephen, aged 2, died from a heart condition, and I spun into depression. He was a darling little boy. I wish he was still around now.

30 years ago - 1977 - I lived in Cambridge, England, and attended Brunswick Infants’ School. I had an English accent, and loved playing with my brother Tom in the long grass where we would ‘risk our lives’ and have incredible adventures!

DeeDee said...

Hey hey
i blogged a response and don't want to take up all your comment space :)

thanks for tagging me - i like assignments :) even though I procrastinate

hope you are well

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the tag! I responded on my blog.