We pulled back into Iowa City from Ames this morning at 3 am or so. I had Toni drive the last hour of the trip as I was about to pass out. It was a great time. Originally I was going to drop Nate and Toni off while I caught up with the elusive Keyana, but I figured she was a fairly sociable person. So, the three of us hit the town. The "town" meaning the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Fazoli's. We cruised over to a go-cart track and played 3 games of DDR(extreme) with Nate. He took to it very quickly and we had a nice, albeit sweaty time.
After that, we stopped to see Sara(another friend of the past), but she wasn't available. I think she had too much in her hands when we showed up. That's the Sarah I know though. I said hi. We then proceeded to the mall, where Nate bought a $6.99 shirt. I found the same shirt in a smaller size, as I'm not 6'7 and had the ingenious idea of wearing it out.(I was still sweaty) Nate, decided to be a bastard and do the same. Trying to play it off as if I was the unoriginal one. Once at the car I demanded he change his attire, which he immediately submitted and did so. (Not really. He had found an over shirt at the SA to put on over it.) After a thrilling U-turn/parallel parking maneuver we approached the Bar. It was the wrong one. Fortunately for us, the place we were looking for was on the same block. I subjected Nate to a chess-style beating.(also not really. I admit to no great skill at the game) The show was one of the better Stu shows I've seen as the atmosphere in the bar was phenomenal. It was very well decorated, and good use of space/colours. Keyana enjoyed the show, which was super(the fact she had a good time) Post show, we went to the Ames truck stop(??) for food, which turned out to be a good choice. Decent food, and cheaper overall than Perkins.
In my conversation with Keyana throughout the day, I learned something fairly shocking(to me at least) about the icoc; the church I was a member of when I lived in Ames. Apparently, one of the elders wrote up an 80 page document detailing the various faults of the church. Very much like Martin Luther's 95 theses in my mind. Anyway, the older members didn't take it so well. The younger members were split on various things, and thousands of people left the church. The churches in major cities with high populations are of course intact, but the Des Moines/Ames area didn't survive so to speak. I gather that they kept meeting together for sometime, but gradually drifted apart.
Now, if I were one to believe in the same doctrine I did at the time, trials like that can easily be attributed to tests, and not be completely disheartening. This all came as a shock to me still because this was something my whole life revolved around for a few years. Now, years and many different ideas/opinions later, this still feels weird. To know that a certain group of people who I figured would always be doing the same thing in Ames/always be an ever growing group, has dissolved.
In a way, I see this as a minor victory. Not because I wanted to see them fail at all. Once I left the church, I had some great relationships which Unfortunately lapsed. Had to lapse even. This church is so... committed(I'll go ahead and say) to living out the bible, it borders on elitist. That's just the feeling. The reason I left was I found it too difficult/stressful/draining to continue, even thought I still believed in the same ideals. Thus, there was then a huge gap between those inside the church and myself. Only two relationships survived this, mainly because of the quality of character of the two people in question. That's the way I see it. Keyana and Dave(Elfers). Dave and I lost touch due to his being extremely busy, and us living in different parts of the country, though given the opportunity, I'm positive we could pick back up where we left off. Keyana, and I did something similar during the trip. Things are just as easy between us as always, and thought I'm not sure where she finds herself spiritually at the moment, that "barrier" no longer exists. She tells me that right now all she does is work and go to school, but she is happier than she has ever been. That's just awesome.Posted by Michael at July 19, 2003 12:15 AM | TrackBack