la biblioteque

J'aime la biblioteque, parce qu'il ya des beaucoup des choses des livres, et j'aime bien des livres. l'autre semaine, Fr. John donne a moi les livres qui sont tres bien. Je dit a il beaucoups des 'merci'
J'avais besoin de continue pratique mon francais, et si je pratique ici, mon ami avoir aidez correctez moi, et donc j'appris plus bon.

anyways. It started snowing again, but not much. not near as much as vancouver. our weather is not nearly as dramatic as you guys are getting these days. I am working through comparing the conversion of Fr. Zossima in the brothers karamazov to the description of the liturgy that Fr. Schmemann gives us, specifically the language of freedom and how freedom is necessary in both for the process of salvation. One of the many things that drew me to orthodoxy was the emphasis on the freedom of the person to make choices that matter, coupled with the necessity of choosing in a communal context, so that we are living our faith as a part of the body of Christ.

Its a bit hard to get started, I haven't written a paper in a while. a year and a half it seems. thats okay.

maybe two weeks and I will be in vancouver, close to that anyways. you must forgive my counting down, but I am excited.
I talked with Fr. Lawrence today, and it was great. very encouraging and very comforting, it reminded me a lot of being at home.

home. what a word.


Perin and Taice

Perin and Taice
Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
Here is a picture of Perin, Taice and I. They are mary Scratch's kids, and she is Fr. John Scratch's daughter. I got to hang out with Perin during church when I was in Ottawa, they are so great. It was so...human to hold Perin, I even got to take him with me to receive eucharist from the bishop. it was beautiful. and Taice, she just wouldn't stop laughing and talking while we drove home from church. just adorable these kids.
okay. now I really am going to go and work on my paper. I finished my textbook for one of my classes this morning, now to re-read the russian monk.


flippin 'eck,

So, I just had so much fun. I went to a gymnastics gym with my cousin, and it was SO RAD! it was funny, there were a bunch of young hoodlums learning how to do free running, which is like snowboarding or skateboarding but without any wheels, just running and jumping over things. I used to do that like/my goodness, I was 15 years old ten years ago. that makes me feel so freaking old. dang./ yes, I did it when I was in high school. practicing for snowboarding. but I also learned how to consistently do flips, backwards and forwards. I think when I go home I want to take gymnastics lessons. do they have adult gymnastics classes? it might be a little awkward if I had to line up next to a bunch of five year old kids to practice tumbling. maybe just doing it at the gym on an open gym night like tonight. it was sweet. but it was funny, we listened to fall out boy, and it was mostly a bunch of teenagers, all guys, learning how to flip and run up walls, and do cartwheels and round offs and stuff. it was great fun. I didn't get that much work done today, but tomorrow, tomorrow I will. more of the russian monk to come. it is so windy tonight, I love intense weather. yes. it was so fun. I will be sore tomorrow no doubt.
flickr has been updated! go and see pics of the cathedral in ottawa, and the view from my house in sudbury.


London On

I am in London, I visited Ed in simcoe, after driving through heavy snow all day friday, it was so fun. I love the snow. then there was about 8 inches of snow all around southern Ontario, its great. however, now it has all melted, its like 15 degrees outside, its so warm, I wore my flip flops to shoppers drug mart, so later this afternoon, there should be more pics on flickr. tonight I am going to a gym with my cousin, we are going to learn how to do flips and stuff, its going to be sweet.
I went to an english church yesterday, Holy Transfiguration Antiochian church, and it was good. They conscripted me into the choir, since it is very small and they are having some transitional moments, their choir director just had to stop being a choir director, he is a bit ill. So, saturday night I helped out, and then on sunday morning, Fr. Polycarp pointed me to the choir, which was fine. though, as tenor, it was a bit trying to sing the Ison the whole time. oh well. Its still great to be at an english church. as well, some of the people in the church have given me a few odd jobs, which is sweet. I helped a guy I know move, and then he took me and my buddy out for dinner, it was good.
I will start writing my papers today, so excited. dostoevsky and Fr. Schmemann.

I think I hate TV. there are good films out there for sure, but having it on all the time, its so distracting. I need to go upstairs so I can read and concentrate.

I often think about clever things to say here, to provoke thought etc, but...its all dissappeared right now. maybe later.

time for dostoevsky.



Finally, we have lots of snow on the ground.

It has been a good few days.
Spent some good time with my aunt and uncle, had coffee with one of my cool profs, my friend came over for food a few times, we ate soup a lot. I gave a lecture/led a discussion. I read.

Its funny how at the end of something, things are different. I didn't really like the people here when I got here, it took time to connect, but it turned out the people I connected with, we connected well.

My friend Robyn and I talked a lot, both of us not being from sudbury made it a little easier to connect, but whatever it was, it was good.

I had a good talk on the phone with Dan the other day, and Biss today, (and Graham you are welcome, TVP is salvation for us newbies eh?)

I have not fasted terribly well, because I am with people who are not fasting, so...I don't really know what the answer is, I will talk to Fr. when I get home, and in the meantime, continue as I can.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans out there, enjoy the turkey, or the tofurkey.

I am SO excited to start my journey home. I get to go to an enlish church this weekend, SO needed.

and to clarify a point of...familial relating I guess would be the best way to say it, after that moment of tension and dissapointment between me and my Grandpa, we went for a walk in the snow, and talked about things we connected on. he told me about shooting bears when he was young, and it was great. Just like when I was young. I think it was our way of being loving, leaving that issue alone.

When I was young, I used to think everything had to be solved right now. I don't see through the glass quite as darkly as I used to. though my windshield always fogs up.

anyways, pray for a safe trip, I plan to hit up simcoe tomorrow, and then to london on saturday, and then between london and kitchener for the next two weeks. and then...home sweet home.


The Plague

well...I am on the home stretch. I will be soon travelling home, driving across the northern states. perhaps stopping in chicago, perhaps in minnesota? I don't know the distances yet. we will see. I am reading the plague by Camus right now, it is quite interesting. a large metaphor for evil in the modern era, it is ominous in both its metaphorical arena and its literal one. this bird thing they talk about. If its going to be what the theorists are saying it is, and if that comes anywhere near what this book talks about, dang.

it is cold her now. I want to go and buy chocolate with which to study. I may. the canucks are on tonight, that will be cool. I am going to visit Ed on friday, and I heard that Jeff Martin's mom passed away today. Lord have mercy. Jeff is a friend from TWU who I have not heard from in a long time. if anyone knows how to get a hold of him, let me know.His mom had cancer for a long time, I was living with him for a brief time in first year when he got the phone call, his response was fear, but also one of prayer.

before I drive across the country, I will spend two weeks in london with some relatives, my cousins are fun. I will mostly be writing papers, but I will go to an english church, which will be a sweet blessing. I talked to a roommate of mine today, who offered me a place to live in January, its kind of far from Van. though, so we'll see. Still have to talk to my rad sister and see what she is hoping for/planning.

today I cooked, cleaned, did laundry, read, played video games even. what a distraction that was. glad I didn't discover that earlier in my stay here. whoooo. war games. call of duty. such a quick addiction. I turned it off, knowing I had to read.

Oh, and if anyone wants to know about the best christmas meal ever, ask me about the finnish ham. its GLORIOUS!



Dave Matthews Band song 'bartender' is playing, comforting I think. I will be going down south this weekend, Ed, if you are reading this, I will email you with my planned schedule, I think friday night I will be around...still snowing down there?
anyways. I was at church this morning, and at the beginning of church, there were twelve of us there, by the end maybe 40 or 50 including the kids. finally I got to go up for eucharist with some adults. four old ladies were right behind me, which was cool. I guess advent and all. It certainly is advent. it has been a rich week, and they usually are, but not so often is there so much about life and death going on. song lyrics "I'm on bended knee, oh bartender please, I'm on bended knees, oh father please" "fill my glass for me with the wine you gave Jesus after three days in the ground"
and then one of the most heart wrenching, wrending improvisations, including soaring vocals that have no words, expressing what words cannot, a cry for God so dionysian and so honest, so lost and so full of hurt, so needy of the divine wine.
anyways. I am a bit tired today. still reading Annie Dillard, but preparing a lecture on the evangelical response to pluralism, really reacting to a book that is so hard to read. hard because it is so full of emotional rhetoric, and because the author doesn't seem to understand her worldview, and that really makes her susceptible to being seduced by the 'religiousity' or holiness of a city like Banaras (subtitle is "from bozeman to banaras"
anyways. I have some friends coming over for the night, its my friend Robyn's Birthday, her and Tee Jay are coming over and we will have a brew or two in honour of it being sunday, and Robyn's birthday. it will be cool, but I still miss last year's advent sunday feasts. make sure you carry it on out there in the west!

peace and geese.



Finally. Saturday. I am going to help my uncle a bit, call my friend from school and we will read or something, and just be mellow. I need to read. need to read. need to read.

I watched a sudbury wolves hockey game last night, it was really fun, not quite like the NHL, but still cool. I made good soup the other day, it had coconut milk, potatoes, mushrooms, snow peas, good spices, mmmm. tasty. oh, and TVP! and lentils. a hearty winter soup.

the snow is melting. sad. oh well, it will come again on monday I think.



Grandpa pt 2

now I understand why I am such a blog nerd. thank you.

here is a bit of an update. I spent some time with my Grandpa after the difficult moment, it was so strange I scarcely believe it. thats really cool that your Dad comes to church with you corie.
anyways, it was very strange, but I saw my Grandpa again, and we even went for a walk, and it was as though he had decided to ignore it, perhaps my aunt had told him to not bother with it, or something. I don't really know what to make of it, it was like a strange nightmare. anyways. thank you.

I know that he can;t really understand it, and I know its because he has spent his life loving God in a particular way, I cherish his faith, because it is so much a part of why I am where I am.

It is really sad though to know that such a beautiful thing causes so much pain. and this is not the first time it has caused division and pain. oddly enough my parents, while not terribly comfortbale with it, they have visited a few times, enough to know it is Christ centred, which I guess is their concern.

my mom thinks it has too much stuff added on. anyways. I didn't want to leave it at that, such a hard moment with no end to the story. It is still sad, but it was made more comfortable, and the five year old in me that remembers fishing with Grandpa is satiated by that. the twenty five year old will pray and think. and go to church, and know that it is love that worried him.

thank you for your words. it has been an interesting week.

Grandpa Springer

I think there is rain in my heart. or out.
My Grandpa, on my mom's side, one of my favourite people in the world, and has been for a very long time, introduced me to fishing, took me traipsing through the bush, he grew up a part of the woods and wilderness, raised foxes, hunted, fished, trapped, essentially passing that love of being outside to me, he is a beautiful man.
He got so hurt and then mad at me today because I was baptized in the orthodox church. re-baptized some would call it. I tried to explain sacrament and symbol, and something about the church, but he didn't really know how to listen, and is so much entrenched in sola scriptura. I shouldn't have said it, but I mentioned infant baptism, that got him even more riled, I couldn't believe it at first, and tried to talk to him sort of jovially, but then I saw he was really mad, almost shouting. I have never in my life been so surprised by hurt. my grandpa does not hurt people. he shouted at me and said infant baptism was wrong.
please don't start this debate in the comment section, that is not the point of why I am writing this.
I hate that orthodoxy is so hard to understand, so strange, so divisive, so hurtful. It really makes sense, that verse about "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword..." and then the part about dividing sons and fathers, daughters and mothers, I kno it. w Grandpa is from a different generation, he was saved through someone preaching on a street corner. God Bless him, and lord have mercy on me. I love him, but I don't ever want to talk about orthodoxy with him, and I don't want to be fake, so I don't know what to talk about. I don't get it. I thought if I keep this up I am going to cry, so I just shut up and let him finish and didn't respond, and cried on my way home in the car, listening to beautiful russian church music. I know what I have tasted and seen, I can't explain it.

O taste and see that the Lord is good, Lord have mercy.


Mummo Pasivirta

I am looking forward to fasting, but I wish I was at St.Herman's. it will be good to be home. I know I posted this earlier, but with my new format, I am going to talk about it again. I visited my Grandma's grave today. It was beautiful, a cedar tree is growing nearby, and it was bitter cold and blowing snow. a beautiful moment though, good to see her, and talk to her. The stone said in big letters PASIVRTA, and it was interesting to know that she had been responsible in so many ways for so much of who I am. my identity is wrapped up in her, the choices she made, so much of it is my tacitly affective history. she knit a wool-ish blanket for me, I love it. she used to make us pulla, a finnish coffee bread, and she babysat me while Tessa was born. I remember watching MASK the cartoon, and being sad she was a girl, but I love her, I couldn't have a cooler sister. So, I visited my Grandmother today, it was beautiful and cold, it was a strong day, full of life and death. memory eternal.
Helpful hints for those of us learning to fast, Jessica posted this on my other blog,

1. You need your B's. These are very important. They keep you from feeling down.
However, they are found mainly in animal products and brewers yeast (think beer- but only on non-fasting days). I recommend Vegemite. Oh vegemite... how I love you. In fact, I'm eating it right now spread on toast. Flavor soups, make gravy, spread thinly on bread...the possibilites are endless. Marmite is the same thing only British.

B. Lentils: Fast, cheap, nutrition powerhouse. They've got B vitamins, iron and protein in good quantities. Make curries, soups, even burgers. A little go a long way.

3. If you miss cheese this is what I use to subsitute parmesean: yeast flakes and raw almonds. Toss in a blender and grind to a powder. Pinch of salt. It doesn't melt but tricks the taste buds and pleases your colon (cow milk cheese is hard on it).

4. Since you are going without oils/fats sprinkle flax seed on everything (this is what I did for racing to make sure I was getting the right fats on a low-fat vegan diet). Put some in a soy-milk smoothy, sprinkle on salad or any vegetable sidedish, put in pancakes, hot cereal, yada, yada, yada. It's got good omega fatty acids. You need those.

5. One word: Seitan.(google it to find out what it is, its amazing, very meat-like) though I know part of the idea is to learn to be hungry, this is still helpful at times.


today I visited my grandmothers grave. It was beautiful, there was a cedar tree growing out of it. I plucked a small bit to bring home to my Dad, and an even smaller bit for myself. Experiencing orthodoxy has given me a context for the need to connect physically with things, places, experiences and moments. Everything is Holy, including the tree growing from where my grandma rests. And orthodox of not, people talk to their loved ones when they are at graveyards, but my understanding of the Kingdom of God and the saints allows me to do that, but with the knowledge that it is not something I have to question, but its what we do. we talk to people who are not here, but with God. Graham posted today about funerals and death, and I read it just before I left. It was interesting timing. as well, Memory Eternal for Elizabeth's grandpa who is newly departed. memory eternal.

the sun is shining now, it will snow again I am sure.

pax in terra


protein and Sid!

here it comes, here it comes again. I love the memory of the discomfort I currently feel, it reminds me of another reason orthodoxy spoke to me so strongly.

let me give my fast/feast example.

Sid. Sid is the context for this memory, Sid and his apartment. I will sorely miss this happening, as it was/is a dear memory.

last year, at this time, we were all very hyper about orthodoxy, and about learning about what it means to fast by participtating in the fast, even though half of us at least were not even catechumens yet.

I remember this same hunger that I now have, I just ate, but it wasn't filling the way a protein or fat rich meal is, and I woke up hungry this morning. even though I have lots of food, its a lot of empty carbs, anyways. on sundays, when we have a fish/wine/oil day, we would go to church, eat lunch with everyone and stay and talk and have catechumen class until about three, and then we still hadn't had enough of each other, so we would go to sid's house and hang out, rent a movie, drink some beer, or on one occasion, zeke taught sid and I how to drink scotch, the lesson being reiterated sometime later by gregory. anyways, there were usually at least 8 or so of us, some in the living room talking, some in the kitchen watching sid cook up some homemade beer batter fish that he had gotten while working on a fishing boat, and we all had some fish and talked about fasting and orthodoxy, and then we would watch some canadiana, like Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner, or argue about watching Farley mowat NFB films, or something. it was great. we also got together out in coquitlam once, I remember watching SAVED! with a few who were just finding orthodoxy, and a few who had been there a lot longer, and I was confused as to why they saw it as not very funny. I am beginning to see it, I think.

anyways. I haven't talked to Sid since the wedding, and one of the things I look forward to when I get home is the bone crushing bear hug that I expect, and his no-nonsense zeal. It is so refreshing and inspiring. Sid has such a great attitude. all of you st. herminians, make sure you tell him so, and give him a hug for me when you see him next. if this works properly, he should be overwhelmed by hugs next sunday! anyways.

I have a friend at school here, we hang out from time to time, its cool, and she is bringing vegan thai food in support of the advent fast! how cool is that? (I'll tell you, its very cool)



wow. I really do. and like Phil was saying, it is so much about being
I visited with Fr. Lawrence this weekend in Ottawa, I went to a heirarchical litia, and liturgy, which were both uber long and very beautiful, I think liturgy was like three hours or something crazy like that. but it was gorgeous. but, just talking to Father Lawrence in the evenings, seeing Fr. John Scratch, a man who glows with God's love, and he saw me and glowed at me, smiling, and touched my face with both of his hands and asked me how I was, I told him "I remember who I am!" with glee, because, while I had not completely forgotten of course, I had become a little disoriented I guess. I am/we are so influenced by those around us, and I really like my friends from school, they are a lot of fun, and thoughtful. I was even accused by my friend who is gay of being open minded. I thought that was funny, because I don't fancy myself that open minded, I think I am able to not get all tied up with the way we all behave, because we all behave oddly every once in a while, so what good would it do to judge? I think they mistook love for open mindedness, anyways. after driving to ottawa with the remnants of a great evening coursing through my veins and a dull headache also reminding me of it, I knew I needed to be with people who would help me remember part of who I am that I had not been encouraged towards for a while. being around a whole pile of priests helped, they always grin, and its real. I know I am not explaining this well, but I will keep trying. (weezer is blessing my soul, say it aint so)
so, talking with Fr. Lawrence in the evenings, hearing about the council and plans and difficulties, talking about the church back home, talking about music, talking about anything, just reminded me of being at church, and then after church we did the same thing. just like at st. hermans, it was zeke, elizabeth, Fr. Lawrence and I, we were the only ones left in the lunchroom. at 330, we laughed at how it was like being at st.hermans, the last ones to leave. then we went to zeke and cheryl's apartment, which is the old rectory, its so cool. they live in the church.
I also did confession, it was short, and wonderful, and then Fr. Lawrence and I talked a bit about it, and it was so reassuring. He reminded me that it makes sense that being out in sudbury would be disorienting and difficult.

Oh, it was like a spiritual hot tub after living in the arctic, and I was given good clothes when I left, but boy I was getting cold.

I drove home last night, I even had REAL coffee, I never do that, but it worked out okay. they say its supposed to snow tomorrow, I hope so, I can't wait for it to be on the ground. its cold and clear here today.

Oh, and I drove Fr. Lawrence to the train station, and we listend to Dave Matthews Band on the way, I played Crash for him, and he said he didn't mind it, though he is glad it was not played at his daughter's wedding. I think his artistic ability/savvy is underestimated, at least it probably was by me. I get the impression that he is very cognizant of...at least some depth of aesthetic appreciation. my first clue was the poem he read at the fundraiser, it seems like he is really subtle and even humble or quiet about it, but its there. a thorough, thoughtful aesthetic.

right, I forgot I titled this post that way. but I do, oh I do. If I wasn't, I would kind of be free floating, and going to a variety of churches, which would be okay I guess, but a lot harder, and mind you the greek church is not my favourite place to be, but its consistent, and going to ottawa is certainly a worthwhile endeavour. and I talked to Fr. Lawrence about money too, and He helped me see that whatever I do, it should not necessarily be out of strict legalism, which of course even I am prone to sometimes, though I fancy myself a free spirit, whatever that means, so that was really freeing. that is really why I love orthodoxy, is because it is SO freeing. I remember how last spring and late winter I was blogging a lot about "this is why I love Orthodoxy" and its all true. today its because it sets me free to remember who I am even more than I knew before. I remember who I am becoming. I become more like Christ, I am really free to love, to be loud and silly, and to be silent and reverent, to feast and enjoy the fruits of the earth, to fast and conserve, to spend a ton of money on a meal, or to eat rice, the details are not what matters, but how and why you partake in whatever it is. Paul talks about how he can/has lived with abundance, and with little. its not about poverty for poverty, or wealth for wealth, but all for Christ, and by Christ. I remember talking with Christo about that a while ago, well, maybe it was at the bible study with Zach and Dan and James too, or maybe it was a MarsHill thing, I can't remember...but all for and by Christ. regardless of what it is.

anyways. I love being. and my being, as it will be shaped, I need it shaped by orthodoxy.


ottawa pt 3

So, I am in Ottawa, I saw zeke and cheryl, and was blessed by Father Lawrence, and will ask the Bishop tomorrow for his, I am so excited to be here so many cassocks and habits wandering around with people in them. the people usually make me smile, because they are usually smiling. The kids I played with a while ago, Fr. John Scratch's grandkids, are so cute, they asked about me, whether or not I was going to come and play with them. It makes me want to go to the kids store and pick up a few of my own. of course I know I am naive and only see them when they are cute and giggly and bubbly and cuddly, but dang, it still gets me.
It is good to be here, its a taste of home, and a breath of fresh air. Going to the greek church is difficult. life is too, but this seems unnecessarily difficult.
I went out with my friends from school last night, it was a good time. we always talk about truth and interpretation, and I of course cannot shut up about church, but they listen and are interested. and then another pitcher showed up, and another. yes, I think fun is what it was called. anyways, suffice it to say I am looking forward to sleep. I hope you all at the retreat are doing well and having fun and learning lots, bring me back wisdom!

zeke and I made hummus. its good to see them. I listened to a fun song today by the pink martinis. I know, it sounds a little fluffy, but its good. clever french lounge music, sung very well.



Ah, le nord. J'aime le frois. NON!

today, there is a freezing rain warning. its cold here. I would rather be in siberia where it is snowing apparently. give me snow, or give me sun. yeah, and I can't wait to get back to Vancouver. ha.

today I have to find my neitzsche photocopies and read read read. Nietzsche is one of my favourites.

I am listening to the Stichera of the last kiss. It's beautiful. what am I going to eat. chips, salsa and hummous. hummus. houmus. how do you spell this word? I guess maybe it doesn't matter. maybe it's with a U if you are from Canada.

I was watching the price is right, and part of the showcase was a trip to 'Exciting Canada!" it was really funny to hear that. who wins a trip to 'Canada' ? this is the second biggest country on the planet, you would think they would be a little more specific. they were, it was 6 days at whistler, the most expensive place in the world, well, in my world. Aspen for Canadians. Prince Charles sometimes hangs there. oh the Royals.

Et aussi, Je pense que j'avais besoin d'un piece de francais dans mon blog, par ce que j'avais un examen francais plus tard pour mon ecole, et donc Je desire pratique mon francais. particulairement mon vocabulaire. s'il vous plait, aidez mois appris le francais plus bon pour mon examen, si vous comprenez que Je dit ici. bon, merci.

ah, et aussi, cette annee, J'aime l'hockey bien, mon canucks son le mieux



I remembered it.

My new favourite magazine is GQ. yup. they usually have one really great article about something to do with christianity and american culture, and they are often written so honestly and fairly that it is surprising. very well done. thanks GQ.
Today I read about an attorney general who is thoughtful, articulate, and is interested in the rhetoric surrounding the abortion debate. it was great.
I keep on forgetting this great Idea I have to write here, I am sure it will come back.

In the meantime, its story time. today, I went to a flea market that is totally closed, but still has a whole pile of junk outside, and I poked around.
I also met five rabbits, who were busy trying to mate with each other, and one poor rabbit kept on getting confused as to which end of the other rabbit was which. it was sad and humourous. in a beavis and butthead sort of way.

then i went shopping and bought some chips to eat whilst I watch the canucks wallop the flames tonight. I like hockey.

rather, I am going to listen to it on the radio. that blessed invention, the 'intraweb' as we call it, perhaps you have heard of it.

anyways. That thing Mira was talking about sounded Uber cool, and I will have to do my best to not get sucked into hanging out on the island, thats what we need in vancouver, a donated storefront. hmmmm...

we'll see.


oh the beer Garden. well, apparently if we harvest said garden with quality, tasty dark oatmeal stout and the like, we will be less likely to be stricken with cancer. i know silly, but read on.






I just got the email (well, it was sent yesterday) that my thesis proposal was accepted!!!!!!! I am SOOOOO excited. I think I am going to go and find a way to celebrate! I think I will go to Tim Hortons or something. there is celebration for you.

I get to write a thesis, and its basically going to be an attempt at a definition of what makes music worship.

wow. I am freakout excited. eprops to Alanna for that word. yes. I am a graduate student. freakout.


(that is me being excited)

subtlety is one of the things I am learning from my spiritual elders.

Father Lawrence

I Just received a reply from Father Lawrence to an email I wrote him.
He said I was insane, but it was loving.

it really is Christian love when it means being able to tell someone that what they are thinking is crazy, and they should stop thinking it. It is quite a risk I think.

I love that my church has no concern for my comfort, only my progression towards Holiness.

So, next time I raise a glass of lonely, weak Ontario beer, it will be to you Fr. Lawrence, and your subtlety.


rain, dark clouds. warm milk. fire.

candles, too many books, phone calls to the west coast, new life to celebrate (welcome to the planet Isaiah!)

I visited my great aunt in a nursing home, she told me she just wants to go and be with our Father, I said soon enough. I played my guitar for her, and sang quietly. she is so old. I prayed for rest for her, and cried on my way home in the car, as I listened to funeral hymns, it was so beautiful. Life is so beautiful. even sorrow has a measure of joy in it. My Aunt, so old, so close to death, is so tired. doesn't have much left to do here, it seems. she can't move much, she eats and sleeps. and perhaps prays.

Old folks homes are so sad, I don't understand why we only get to live in community when we are about to die. it makes no sense. it should happen sooner than that.

I might read tonight. I will go to london in three weeks, and to ottawa next weekend. Lord Willing. to London to start my journey home. It looks like I will be home on the 17th-ish of December. we'll see.

I think I will stop in chicago, and stay with the ex-st.hermanites, the hoogendyk's. they sound cool, and invited me, so I will go. and from there? who knows.

as for thoughts on relationships, ballooning, seeing each other as children of God, and not as in relation to ourselves, well, I know its not possible to seperate ourselves and what we hope for from our actions, so I don't really know how to articulate the way it can happen, but I think it can.

I appreciate what Ramona said too, about choosing to love, and loving the one you choose. it resonates, and could provide for avoiding unneeded heartache.
I appreciate too, what Thomas said, about becoming an adult, a man, via suffering and trials. baptism by fire perhaps.

Oh, and for all you scotch connoisseurs out there, I was given a sample of 15 year old glenfiddich single malt, it was smooth and dreamy on my palette. I can't wait for christmas and some fine fellowship around fish and 'fiddich, or some other sweet divine nectar.

and yes, sadly, the canucks lost last night. it was SUCH an intense game, it was so awesome to watch. fast paced, hard fought, even some fights. it was crazy how intense it was. that dang finn, mikka kiprusoff, way too good. Alex Auld was also great, keeping the canucks in the game. next time. tomorrow night perhaps.

okay, well, if you have any more thoughts on marriage, courting, arranged marriage, adulthood, or anything like that, I am all ears.




Epiphany Time!
So, I was talking on the phone to variety of folks last night, and have been talking about this throughout the week, and something interesting occurred to me recently.
I have a few friends who are women who are really easy to treat like human beings, like the 'other' that they are, and see them a little closer to who they actually are. Mostly that is easier with people I have known a long time, like Biss, or people who wear black, like Sister Angelina, or people who wear wedding rings.

I guess this is confession of the process of maturing, so forgive me.

Some women, especially some of the women I dated during university, I immediately saw in the context of what they could be in relationship to me, not who they were in relationship to God. First, they were someone with potential to do/be something with and for me. This, I am beginning to see, is an incorrect way to view people, I think it is objectification in fact.
I got halfway to this conclusion while talking to Biss, and the rest took a few other conversations to piece it together. A close friend of mine corroborated (sp?) this objectification as normal for guys. we want to get married, so we look around, keep out eyes open and see what's what.

It seems to me that in order to be able to know someone in a way that builds solidly on seeing a person for who they are before God, giving a healthy ground for which to plant any kind of relational seed, we ought to do just that. see them as a child of God first, and maybe only that. If that happens, there will be fertile ground with which to pursue anything that may come up in the future, but it should also allow us as single men and women to relate to each other in a safe way that gives context to know each other to the extent that we won't need to wonder about everyone we meet. we will know, person A is like this, and it would be confusing and strange to be in a romantic/marriage relationship. OR person A is like this, and it might be good to be married, because of this and that, and because we already have a foundational understanding of who we are before God. This frees us to be ourselves, and not become something before a human.

So, forgive me sisters, for acting this way, and forgive me brothers, for setting a bad example.



I was thinking today about a strange fact.

I am an adult. I really am. I am 25 years old. I don't often think of myself as an adult, I feel like a slightly older, better read, more mature 15 year old. I think mooning people is funny.

how will I know how and when to put childish things behind me? its like the line in fight club, when Ed Norton says something about how he can't get married because he is a 30 year old boy. I am not talking about marriage per se, but some days I feel like a 25 year old boy. I know I am not. I am a man. an adult. what does that mean? how is that different from being 18? 20?

maybe five years from now I will know.


it may snow today. I hope so, I can't wait for it to snow. I got a call from my uncle today, so I will probably go down and live with them in a few weeks, and then when they are gone for a week it will be me and my cousins for a week. that will be fun.
and then, the long haul back home. alanna, you should email me and tell me your itinerary for the next while, so I can see where I will be. I don't know how my trip back home will look, still deciding on the route to take. I am going to try and find people who need a ride and can share gas, so if you have any relatives looking for a ride from Ontario to Vancouver, let me know. or anywhere in between in the states.

I wonder if there are any websites that host lists of rides and people who need rides? that would be a good advertising money maker maybe.

peace friends.


the russian monk

I have been reading a chapter in the Brothers Karamazov, and it is amazing. I am so full of...I don't know what, but excitement, hyper uber joy or something. I feel like I might burst! its been a good day. I listened to this CD of liturgical music, and I think that has something to do with it. it is so beautiful. lifting my spirit or something. I can't believe I said that, but I mean it.

okay. Off to class, and then the laughing buddha. peace friends!


Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
Fr. John Scratch.



I loathe the national student loans center. they are disorganized, red tape flinging, typical gomery-ish money grabbing pieces of trash. for the second month in a row, they took all the money out of my bank account, and I AM IN SCHOOL! you would think that after three faxes, and that they received the fax TWO weeks ago, they would have updated my account. no. still taking my money. JKLKKLJJKL:JKL:JKL:JH&IORP DFHS^&N*()SBTDVBASDT VI^&T GB< SDFJNILNILNILR&*)^JN*(#$P&C*(P$&N() *************yhuhfkldjhd;lfkj ;jfo;diasf paoiu:IH:DFHOLUFPO.

thats all I have to say about that. I want to fight. but I managed to express my anger calmly, and not be stressful to the girl on the phone. I wanted to swear and shout, but I was calm. thank God. as if the world needs more stress.