Tessa(my sister) and Jonny got engaged tonight.



Do you haff...Rock and Roll?

Originally uploaded by simply victoria.
I am a leningrad cowboy



Not so much for interaction, necessarily, because I don't care so much about other people, as I am finding out, but because I have to write this out, and I might as well share it. I do care about others, but not as much as I claim to. anyways.

I am in Graduate school. what a waste of time.

let me explain.

I am currently reading the main body of text in a field designated Memory and Trauma studies. I like my professor, she has a clearly vested interest, she is trying to figure our her role in the world, as an inheritor of German-ness, and is confronted with having a small tote-bag of historical baggage, affectionately referred to as the Holocaust. you may have heard of it. anyways. she's great. well meaning, smart, and has a cool intellectual sounding accent. so does my other prof, but she is French.

I read these articles, and I am loathe to spend more precious time on such well crafted arguments against the need for academia. Listen:

"Michael Rotheberg formulates the two main strategies for traumatic remembrance in formalist terms, as realist and antirealist. Rothberg defines the realist position as'an epistemological claim that the Holocause is knowable and a representational claim that this knowledge can be translated into a familiar mimetic universe.' The antirealist position is defined as blah blah blah etc etc...ad nauseaum"

right. so, if I continued the quote, you may or may not get the feel for the article, which I think is going through various ways of explaining how memory functions as a way towards current representation (sound it out, re-presentation) of the holocaust, thus making it a current event in our memory, thus helping us to come to the conclusion that it is something that should not happen again.

what I am getting at is this. It is a very, very exhausting way of finding a moral framework to function within, and to justify. and it certainly will not satisfy the masses. Two reasons, it won't give them bread, they will have to ask the inquisitor for that, nor will they be able to understand because it is too effing esoteric. It must needs be accessible.

I feel as though its a lot of smart people sitting around trying to deduce with merely a logical framework why bad is bad. why is the holocaust bad. wait, I am going to write a PhD dissertation on that, and maybe then I will know. in the meantime I will neglect my friends, sleep around, eat factory farmed animals, skip church, and generally not love my neighbour. however, I will be able to intellectually defend my moral high ground, finally knowing that yes, the holocaust was bad. what is bad? hell, I don't know, but whatever it was, the holocaust qualifies.

I feel like School has become so moot. Logic is not a way to ultimate truth the way I thought it was. by logic I mean the use of words and research. It is not useless, but the way the academy presupposes the supremacy of the word and the insignificance of relationship and truth based on intimacy and trust. Reading Neil Postman on the culture of text becoming the culture of vision (print vs TV) he talks about a PhD student questioning the need to quote a conversation properly. The committe asks if he would prefer them to actually print out the words on the certificate of graduation, certifying that he has a PhD, or merely tell people when they ask.

I think, valuable knowledge, important knowledge can be verified by people you know. why do I need to subscribe to a particular standard, such that everyone may know that I have attained a particular level of knowledge, or hoop jumping. granted, teachers really ought to have standards, and I am glad they do. But, what of academia for its own sake? is that why I am in school? TWU was so relationally based, the slog through the hoops was worth it, and I found historic Christianity through it, which is beautiful.

what is it for? specific fields, great. I have friends who are or are becoming Counsellors. there are many specific things that such a job requires. school=good.

blast. its kind of a bummer to have such a quandary at this moment. however, I think I can slog through and finish anyways. three papers this semester.

Right now, the main thing that is keeping me going is that I committed to it. commitment. whoo.

currently listening to:

Imogen Heap, Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, DMB, Sufjan, Bobby Bare Jr, and oh yeah, Marianas Trench.




so much of this internet thing results in external-ity. being external. what about being internal. being quiet?

that's where I have been. that, and working, and talking to people who are here.

not much time for musing...


being is beautiful and hard: Finale

Dear Blog; Its been fun, but try as I might, I just can't keep this up. I'm sorry, its not you its me. I know I have said that before, but I really mean it. anyways, I have to go now, and I won't be back, at least to this blog. I will visit spruce Island, but don't take that personally, its a very safe space. I know we've been through a lot together, but try to understand, this is better for everyone. Its like a wise man said, its because I love you that I have to leave. welp, goodbye!

All my love, David Pasivirta


Subster, Biss, Foster kids, Marianas Trench

Three things. I think. actually four. (like proverbs)

A few friends from High School are in this band, Marianas Trench, and they are good, so go and buy their single on Itunes. its pretty pop-ish-punk-ish-rock-ish, but the vocal layering and the arranging is amazing. lyrically its clever,but I haven't really digested it, so my bias is that i know them. anyways.

I had a dream the other night that I was talking with Josh, the lead guy in the band, and all of a sudden we look over and there leaning against a wall full of self awareness is the Beatles. all leather clad, just standing there looking cool. So, we go over and talk to them or something, the details are getting fuzzy, but what ends up happening is that they open the show for my buddy's band, which is pretty crazy. because, you know, the beatles...they are pretty well known...get it? nevermind.

the rest of the days news. oh, and not blogging during fasts is amazing. I am reading the brothers karamazov, its PHENOMENAL! thanks matthew for the inspiration, though you are not the only source.

So, My Friend Tim, has this photo blog, and one of his co-photobloggers, dubbed Suby, has this thing called the Policy of Subster or something like it. The idea behind it is that he genuinely wants critical feedback on his work so that he can improve on his photo-taking or photographing or picture-ism or being or whatever. he wants to become better, so he knows that while serious criticism of his art may not feel the best, he also knows that it will better him in a way that is worth whatever discomfort said critique may bring. He also knows that it is not a personal attack, so Tim saw this and put the little tag on his blog and wants the same type of critique for his photos. I am impressed, partly perhaps the anonymity of the internet, but partly these people really are helping each other grow in their ability to shoot pictures well. Tim has gotten quite good, check the recent second set of pics of Flora lake that are on my flickr site, he took those. in fact, I will add one of his here, just for the sake of illustration

Nice Boddingtons


I wonder why we aren't all doing this to each other about each other's person? are we not all dying to get closer to God, closer to holiness, closer to death to self, closer to self abnegation to the end of the glory of God and the love of the Other?

I know its easy to talk about, but I always appreciate having people point out what they see in me that needs to at least be examined. I don't mean online, so don't do it here, but in person, in a dialogue in a way that allows for growth and that comes from love as a motivator. Someone recently pointed a lot of things out to me to think about, showed me some of my selfishness and it was very hard, but I know that they did it out of love, and they did it in such a way that allows me to defend myself if I need to, and to just be humbled and quiet too. Their motivation has nothing to do with one upping me, or being better, it is not about themself at all, but they did it out of concern for me. anyways. I am always curious because one of the many wonderful priests around here told me that many people don't really want to know the truth about themselves, it would hurt too much.

Is that true? I hope not.

In other, lighter news, I am getting the Brothers Karamazov in the mail soon, the pevear and volokhonsky translation. woohoo! and I am getting ready for Biss and Phil to leave. I don't know how I will be able to handle this.

I love Phil, he's great, but I haven't known him as well or as long as I have known Biss. In Fact, one of the very few people who has been willing to risk offense for the sake of truth like I talked about above is Biss. She is able to love people enough to be straight up and loving about tellling me when I have hurt her, or when I have done something foolish, often she would tell me these things in the context of girls I was interested in, and she has always been right. I have known her for 7 years now, and she is the one who invited me to St. Hermans. I know she doesn;t like that much public attention, so I will cease my public tirade in honour of her, but you all must know that when her and Phil leave, it will be a sad day. I know it will be for many of us, but I need to say these things, they will be missed.

In other, less light news,

Yesterday I worked with a kid who was seven years old, and hasn't seen his Dad in four years. The place I went to was out in the 'wack, it was an apartment complex of sorts, but most of the people there were the same. It was full of orphans. There were at least ten boys running around, screaming for love and attention, their Dad's had all left, which as it turns out is a blessing. One kid had been cut in his sleep by his dad, another's father had stolen his bike. one woman had four kids by three men, only one of whom was anywhere nearby to take care of his son. these kids were running around the yeard, fighting with each other, coming to me to play with me. I seriously felt the way I did at the orphanage in ukraine. One boy clearly had a bit of a learning disability, he asked me the same question about four times in a row, and it was so sad and cute, he sounded just like ralph on the simpsons, and equally clueless, and he spoke about himself in the third person.

And the boys mom I worked with, she seemed to think the problem was with her son, and not her, or the 'family' that she had created. The kid I worked with was quick. he was very smart, understood communication ideas about form and content (not with that language) Like, how you say something changes the meaning, almost regardless of what you are saying. but, his violent reactions to his violent life are going to hamper his ability to live a normal life. I can't really do much in four hours. poor kid wanted me to date his mom. sorry bro, she's not orthodox.

It was sad.



they found my motorcycle.

Happy Transfiguration Feast!



My Motorcycle was stolen last night.




what is it about being watched? Sartre tried to explain it. I don't know that I buy that completely. I am taking care of Alexander right now, a ten year old boy, and while he is not at all the neediest kid I have met, he still says from time to time "watch this" or "look at me" and I see myself in his cry for attention.

I remember when we were on the mountain this summer, coming down from our ascent of Battle Mountain/Mt. Tabor, and Fr. John and Gabe and I were sliding down the snow, falling off small cliffs, jumping off rocks, drinking from the creeks and waterfalls and Fr. said to us something about loving seeing people feel the joy or share the joy of God when we play like this. I have always loved being parallel to people as we hurtle down a mountian, whether its with a bike or a snowboard or just feet that we balance on, its so great to be with others, to see and be seen as we challenge and push and fly. I wonder though what it is about the eyes, being seen and seeing that matter so much? and yet it is not necessary for life, blind people may miss things, but they live.

Bless God for sight.


I am so blessed. life is so full of good things, full of pleasure even. today, we left church, had a coffee at starbucks with people we don't see often enough, talked about church and left. we went home and bought some beer and wine and cheese, drove to 'the guys' house, read plays and poetry by yeats, shakespeare, and python whilst consuming said libations and rations. camembert, goat feta and chedda, traditional ale, guinness, maudite, chaberton, and naked grape. a veritable feast. why do I get to partake in such blessings, such feasting, culinary and cultural, and take joy in life while people are running for their lives.

seriously. people are running from bombs. christians, muslims, atheists, jews. humans. I experienced the best of humanity today, full of beauty. yet there is such pain going on.

I don't complain, I only wonder and am in awe of life and its fullness and mystery. I know my language is a bit flowery but we read the tempest tonight and there are lots of iambs running through my head.

Glory to God for all things. all things. bombs. beer. wine. women. tears. joy. pain.

all things.

all things?

Glory to God for all things. Lord have mercy on the suffering and on those who forget their suffering that we don't lose sight of our need for you.




thanks Dad!

After Phil and I took it apart, my Dad cleaned all the coffee out of it, and lo and behold, I am posting from my once comatose computer. thanks Thomas, apparently I won't need that PC.

and of course, both of my awesome parents prayed that my computer would come back to life. I didn't, but I am thankful that they did.

Susan Cripps

So, while we were at camp, Susan told me something that was really cool. She was talking about someone she didn't know, but knew through her husband and through pictures, and said that she looked like her mother loved her.

I think that is such a good way to see beauty. its like being able to see love eminating from someone's eyes.

In other news, thank you thomas, I will take you up on that offer, I will be at your door, sixpack in hand, expecting a manly hug as well, and Graham, the collective consciousness is confusing, but comical.

As to the computer, it sucks, but its no big deal. things come and go. we got here naked, and thats how we are leaving.


and how

well, I have let it go. I think it is dead, but phil and I took it apart quite well. I am going to take the guts to my Dad and see what he says, and then to the shop. we'll see.

Still, its not an event that lacks in peace. somehow. and I worked, finally, and I am working at the butcher shop, and we had fun at the sleepover with the boys. only two, we need more men in church. well, we'll see.

I can't remember all of the publishable thoughts I had today. unfortunately. though I met some people from Cloverdale Baptist, and they were wonderful folks. It helps me see that my earlier cynicism and dislike of protestant churches was not entirely because of how they operate, though I could still find faults I am sure, but I think my response was due to my immaturity and arrogance. as we can all see, I have arrived at maturity and humility. has anyone seen my halo lately? I think I left it at church.

in other news, I am going to bed. goodnight.


This wasn't what I had in mind.

my computer is dead.


My Computer is currently in a coma. this is distressing.
I guess its not really Apple's fault for not having a coffee proof case. blast.



I have had many experiences this summer that have taught me the beauty of silence.
I love people. I love sharing things with the people I know and love and want to know and love. However, I have begun to understand, and I think orthodoxy has shown me this as much as anything, that trying to share and experience by writing or talking about it is about as vivid as letters on a page can be compared to a full life experience.

This is probably because when I explain something, or try, I am a vivid, real life experience, trying to get you to stop paying attention to me (thats a new one) and to imagine what I am talking about in a way that you will fully understand what I experienced, so you can know me better. understand how my worldview has been shaped by that experience.

however. I have experienced three or four very beautiful, intense and God-filled moments that lasted more than a moment this summer, things that I may have tried to explain in the past, but no longer care to. I have begun to see the beauty in having been there, and the tragedy of having missed out, and begun to know that its okay to not try to make everyone a part of everything.

I have experienced the beauty of God, and you too shall share in said beauty, but in a different way. And, I am not going to try and tell you about it. How was going to the monastery yesterday? it was filled with God and Beauty. you should go and see. Oh Taste and See.

still debating with myself about school, and I have found that all three of my top three desired classes are offered next year. Biblical Hermeneutics (the study of interpretation) Theories of Visual Culture, and Philosophical Hermeneutics.




My name is David, and really I am paying attention to you. well, probably not. I am probably multitasking, which seems to be a prized ability these days. I am fighting with/wondering about how our desire to get so many things done affects our ability to be present to different situations, different tasks, different people, or God.

I pray. but often I am not present. I know I have written about this before, but I have some new language which gives a new nuance, so bear with me. I become present to situations easily when they are emotionally intense, like pascha, or weddings sometimes, or when it is physically intense, like treeplanting, or when I played rugby in high school, or when I am fishing and there is a lot on the line. situations that so easily draw out the most attention or attentiveness from me.

When I was in high school, I was in choir. It was more difficult than playing rugby, rugby is more physically demanding, but my choir teacher demanded more attention and presence than anyone had or has since. We were focused so intensely so much of the time, I learned how to focus, how to pay attention, but perhaps I learned to do it only when it is asked of me. I see orthodoxy as beautiful because it has the potential to draw that kind of present-ness out of me, but it doesn't always. I think it has to do with who we are surrounded by, who is there to draw it out of us, and I wonder if we become content and complacent and stop challenging each other to be awake and aware of God and ourselves because its so hard to notice.

I know that my struggle with being present to God while singing in the choir at church is slightly unfair and anomolous because most people in church don't have the luxury of paying attention to the prayers, or they have been there long enough that they can do the work part and the prayer part at the same time. It makes me sad to feel like I haven't been to church in a long time because I am always in choir, but apparently that is part of it too. priests never get to sit back and just pray, parents? sheeesh. they are always chasing their kids around, shushing them. maybe ten years from now they will hear the prayers or the homily.

but I still think that we are not as present as we could be to so many things. we find ourselves not listening when a friend is talking, thinking about food or what we are going to do after they stop talking.

I love the line in fight club, where 'Jack' and Marla are talking about the support groups for people who are dying one says to the other "when people think you are dying, they really listen to you instead of just waiting for their turn to talk"

I don't imagine this is an easy thing.



Thats enough hiding for this year. it was good, and I will do more thinking, I have not had so much time to think for a long time. It was/is good, and many thoughts about school and life etc. I think I will try and find more stable work this fall while I take classes, and perhaps think about a different angle on a thesis within the context of a degree in church history. Matthew Francis and I had a great talk about russian church music and the difficulty of performance/worship conflicts in the 20th Century, Rachmaninov etc being used for liturgy where it was intended as concert music ( I think )

I have been re-reading Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom, its amazing! small, but intense and profound. much to learn.

and now, off to meat Tim at Memphis Ribs. mmmmmmmmmm.




video done.

sleep to be had.

I am going to hide from the world, just as soon as I check my email and the blog world and the news, and the mailbox, and my phone messages. then, I will hide from the world.

camp was a blast, and I am blastedly tired.


summer camp

Originally uploaded by simply victoria.
Is fun. this is not at camp, but it represents the spirit of craziness that is necessary to survive camp with a boatload of young-uns after not sleeping for a while.
oddly enough, I have wireless access. at summer camp. kind of a moral transgression I think.



Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
When we offer the bread with the seal on the prosphora, we offer our lives, our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Fr. Lawrence prayed for us and blessed our cross tattoos today.
he prayed for zeal and that we would bear well the responsibility of wearing the seal that also goes on the body of our Lord.

see you in a week.


always away. I am going to summer camp, st. arseny style. very excited, but I am actually in need of some down time. I love people, but I am looking forward to some quiet moments. The G12 was amazing. words defy it.
camp is on pender Island, its beautiful there.

I keep asking myself, how do I afford my rock and roll lifestyle? I pretend to be in school.

to Robyn, Lesya, and anyone else I have not gotten back to recently, I am sorry, I really am going to call.

oh, and by the way, its really hot here today. I had a slurpee.

I am looking forward to riding my bike and flying down some hills.

and reading. reading reading reading.


Bearing the Cross

Bearing the Cross
Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
yes, that's a sunburn.


I am home.

I don't have any words about the trip. well, I have few.

it was filled with the beauty of God. the akathist, Glory to God for All Things was said on sunday night, and it sums it all up very well. pictures will be up as soon as I can get them there.

I can't really process it, it definetely pushed everyone to their limit, and its hard to let it go.

"...for mine eyes have seen your salvation..."


G12/Monastery/feet and flames

the Group of twelve is leaving for Wells Grey park tomorrow. Gabe and I were at the monastery today, I adore Fr. Gregory and the brothers.

seriously, any word less than adore does not do justice to my gratitude for their willingness to spend time with us.

it was great. though, we didn't get a ride on the way there, so we ended up having an hour hike up there with our full packs, a warm up for the g12.

I am so tired.

going to the monastery always re-aligns my spirit. If/when I get out of wack, if I forget who I am supposed to be becoming, I go there, and I see love staring through my soul, burning the chaff off the bottoms of my feet, and have no choice but to be corrected.

feet, meet flames.

and, I got a good email from my thesis advisor. time to keep going. I just have to get some plato to read on the trail. stupid summer, making me have fun.

welp. see you in a week.



Beauty involves exclusion, as does love. we cannot love everyone, because if we say we love everyone, we love no-one. we can act lovingly towards everyone we meet, but we can't empty ourself to everyone we meet. Only God can do that. but to say one thing is beautiful is to say that another is not.

Risen Magazine

Some of you will have been the victim of my evangelical fervor regarding Risen Magazine in the past. My sincere apologies. I wholeheartedly believed that this magazine was going to be different in the right way, and consistent about its concern for conveying truth unapologetically (my spelling is becoming atrocious)
The first few issues I have, with people like Billy Corgan, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Keidis I think, and a few others on the cover are exceeding excellence. They have thoughtful photography that is clearly driven by a match in the article, the form and content of a photograph, and photographers that put the subject at ease and comfort to the end of an image that portrays honesty and a willingness to be vulnerable. This is the same with the articles. they were so well done, crafted, classy questions that cut to the quick of what life was about, and mini editorials that were creative yet pointed directly at Truth. They hid nothing, were vague about nothing, but they were not cheesy, were not soft. the former editor of the magazine had a great vision, and had the mag stuck with him, it would have been fine. Somehow he has been replaced, and the new editor seems to be more concerned about some idea of cool that he found already adorning chapters or barnes and noble's shelves. the magazine became stale and weak overnight. the questions were lame, the pictures revealed pop-star arrogance, not human vulnerability, not honesty. glamour. hollywood glitz. instead of showing the reality of life, they perpetuated the falsehood that hollywood sells in pepsi commercials. not to mention that the magazine founded explicitly by christians for anyone is now running ads that objectify women as cheaply as any other magazine. sexy shots of some girl trying to sell clothes. GQ is already there on the shelves. and they are honest in their self-awareness. they are selling things, but they also have well written, thoughtful articles on American Christianity from time to time.

All that to say, if you are looking for a pop-culture magazine that engages from the Christian perspective, Risen was it. however, that incarnation is gone and seems unlikely to resurrect.

In other news, I am not giving up on my thesis yet, though that sounds tempting.

so much to do these days. group of twelve hiking in wells gray!!! so excited. I talked to Fr. John today, and there are lakes with fish in them on our hike. sweet.



I cut off my beard yesterday. its kind of weird.

I am not as distressed about my thesis as I was, but I am still leery.

G12 is coming! I am so excited. we are hiking in wells gray park.

and we are dealing with the feast of the transfiguration.which is cool, but I don't know exactly how to lay out the presentation and how its all going to work out.



Motorcycle is running!


Do I love church or what?

yes, the answer is yes.

so, posts of note in the past week include Graham and 'The Man who mistook his mind for a Nous', aka cathedraldweller.

great stuff on converting to orthodoxy and the humble pie that comes with it.

Sometimes wanting to be special is such a pain in the arse. always wanting to be different. its always something. (this is not regarding those posts, but thoughts I have had lately)

and, here is my story about the road trip which many of you have seen pictures of.

last weekish I found myself in the midst of a strange but excellent road trip. I had convinced Stacy to come to Vancouver some time ago, and things worked out for her in such a way that it would be most expedient for her to be away from Memphis for a while. she convinced Josh S. and Joshua S. to join up, I told Alanna she should come, and voila, there we were.

we were a travelling party/ not so quiet pilgrimage. we stopped in Wichita first, after visiting and having dinner with Fr. Josiah (Bittle) and eating southern friend everything, which was tasty.

we had a sweet BBQ thanks to Stacy's folks, who invited all of her relatives over. we wandered around the neighbourhood in ElDorado Kansas, where there were oil Derricks on the corner of the street, next to the elementary school. bizarre. Stacy's Dad made ribs that were better than the Rendezvous. I kid you not.
we wandered around ElDorado, met Joshua Sturgills' folks, we stayed at their house and did some male blonding. we dyed our hair blonde, sort of. sun in. yes, fake blond. my mom digs it, and she has more pull than any other female these days, so there you have it.

we drank wine late in the evening in the hot wind in the dark. Kansas seems like an intense place to live, weather wise, but then, compared to vancouver, everywhere does. I slowly understand why the real estate prices here are what they are. but why do we have nothing but suburbia? its crazy.

anyways. on to Denver.

We had a sweet party at Ann Emmons' house. she hired a jazz band, they were so good. so good. the beer was good too. the people were also very cool. a great eclectic mix. There were families, and I taught some kids how to throw a frisbee, which was rad. there was a guy who is a career waiter, and digs it, wearing these knee high black leather big boots, jumping around the backyard with me and the kids playing frisbee. Ann's daughters and their friends were their, replete with 10 inch mowhawks and leather jackets. I love friendly punks. we had good chats with them all, punks to professionals, and we had a sweet little dance party to cap it all off. Joshua Sturgill, who was a novice for a year, can shake his hips better than most people I know.

While in Denver, we went to Evangelical Mecca, I mean, Colorado Springs, and visited a new orthodox bookstore, and saw the outside of Holy Theophany Church. Its new and gorgeous. and Agia Sophia bookstore. very cool too.

That was also when I got to climb on the rocks at Garden of the Gods. SO cool. such an amazing place.

Then, after all the partying and climbing, we went to Grand Junction to Pick up Alanna. it was great to see her after almost a year, and at that point we had five in the car. It was not that uncomfortable, but it was getting there.

That night we slept in nowheresville Nevada. Ely I think its called. Thats the video of joshua jumping on the bed and almost falling off.

We also stopped in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night and wandered out into the sage. It was great. so quiet and dark. I had been begging the whole trip to stop somewhere desolate and wander off into the middle of nowhere for a short while.

The next day, we stopped at one of the salt flats we passed in Nevada, put a russian cross in dark stones on the side of the road, tasted the salt from the ground and left. oh, and before we left, I wandered a ways from the road and found a window of opportunity. somehow, a window frame was in the middle of this muddy salt flat, so I picked it up and now its framing the cross.
this is the first of the salt and pepper incident/day.

the second is eating pepper from a pepper tree in marin county, north of SanFran.

we got to San Fran that night, and went to the Joy of All who Sorrow ROCOR Cathedral. it was overflowing with beauty. it seemed common to them, and maybe heaven becomes common to some people, but it isn't an everyday thing for me. I wonder if its good or bad to get used to being around a saint. I guess like anything it could go either way. watch and pray!

we venerated the relics of St. John of San Francisco and Shanghai, I prayed for the new mission in vancouver named for him, and a few others, and then stood there lost in the beauty of the singing from way above me, the icons that drowned me in their color and the foreignness of it all. It was kind of comforting, like when I first came to St. Herman's, but in a different way. and when all the priests and Bishop sang! Oh, I could have stayed much longer.

Apparently we missed a shirt belonging to Nicholas II, of the Romanov family. I am still fairly ignorant of that little pocket of history, but that would have been cool to notice. I am sure I saw it, but was not conscious of it, like much of what happened.

I don't really know what to make of seeing St. John. I saw, not only that, venerated and prayed with a saint of the church. and His Body is kept from decay because of God showing us that he is Holy.

(Is this right?) I don't even know how much I know about this. I used to be so allergic to anything even remotely miraculous because people use language that makes miracles sound like magic. (grammer police anyone?)so when people talk about God as though he is a genie, it drives me up the wall and makes me want to curse, but I don't know all that is going on, and goodness, miracles happen, so I just need to shut up.

I know, at least two of you are laughing. carry on.

so we went to the monastery at point reyes, and spent time on the water, and went to vladimirs czech restaurant and had becherovka. czech holy water. strong and spicy. like chai schnapps.

and then we came to vancouver.
I like vancouver. you should take a road trip here to come visit.

oh, and now the road trippers are hanging out with Sky in seattle. yes sky from nowandever.be and they are watching worldcup. go visit them too.
and, go see the pictures on flickr, they are on stacy's site. orthodork.

and go to eighth day books dot com. they have the best incence pucks.

and, anybody want to house sit a cat for a month or so?

and, Group of 12 is coming!

and, Tessa, my sister is going away for two weeks. apartment to myself.


bearing the cross

Originally uploaded by Orthodork.
Brother Moses and I.

Click the photo to see more of the Holy Transfiguration Skete boat trip pictures.


home again

home again home again, jiggity jig.

went to the holy transfiguration monastery. beautiful. beautiful.

went to the monastery today. life is weird, but great. I got cool pics of br moses and I. we got to talk to Fr. Gregory almost all day.

and, we missed the ferry, so we rented a sweet boat, drove it over to Gibsons and I dropped everyone off, sped back to the ferry and took the 1120, and hitchiked to the monastery. it was sweet.

and many more years to Desmond and Michelle, who we had a dinner for tonight.

I am too busy. currently watching saved, not entirely of my own volition, its a weird experience. I liked it a few years ago, now I am not sold on it. I love a lot of where I came from, and seeing it mocked by people who don't know and love it is not the best thing ever. I mean, I make fun of myself back then, but...I don't know.

it helps me see that maybe what matters is the content of our soul, not always the form. I think that orthodoxy is THE form, but that does not negate other forms or paths to truth, to Christ, to loving our neighbour.


and... my friends from america are here, they are fun. Stacy, Josh and Joshua. I really enjoyed Graham's post, so if you get a chance, click the link to his blog, it captures a lot of what I felt/thought while going through the conversion process. I still am, but less intensely I think.


we're off to see the relics, the venerable relics of John

flickr should have a few new pictures up, at least on stacy's (orthodork on flickr) page. we were in a catholic church called cathedral of the plains yesterday, it was gorgeous.

It was a bit odd being there and asking one of our travelling companions (who is not nine years old) where Jesus was. there were many icons, st.fidelus was front and centre, and there were a few others, but to find Jesus I had to look around a post to find the icon of Christ. It was there, and the church was beautiful, but I noticed that it was different from an orthodox church in many ways, but certainly in that way.

we were at the orthodox cathedral yesterday in wichita KS. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been. On the right side of the ceiling, the right side of the cross (the church is in the shape of the cross) there was the birth and life of Christ, eight giant icons. in the center of the church, in the large cuppola, Christ pantocrator with the Jesus prayer in english, greek and arabic. on the left side of the cross on the ceiling was eight giant icons of the death of Christ, ending with one large one of the resurrection.

the iconostasis was so beautiful, carved wood of course, and the steps were marble. like when russia became orthodox, I felt like I was in heaven.

then, oh goodness, THEN! the choir was SO beautiful. I got to sing in the rehearsal a bit, and then I sang the angel cried at the end of the service, it was SO GORGEOUS!!! the choir was about 14 people like 6 basses and 2 tenors, even mixed women. the director was a firecracker and they sang Christ is Risen so well, so calmly and yet very expressively. granted, the church has three hundred families, so they have a large pool of people to choose from, but man. It was wonderful.

I had a visual experience of the beauty of the life and death of Christ through the iconography, and experienced the beauty of the harmony of the body of Christ through the choir and the liturgy.

Then, we met and were blessed by Bishop Basil, and I met Fr. Josiah, who knows Fr. Michael. and that was really cool.

Oh, and the other day, I had dinner with Fr.Joseph (fred bittle) who played settlers with Fr. Justin and Matushka at seminary. It was very cool to see them. They have a new baby and are working at a mission parish in Little Rock Arkansas. They said to say hi, so Hi Fr. Justin and Matushka!

Today we are going to Garden of the Gods, I am so stoked that I brought my climbing shoes, and then we are having a party apparently with a live jazz band. we are staying here with a lady who is an art prof at a local college, who knows people I know from TWU.

then tomorrow, we pick up Alanna, and head for San Francisco, to go to geary cathedral, and then to the monastery of St. John Maximovitch.

pray for us!


eighth day

Went to 8th day books today in wichita Kansas, its amazing. google it, the best orthodox bookstore ever. I bought Christ the Eternal Tao. very excited. and Stacy got my birthday present, and Icon of St.Herman.

we are having a party this afternoon, BBQ Ribs, a smoked turkey, guinness etc. brother Joshua is joining us today.

we go to Denver tomorrow after church. pray for us.
so far, its been pretty sweet. I drove from litte rock to a little ways past tulsa.

I went to Tulsa Oklahoma.weird.



though I wish I had a cool map like plugrules aka Mr. K, I will have to be verbal, or logical, or something.

If any of you are en route, let me know and maybe we get to hook up.

tomorrow (thursday) Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis Tennessee.
Friday, we drive to Wichita and get there sometime saturday and party like its 1999, or 2006.
Sunday, Liturgy in Wichita ( I think )
Monday we go to Denver CO, where we have another party, with Jazz band or something,
and tuesday we go to San Francisco.

These days are approximate and subject to the will of the people. and God.

there are a few hidden black turtlenecks, one cassock that may not be used, I can't remember but I think a ten-speed is coming. an ipod. clove cigarettes, tobacco pipes, a few beards. and a few rather sizeable Egos, the only thing bigger is the heart that they belong to. wow that was cheesy.

and we arrive in vancouver on thursday or friday after we take the coastal HWY 101 up from San Fran through most of oregon, maybe seeing Sarah in Keizer? and anyone else along the way...I don't know.

but if you want to be included in this road eating extraveganza, that is by seeing us along the way, let us know, that would be sweet. hopefully we can go to st. spyridon's cathedral in seattle, and the left coast cathedral next door, REI.

and don't forget to watch the video on Christo's blog, its sweet.

and, if anyone is interested in taking George, that would be great. just let me know. Til August would be perfect.

See some of you tonight at church.

Oh, and we had a good planning meeting for the youth Group hike at the end of June. updates soon!


George the Hesycat

Does anyone want to cat-sit for a month or two? George is a young male, about to be neutered. very loving, toilet trained, quiet and playful. listen to me sounding like an advertisement. well, I am advertising I guess. I need to find a place for George soon, so respondez quickly if you are interested.

being is beautiful and hard

The Guardian

Read the article about people who were in vegetative states waking up because of a strange new sleeping pill. I know, its backwards, but it wreaks havoc on the arguments for euthanasia. these people interacted with their families, one guy caught a baseball, before the drug wore off and back to sleep they went.

bizarre, but maybe beautiful.

being is beautiful and hard

This post is going to start off about my blog.

I have noticed that I put a bunch of links up lately as posts. someone asked me what I write here, and I don't know what it is, but it seems like its 'the news from lake wobegon' though its not minnesota, not nearly as funny, and less and less protestant as the days go by.

I am getting excited about the trip I am taking this week. goodness, this week. I am finding self-discipline especially lacking in the thesis area, but it will come, Lord willing, when I stop typing this post.

had a good chat with Fr. Lawrence this morning, went climbing a bit with Dan and Mark and Greg, the last of whom is taking the sound system back to vancouver for me, so that is awesome. I have more time to write/read.

okay. time to read. see you at church tomorrow night.

fine dram

Sir Wildman was kind enough to share his bounty with me, I was privvy to a fine dram of his auld scotch. It was smooth as asian silk, rich but not overbearing. indeed it was quality.

climbed today. climbing is good. climbing tomorrow, and writing. there is no end of writing books. blast. but on friday I fly away.



Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
This is the icon Seraphim wrote for me recently. he is going to europe, and will need people to stay with. Marco, you met him once, he will come and see you sometime, you guys can jam and play music together. anyways. Seraphim is someone I learn a lot from about being a Christian.


Its finally cold. I am travelling this week. I need to get homework done first though.
I fly to Arkansas to drive back to seattle via kansas, colorado, and SanFran. Stacy, Alanna, and two Joshua's are going, and we are going to venerate St. John of SanFrancisco and Shanghai, which is cool because the first liturgy at the new mission in Vancouver, called St. John of SF and Shanghai, will be on Saturday.

In other news, I have george, the cat back. which is cool, I think. I love animals, and I would have a dog if I could, but I live in an apartment, and I am not at home as much as a dog would need. first a cell phone contract, then internet, now a cat. these commitments are piling up. Oh, and of course Youth Group, which is more of a commitment to fun than anything else. (kidding, I know it will eventually require some actual work)

Yesterday Sid and Melissa got married. It was a good time, the choir seemed to sound good, which was fun. The ceremony was beautiful, the happy couple were excited and rambunctious as usual, the dance floor even got some use. there were the required inebriated rowdies, there was even some guinness at the beginning of the party. the food was great, the music worked, the speeches were short and and good. Jack, sid's brother read a little bit of cowboy poetry which scandalized enough of the crowd to make everyone laugh or pick up their jaw off the floor.

and then most of the people left over after Sid and Melissa split stayed to help clean up, which was good, it made it go much quicker, which was nice. then, an un-named calgarian tried to get me to go with the drunk cowboys to the beach to finish drinking all the beer. I would rather have eaten razor blades, I was so tired. so I went home.

good times. now, to the grindstone.


bachelor party

click me for a sweet video of the bachelor antics at Zrock's party in the woods near Mt. Baker. some sweet sword fighting a la the black knight, some cool editing by Christo.


being is beautiful and hard

true beauty

Click the link to see a documentary about a friend of mine. He will be sorely missed as he treks europe. its a great documentary about life, art, christianity, vancouver.

do it.

DaVinci Madness

Read This

So, here is a good review of the DaVinci Code. It is quite thorough, and written by our own Peter Chattaway! Good Job Peter.


Old and New

Old things are gone, all things are become new. but wait, I like old things! I am just finding out about the beauty of age, and how time creates true value. instant gratification wears out pretty quickly, so why bother?

It has been very hot today, I even took a cold shower, and I was hot again as soon as my hair wasn't soaking wet. like living in a furnace. I love it though, rather I will learn to love it. I rode my bike today, and that was great.

I was talking to Bonnie the other day, and she reminded me about the beauty of orthodoxy in that it is messy. we revel and are revealed by in and for messiness. incense, candles, music, oil, wine, bread, smoke, fire, water, wind, dark, light, hot and cold, church is full of awkward moments where we fumble towards beauty. I got wax on an icon, and its okay.

Graham is having an interesting discussion about the passions on his blog, matushka Donna and cathedral dweller said some good things there too.

I now only have my thesis left to write in order to complete my degree. that is a weird thought. life is so strange and full of options. I had a great talk with fr. Michael today, we were talking about how often people spend so much time trying to figure out what it is they are supposed to do, when really we should just be doing what is in front of us and doing it well, and letting the distant future figure itself out. God knows. we don't have to worry. I am learning to just deal with what is in front of me without letting next year get in the way. Matthew 6 has a lot of good things to say about that.



I love my mom.

I was so terrible to her for ever when I was young. I didn't ever want to practice my violin, so we fought over it almost every day. Now I love that she made me do it, and I cried when I had to quit. dumb kid. but she loved me despite the fact that I treated her so miserably. she loved my selfishness. goodness.

then, when I was in high school, she would wake up at like 530 and make fresh muffins for me and the other guys that we picked up to be at choir at 700 am. we were there every day, and almost every day we had hot muffins out of the oven on the way to school at 640. It was amazing. I took it for granted too. she has always been amazing in the kitchen, and she cooks well because she is cooking for people she loves. her family, our friends. one time, the guys were over to play risk (settler's of the 90's) and at about 1am, she asked if we wanted biscuits. she made us biscuits and they were ready at like 130 am. my parents are night owls, and my mom is crazy. Anytime I needed a place to bring friends after the symphony, or a choir concert, I could call home and she would make us biscuits. they are famous. and blueberry squares too.

right, I forgot. before choir early in the morning, she would pour a cup of water on my face to wake me up and get my pillow wet so I couldn't sleep. it was the most infuriating thing in the world, but then I was up and on time for choir, which was a good thing. I learned discipline (well, began to) from this. or maybe I learned to rely on others. hmmmm. I don't know. whatever the case, I got to choir on time.

mostly, its what I said at the beginning. I was a jerk, and my mom loved me despite that. sure, we argued, but I never doubted her love. which amazed me the more I figured it out, because I couldn't wait to get out of the house and be away from them. Now I love hanging out with them of course, but I guess its because we are friends and I don't have to practice my violin.

whatever the case, I am glad that Dad picked mom, and that she said yes. I am who I am because of them, and I like being me, its fun, rich, and challenging.



parties parties everywhere

nor any silence to hear.

so. we had a good turnout to thursday's shindig, thanks for all who showed. my neighbours were not that mad, and they were thankful for us being quiet. we did a good job of being quiet at 11. so thanks.

then last night I went to a cabin in the woods near Mt. Baker for a bachelor party for Z-rock, and got to have foam/pvc swordfights with a bunch of my favourite minds from the marshill era. christo, James, zack and Dan Talstra. we used to have a bibile study, and it was the best because it was such a range of education and background that we had such a diverse set of effective histories at the table which gave so many varied nuances to the reading of the Bible. we didn't just say our own thing though we wrestled with each other, with words, and phrases, context, history, and tradition, and it was great.

last night we just beat each other to pieces with foam swords, drank russian imperial stout, and played settlers of catan.

I had a great talk with Fr. Lawrence about the nature of boundaries the other day, and its amazing because I never have articulated much to myself about boundaries. that is part of what I was saying about being naive.

and tonight I am going to clean up my apartment. I am so content spending saturday night cleaning, honestly, I have been so busy, I just need some peace and quiet. or some peace and loud music, as old roommates will attest to.



I am so naive.

in other news, Fr. Justin came over and we had some scotch, (Macallan's Ten year Old) a pipe, (blackbeard's revenge) toast from cobs bakery and ginger ale.

we are so rich here in NA. goodness. so rich. and, so mediated. I am going climbing with dan and gabe in the morning tomorrow.

I want to live in a community where the people will confront me when I need it, and where they expect the same confrontation. I assume that this can happen in marriage, and can happen in monasteries. if this is the ideal, why doesn't it happen more often elsewhere?


the revenge of the wine and cheese kitchen dance party

Hi All.

In an attempt to make being less hard and more beautiful, we are celebrating the Being of Gabe! he is turning 19, so we are going to help educate him in the wonderful world of sacramental living. please bring cheese, wine, and your groove.
starting at 700 pm, the grill will also be on if you come hungry, but I have no veggie burgers unless you warn me. then they will appear. This event also replaces the open house at biss and phil's house, as biss will be studying, and phil will be drinking my scotch and pontificating his wisdom to the masses. (catch it?)

anyways. come and celebrate Gabe;s birthday, bring your friends too. its a small spot, but we need to fill it up with grooving people.

If you are a local, come on over. if you need directions, call me.



as I sit on my porch, watching my maui ribs cook on my BBQ, enjoying ginger ale, sunshine, and life in general. I observe my material abundance, (though I am in debt, I live on my own, fairly comfortably for a student, I feel rich, though its all relative right?) and I wonder if I lived on the street and had a life threatening illness, would I still feel loved by God the way I do when I eat, sleep, drink, and live well? I hope so. I think so. Lord have mercy.
I guess that is what monks do...give it all up and continue to love God. maybe it would be easier to remember how much I need from Him...but I also am grateful for all I have. I couldn't spurn the gifts I have been given, material or otherwise...one of which is the freedom and ability to enjoy all of this...so back and forth I go.

okay. thankfully, carefully, slowly...



I had a great talk with Phil about time last night. He said that i needed to remember that people like us, cause he does this too, measure time not by clocks and calendars, but by events.
It might seem like a lot of time has passed, when really its been a week and it seems like forever because a lot has happened, even if it is just internally.

Tomorrow I am presenting my paper at TWU. I read it out loud a couple times this morning, and I am excited about it, but I still need to clean it up a bit.

I love BC. It is so gorgeous here. its sunny, and I have my BBQ back. hallelujah. I think I will buy meat and supplies for shandy's. if thats how you spell it. I know it looks kinda girlie, but its a great summer drink. beer and ginger ale, limes and ice cubes. come on over, the grill will be on and the drinks cold. (but not today, I am writing)


beautiful BC

beautiful BC
Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
I love living in BC. this is the view from smugglers cove in the evening.

However, I currently miss quiet nights with snow and a fireplace. and being securely hidden away in the midst of undergraduate education.

The Fathers and brothers

The Fathers and brothers
Originally uploaded by pasivirta.
There are new pictures of the bachelor party on flickr, so check them out. this is a pic of the evening we all spent at elephant and castle over a few brews. God Bless Sid as he winds down the home stretch to maturity, or adulthood, or something. I don't really know what to call it, but it is probably a good thing.

it was a good weekend.


Gas prices and something else, oh yeah, the god of efficiency

I forget the second thing right now, but first, I think maybe we should be paying more for gas. we would drive less, and the impact on the environment would be less devastating. I have enjoyed driving less the last week or so. I haven't left langley in a long time. partially because of Gas prices, I don't go to vancouver as often. I think we take our cars and cheap gas for granted, but when gas gets really expensive, many more people will consider busses, carpools, bicycles, and other ways of getting around. It will be healthy for everyone involved. It could also push hydrogen cars, biodiesel and other things to be developed faster.

Instead of fighting for lower gas prices, I think we should have higher gas prices.

In other news, I am once again realizing I am going to fast, not smelling the roses, spreading too thin. This is one of my constant struggles, to be conscious of not overcommitting, not saying I will do a) b) c) and d) all at the same time, and then forgetting about one, ignoring the other hoping for grace and doing a poor job at the one I finally get to.

One of the things I love about orthodoxy is that it teaches us experientially that things of value take a lot of time. I realize that in order to learn and grow and experience something that is worth cherishing, it takes a lot of time and must be done slowly. I say this, and I know that I am not always practicing it, but being aware of it helps I think. I love that we repeat things in church, three times even though we have already done them three times earlier in the service, because it is not about efficiency, but about holiness. Efficiency is not out God, Jesus is. I have to fight to remember that.

So today, I am going to calmly start a paper for this weekend, get my window fixed and maybe a little more on my car.

In the slow, breathe deeply sense of the word, be at peace today.


being is beautiful and hard

uhhhh, I am tired. and am running out of thoughts. I must have figured everything out. would someone wake me up tomorrow sometime. its late. tomorrow is all about the paper writing,



Yesterday, I got to visit the monks for an hour. I was on the sunshine coast with sid and some guys for a bachelor party, and we had an hour and a half to wait for the ferry, so I hitch-hiked to the monastery. It is a very close drive, and I got a ride within a minute of getting to the corner. I spent about an hour with them, it is always very encouraging to be with them. we sang, talked about marriage and monasticism, dying to self, it was great. we sang some armeinian melodies, I love singing with them. I also have a picture of their tattoos on my cell phone, but its so small, I am going to wait until I get a better one to post.
the weekend was cool, but tiring. a whole weekend for a bachelor party. goodness.
I am still working on school work. I like being in school, and yet it is still mellow. sort of. I have a paper to present this weekend at TWU at the verge conference, I keep forgetting about it, but its going to be on system of a down and form content contradictions.


kids in church

here is a letter written by a priest from a nearby parish, about kids in church.

what do you think?

As God has seen fit to grant our mission growth, we are now experiencing growing pains. Particularly, we are learning how to incorporate families with young children into our parish life. I think over the last little while both parents and the community at large has felt some discomfort as parents have struggled to learn how to teach their children to behave in Church. With this in mind, I would like to address both the community at large and parents on the matter of young children in Church.

For the community at large, we must remember first that young children are just as much a part of the Church as the oldest and wisest Parish Counsel members. These children are our future, and patiently teaching them to love the Church is not only the responsibility of parents, but of all of us. Those of us without children must patiently and compassionately endure the small disturbances that young children make. Moreover, those of us who are parents of older children must be ready to help when called upon–and more than that, we should be offering young parents our help.

Jesus said, “suffer the little children to come to me.” Yes, “suffer” here means allow, but it also means to endure with patience whatever is necessary so that young children can come to Christ. For some, disturbance in prayer is a cross that will bring about not only their own salvation, but also the salvation of others. Raising children who love the Church is probably the most difficult task most parents will ever struggle through. The prayers, help and patience of all of us is necessary for parents to be successful.

On a practical note, I strongly suggest that those who find themselves very disturbed by young children in worship, stand as close to the front of the Church as possible. This will help them. First, it will help because it will make room in the back of the church for parents with children. Parents with small children usually come to church the latest (which, all of us who are parents certainly understand). However, when they arrive, there is no room in the back of the Nave, so they end up moving toward the front. Now everyone must watch the children, whether they are cute or misbehaving, everyone is watching the children instead of paying attention to the prayers. Standing forward also provides another benefit. When we stand forward in the Church to pray, we have to turn our head to look away from the Icons. If we keep our heads forward, we are better able to pray despite distractions around us.

For parents of small children, I would like to address the following comments. First, as I mentioned above, raising our children to love God and His Church is the greatest and most important ministry of our lives. God has designed the process of Christian child rearing as one of the primary ways to work in our lives the Christ-like virtues that save our souls: 1Timothy 2:15 says, “But she will be saved through childbearing, if they abide in faith and love and sanctification with sober-mindedness.” Many fathers of the Church comment that this is not merely a reference to giving birth, but to the whole process of bearing (raising) children to “abide in faith and love.”

However, like every great endeavor that God sets before us, raising children to love God and His Church requires one quality in parents that is the foundation of all others: humility. Children will, sooner or later, humble parents. The sooner parents accept this, the better for the child. Each child is a distinct human person. Training each child requires insight beyond the ability of any one set of parents. God does not expect parents to know how to raise their children by themselves. This was never part of God’s plan. Parents are to raise children with the help and advice of wise older relatives and friends who have already successfully raised children. When parents of young children ask the help and advice of older parents, they receive two important advantages. First, they receive advice that has been tried by time. Older parents can tell stories of what they have tried and what has worked and what has not. When Bonnie and I began having Children, we were far away from any family because I was still going to school. We had no relatives to turn to for help, so we sought advice from older parents in our Church who had children that we wanted our children to grow up to be like. These older parents gave us advice. They recommended books and answered questions for us. They taught us practical ways to discipline our children, ways that actually worked. And most of all, they encouraged us in our struggle; they let us know that we were normal.

The second advantage young parents can receive from older parents is the truth–if they really love you. Older parents can tell you the truth about whether what you are doing with your own child is working well or not. I remember how painful it was for me when my best friend told me that I was spoiling my oldest daughter. I couldn’t believe him–I thought I was a good parent. Finally, I had to accept, even if I couldn’t see it myself at the time, that I needed to be more strict; for, even though I couldn’t see that I was spoiling my child, others could.

Of course, each child and each family circumstance is unique. There is no 100% method for raising godly children, and all advice must be considered humbly and prayerfully. However, the first and most important step young parents can take in raising children that love God and His Church is to recognize that they do not know how to do it, and that without God’s help and plenty of advice from wiser older parents who have successfully raised children, they will not succeed. A mother’s and father’s love has the miraculous power to show a child what God’s love is like. At the same time, because we are fallen in sin, parental love can blind us and keep us from seeing what we don’t want to see in our children. Thank God, the remedy for all sin is in the Church. By humbling ourselves and asking for help (for if we do not ask, we do not receive St. James says), we can find grace and help in time of need. In the Church, God has provided everything necessary for salvation, but like all other gifts from God, the gift of wise parenting is not found in any one individual. It is distributed in the Church so that we must seek it out and humbly receive from one another.

Assuming that young parents want help raising their children to love God and His Church, the following are a few suggestions. First, for others–not parents of small children–don’t try to give advice or help unless you are asked to do so. Please respect the freedom and responsibility of parents to raise and discipline, or not discipline, their own children as seems best to them. It is a serious mistake and true evidence of pride and arrogance to think you know better how to raise a child than the child’s parents. You may, of course, offer to help. But if your help is not wanted at that time, you must commit the matter to prayer assuming that God has not given you wisdom to help at that moment. Certainly, young parents need our prayers much more than they need our advice.

Second, teaching young children to behave in Church begins by teaching them at home, in the home-church. Teaching young children to say prayers at home and to sit or stand quietly while their parents say prayers is a very important part of teaching children to be well behaved in Church. For example, a mother who had been in the habit of only praying while her child napped, might begin at a different time by teaching the child to sit quietly on a small blanket while she said the Trisagion prayers. After doing this every day (or even twice a day) for a while, she could add a few more prayers. In a few weeks, the child will be accustomed to sitting quietly for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time while mother prayed. This behavior is then easily transferred to Church. The important thing to keep in mind is that if you want to change a child’s behavior in Church, you must begin by practicing at home. I know of one family with several children that used to play Church at home. One of the children would put a blanket on his shoulders and pretend to be the priest and the sisters would pretend to be the choir. They acted out the Great Entrance and even pretended to receive Holy Communion. In this way, the parents taught the children correct behavior in Church. Whether or not this method was ideal, it seemed to work for this family.

Third, when children misbehave in Church, as they inevitably do, parents must take them out of the Nave before they start to make a lot of noise. If one or two quiet “shushes” don’t work, it’s time to take the child out. There is, however, a technique to taking children out of the Nave. If you take a child out of the Nave for misbehavior, the child should not be rewarded by being allowed to do something pleasant in the other room. That is, when a child is removed for misbehavior, his or her experience in the other room should be less pleasant than in the Nave. At the same time, a parent needs to pay attention to how much time his or her child can endure without a break. If you notice that your child has been well behaved for a while and it is about time for a little break, take out your child for a little walk or to color in the other room for a while. Be sure to tell him or her that this is a reward for their good behavior in the Nave. Then when you take the child out for misbehavior, the child will know the difference.

Having said this, I acknowledge that every now and then there are bad days. The child may be teething or have a little bug. At such times, parents have to do whatever works best at the moment keeping in mind that a parent’s first duty to Christ is to care for the child. God will hear the prayers of a mother or father rocking a teething baby in the nursery just as well as if they were standing in the Nave. At the same time, others in the Nave will be able to pray more peacefully without the continual noise of a child who is out of sorts that day. In every area of our life, we must find balance–this is no less true in how we raise our children. But if the truth be told, the bad days are not really the problem. Bad days and good days are part of the cycle of our lives. The real matter is what we do on normal days: children are not taught by exceptions, they are taught by regular activity and patterns.

Brothers and sisters, this is the Church: life together, iron sharpening iron, as the Bible says. What does “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ” mean? It means that we will all be somewhat burdened by getting along with one another, loving one another, and learning that noone–not the priest, not the bishop, not the parish counsel, not parents, and not children–noone gets his own way. We are going God’s way, and noone knows the mind of God except the Spirit of God who leads us. So brothers and sisters as together we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, let us be ready to adjust, ready to change and be changed, for this is only the beginning, heaven awaits us.


Gabe;'s Birthday Party

Gabe is turning 19 on May 11, thursday. So.

Instead of the open house at Phil and Biss's, we are having a wine and cheese kitchen dance party, just like at Anya, Nicole and Christies old place. So, come and join us in rasing a toast to Gabriel, our newest orange brother, as he grows closer to grey hair.

Details to follow



I am so loving the new beauty that I find in people I meet through orthodoxy. sure, there are pretty girls around, but that is not what I mean at all.

I love that beauty is so different, and its hallmarks are things like grey hair and wrinkles, elbow patches and long beards. not because these things are great in themselves, but they signal age, and age wisdom, and wisdom beauty.
talking to a girl the other day, she was so excited to find herself having a couple of grey hairs. I think that is beauty, because she knows that beauty is not just a thing about how you look, but who you are, which becomes formed over time. with age comes beauty, because we are able to walk closer to God the longer we walk.
I look at Father Gregory in Gibsons, or Father John Scratch, and they are such beautiful old men. there is no other word than beauty to describe them, they communicate the love of God with the fiery laughter in their eyes and bellies, and you can't deny God when you meet them. this happens with age, and when people recognize that and long for it, that too is beautiful.

I honestly think that is why I like smoking a pipe and drinking scotch, it is a thing that old people do. I want to be old and grey, because then I will be wise, even if I am also wizened, perhaps beauty will find me then.

Sure, I notice girls who are pretty, but if they start talking, that can be dangerous for all involved. but, if after they talk, they are still beautiful, or even moreso, that is rare.



So, I have a friend who mentioned that I don't talk about my family on my blog. Interesting. I think that is true, so here is a bit of a remedy, I suppose.

I have a mom and a dad and a sister, a half a dog, and a plethora of family friends who are a part of my family.

But, my parents, who live in vancouver, for which I will be eternally grateful, are cool.
I didn't always think so, like everyone who grew through being a teenager, I had my moments of not being a fan of them, but I have grown to see the beauty of the way they loved me. especially a few things recently have shown me how blessed I am. that I have parents who loved me consistently as a child in ways that I don't remember, but see the effects of in others when that is not present. I know they loved me well. I was always well cared for, they brought me up in the church, but also with the knowledge that it was up to me to choose it for myself, and I knew that from a young age. I went to church independently when I was sixteen, sometimes for unhealthy motives, but it turned out pretty good.

My parents are the pinnacle of hospitable people. One of their favourite movies is Babette's Feast, where a poor old lady wins the lottery and spends all of it on a meal for her friends. ( I haven't see it yet, shame on me)

They educated me well in music, gave me lessons in violin, let me play trombone in band, and gave me a radio that I listened to until it perished.
they trusted me to be honest. what an amazing responsibility. they sent me to flyfishing camp. bought me the hunter training course for my birthday. let me have a hunting bow when I was young.

they taught me so many things subtly without didactic instructions, mostly because I wouldn't have listened, but they were valuable lessons. I learned so much about teaching from both of them.

yeah, I love my parents, and they are great. I don't talk about them much because I don't see them too much. a couple times a month maybe, at least once a month, we visit there, or they come here.

My sister and I live together, and its great. we have had some arguments, but we are siblings. its so fun. we are both in the living room right now, typing away on our ibooks, doing homework, well, I was, she is.

yes. my family is beautiful. certainly far from perfect, but beautiful.



Is overrated. we went to bed when the sun came up, as we had already been to church that day, celebrating the rising of Christ.

Biss wore her wedding dress to church yesterday, it was so appropriate, I think everyone should wear their wedding dresses to church on Pascha (Easter sunday)

I ate a bratwurst sausage for breakfast. My stomach can't handle too much at once.

My voice is completely used up. no more singing, except, what did we do last night after singing for four hours, went to gregory and rhiannon's house and sightread renaissance music. Byrd and Dowland I think.

Its so beautiful here. I like the light.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.


school, love,

I am so glad to have the practicum supervisor that I have. He is helping me feel excited about school, and he seems to understand that life happens too. A little grace goes a long way. I have gotten incredibly behind in school work, but I am now free to do homework and go to church. My shift is over for the weekend, at least, probably for longer. I need to get back into school, and I can't wait for the weekend.

I have also been thinking about love and relationships. I am about to read Martin Buber's I and Thou (Ich und Du)

One of the main problems I have experienced in relationship, is the way that I enter a situation hoping to gain something. Love, friendship, respect, renown, affection, attention, etc. Whatever it is, however noble the thing is, I still seek to gain it. rather, I have in the past.

I have a great friend (well, I have more than one) but at least one who made a point to show me that she didn't want anything from me other than to share the air. sure, we gave and received at various times, but out of freedom.

I think it would be ideal to express to people that "I don't want you to be anything other or give anything other than you can or are"

Don't fill a role for me, don't look a certain way for me, don't do an activity for me, don't like anything for me. don't do anything for me, do it for you and God.

A recent Ben Harper song puts it well,

"take me as I am, or leave me the way you found me"


In other news, Come to PASCHA! and the vigil. For the schedule, click the link to St. Herman's Blog.




There is no such thing as normal life


Joyful Day

A beautiful Easter to all who are celebrating the resurrection today, and a joyous feast day to those celebrating palm sunday today. we ate fish and chips, it was great. one day soon I will post a longer, thoughtful post, perhaps reflecting on holy week (which is upon us) or something else. it has been a while since I said "the thing I love most about orthodoxy is..." partially because it is becoming normal life, which is nice. but, one of the things I love most about orthodoxy is that it doesn't matter how I feel about it. whatever it is. I go to church, and do whatever else it is I do, regardless of how I feel about it.

Oh, and last night we watched pirates of the caribbean. good times.



I am now working with Brad until tuesday. see you at church on saturday.


Honda Strikes Again

Coolest Commercial Ever! Click on the link.

Honda strikes again, with great commercial number two. you thought the car choir was good? well, it was, but this is weird. and good. and, it features a great storyteller as the lead singer. just go watch it.

I am on a break till tomorrow morning.

Did I say how much I respect single parents and foster care givers now? well, if I didn't, that was it.
I am weary. looking forward to Holy Week as a relaxing alternative to being an on call single parent to a well meaning but incredibly difficult young person.



Good, long, tiring, full day

I got my belay ticket today! Dan and Brad and I went climbing.

and, during my short break today, I talked with Fr. Lawrence, and it made everything better. I am so glad to know our priests.


Phillip Sherrard

Christianity and Eros, by Phillip Sherrard is an amazing book. he is taking an apophatic approach to the discussion of marriage and celibacy, talking about how the Fathers saw and thought about marriage. read it. its good.



I am working with a guy named Brad, some of you will meet him at church tomorrow.

He seems to be enjoying his time, so much so that he has asked a few times if I could take his contract, essentially adopt him.
I am not going to, I am not a foster home, so I can't.
but, even to think about it is quite daunting. I would need to have others around to do it with. I see so much the reason that we are meant to do things in community, whether it is a community called family, through marriage, a community called church through baptism/chrismation, a community of monastics, or committed roommates perhaps. but it would be impossible to do it alone. I wil survive working with Brad for a few days, and I am glad for the work.
But if ever anyone were to do this sort of thing, it would need to be with other people.

(the canucks are going to overtime)

Cable is weird. I am glad I don't have it, I would get sucked in often. Living in a hotel is strange, but kind of fun. I will be so ready for holy week after this week is over.

that debate that we got into was very interesting, I hope Gabriel comes to church sometime, and while I do think that debate is fun, I wonder at its fruit. Will semantics or sophiticated words or logic be effective in loving people? I suppose it can be, but I think that is mostly the case when people already know each other.

we'll see.

Canucks Won!



Sufjan Stevens is releasing the debris from his illinoise album! SO COOL! its coming in june. and, Rosie Thomas is going to be on it. her voice is beautiful.

I am going to be living in the Ramada for a while, in Langley, so if you want to come and hang out and swim, call me. I have the best job ever. I am going to be working for a week straight, or until I need a break. how cool is that.
I will have to do some homework too, but that might work out.

anyways. I will see you at church at least. call me.


oh life

the leftovers from last nights post church get together watched hotel rwanda. what a way to end a strangely full day. got up early to go to vangroovy for some contact lenses, my rad sister drove all the way there. talked to my Dad about his brother passing away. Shaved my beard (not completement) raced back to TWU to get Tessa on time for class. worked. went to the canon of St. Andrew and heard the life of St. Mary of Egypt. I think we all identify with her, because her pre-saintly days were the opposite of saintly. like us. It was easy to humble myself before her image, knowing how strongly she fought her demons, and how she struggled to overcome sin.

I have been learning that we are able to fight temptation, we are able to overcome it, and sometimes we are even delivered completely from it.

If I ever get too language-y, I am sorry. I hate subculture language, it drives me crazy, but I think I probably am guilty of using it from time to time. sorry.

but I used to think that we had no choice in the matter of sin, that it was just going to happen, but no. we have the choice to sin or not to sin.

fight. hard.


so close I can taste it

Summer is here! almost. Gregory and I went riding today, I haven't heard about uncle Jack yet.
I am so close to being done school, I need to push hard until the class is over, but when its over, I am going to be SO glad.

and then, I think I need to find a real job. or at least a slightly more part time/regular one.

Uncle Jouko

My Uncle will pass away soon. He is not well, not responding. If you would pray for him, I would appreciate that. He did not care too much for the kingdom, and I wonder how he will act when he finds where he is. In any case, pray for Jack Punsch. Thank you.



Here is my prophetic vision, as I started to tell Fr. Lawrence. (note dry humour)

we will build on the land adjescent to TWU, just off the road leading to 232nd street overpass/onramp.

Things we will build.

A church with cuppolas
a dorm style building to rent to TWU students with a chapel attached.
Living space for families and singles from church
Living space for a group home of developmentally disabled people, adults or youths.
bookstore/coffee shop/pub/cafe to be called The Book and Bottle

The way it will work is that the people who will live there will be taking care of the people who need care in the home, and they will run the book and bottle together, giving life and work experience to the people in the home, and providing a good quality establishment for books and bookish people of all kinds to spend time in.
the reason we will be able to get land cheaply is because it will maintain its ALR (agriculture land reserve) status by having vegetables and small farm animals being cultivated. Sheep and goats will be seperated at night by Qjesse, pigs and chickens will be kept in the windiest spot on the property, and vegetables will be grown near the buildings.

All of these will be a perfect setting for holistic education of a)the students that live in the dorm building and b) those who need care, the clients of the care home. (and we will learn too)

we have started work on a curriculum, which is good. I think we can also start looking into how to plan and zone all of this, and where to get money for it. I have some ideas, and when school is over I am going to go and talk to the owner of the property to see what their plans are for it.

okay. this is a year or two away, but closer than we think.
your duty is to start thinking about how you can be involved. Even if it is just living close to the church, that is a good thing. it will take a long time to adjust your thinking, but really, if Christ isn't calling us to downwarn mobility for the sake of the poor, what is he calling us to? and this is not poverty either, it will be the richest experience! we need families to do this too.


got to ride my bicycle!

I got to ride my bike...

It was rad. Gregory and I attacked golden ears and made some good distance. I am overtired, and ready for church, since I have conquered my appetites apparently. yup. I have arrived at holiness. congratulate me at church, then kick me in the shins. (in love of course)

riding was great. the weather is nice. I just had a bath and a nap. I finished an essay, have a few small ones to do, and I will be done school for the term. well, my class anyways. I can't wait till its all over. I always get into too many things. I almost wish I wasn't singing the requiem so I could just go and watch it. come to the requiem.


Helm's Deep

Matushka likened lent to helm's deep. I think she is not far off.
today is good, but its like a little respite before the second wave of ugly-ass orcs comes over the hill or through the walls or whatever. I liked thomas's post, it reminded me of the end of all of this. I mean, I know its good, and I remember talking before lent with other people about being excited for it, and I am sure that it is like being excited for tree planting, or a tattoo, or anything that is incredibly difficult but good in the end. now if only I could find where I put that sword that glows when I am about to get smoked...

In other news, there is free snowboarding on friday at grouse mountain, and Jurassic 5 is playing at whistler in april. too bad its holy thursday, I assume we have services all through holy week, and parties at whistler are not a holy week kind of thing.

today I might get my paper done, so I can ride my bike. want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.



Finally! I got some feedback from my professor/supervisor for my practicum and my journal entries, and I am amazed at how the questions he is asking are making me think. I feel motivated by them, as if there is value in this work. I find the class I am in to be slightly less motivating, because it often gets derailed by surface arguments.

Today for example, we talked about ethics, and there were many good points, but the discussion hinged on the assumption that there was no ground on which to build an ethic. No foundational assumptions were allowed because we are all so diverse in our moral assumptions. but this isn't even really the case! so many people assume a mostly judeo-christian framework for morals, they just can't call it that. not in the academy in canada anyways. its too far left. it makes me want to open up a restaurant. or a cafe of some kind. with books. and a loft to live in. hmmmmmm. where could that happen......



yes I know its spelled wrong.

I went to heirarchical liturgy today with Bishop Joseph, it was cool. what is also cool is that my priest, who is OCA, encouraged me to go. I love Fr. Lawrence, what a great man.

Oh, and any pictures you see of the liturgy of the feast of the annunciation w/the bishop on the antiochian website were taken by me. how cool is that?
I was blessed to take pics in the altar, and that freaked me out completely. I was standing in there while they were all outside. I was the only one in there. FREAKED OUT.

I think I begin to understand the fear of God. I was not afraid, but keenly aware of God, ergo my unworthiness.



seriously. why/how would/could anyone not pray everyday. I mean, honestly some days I don't feel like I mean the words, but I still do.and praying with others? amazing. thursday night prayer at the open house is always beautiful to be present for.
and goodness. as if the prayer that I wanted answered was "...grant me to see my own sin..." right.
well. I know its a good thing. but boy does it not feel so hot.

being is beautiful and hard

rage against the dying of the light.

in an attempt to allow this mediated form of my self to be as honest as possible, we now present a post that goes with the color of the blog. the less than excited version of me.

I love my sister. she is great, we are living together right now, which I am glad for, I doubt it will happen again because of where life will take us, but its great.

I was talking a month ago about getting a cat, because I would like to have one. I would prefer a dog, but I can't offer a dog the attention and time it needs. cats are low maintenance, etc etc, blah blah blah.

Jonny, Tessa's(my sister) boyfriend, is allergic to cats.
I thought Tessa and I had talked about this a while ago, and she didn't say either way what she thought, so when the opportunity came to help a friend who can't keep her cats, I was excited a) to help out and b) to have a cat or two.
I asked Tessa what she thought, and she felt shoehorned into having to agree.
I didn't understand why it would matter, as I have friends who have cat allergies, and I know it would bother them a bit, but I have heard that you can do things to make cats less allergy causing.

all that to say that I was quite angry that Tessa's boyfriend would be the cause of me not getting what I want. I want to get what I want, and nobody should get in my way. I know this is an utterly selfish way of thinking, but its what I realized I was thinking.
Eventually, I began to interpret that feeling in my gut to be telling me that I need to not be selfish and consider that my sister wants to be able to have her boyfriend over, and that in the same position I would not react differently, in fact I would be so vocally opposed to the idea.
So, I am swallowing my pride or my anger or whatever and not going to take them. which sucks. I really wanted to have them.

So, in other news, if anyone wants a cat or two, they arrive on friday and need homes. they are very friendly, hesycats. they pray and venerate icons apparently.

go to Mira's blog for pictures.

Oh lent. bringing all of my darkness to light, hopefully the light will burn it away, but flames hurt. burn to shine right? right?...tell me when its over.



a few more thoughts on the orthomansion,

it will be the first in a few steps towards understanding and being in a community living situation.

we will find a house, all move in together and learn what it means to share life.

We will have to commit to time, money and effort as people, so that it all works out.

Gabe, Rowena and Anselm, Nicole, Dave, Qjesse, maybe seraphim, and anyone else? I don't want to leave anyone out or forget anyone...

how much money do we want to spend per month on housing, including electricity, who is willing to share a room, what kind of expectations do we have...


In other news, I was asked to direct a choir for a cool occasion that is TBA. I am very honored. As well, I have been asked to sit on a board of directors for an arts production company, very cool.

So, I will put more details here, but come to the show on april 9th, its a fundraiser for education in Rwanda, good music and a great documentary.



I rode Cypress bowl yesterday with Tim. It was so fun, I haven't been boarding in two years, but it came back pretty quick. we flew, and vancouver is SO beautiful. We were up on the panorama and skiing above vancouver is so rad. we saw where the olympic runs are going to be. Its going to be beautiful and so fun when the olympics come to town. traffic is going to suck, but its going to be fun. I wonder if we will be able to camp in the snow up there.
I now have a headache, I had a little coffee, so I will have a bit more during class. I like school, Utah was great. we had a good discussion after I spoke, and it was cool. I also got some good feedback from my thesis supervisor, so that is exciting.
I also saw mag and rowena this afternoon, and Anselm, who is going to be my godson. he is cute and fun. he threw my keys at me and hit my right in the head, pretty hard. very funny, but I was glad it was me and not someone random, that would have been awkward, but I like Anselm. he is as cool as his name.


tech details...

Hi everyone,
just a note, I have made it impossible for anonymous to keep being anonymous, sorry, but if you must be anonymous, start an anonymous blog, with nothing on it, or just get a blogger identity. the main reason for this is to keep each anonymous poster seperate, we had I think three different people using the name "anonymous" recently. thanks for reading and all your comments.

oh, and I am home now.


marriage and monasticism


So, we have established a few things.
marriage and monasticism, basically the same thing.
free will, a blessing from God not to be shirked.

I don't know that monasticism is so differently requiring a particular call compared to marriage. I think if we have free will, then we could choose monasticism or marriage because both are intentional ways of moving towards God. I like what the ottowanian said, how it is not holiness for our sake, but so that we are closer to and more like God.

that said, I think what the wildemans have mentioned is good, suggestions or something like that. other people might see potential that we are not aware of.

I don't think strictly arranged marriages would e a good thing.