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.