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.