1.28.2009

Aesthetica

I recently had a sort of epiphany.

I have been thinking about art and music wondering why on earth do we have so many people who write books and paint pictures and sing songs when they are not in the service of liturgical worship, but I think I was thinking incorrectly. I think that despite the fact that in an explicit way they are intended to be l'art pour l'art, all created things, people and paintings alike, are in the service of worship in that it is an imitation of God.
When God flung the stars and planets across the expanse we call the universe, He created. He created things, He created time, He created existence itself. When artists create, they create an image, but they also bring into being being itself. When musicians sing, they bring into being time. The singing of a song creates a specific time, and it manipulates time by its own dance and change. Paint changes space. And books create a new reality.
The trouble with out epoch is that most of what is created is done for the purpose of exchange and commerce, not in sacramental imitation of the Only True Reality, and that is that God created. we have the ability to imitate on various levels His creative act, and it should all stand as a work of the people for the glory of God. It is all Liturgical work. The whole of creation stands as evidence that God exists and is living through the created world. And likely sometimes weeping at our destructive liturgical act. and we pray that sometimes He weeps with joy at our feeble attempts at beauty.
I realize now that when people write (the way Dostoevsky wrote) or write music, or paint, or compose, or carve etc, and they do it rightly, it is because they can't help but respond to the beauty of life with a creative act. They look at God and have no words for the overwhelming sense of glory and sadly offer up alms that can't compare, but we revel in participating by listening, reading and looking.

1.22.2009

Yoga pt. 3 (or 4?)/Seminary/NT/Ecclesiology

So I have been doing yoga for a little while now, and I like it, but it really is becoming a means to an end. I am getting to know my body again, like when I was treeplanting. But also it is becoming discipline towards silence, though I know that the teacher is not very quiet, depending on who is teaching that day. I do think it will be helpful to create an awareness and desire for silence.

I have been listening to the magnetic fields lately, and I really like "The Book of Love" made famous by Peter Gabriel ( I think )

Currently we are in Limbo, there are a few different things we are waiting for, a couple of possible employment situations which would require moving, which would be bittersweet because we love it here. But the possible options would be good places to be as well. I have slowed my job hunt, but if these opportunities don't happen for whatever reason, that will be okay. My current employment will suffice for now. Especially in that it allows me many hours during the day to spend with my lovely wife. I am working three nights a week, and I sleep at work (I am meant to) so its pretty sweet. I look forward to using my education someday soon too, I mean, I know I do all the time, but I mean in a specific manner to do with employment.

I have often thrown around the idea of going to seminary one day in the future, and I even had a talk with Fr. G who confirmed that it would be a good idea for me to get married and have kids and live for a while before doing that, but that it would be a good idea. I used to take that as a strange affirmation of who I am, a slight ego boost, but now I look at it differently, especially after living through some good experiences in leadership in the church, knowing that my first views of the priesthood were tainted by my sweet rose colored convert glasses which make everything look like stout and smoke (or wine and roses) and I know that things are a little more real now, and wonder if my diminished desire for such a life really matters. is it the desire that matters? I know it still is a long way off, but I still struggle with understanding. I know I love school, so that wouldn't be a problem. And, I just looked into the Greek seminary in Boston which provides a TON of funding, so the costs would be significantly reduced. I have heard it's a little secular, but they have a great NT prof. there in Fr. Theodore Stylianopolous. I have been reading his book on NT Interpretation and Canonization, and its great. Something that totally makes me happy to be orthodox.

I just love being orthodox, and I want everyone else to love being orthodox, it's such a peaceful battle. I mean, It's a fight, but at least its the right fight. Thank God. I am so glad I don't have to try and fix the church.

1.17.2009

wrestling with my food culture/consumption...

lately I have been realizing that I wrestle with things that are much more subtle. When I was younger, the things that taunted me and haunted me were much more exciting and intoxicating, literally. I wasn't really bothered by food, but now it seems it is becoming a much larger issue to me. I am recognizing that my state of being, that is, having and being a body, or and embodied creature, is often changed and affected by what I put inside it. I always knew this, we all know this, but it is coming to the fore through the yoga that I am doing. It is kind of like tree planting in that I am SO aware of how my body reacts to blood sugar maintenance. When I was planting, I could tell almost to the minute when my blood sugar would drop, and I would need to eat oatmeal bars or something every hour or so to keep going. Its not as all day as it was, but I find that I don't like being as full as is my habit. I don't like how I feel when I am so full, but its hard to not make myself eat more than I need, its hard to know how much I need, especially when transitioning between activity and inactivity, and from seasons without exercise to seasons with it. I also find that I sleep better when I am more hydrated, which means, after drinking beer or any other alcohol (which I can now spell properly) or even smoking a clove (perhaps especially) I have a poor sleep. Yoga is also dehydrating, so I keep drinking lots of water. It's interesting to notice all of these things. Meat too is hard to digest, and because I am not exerting myself all day I don't need to have heavy proteins that are hard to digest. If I were shoveling concrete (THANK GOD I don't do that anymore)I would eat salmon sandwiches. This is all a roundabout long way of saying that when I am honest with myself, I really feel better in general when I don't drink, smoke, or eat meat. But I wrestle with it because it seems like in some way those things are celebratory, but is that a cultural thing? Is that a consumerist culture, a canadian culture, a west coast orthodox culture, or...


Also, there was a tradition of ending up at a good friend's apartment and drinking Pilsner (shudder:) and eating fish. and of course, he would bust out the pickles and vodka. I know. Don't ask. anyways. It's just different here, I don't know why. Someone, who will remain unnamed, suggested that the langley crowd is more blue collar, and I kind of laughed because I don't think that is the case, although I guess I see why they said that. But if my langley crew's collars are blue, they are taking intellectual books to their shop. psh. blue collar. If anything, it's a compliment.

anyways. maybe I just need a spine so I can stand on my own and do the things I know are right. The problem is when these things aren't legislated either way by the church, which perhaps is my answer. It's not a black and white issue, which is why maybe its okay to wrestle with myself over it. Maybe its physical health and relating to others, in which case because we are supposed to take care of ourselves first (like in a plane crash) It would be about getting the most air to my lungs, and then looking around and seeing who is with me. If nothing else, maybe God is there.



(this post was edited a tiny bit)

1.13.2009

peace

Things have been tough, but more than that, peace is the result, and through that peace, more familial ties which creates strength and unity. Good things are happening despite the fact that we usually need to eat spinach before becoming healthy. It's good.

I haven't read Rene Girard in a while, but I really like his ideas.
I am currently re-reading a book on the new testament canon and how that process shuold influence our reading of the bible. I haven't read the bible on my own in forever, partially because I find that I hear it so much better at church, and so often. I know that doesn't replace personal devotion ( such a loaded word)

Interpretation is such a wild concept, what drives me up the wall is when people think they are reading the bible and not interpreting it, but just putting its didactic instruction into practice. its such an ignorant thing to say "I just read it for what it says" as though the reader isn't interpreting it based on how the see the world. I think that is a sadly foolish assumption, but how can you convince someone of that? maybe that is up to the spirit of Holiness.

1.10.2009

Flaky yoga people.

Had a good funny chat with Fr. G today, he did a good job of reminding me where my place is, which is good.
we also talked about yoga, and how I was being very generous when I said the people were only a little flaky. they are really a lot flaky, which is funny, we laughed about it. oh flaky yoga people. I guess I am one of them. I just ignore the flakiness.

1.09.2009

400th post

hmmm.

blogging is an interesting thing. I have now posted here 400 times. I started way back at the end of 2005 I think, and I intended it to be a private thing. which is ridiculous, cause its a blog and how long can I keep something like this that cooped up.

Last night I came up with an idea for a facebook application, but I think that facebook can be such a waste of time, I don't know I want to contribute to our wasting of time.

I went to yoga again last night, I got a pass, and I am looking forward to going quite regularly. At least right now when I have a lot of free time during the day, I think its a good way to learn to focus and be disciplined.

sometimes I wonder about the way we all seem to consume activities. Often I do things based on who I am hanging out with, like I used to bike a lot more when I lived in langley. I still love mountain biking, but its much better with G because a) he's fitter and b) there are more places to go.
At yoga, I am doing my best not to make any friends, I kind of think most of the people at yoga are going to be flaky, but don't tell them that. I had a good brief chat with Al at St. Herman's, and he is definitely not flaky. go and read his blog. I will post a link, though its more of a website than a blog. but his writing is good.

my brain is being melted by a terrible kids show from australia.

but back to consuming activities or hobbies. I snowboarded and skateboarded a lot in high school. I read and waxed academic while at university. I live in victoria so I eat less meat and do yoga, catch my own crab and shrimp. At St. Herman's I drank more beer and fasted more, but that also has to do with being married and having a pregnant wife.

I don't have any conclusions at the moment, just observations.

1.08.2009

Memory Eternal

Today, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has passed away. he was the editor in chief of First Things. May his memory be eternal!

1.06.2009

36.5 weeks.

In a few days, we will be eligible for a home birth. phew, we are going to have a baby. man, talk about fear and trembling.


and, you know, I have such a great wife, I know that wherever we end up, if we move or not, because I have her around, life will be good. I am so grateful that I have friends around to give me wisdom, who helped me make my decisions in the past, who kept me from making foolish decisions, thank God I managed to wait until I found her. I never believed that there was a 'right' person to marry, and I am a strong believer that there is a point in each of our lives that we are ready to accept the challenge of self knowledge that marriage should bring, and its different for all of us (sorry for the rambling sentence) but I know that she's the one, and that it was the right time. I mean, its not easy, but its not the wrong kind of hard that I see all around me. we have other challenges, but enjoying each other's company isn't one of them. and its so much more than that, but it's good.

I love my wife. and I love being married. we are almost at our 1st anniversary, our baby is due one day before our first anniversary. what's that? didn't wait long you say? well...three months seemed long enough. and goodness, I'm no spring chicken.

life is so bizarre, and it really is a battle. I have never seen such widespread spiritual struggle as I have these last few months, I wonder if it has to do with the direction the church will go with Met. Jonah, or maybe its the BC deanery? who knows, but I do know the shit has really hit the fan. four couples I know are in pretty rough shape all at the same time, not to mention other difficulties that have gone on recently. I caused a rather large Kafuffle, which I am wont to do every few years apparently, I remember something happened a few years back, but I barely remember what. anyways, I am so blessed that through whatever struggles I have to go, I have a beautiful wife who loves and supports me, it is so Godly, this marriage thing.


Lord, have mercy.

1.04.2009

tv, silence, snow

I know we have had enough snow, but I wish I was in Van right now, or the valley, I love the snow.


we have had visitors, and it is so nice to see them. I miss silence, I haven't been to yoga since before Christmas, but that is partly logistical. hopefully I can go back soon.

baby is coming soon. oh man. I have been watching TV lately, and I don't know how I feel about it. I wish I could live without internet at home, I wonder if we could. I think if I wasn't job hunting I would. when certainty comes home about that sort of thing, perhaps then we can live without the internet at home. that would be nice. it would help silence to exist.

we'll see.