9.19.2009

GLEE/Organic Farm/Asceticism vs Pleaure/

I have been watching GLEE, and I love it. It is somewhat formulaic, in that the show is not deep, but reflects so much of high school politics, and probably is the result of the success of the high school musical series, and the nostalgia of the genre in general, but it is capturing something that I think a lot of people are going to relate to. Now, I have said before here that I don't think competition is what Jesus had in mind, in general, at all. ok, that may be a nuanced version of what I said, but its what I was one day going to think that I meant. I don't think competition at its root is reflecting the glory of God, but creating and taking glory for ourselves, which is the essence of our screwed up world. Taking something good and instead of seeing the goodness of God in it, seeing the goodness of ourselves in it, which is actually I think a misinterpretation, which can't always be blamed on the one doing the interpreting, so thank God that he is merciful.
But this show is so entrenched in competition that it makes me cringe, but I think that's what High School is like for just about everyone, and its hilarious the way they do things, well, some things. other things make me cringe.
you know, as I write this, I wonder if I will like it by the end of the season, things that are easy to like quickly, often are too much of something, too sweet, too salty, etc, and maybe this won't last. But I am liking the struggle of the music teacher, cause that is what I will be doing soon too. I grew up and went through a music program that was fantastic, but never entered competitions, not because we really weren't excellent, my school won every category it entered at national festivals during the 80's, but our teachers thought that non competitive festivals were more focused on sharing and education, and I agree.

We found a fantastic organic farm today on our saturday family ramble, we were driving out towards sooke, and stopped at a place with a sign for eggs. They were sold out, but they took us to their HUGE garden, and cut us some chard, red onions, beans, orange peppers, tomatoes, basil, kale, zucchini, and they had strawberries that were just getting ripe, and grapes, and everything you can think of. and chickens. It was like my dream of the future. literally. you should come and see it. It was beautiful.

If monks take the road of asceticism towards holiness, does that mean that those of us who are not ascetics are meant to enjoy things that God has given us as a way of glorifying Him? I mean, I know the answer is yes, but I never thought of it as a duality, where we can say that we are categorically not ascetics. We are meant to fast, and pray, but we also have moments and opportunities to see God through the consumption of his many gifts to us, both edible and not, with which to see and reflect His glory, giving thanks in word and deed. The garden and making music are both examples of that, and I am hopeful that despite the fact that I don't feel much like I did when I talked about church a lot more, that I am still growing towards that state of being we all know we are meant for.

It was so nice to take a little family trip today, we stopped at a little fair in luxton, and eventually did find backyard eggs from an old old guy down the street from the fair, it was great. I don't get to encounter really old people much these days, it was nice.

9.13.2009

fantastic voyage

We had a great time in seattle, seeing Moses received into the church. The russian priest, Fr. Yuri, really threw down. I like his style. Poor Moses, however, was not as pleased. Fr baptized him for real, plunging him in and out of the water quite vigorously, but carefully. I loved it. I wish Fr. Lawrence had thrown me in like that. Plus, because it was built as an orthodox church, Fr. instructed them to not be weak when it came to spitting on the Devil, so J spit on him good. It was, in the truest sense, awesome.

then we had a toast to Moses, that he would grow up strong, and ate some good food while the canadian and american in-laws had a raging debate about healthcare. they almost got into the octagon ring. good times.
Also, I saw an old friend, Dmitri, who I met on a road trip on the way back from memphis with the orthodorks, and he had just married someone who I knew from T dub. small world.

but a good one.

9.08.2009

The Day/Choral Teaching

So today was my interview for a position in Montreal. I almost typed 'at Montreal' which I hope gives an indication of how much I have been trying to think in French and learn more, but its not an indication that I am fantastic at le langue. My Interview went really well, but because I lack a particular level of skills, I don't think there is much risk of moving or actually being offered the position. I will happily stay here and finish my schooling and become a choir teacher, there isn't much that I love in the world more than working on choral music and personal development, as I think singing is so related to personal growth.
When people are able to learn about their voice, it helps them learn about themselves. They learn who they are as people, they learn how to separate themselves from their ability, as far as value and identity is concerned. So many of us attribute our value to our ability in a certain area, but I think as a teacher of music, I will (and have had) have the opportunity to help people realize that their value lies only in ultimate and final questions, God, life, death, resurrection, etc. As a teacher it will have to remain vague, necessarily, but kids will see the truth of love in my life, and I don't worry about the rest. In other contexts, it is possible to be direct, like in church, but the people have to be open to it, which is also hard, because they are volunteers, which is different than in school, when the kids sign up to be taught.
Nonetheless, being in a choir can be very personally challenging, which is specifically why I love leading such an endeavor. It is like leading a mountain climbing expedition, someone is going to get hurt, someone won't make it to the top, but everyone comes out better for it.
Singing is such a vulnerable thing at first, which is why it is such a hard thing to deal with, it is easy for people to get hurt in the process, but because it is so vulnerable, there is such potential for beautiful creation too.
Being in a choir can be so beautiful.

In other news, open house was nice tonight, three people showed up, and we had a great talk about vaccination, we are continuously learning about when/why to vaccinate Z. we decided to wait a bit, but are learning all sorts of things on both sides, so we will see. we of course will have him vaccinated, it is just a matter of when.
I bought some cheap beer, and it was surprisingly good, maybe my tastes have changed, maybe I am going the way of the valley finn, GL, and then people won't drink my beer at new years. we'll see.
still no nicotine, which is healthy, and good, I am sure. Fr. L is my inspiration for a year of abstinence for life insurance. I remember his hardy but faithful refusal and yet his appreciation for the aroma.
Tomorrow we sell the car to a dealer, which is a good thing. They are giving us a fair price, and we are getting an old Honda, which is good, but hard to go from a brand new car to one with 200K plus KM on it. but whatever, it is what it is, and its where we are at, so there's no point in being put out by it. I think that humility is just knowing where we are, and this is where we are.
trying to live within our means.

This weekend is seattle to see J and K's baby M baptized. can't wait.

oh, and I loved Julie and Julia. best line? "You can never have too much Butter!"
we had a date when my mom came to babysit on monday, we had salmon for lunch and a lovely visit.


I love my parents.

9.05.2009

Facebook: Secular Heaven

Facebook is the secular heaven.

It has all the people you like right there with you all the time, and they are disembodied, but still pretty. And, you don't have to do anything to keep them there, they just float, right there in front of you, and you can even talk to them with your mind. You don't have to use your mouth. It is a spiritual community, but it is completely centered on you, because you only see what your friends are doing. They may talk to other people, but you only see them talking to people you know, so you are the center of your secular paradise. There are many images to worship, mostly your own, but there is also the divine status update to read, in case images do not fully satisfy the desires of the ego.
I think it was Ram Daas who first said it like this, Be Here Now. It's sort of an interpretation of Matthew 6:33 I think. I mean, very loosely, but it could be read that way. don't worry about tomorrow, or yesterday, or food or clothes or drink, Trust God for today, and let tomorrow be today when it gets here.
sure, it's nice to have all of those people we miss and don't see often enough right there in front of you, but man, how great would it be to talk to them directly, or better yet, visit? better/worse right.

we'll see how long I act on this/believe myself for (ie, stay off the FB)

9.03.2009

favourite.

You know when you were a kid, and wondered if you could ever go all the way around on a swing? apparently you can!