12.22.2010

school/christmas/vancouver/liquidbreadbreakfast

we live in vancouver. I can't wait to actually live in vancouver. we move in on the 31st. I am so tired. manual labour is good but so tiring. we have had VIBeisbock for breakfast every day this week (at work, not my parents house) and its fun, but I think its going to lose its charm after the fourth day. I look forward to having Prof. P at our house for Christmas. Also I think I get to see JR tomorrow, which is cool.
Also looking forward to being at school, can't wait!

12.11.2010

Almost Done/Ode to Victoria

Well, we are almost done here. I have lived here for just a little more than three years, and its been beautiful. I love Victoria, its pretty, its clean, its small. The gardens here are amazing, people have so much time to garden. Its inspirational. It really is quite clean, I understand why people come here to visit and just look around, its comfortable and feels safe. It's small enough that maybe once a week I see someone I know on the street or on the bus or driving a bus. more often in the summer when I was working downtown, but its not rare to see someone I know without intending to. Its nice.

There's a funny phenomenon here, where when you live in victoria, driving 45 minutes seems like an insane amount of time to spend in your car, unless you are leaving and returning to civilization. What I mean is, when you drive for 45 minutes, you are likely or required to pass through land that is likely to have Elk or Bears living there and not humans. Whereas when you drive 45 minutes in vancouver, its just not a big deal. a switch is flipped and its no problem to drive 45 minutes even to get cheaper gas, cheese and milk (across the border anyway)

of course I will miss the ocean. I know its not that far when I am in vancouver either, but in esquimalt, we could walk across the street and be at the ocean. It was pretty great. there were often seals playing in the water a couple hundred yards from our window. too bad we had a hedge.



I will miss my people from UVIC, but I won't really miss UVIC itself. Its way too left wing for anyone's good. All of the policies that are rooted in some well meaning desire for equality and social justice have made a mess of things. My building, Maclaurin, used to have a Tim Hortons inside it. INSIDE MY BUILDING. now we have a little crapateria that has mediocre food that costs more than tim hortons. granted the coffee is better, but that's not saying much. And don't get me started on the UVSS and their other policies.

Some of my professors have been great, and some have been found wanting. I think I received a decent education here, so that's good.

I will also miss the kabuki kabs job that I had in the summers. That was a lot of fun.

Most of all, I will miss our church. All Saints has become our home, and I will be sad to leave it. We will be back no doubt, but its still a sad thing to do. Zeke was born and baptized here, took his very first steps while in church on a sunday morning during a homily, the four of us who noticed were astonished and very excited. I like that it was in church that he took his first steps.

10.28.2010

Students, Bullying, Homophobia and Christian Charity

I don't know if this is exactly right, but I hope so. This is a blog post in support of Gay Rights, despite my conservative Christian values.


Christians should be the first to defend anyone who is being unfairly treated, regardless of the reason. There have been a few students lately who have committed suicide due to being picked on in school. killed themselves. dead. This seems to be more likely in america, but no doubt we canadians are no better at defending those who get picked on. I am a Christian, and Christians take certain things for granted (broad strokes are impossible, I know but so be it)
One of the things we take for granted is that God created, and God created with intent. certain things have certain uses, purposes if you will. Sexuality and Gender is way too big for one blog post, millions of litres of ink have been spilled, and I don't intend to explain clearly the orthodox position on gender and sexuality, except to say that we take the bible seriously and can't get away from the truth that homosexual activity is not what God intended when he made people.

HOWEVER.

I think it is more important for Christians of any stripe to BE THE FIRST to defend people, whether they are gay, straight, unsure, of some visible ethnic minority or majority, mean, nice, wealthy, poor, etc etc etc from such stupidity as bullying.
Especially with young people who are struggling with their sexuality, such as being a teenager and LGBT, we need to be as loving as is humanly possible. Yes, I am being a bit didactic, but I think the church has failed miserably in extending our loving arms to everyone. we say that the church is a place where everyone is accepted, except 'the gays'.

here's my ideal situation. I have a job (lets pretend best case scenario here, right?) at a high school, and at said high school there is a christian fellowship club, they meet at lunch hour, and a gay/straight alliance club, also meeting at lunch hour. The Christian club gets together and they say "hmmm, how can we let our fellow students know that we love them even if we are ideologically in opposition to them?" "I know, lets go to their meeting, and tell them that we are sorry for the horrible acts of christians in the past, and that we will do what we feel we can to support them as people" "what would that look like?"
"well...I don't know, I don't think I could do the gay pride parade, that might be too much, but I want to make sure that other christians don't challenge their right to have the parade" "what else" "hmmmm, well, we could tell them that we support the reality that everyone should have the same legal rights"


Or something. I really don't know, but what I do know is that God loves everyone. Gay, straight, whatever, and its not fair to the gay community that they keep on getting put down in the name of our Loving God because they are sinners. because dammit so are we. and pointing fingers really will just keep us from being able to see our own sin, which really, from your point of view should be more important than pointing out someone else's.

honestly? What would Jesus do? would he bully kids because they were gay? no way. would he defend them and love them? yes.

Love your Neighbour

10.17.2010

Loving It!

I am loving being in the school, the students are great, my sponsor teacher is great, and my principal is great. I am helping set up an FB page for the school, and the Principal is grateful, so that is cool. He is hoping to get closer to the students by using FB to communicate with them, not personally, but as an organization. I think its a great first step.

Also, I can't wait for my family to come home, I miss them so much. I have been busy, visiting around here and there, but I miss them so much. so much.

It was really good to spend time in the valley this weekend, I look forward to living in Vancity, but I also am glad to see my old friends when I get to. Its great.

Also, T and B are coming home soon, which is exciting.

and if you like Ben Harper, and folk music at all, listen to Fistful of Mercy. Its amazing.

10.07.2010

GLEE and pedagogy-methods

While the TV show, GLEE, is entertaining, I worry that it will change the way young people think about music in schools.

Its not like that.

9.12.2010

soup sunday

Once upon a time, there were a group of people who converted to orthodoxy, it was circa 2005, and it was a variety of young folks, some single, some not, and we all found orthodoxy as the antidote to a variety of ills.
Sundays, we absorbed church like water found in a desert, and stayed until the person with a key locked the doors, and then we went to S. Ketel's house on eastleigh, where we watched slow but beautiful films like atanarjuat, and ate beer battered fish and drank beer. Once, Iearned how to appreciate fine whiskey, thank you Mr. Z. we enjoyed spending the whole day together, talking about orthodoxy, and other things that were new, talking about TWU, and things past, and the future, about living geographically close so this sort of thing would happen more often.
Today, we had a few friends over, new and old, for soup. not a big deal, but it was nice. some of us have kids, some have homework, so we didn't stay long into the evening, which makes sense, but it was so good to have people over, to eat soup and to spend time together. there was homebrew, truth serum (in vino...veritas?) curried chick pea soup, and bread, and rain.
Such a good time, a fall day, people, comfort food, spiced tobacco. the kids played together, and we talked.
what is it about being together that makes an afternoon so good? why do we like being in community?
I think it has to do with manifesting the church, the presence of God. when we are together, and we extend hospitality and friendship, we make real the love that God extends to us, and we recreate (recreation?) that reality. we make it real. I love it, and just as we prepare to move again in a few months, I feel at home in this community. every community has its strengths and weaknesses, no doubt, and as they say, you can never go home. I will be sad to leave, and happy to return (in both senses) but today was good. so good.

I can't wait for tuesday. a whirlwind trip, but how exciting, and momentous. not for us, but to witness the next chapter.

God is so good to us, we have more than we need, and are so loved. so loved. we have our quirks, and our difficult moments, and that is life. Thank God for difficulty, and Lord have mercy, because even though so much is worse for so many others, we might not be able to handle more.

I am so excited for Killarney, so excited. east van, here we come! (that said, we have no idea where we will live-but we're excited)

8.31.2010

I am the zeke, rooooaaaarrrr!


IMG_0007
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
or something. I have a new camera, (attached to a new phone) and this is one of the pics I snapped of zeke and I recently. isn't he precious.

8.10.2010

sweet/bummer

ok, a few cool things.

got to St. Hermans, sweet. saw people, sweet.



here's the lame-o moment of the century.

I got the new iphone, how cool right? except I get home and plug it in, and my computer is obsolete but still working great, it won't recognize the new technology. Its too new. ah crap.

that said, life is pretty good. excited about where we are. the precipice, as it were.

8.06.2010

August

Well, Its been a while, again, and lots has happened.

so, we didn't get a new car after all, long story. we moved, we now live near some good friends from church, but much farther from the ocean. I doubt we'll ever live that close to the ocean again, and I am glad we spent lots of time at the park across the street, but I wish I had spent more time there.
and our yard was lovely, my garden was great. I had such fun with it. I dismantled part of it, and when I went back to get the BBQ the other day, I saw that deer had eaten my tomato plants. sad. ah well. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, so I will have a better garden next year. better planned anyway. we did eat lots of peas from the garden, which was very satisfying. I think the tomatoes would have been great too had we stuck with it (not moved house)

Kabuki Kabbing has been going well, I took some time off for the assembly, to visit those who came for it, and then we moved, and now I have been home sick for three days. Stomach flu or something. not fun. couldn't work if I wanted to, can't eat nearly enough solid food for the energy I would need. soon enough.

and honestly? I can't wait for school to start. I heard that my cousin was saying the same thing, over in London Ontario, and I was so proud to hear that he had said that, I had no idea he was such a keener, wants to be an archaeologist. probably looking for proof that God doesn't exist, he's a fundamentalist atheist (sort of) anyway. I am proud of him for doing so well in school.
I am so excited to finally get into the classroom and start working with young people on music, I have so many ideas.

oh, and so my friend is in this band, and there's a choir out there who did a choral version of one of his songs, and I think that must be one of the highest compliments, to have someone do an acapella version of your music. I look forward to doing some of their music with my students.

and here's another thing, I think that I might not have a large jazz band program, but instead do popular music. I mean, of course having jazz band is important, but why not have kids working in a style they like, can relate to, and might make money at.


I look forward to having weekly live productions of some sort, teaching the kids all aspects of producing shows, of any sort. Art shows, music shows, theatre, etc. look at me, producing a bunch of entertainers, cause that's what we need more of.

really, I just want to teach choir, and teach kids how to make a decent living even if what they love doing is likely to leave them starving aimless artist types for most of their 20's until they realize they need money and go off and work at a bank somewhere.

And there's nothing wrong with working at a bank, I often applied to banks, and never was hired. I find employment in the strangest ways.


Did I mention we are moving to Vancouver in January for my practicum? we are, and we are excited. though we don't know where yet. hopefully east van, perhaps south van close to my parents. we'll see. It depends on where my practicum is.

I find less time for reflection lately, perhaps it is the summer harvest that keeps us busy, perhaps it is my getting older that gives me a list of things I would prefer not to reflect on. In either case, I hope to visit Gibsons for liturgy, it has been far too long.

6.23.2010

summer is here

its warm, so much so that the house where I work is hot during the day, and hard to cool down at night.
we got a new car, new to us anyway, its a little SUV, hyundai tucson. its pretty cool, though buying a car is always a hassle. they could make it so much easier, but I guess its how things go.
I miss the monks, I think I have come to what might be a realization, maybe its an interpretation, but here goes.

Monks, dedicate their lives to the purest form of prayer and fasting possible. Their goal is to pray and be really good at it. As a married person, my goal is still to end up becoming holy, but its such a different process, that maybe its okay if it looks different. I don't want to justify laziness, but man, having a family, being in school and working makes it hard to focus on the ascetic practices I so wanted to engage in when I first found orthodoxy, and was single, and not working very much. gosh, I don't even have the energy to think about these things that much.

but I did read a great book recently, Atheist Delusions, but David Bentley Hart, go and buy it and read it. its fantastic.

pedicabbing is going well, so is my garden, the peas are huge, and the tomato plants seem to be doing ok. I need to look up how to deal with tomato plants, I realize I may be watering them a bit much. we'll see.

zeke is chatting away, words like book, truck, up, and a few more, and he responds when I say 'sing' by singing on an 'oo' vowel, its precious, and exciting. he likes the piano too. also, in the morning, we are watching world cup soccer together, and he loves to say 'ball' and watch it on tv, and then we kick it together. its really fun. I say 'ball' and he either gets the ball or goes to the tv. now he only needs a vuvuzela.

(I just wanted an excuse to type that word)

6.11.2010

my peas


P1000509
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
are very tall. I LOVE gardening!

6.02.2010

pray for Ambrose

recently born infant son of friends Alanna and Oscar, in KS.
he is in the NICU, needed help breathing for quite a while after being born.

pray for them, please.

5.26.2010

surf is up

Apparently I AM going to surf in Tofino this week.
we just got back, it was fantastic. we stayed with my parents, who were very excited to see us, but of course overjoyed to spend a few days with the zeke, even if he was waking up super early. they had a blast with him, and by the end he was mumbling something that resembled ge'ma or something. he loved being with them. and they certainly loved having him. They had been given the use of a beautiful home right ON chesterman north, short walk (5 minutes) to the wickaninnish inn. yeah. bad-ass.
so we watched surfers play in the waves for a while, and my mom said something like 'its a shame to be so close and not go in the water' and I replied that I just had expected not to go this time around. we were all pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, my mom suggested I go, I checked with the boss, and it was great. I went and got a board and a wetsuit, (a real beginners board, for once, finally) from LIVE TO SURF (the place to rent in Tofino, don't be deceived) and was in the water in less than half an hour from leaving the house. And this cabin, it was gorgeous, open plan, three bedrooms, ocean views everywhere. So I surfed for a few hours, checked to see if my half of the family had woken up yet, they were still sleeping, perfect, back in the water! I finally had learned to get up on the board. I have been surfing six times now, and I have finally gotten up on a board.
I love boards. I have spent most of my life skateboarding and my teenaged years in pursuit of money to go snowboarding, and both of those activities are, to my knowledge, as close as people can get who don't live near waves. I grew up knowing that I loved skateboarding and snowboarding, but if I had the chance, surfing would be it, for sure. and honestly? finally catching a good number of waves, getting up on the board? I was right, those videos, when you see someone riding the waves, it is exactly as fun as it looks, possibly more fun.
There are places where Dolphins come and surf with you, because they like to have fun too. Lord have mercy.
but then, like everything, what is the point? I guess fundamentally, what is the point of recreation? I think if I were really honest with myself, I should prefer sitting in silence and watching empty waves (no surfers) and contemplate my sin or the beauty of life. But as a good friend said recently (a photog from seattle) when we live in the world, and we find our calling in the pursuit of beauty, then it is our duty to live an epicurean life, not of excess, but to know what is beautiful and why and how to capture and recreate and give away that beauty, and to frame it to reveal its Source, perhaps. anyways, He said it a bit better, but it was a good thought.
I am so excited about my practicum, I think I have my placement, and it looks like it will be in the big smoke rather than the valley to start, which is fine. The school itself is good, and they have a good music program, so that is exciting. I have had a great recommendation of the choir teacher there from my former, JT, so that is reassuring.
I am sure we will end up in the valley at some point, but for now, we will be urbanites when we move back across the water. I will be sad to leave a lot of good people here, and a church I really am growing fond of. It has its moments, but we are all human, and I have seen a lot of growth and maturing and beauty happening, which is really fantastic to witness and to be a part of.
Bethany (good friend in the phillippines) is 34 weeks pregnant, and having intense nerve pain, pray for her.
Bucan Bucan is playing on saturday.
Tofino is amazing.
Kabuki Kabbing is going well, hopefully the weather begins to suck less and less.
I wrenched my shoulder while surfing, I always like to have a good injury story so that I can say "I was surfing in the Tofino the other day" I am sure if there is any reward to be had in heaven, I have had most of mine down here from all of my story telling and the instant gratification that brings. anyways.



OH! David B Hart's Atheist Delusions! This is an amazing book. I will never debate anyone about atheism again, unless I am a priest 30 years from now and someone asks, but in that case too, I will simply hand them a copy of this book and say, read this, then lets talk. or, if they need to dialogue, I will read sections from it, and then we will talk about it. It is amazing. I hope to do a proper book review of it, but if you need a good book that is challenging, THIS is the one book. I don't think I recommend many books on here, though maybe. no idea. anyways. read it. buy it. borrow it. do it. David B Hart. Atheist Delusions. fantastic.

oh, and I got up with zeke this morning at 6, after he was awake for an hour, and took him down to the beach. It was awesome. the tide was out, the beach was huge and we were almost alone on it. I let him wander quite a ways away from me, 50 yards maybe, and I was poking around some rocks or something and I looked back and he had fallen on his bum into a tiny creek and was just sitting there, water soaking his PJ's, content. the creek was millimetres deep, like beach creeks are, but it was cold water nonetheless. so he was wet. he was wearing PJ's, boots and a puffy vest.
we carried on a bit, found lots of interesting things, and then went and got dried off. he loved it. I did too.
I love being a Dad.

5.12.2010

My Peas


My Peas
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
My Garden is growing!

you can see the peas on the right, lettuce on the left, there's a potato plant, a tomato plant, onions, garlic, strawberries.

and you can't quite see my deer fences, but they are there.

5.06.2010

oh life

is bigger.

and we live across the street from the ocean, I just got a piano, its beautiful. nothing fancy, but certainly worth the two benjamins it cost. had it delivered, (you are welcome, crew of moving friends, for not ruining your backs)

we have a great life. I have plans, dreams, ideas, I want us all to live on a property, I want to finance it, build it, sell the properties, or lease the homes, or whatever. I don;t even care about money, but I can't ask people for money, and I know a bunch of people who would do it if they could, if it was available. I know enough people who are into it, that it could be done, it just takes someone willing to do the work. one day.
I can't wait to be a teacher as well, I hope to find out soon, but I might be doing my practicum at Mountain in langley, near St. H. which would be very very cool. The teachers there are good, at least the choral teacher, I heard the group at Banff. Banff was so great.
and the Greyhound is terrible, never ever take the greyhound. I mean, its fine, but it was really not restful, to get to banff and need to sleep the whole next day was not worth the hundred dollars less, and I wasn't even paying for it. next time, flying to calgary, or driving a car.
But it was great, I learned a lot, hobnobbed with important people, had a drink with my old choir teacher, learned a lot, heard great groups (go look up the Kokopelli Choir on youtube, they are great) and was so so inspired to be a teacher.

I sure did miss my family too, but maybe they can come next time.


So here's the question of the day. (and its not a current issue, otherwise I wouldn't blog about it)

When you are having an argument with your spouse (Laurenn and I never argue, we are both perfect) how do you decide who wins? a disagreement is de facto both of us being sure that the other is wrong, both of us are using logic (right) so how do we solve it? I like watching the marriage ref, because though it is humour, I still think they are getting at something. Its okay for someone to be right and someone to be wrong but how do you get there without a ref? and who should be that referee? sometimes I think our church leaders could fill that role, even though its a bit of a risk to get involved, I think if we ask someone to help us see outside of our perspective, that could be helpful.

any thoughts?


also, music I have been listening to lately: Wailin Jenny's, Rajaton,

and I am LOVING David B Hart's "Atheist Delusions" which my Dad bought me for my birthday. Its fantastic.

don't forget to click on the picture below for more lovely shots of zeke. and my garden is coming along nicely too.

I am a prodigy.


I am a prodigy.
Originally uploaded by pasivirta

4.28.2010

I love lawn chairs


I love lawn chairs
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
how cute is my son? cutest ever.

4.20.2010

Banff, Old Friends, On Becoming a Teacher, my Garden

I am going to banff tomorrow, and I am very excited.
Today I got a haircut, new pants, a new sweatervest because honestly what says 'teacher' like a sweatervest? nothing.
anyways, very excited. This is a high school music festival, and it is non competitive. www.crmfestival.com if you want to see it, the website looks a bit old, but it explains it a bit. anyways, it was at this festival that I first spoke in front of a large crowd. I was in Grade 12, and the section leader in both band and choir (I also played rugby) so I was chosen, along with my good friend Jeff, to speak as a leader in a strong program, to both the teachers and the students. I think the stuff I said was kind of lame, but I don't honestly remember. what I do remember was meeting some of the other students, one of which, oddly enough, I have been friends with ever since. That is not due to trying to keep in touch, but our paths ended up crossing later, and staying that way. Dan Steenburgh was also a leader in his high school music program, and we ended up being friends at University, and eventually remembered each other from the festival in banff. We have been good friends since the later years of university, as we took many classes together, and eventually were part of a small group of TWU students who became orthodox together. (Graham Y, QJesse, P+B, Z+C, ER etc) Anyways, I am honored to be taking part in a teacher development program, which will help me get back into the swing of things, as I have not been in the high school music scene for a while, despite a mild addiction to GLEE on tuesday nights, (which, by the way, I still like, but wonder if the magic will last...but that's another rabbit trail for another day)
So, tomorrow I take the bus to banff, and get to wear sweatervests, host evening concerts and become a better teacher. Not only that, but I get to schmooze, and perhaps talk my way into a practicum in Langley, but don't hold your breath, I don't have a ton of control.
I am so excited to become a teacher. I know it won't be everything I had hoped for, and I know I won't get a contract right away, but that is fine. I just can't wait to get paid to make music with eager young people. People who actually want to learn. And I can't wait to try out things that haven't been traditionally part of the curriculum, like pop music, or experimental fusion, like electro-acoustic stuff that almost anyone can do on a computer. I love the whole community aspect of creating music, both in a ensemble and in the context of a school. I have visions of grandeur, I know, but why not?
My Garden, is now becoming realistic. Potatoes popped up from who knows where, but I think I want to keep some of them. Not entirely sure how to deal with them, but will let them be for now. my peas are recovering from the deer and their raiding and pillaging. I have many many strawberry plants, and I recently planted Kale and Rhubarb Chard, and I am so excited for when I get back and see the progress. oh, and for taking out all the weeds.
oh, and go and visit www.flickr.com/photos/pasivirta and see all of our recent pics of biking and camping, if you need a diversion. some are really cute ones of zeke. he's growing so fast, its outrageous.

4.18.2010

Zeke Drinking from a hose


DSC01368
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
I taught zeke to drink from a hose, Laurenn was not too happy, but it seemed such an important skill for a young man to have.

3.27.2010

Tomas Luis De Victoria

TL de Victoria is the best composer in history.

His music, more than any other, convinces me time and again that God is there. and here.

we have nice music in church, but his compositions capture the beauty and tension that is life so well that there is no way to describe it and to try would be a disservice.

3.23.2010

Zeke


P1000306
Originally uploaded by pasivirta

P1000305


P1000305
Originally uploaded by pasivirta

little friends


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Originally uploaded by pasivirta
my pea shoots!

quoted...

So, I have found recently that I have been quoted a bunch of times on pro-life websites for comments I made in an article in the school paper. I stand by what I said, and I am opposed to abortion. I know there are difficult circumstances that make this question more complicated than I am comfortable with, so I am willing to say that there must be some time and place where it would be a morally grey area.

That said, (and this post notwithstanding)I am going to be a teacher, likely in the public system, and I am uncomfortable with my name being all over a bunch of pro-life websites, because their communication style generally lacks tact. Not because I want to hide my pro-life stance (!) but because I want that fact to be found in a nuanced discussion, not an out of context quote that makes me sound more extreme than I am.


In other news, it was really nice to have visitors tonight, this summer will see the reinstatement of a weekly gathering at our house, not an open house as such, more of an afternoon BBQ in the garden.

school is almost done for the year. conducting was great today, maybe I will post a litle video later, we'll see.


we were so glad to be at all saints the last two weeks, its a good place to be.

3.12.2010

shoots


shoots
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
I now have 8 shoots. no leaves though. nor eats.

but I am very excited. I also painted my BBQ today. It's all black. the yard is coming together. looking forward to being done school so I can do nothing all april except maybe hike, BBQ, and hang with the family.
oh man.

3.10.2010

Jr. Ensemble


Jr. Ensemble
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
This is my first choir. I was so excited. and I still am.

3.07.2010

Garden Family


P1000201
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
This is a little video of zeke toddling around where our Garden is. Its small, but I have never done a garden before, so I am excited.
this is also where the BBQ/Smoker will go, as well as lawn chairs and your butt and a cold beverage.

3.03.2010

choir teacher

I have said it before and I will say it again, I can't wait to be a choir teacher.
I was at Oak Bay High School today, and it fed my soul. The choir there was fantastic today, I spent a short time there during their rehearsal at lunch hour, listening to their unauditioned sr. choir, and it blew me away. If you live in Victoria, and want your kids to have a good music education, Oak Bay is the place to be. I haven't been to many high schools to hear their singers, but the warm, rich, mature sound that they made today, and their expression, and their sense of attention to detail, it blew me away. These high school kids who I would definitely call hoodlums under any other circumstance were creating beauty in such a real and meaningful way that it once again reminded me of where I am going and why, and it was so healthy. It fed my soul. It encouraged me.
And it was so great too, a bunch of kids who I am sure were not all of one mind regarding religious beliefs were able to sing Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, a beautiful song that I think refers to the consubstantiation in the catholic mass, with believing hearts simply because they loved the music, not because they believed it, and it was such a fantastic way for the teacher to get them to engage. Some of my colleagues have tried to find ways to address religious music in the classroom and it has sometimes been awkward, which I get, its hard to figure out how to deal with God in a public school, so just acknowledge that it is beautiful music and that you like it. if they sing like that, good enough for me, because the beauty of the music says so much that if you don't actually believe every word, but you sing it with expression and emotion, then you are being humble and submitting yourself to the music and the meaning, and it works.

Also, there was a young person there who sounded like they might be slightly on the ASD, which I found later to be the case, but the young person sang beautifully and apparently is super high functioning, which was cool to hear about. Said person made a garage band arrangement of Jupiter from Holst's planets. which is no small feat.

There was such a great texture and excitement for what they were doing, I appreciated being there so much, Such hope and innocence, even if it wasn't really there, it was. It was the place they could be honest and vulnerable, which is what high school kids lack. Its all about a tough shell and being badass and that is such a tragedy, especially if there is nowhere to have the honest and vulnerable moment.

ah, choir. seriously, can't wait.

3.01.2010

Remembering Lent

This is from a friend's newsletter, I thought it was a good reminder. Thanks to Tyson for letting me repost it,




We are a little over a week into the season of Lent, the days leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, days of reflection and preparation.

Much moreso than New Years, for me this is a time to take stock of where I stand personally in my faith journey, where lie my failings, from what things I ought to fast. This year, however, I have been thinking along more opposite lines. Not what can/should I do without, but what have I been doing without that I should include. The fact is, cutting out coffee, television, internet time, are relatively easy things to do if you have good support like I do in my wife to hold me accountable. These things are easier because they mean cutting non-necesities out of our complicated, busy lives.

What is not easy is to add things. To actively seek out justice through volunteering, to love our neighbours by giving them our time and listening to them, to carve out time for prayer, meditation and reflective reading - these things seem impossible with all our "normal" commitments.

The fact is, the two things go hand in hand. When we cut junk food out of our diets, we are still hungry, and so ought to fill that hunger with something more nutritious. If we can be intentional about cutting back on things that drain, replacing them with things that nourish, we will be better prepared for the challenges that face us at the Cross - the challenge of sacrifice, of bringing new Life.

2.27.2010

without

We stopped smoking so we'd get a better deal on life insurance, and to be sure, we really didn't smoke much, I smoked my pipe once or twice a month, and maybe a djarum here and there. But anyways, its turned out to be pretty easy to go without, which is nice.

apparently its lent, the olympics, school, and other things make it hard to notice. but I am sure its not external things that cause it, but my own heart.

many trials for friends these days too. can't wait for this season to pass, but also knowing that things are good, and life is good. I couldn't ask for more, I have been given so much good. more than I could possibly list.

2.12.2010

Olympics

So I have been wondering why everyone on the news talks about getting emotional about seeing the torch, about the games etc. I am excited to watch hockey, of course, and all sorts of fun events like biathlon and skeleton. seriously.
but this morning, I am watching a bit of the torch relay on tv and may have realized why people get emotional. I honestly think that the olympics, while entertaining and enjoyable, is a large spectacle of idolatry. I know, I know, WAY over top, fine. Like I said, I am looking forward to said spectacle.
But, this morning, I think I realized that it could be gratitude for living in canada that makes people so excited about this. I am sure there are a variety of reasons people are excited, but what it made me realize is just how grateful I am to live in Canada. I think that it is a good thing that I live somewhere in the 90th percentile (just a guess) of Socioeconomic standards of living, even when I feel like I don't have a ton of money, I still have way more than most people in the world. Hot water comes out of my tap, I can go to university (over and over and over...)we have mountains, sushi, salmon in the rivers, and a beautiful ferry ride where I might see whales happens so often that it annoys me.
I don't care if we win any medals, but dang I love living in Canada.

Ezekiel Frank Veli Pasivirta

One Day, I would like to smoke my pipe indoors while listening to slow, quiet music. Like the Hilliard Ensemble's new songbook. It is weird, but hauntingly beautiful, especially "And One of the Pharisees" it is an amazing setting of when the woman washed Jesus' feet with her hair, but the pharisees judged him for letting her touch him. outstanding. words can't get near how it sounds, so I won't try. if you get the chance, listen to it.

Zeke is turning One tomorrow, how crazy is that. A YEAR! he's walking around, he climbed up on the couch the other day, and he's babbling away. Its still awesome. Its still tiring like crazy, he still keeps us up a bit at night, but whatever, it'll end. in twenty years. (the being kept awake bit) today I was sort of singing with him, and he would sing-song back to me bap! so cute.

I finished my score study a few minutes ago, which marks the end of one of the busier weeks of my life. Did I mention I am looking forward to reading break? goodness.

and I really like google buzz. we'll see what happens, but I like it.

I broke ANOTHER spoke the other day, so I had them re-spoke my whole wheel. One of these days I will just have to get a better road bike. I rode my mountain bike to school, man, it felt like a cadillac, so soft and plush. I might sell it, and then get another one once we are back on the mainland. but not a lot of demand for such a bike here.

Happy Birthday to my awesome little man!

1.29.2010

Salinger

I am so happy to hear about JD Salinger's life, he seems to have lived well, and succeeded in living quietly, which is something myriad of us are unable to do. After reading Franny and Zooey, I keep thinking he must have wished he were orthodox, but somehow knew he couldn't. Right or wrong, I wonder.
The quiet life. it will be many years until I know quiet again. I met it once, it can be found after a short ferry ride and a 45 minute walk, or a shorter hitch hike. Quiet lives near a pulp mill and a trailer park, and it is hard to get there, even harder now. Perhaps one day I will learn to make a place for quiet to live in the same place that I live. Lord have mercy.
Man, I really loved Franny and Zooey, and I really want to read his other books. I hope beyond hope that there are manuscripts that will be published post mortem, but I doubt it.
I still have a lot of work, and I am hoping to visit vancouver during the olympics, we'll see.

1.25.2010

Psh,


P1000014
Originally uploaded by pasivirta
Dad, is should say being beautiful is hard, cause, really, my life is so hard. all this eating and sleeping and crying business, its tough. being this cute is dang hard work man, cut me some slack eh daddy-o?

1.24.2010

On Being a Teacher, future tense.

I can't wait.

Every day, I am involved in thinking about how I will be a teacher, because I am taking education classes and reading all sorts of boring, not very heady, literature. Articles that are very practical, but not very exciting like my aesthetics or existentialism of yesteryear. but anyways, I keep on thinking about what it will be like to be a teacher, and I can't wait, I am so excited, but also thrilled at the prospect of how it is going to force me to be a better more responsible person. I am already much more organized than I have been in the past, and I will have to own that and make it a normal reality.
I even look forward to the possibility of doing musicals, which is something that I never did when I was younger.
I can't actually remember the main point I was going to make, but I am very very excited for becoming a teacher.

I have started looking into my practicum, and if I have my druthers, it will be in Fort Langley, because they have a fantastic choral program there.

1.16.2010

Date Night

Laurenn and I got to have a little date tonight, Laurenn's mom is here for a couple of nights, so she looked after zeke while we went across the street to have a little bonfire. we are fortunate to live across the street from the ocean (!) so we went to a little hidden spot where no one could see the fire and tried to burn wet driftwood. It took forever but we got a little fire going. It was nice, we just had a breath of stillness, a short chat, and it was really nice. I can't wait until we can all go camping as a family. teach zeke to play with fire properly. maybe go fishing. it will be quiet. I like the quiet more these days. though I think we will have open house again soon. details to come.

1.15.2010

Memory Eternal!


DSC00450
Originally uploaded by pasivirta

1.11.2010

busy

that's about it.

very busy. tired.

coffee.

miss you all. come visit sometime. or write.

1.06.2010

Professional

Well, it was bound to happen.
I feel as though I am now a Man, and I ought to act like it. Be organized, learn how to transpose properly in case I ever teach band, learn as much as I possibly can, because once I am actually teaching, there's a lot riding on it.
I am in school, and I feel like I am about to hit Flow and not stop til it all lets go in April. have you heard of Flow? It's an Ed term I think, maybe Psych, where you are at optimal learning to doing to new stuff ratio (or something) and you lose track of time because you are in the moment, the zone, everything just flows. I feel like I am about to grab a moving train, and its going to take me pretty quickly to these places and I will look back in a few years and be surprised. we'll see.
Lord have mercy, bring it on.

and the title of the post, Professional, is my word of the year. I am one who makes a claim of being an expert, I Profess that I know what I am talking about when it comes to music, specifically teaching music to high school students. If I profess such a thing, I better get it together.
I am also a lover of music, but I have left the realm of amateur by claiming to be one who knows. not that I get paid much yet.

Professional.

it is also my goal, to live more professionally. to do things right. I finally got real cycling pants and am about to get a jacket, and bike everywhere so we don't use the old horse as much. our car is an old horse. everything. church, cycling, work, school, music, flow, yoga, family, everything. professional.

Dear People

I do not hate you, nor does God.

recently, I am in the middle of a discussion with a friend at school, and she, knowing I am a christian, said "...but God hates fags, doesn't He?" and then she sort of quoted Romans, which says something completely different, but nevermind the interpretive jump.
What I want to say here totally sidesteps the argument. I hope.
(and I have a few readers who will correct me if I am wrong, please)
If you are not a Christian, why does it matter what the Christian code of conduct is? First of all, God loves everyone, and I agree with the bible that Men and Women fit together. That is a very loose translation. but there are SO many other things in the bible, nobody should be as hung up on this as everyone seems to be. Great, you're Gay. fantastic, how was your day? what did you eat for supper? I know sexuality is a big deal, but there are a lot of heterosexual people who find their identity in their sexuality (see a recent XKCD comic) and that is just as annoying or immature. I am not worried about who you are or aren't sleeping with or if they are the same or different from you.
A teacher recently pointed out that undergraduate students seem to equate ideas (maybe ideologies) with personal value or identity. If I disagree with your veganism, oil consumption, womens studies scholarship, unitarian church, islam, judaism, protestantism, liberalism, fundamentalism, or ANY other idea or practice, it doesn't mean I hate you, or that we can't sit and drink a beer together, or that you will be a bad teacher.
Now, you should all realize that none of my friends who are Gay have said anything to me about this, so perhaps they don't feel this way, but its kind of funny, I feel judged because I am a Christian. So all of this to say, Yes, I am a Christian, NO, I am not a hater. I don't even dislike people based on what they do in the bedroom.

Also, even if Christians like myself read in the bible that being Gay is not what we were made for (not getting into the evolution/creation debate here either,)that doesn't mean that my interpretation and beliefs should affect you in the least, because its all up to the individual, right? Now, if you want to be a Christian, and actively Gay, then you are doing some interpretive tricks that are really more of a philosophical problem (at least at the outset) than a spiritual one.

the short version is this: Christians behave a certain way (ha) or try to.
If you are not a Christian, and don't plan on being one, why would the Christian worldview matter?

1.04.2010

so glad

to be back in school.
I can't wait to be a teacher.

1.01.2010

reflections

reflections on a year, perhaps a decade.

the first thing to say is that I reflect less and watch tv more. an interesting development to say the least. when I was in school, I didn't have time to watch tv, so I became quite self righteous about my lack of knowing what was happening in the world of tv, so I have spent the last while catching up.

I spent a few summers far flung, places like massachusetts, timmins, smithers, ukraine, okanagan, california, montana. I managed to hitch-hike a few times, nothing serious. I rode my small-ish motorcycle to ontario one summer.

I finished two degrees.

I became orthodox.

I visited a monastery.

I became a husband and then a father.

I remembered what I want to be when I grow up, a choir teacher in high school, and I will start the next decade (a year and a bit from now) by finishing that school session, I might even get another degree, depending where I finish. I have applied to finish my B.Ed at UBC, but I am accepted at UVIC already.

I hiked, fished, hunted, surfed, mountain biked, and read. boy did I read.

I would say of all of these things, the most important moment of the last decade was becoming orthodox, it, more than anything else, changed the direction of my life.


So there you have it, August 16th 2005. my moment of the decade.