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.



Originally uploaded by pasivirta


Originally uploaded by pasivirta

little friends

Originally uploaded by pasivirta
my pea shoots!


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.



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.


Jr. Ensemble

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


Garden Family

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.


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.


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.