1.08.2015

Old Posts, Old Friends, recycled thoughts.

I just read some old posts, and they included comments from people I didn't realize I had known so long, including M and K Francis, Kai, Elizabeth R, RW, Aunty Bic, (Vic), Simeon, and others.

I had no idea it's been so long, I feel old, and blessed to have such friends, even though I don't see them often. I recently told someone I don't like that word, blessed, but in this context it's true. I was reading way back in 2005 when I was coming home from Grad school, and I didn't realize I had become such a part of St. Hermans that I mattered to all these people. I guess we were all blogging a lot back then too, commenting all over the place, but what an archive of interaction. I love it. I am so glad this archive is here, so I will continue, and perhaps publicize it again, and rant a bit so as to garner a reaction, of any sort, so you post a thought and I can look back in 10 more years and remember fondly this interaction. I guess it's like an old letter, but better, because it doesn't take up space. I'm a sucker for history like this.

I miss a lot of people. Fernie is epic. We do everything I have ever wanted to do, but we won't buy a house here, it's like langley/surrey prices and with one income, it's just not happening. I would move to chilliwack if I were in the mainland still, and we could do it there, but our church is growing slowly, we are getting a steady priest who is moving to Cranbrook, and I think it will be good.

I have been biking in the snow, it's not so bad. I don't like being wet, but I don't mind being cold. Vancouver, such a legend, and yet just a place. I turned off the hockey game tonight, it was ok, but just kind of useless. It's just a piece of rubber, and yet we invest so much meaning into it.

I see so much religion in our empty activities, so much passion and belief in things like sport and hobbies. I do it too, I find identity in it, and it's something I have fought or mused on for a long time. I wrote an essay in Grade 11 ( I got such a good mark and high praise for it that I remember it vividly) about putting on and changing our identities. I 'became' orthodox. I am orthodox. I am a Husband and Father. I am a teacher. I am a hunter, fisherman, cycling/running enthusiast (running?) I pine for the fjords, or perhaps just a few acres of land. I identify myself in different ways and I think this is a huge issue for belief, faith, and existence in general. I think when we find something to identify ourselves with, we don't feel the lack of other things, which might be why wealthy moderns like myself (who have more than we need of everything) don't need God. why would we?

Also, I miss silence and meditation, yoga, spiritual discipline and things like that. I feel like I am always in survival mode, like the panic button has been down for 5 years (since we had kids) and I wonder if that feeling goes away, because I wish I could teach my kids about silence, but I am nowhere near practicing it. Except when I hunt or run. but really that's not the same. Though I wonder if there is a connection there.

I love my job, but it's also frustrating. So many kids don't come with an assumption that the teacher knows what they are talking about. It's a little weird, I don't know if I felt that way, but I know I had respect for certain teachers as experts, that's for sure. Where did that come from? the respect or disrespect? Is it the family? or the teacher? or both? It seems to me that our system is not functioning very well, but what is the answer? fix it from within? head for the hills and start a commune?

skål



1.01.2015

Pleasure vs. Joy, also ten years of blogging.

I live in a beautiful place that is conducive to living a life of pleasure. Every day, we live for pleasure. I could bike all winter on any number of trails, using a snow bike, or I could snowshoe, XC Ski, Downhill ski, snowboard, fish, hunt, run etc. In the summer I can trade the winter activities for summer things. People refer to Fernie as Never-Never-Land, where we can be kids forever, and it makes me wonder. I love enjoying these activities, and I hope that as I do, I am offering thanks in word and deed for the life I get to live, showing my kids to be grateful and appreciate all they have been giving, but as they grow up I see reflected in their attitudes something that I fear I show often: Entitlement. I hate to say it but I think I feel like I deserve all this fun, like it's my turn to get that foot of powder, catch that trout, etc. I deserve it. I know it's hard to really understand all of our own motives, perhaps impossible unless you live near Gibsons, but I was talking to a friend recently and we sort of realized that one of the values of living in this town is fun. Was it fun? how was your weekend? Oh, you skied, did you have fun? the snow was bad? aw, that's too bad. Too cold? another tragedy. But really, what am I doing here? fully engaged with the fun, and loving it. How can I show/be the Love that I know, the discipline that I crave and get better at what I say matters? I want my kids to grow up a certain way, but I think I am demonstrating something else.
Then, there's the other side, where maybe I have been given a sweet gift, and I can fully enjoy it and bounce through the mountains and call it Joy and be grateful for what God has allowed. But the rub with that is that I don't deserve it, it's not a gift from God and it is all the same time. How can I dare to say that my amazing life is a gift from God? I can't, I can only say that life itself is a gift from God, and how we respond to it might be yet another gift, because I could be a jerk and not see that I have this worm of entitlement inside me, so I am glad I can at least see it, or I could refuse it thinking that I know better than God about what to do in this moment.
The rain falls on the on the sinner and the good, and everything is meaningless, so perhaps even to try and understand it is futile and instead we should just go to church and continue to plow furrows ever so slowly. I imagine I wrote a post like this sometime in the last decade of this blog, which I am now upon, having started in 2005.