Thoughts on Seattle and Elsewhere

In my previous incarnation I lived in the middle of an Asian city. I taught at several universities. I knew many people who helped me and loved me in many ways. Now I live elsewhere, Seattle– one of the most highly educated and liberal cities in the USA. We defy the laws of the USA. Hemp is legal and cultivated and of excellent quality.  It is also a city of distances. Houses are generally spacious and set on large pieces of land that might be better used as farm land or parks.  Of course, poverty is in our midst. But even the poor have North Face jackets.  They eat sandwiches and use the fantastic public libraries to access information and fill their minds with ideas. Disasters and catastrophes call from the future and the past. They cannot be forgotten or escaped. When it is warm, people come out of houses and are happy. Even the ghetto of the world in the world city of Seattle is happy to see you, as they are happy to see you in the cities of Asia. Gold cities where people can meet and love one and other. Where jazz blows and guitars hum in the sounds of the night. (Sports fans pork their ways to pleasure-dome stadiums.) One can be as lonely and hurt as one wants, but the city wants you to be full and rested and happy. Agendas and trajectories cross and mistakes are made. Scoundrels wander, dangerous to themselves and others. Random occurrences strike. Bullets can take one down.  Parents or children lost in a second.  In small groups, we reduce fear. However– we know that the entire state of Washington fears and admires us, our big group. We are smarter, quicker, more progressive. Seattle has known general strikes, where everything has been shut down in protest of injustice. This is part of our collective memory, just as the space needles sends signals to us and the world that this city is beautiful and poised always on the break of the present with the future. We expect the future to happen here, and it will. Indeed, we don’t need to worship the future, because we live in a space oddity of science fiction. Our Asian sister cities are too often feared by locals who know nothing about the pleasures and excitements of Asian cities, like Shanghai– it is more modern, vibrant and beautiful than our city. This fact is not known by people here. They still have their bedrooms and their spacious houses in which they can create miniature museums and collections obtained through loving interest in the things of the world.

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