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Seattle, The Emerald City

seattle-2609031_640.jpgFragile light streams into the hotel room through the cream colored curtains.  The bourgeois hotel room invites it in, like a sponge that has a hunger to be filled.  Outside, Seattle is in action under its reliable, gloomy skies.  I have come here to visit and theorize with one of my closest friends, Ethan Hill and to collaborate on a video with another spiritual teacher that lives here.  Seattle is my favorite food city in America.  I am always excited to come here for that very reason.  It is also a beautiful city.  There is nothing quite like the sight from the ferry of the city collected along the coastline when the sunset has set it ablaze.

annoyed.jpgThe dominant negative vibration in Seattle is: Annoyed, a state of perpetual irritation.  Seattle is not a friendly city.  In fact, its inhabitants have a reputation for unfriendliness and I’ve yet to see this stereotype contradicted.  This would be a very, very hard place to live for anyone who was trying to stop caring what other people thought of them.  The social judgment in Seattle is palpable.  The vibe between people is “I don’t have any time for you so… what do you want from me?

In general, people here are highly self-involved and not outgoing.  It would be very hard to make friends here.  It is an unwritten social standard to not look into other people’s eyes and to not smile.  If you do either, people are taken aback and the meaning they add to the experience, causes them to be “creeped out”.  It puts one on edge trying to figure out just how to behave so as to not be perceived in a negative light.  In my opinion, Seattle is the hipster capital of the world.  A subculture of people whom felt misunderstood growing up and who now value counter culture, progressive politics and independent thinking.  This is wonderful in theory, but ironically the hipster culture has become a highly judgmental group that demands conformity to its unique ideals and tastes for acceptance.  I had the opportunity to observe a street party on Capitol Hill yesterday, which brought the hipsters out into the streets in droves.  A part of me felt sad.  I saw a collection of people, who are desperate to be loved for who they are, but who must wear the identity of their urban radical façade just as thick as a southern bell in a cotillion to belong.

gavel-3577255_1280.jpgThe dominant positive vibration in Seattle is: Discernment.  This is the upside to the judgmental attitude most people sport here.  The collective consciousness of Seattle has developed a sharp ability to go past the mere perception of something in order to make nuanced judgments about its properties and qualities.  The result is that this city is imbued with pertinence.  And, this city is created in ‘good taste’.  When a group of people care as much as Seattleites do about having good taste, progressive propriety and relevance, a city benefits.  It turns into an aesthetically beautiful place of significance that is full of shops and restaurants and activities that are up to high standard.  One could argue that ‘good taste’ is subjective.  But I really do think that Seattleites have their finger on the pulse of good quality, which I love.  Apart from the gloomy weather, which perfectly reflects the overall emotional tone of the average citizen here, I greatly enjoy Seattle.  I can only imagine what would happen if Seattleites applied their same penchant for high standards to their interpersonal interactions.  Perhaps we could somehow combine Seattle and either Charleston or Atlanta (in my opinion, the friendliest cities in the nation) to form the perfect city.

ferry-ride-copy.jpg Yesterday, Blake, Ethan and I took the ferry to Orcas Island.  It was Blake’s idea.  None of us had a solid reason to take the trip.  It just called to us.  I turned it into an exercise in “letting ourselves be led by the universe with no agenda or aim.”  It was amazing.  The synchronicities pulled us from place to place like signposts.  We ended up getting off at Lopez Island and being driven into town to a local new age restaurant called “Vortex Cafe”.  Ethan and I ended up sitting at the table with a nostalgic sadness as if we had been there before.  The café and its people have an intentional community feel to them.  Wonderfully high vibrational food.

When we were dropped back off at the ferry port, we were dropped off literally in front of a young man who was riding his bike across country.  He knew who I was because his ex-girlfriend had shown him my videos.  We chatted with him for 40 minutes or so and it became apparent that this man was the reason we were supposed to get off unexpectedly on Lopez Island.  I slipped him a little surprise (without him knowing) into his bicycle duffle bag, which will assist his journey.

Orcas Island was mesmerizing.  I actually did see a wild orca whale!  There is a mysterious depth to the place.  It works its way into the bones.  I think that if a person spent any significant amount of time there, it would steal part of the soul.  I have been to two places like that in my lifetime.  Places where when you visit, you become attached to the degree that part of you stays behind and calls to you like a lost lover on a cellular level.  I picked a cup full of succulent wild blackberries off of a vine.  They grow like weeds here.  I also got to commune with a mini horse named Sammy, who is a bit like a local celebrity apparently.  It was one of those days I’ll remember until the day I die, not because anything particularly intense happened, but because of the nostalgia it calmly and quietly imbued into my being.

I am going to end this blog with a poem I wrote recently.  Gliding effortlessly across the cold of the ocean and the gray of the sky aboard the ferry yesterday, I was reminded that the more I comprehend of this varied earth, the more it becomes evident that life on earth is worth the risk.  

This is Earth

Where each breath and step is none but a progression towards death.

Where pain is the loud and bloody birthing ground for peace.

Our cowardice saves us from nothing

in a world where bravery was never a choice.

It leaks like sweat from the pores.

It is dried in the sun of our commitment to live.

Where a trillion lives are spinning through the cosmos;

at a thousand miles per hour

with no destination in sight.

Our faith is placed in the color of our blood,

in the salt of our tears.

Where the heart is broken and it keeps on beating just the same.

Where love is the only evidence we have that God exists;

something greater than ourselves

and the blindness with which we fumble through life.

Our cowardice saves us from nothing

in a world where bravery was never a choice.

Where no matter how careful you are, you will die.

Some of us simply arrive at death safely.

But in honest defeat,

with a life half lived.

Drenched in the sweat of our own cowardice,

having made no commitment to fully live.

Where in some distant desert a flower opens,

offering it’s frailty to the world.

And therein lies its strength.

A coward is incapable of love.

And so he has no evidence that God exists;

something greater than himself.

Our cowardice saves us from nothing

in a world where bravery was never a choice…

So love


This is earth.

This is earth.


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