where the writers are
Seattle Zen (2)

I trust places where there are people who are wearing backpacks. People who are wearing backpacks are more likely to be going somewhere. It is far harder to cause trouble to be causing trouble when you are on the move.

People with backpacks are usually trying to add something beautiful and good to their life whether it is an education or seeing the sunrise over a temple in Bangkok. They grow and change and evolve. Seattle is full of people with backpacks. It adds to a sense or flow, it makes the city alive.  It is growing and changing and evolving, sustained by the nutrients of ideas and that each person brings with them. It is not a city on the verge of emotional extinction.

As I stood briefly in Pikes Place listening to the one legged man belting out Johnny Cash I pondered this. People were walking around from all over the world with dreams and hopes in backpacks. The feeling here was what I always imagined Haight and Ashbury was like in its prime before it fell victim to commercialization and drugs. I wanted to ask the one legged man his name, I assumed his name was not one legged man, but I was caught like a fish in his musical net and when I was able to wiggle away from his songs  I  had forgotten to ask him his name.

Some of the people would stop for a photo in front of the original Starbucks. It is a small little store…store gives it too much credit. It is very humble and of all the Starbucks that dot the world this one seemed to not fit in. People took pictures of the store that was home to many stories, love lost and found, lives pondered, all these memories attached in a very real way to this tiny hole in the wall.

There were all the vendors. If you wanted something you could find it here at Pikes Place. Pork on a stick brought over generations ago by Chinese who wanted to make their fortunes working on the railroads . Warm handmade hoodies that seemed just as in place today in Seattle as they would have forty years ago were sold every twenty feet or so. I wished I had a bigger backpack so I could buy one. Backpacks are something that can never be too big.

Everything there very real. Everything from the handcrafted Indian implements to the art drawn by hand to the homeless people who mixed with the business men in humbled pride. It was a real place that has bucked the trend of virtual life.  You can’t help but know something very good is about to happen there very soon.