Future Gazing: The Seattle I Want to See is an Earthen Bowl Formed by Our Hands

With a challenging year soon to be behind us, we asked community members to share their vision of what they hope becomes of our city post-pandemic. 

by Ben Danielson

The Seattle I want to see is an earthen bowl formed by our hands; all our hands. 

Arcing geometry containing all our love.

Contours absorbing, echoing and projecting our rising voices.

Voices articulating pain, and grieving, and reaffirmation, and self-assertion, and forgiveness, and joy, and celebration;

Voices articulating a polyglot of power.

A space for asynchrony and rhythm, resonating with worthy discord, dyadic waves of unity and identity. 

A space that hears the twangs of anyone’s suffering; impossible to unhear or ignore.

Resonant space, true to Maya Angelou: encountering many defeats but never defeated.

Resonant space; a home to the majestic cacophony that is the whole of all of our voices,

Each voice suffusing our policies, our culture, our legitimate leadership; 

Each voice resounding, such that we hear and see ourselves in our infrastructures and institutions.

Such that we hear and see each other in our institutions and infrastructure.

Such that we reverberate and reflect justice,

and love.

A bowl, committed to housing all of us, feeding all of us, building opportunities for all of us. 

A bowl, offering comfort; yet holding no space for complacency, eschewing the nano-pace of incrementalism.

Brimming with dignity, and respect, and codestiny.

An earthen bowl with a capacious bounty of revol-unity.

An earthen bowl that radiates the warmth of a beloved community.

Overflows with uprising, willing to wrestle with its imperfectness, erupting in beautiful disruption.

An emanating model, decriminalizing Blackness, poverty, neurobehaviorodiversity.

An emanating model, whose intolerances are for racial violence, systematic oppression, toxic capitalism, identity extinction, and erasure.

Ample space, for our history, which embodies our present, 

Ample space, to raise our arms to grasp higher aspirations.

A bowl, that knows its racism but does not capitulate to it, does not trade expediency for it, does not try to rename it, does not cower under it.

A bowl, where each elder knows their earned wisdom is now part of the bowl’s construction,

A bowl, where each person knows their accrued identity will produce a brilliant radiance.

A bowl, where each child is beloved, knows belonging, and whose view is limitless.

Ben Danielson is the senior medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.

Illustration by Vladimir Verano