walking Alki Point, Seattle with Matthew Whitney

On Monday March 18, 2019, I led a group of sojourners around Seattle for the Post-Conference one-day Journey for Spiritual Directors International. We did a series of contemplative walks throughout the city, taking in the richness and beauty of the area, while learning of its histories – what I described as the “strata” of the city’s cultural substrate.

Taking in Alki Point while learning of white settlement and marginalization of the indigenous peoples, and the continuing harm to its fragile biodiversity.

We walked the International District while holding the thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent sent to American concentration camps during WWII.

We walked the Central District, bearing witness to the designs of a racially segregated and rapidly gentrifying urban landscape.

We paused for tea and meditation at Chobo-Ji Zen Temple on Beacon Hill. We relished in the organ music at St. Marks Cathedral, and in the evening we presented ourselves as living sacrifices, standing in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters as they prayed and taught us how to combat Islamophobia in America.

It was a long day and my cup overflows with gratitude, longing, and hope for our communities to grow hearts of flesh, and that our sojourners travel safe to their own homes to bear witness to the histories and strata under their feet.