Another Blog about Walking

Well, I'm just back from my most recent Blog Camino. This time I trailed Angel to Seattle's Fabulous U-District and the University of Washington. Here I am, ready to buck the system, reflect on God, the meaning of life, and things important:

I started out today under the grey light of a just-arrived Seattle Autumn, and I was predictably depressed and tired since it was 9 am. I didn't feel like walking, and I decided that I was going to avoid natural beauty that might perk me up and defeat the purpose of an "urban camino". I took a few bleak photos to illustrate my inner bleakness:

The first is a depressing image of yet another Seattle Dirt Park, located predictably in the Central District, the historically African American working class are in the city proper. The second image is grey view of Bellevue, and the third is an ominous photo of a nondescript street view that reminded me of a corrupted Great Smoky Mountains on this particular dusky morn.

Hope was soon to arrive though, as I got into the rhythm of the walk and Ron Paul and some random Evangelists helped me to remember once again that all is not lost:

(I'm glad to see that Seattle youth are finally rallying for something worthwhile, rather than the usual sex and dope rallies that they hold here in the devil's city. I'm anxious to see if either Mr. Paul or our youth will be able to overcome the odds and bring Hope back to the land of the American Dream.)
In fact, I soon began to once again see the humor in our human situation: Watch your cats!

I have to say that I love this, and I'm rooting for the coyotes as these vigilantes of nature clean up our streets and reclaim their rightful territory.

Once I started to perk up, my walk went relatively quickly, and within an hour I was crossing the canal splitting the Montlake neighborhood from the U-District.

On my way across, I noticed this spraypainted sign.
I'm not sure where it came from, but it made me think of pleasant days strolling past the mighty river Leith in Dunedin on my way to the other great waterside university of my past, Otago.
On the way up the path to the U-Dub, I noticed this curious sign, in the middle of a relative nowhere:

In Washington, you have to be at least 25 feet from a building entrance to legally smoke. Smokers, naturally, hate this completely impractical law. Not being a smoker, I'm indifferent, but I do have to sympathise with the plight of those students who have to walk a quarter mile across campus to get their fix and put their butts in a pointy thing.

I learned recently that this University of Washington site was originally designed and landscaped by one of the Olmstead family, who designed many of America's great park systems. This particular fountain was built as part of the location for an exposition on the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in the early 20th century. Directly behind me, in clear skies there's an excellent view of Mt. Rainier. Today wasn't clear, so you couldn't see anything. That's why I didn't take a picture from the other side.

Here's yet another homage to Communist Russia--the library in U-Dub's "Red Square". After last week's visit to Fremont's Lenin Statue, and recently learning that Seattle used to have one of the largest Communist enclaves in the US, I've begun to think that we might need another McCarthy to keep those LaRouche people and their ilk from further corrupting Seattle's impressionable youth.

As I was taking these photos, I realized that I probably looked a little bit suspicious, and not a little bit skeezy, lurking around a university campus with my camera. In order to make people more comfortable with my presence, I took to removing the camera from my pocket , looking around nervously, and then snapping a shot before I walked away quickly with my head down. so as not to draw attention to myself.
My walk this week was shorter than last week, because I hopped a bus which stopped fortuitously directly in front of my path. However, I did have a chance to do some reflection, if a bit less seriously than is normal for me. My thought for the week is as follows:
I love university campuses for the same reason that I love Cathedrals--their buildings tend to express something of humanity's highest ambitions. They reflect our pursuit of truth, our hope for the future, and ultimately our need to learn and improve ourselves. The problem in both cases is that when we fill them with people, we inevitably end up with scenes like this:
I've thought for a while that if the Judeo-Christian religions have gotten any theological point right, it's been in the area of anthropology: we are beings created for paradise, but destined for the sewer. Our ambition and potential always seems to exceed our capability. My favorite theologian Jurgen Moltmann has made a career of pointing towards the hope for ultimate redemption in this unfortunate situation, and I have to say that I hope he's on to something.