In a sense, are we not all great living wheels circling even greater wheels?
The Great Wheel of Seattle re-opened yesterday. In a sense, are we not all great living wheels circling even greater wheels? Marc Castillo

Life is like a great wheel, always turning, always iterating, reeling up into greatness before plunging down to crush us below and then repeating, repeating, repeating in an orbit that will never end.

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And by that, I mean that the Great Wheel on Pier 57 has re-opened, with tickets priced at $15 for adults. Food and drink is not allowed, nor are non-service animals. Due to COVID, groups that arrive together will get their own cabin and will not be paired with strangers.

But what about the pairing of existential dread with the strangeness of life? What of that? When gazing from the glass-walled chamber as it groans into the sky, can you keep your own soul from groaning at the ceaseless cycling of a wheel that calls itself “great” when we are all caught in the wheel of Earth’s orbit, of the Milky Way, of time itself?

By which I mean that following the collapse this summer of Pier 58, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections has lifted the red tag on Miner’s Landing, allowing businesses to re-open, including the Crab Pot Restaurant & Bar, Wings Over Washington, and Fisherman’s Restaurant.

But speaking of the Crab Pot: As the inexorable forces of evolution push all organisms to assume the form of a crab over countless generations, biology’s great hypnosis relentlessly drawing all life to the liquescence of the ocean floor, what will become of FitzGerald’s Waterfront Fountain, the blocky concrete structure that tumbled into the water when the pier partially collapsed?

Ah, that is one of life’s great mysteries, by which I mean the structure has now been recovered from the water and is in the process of being inspected. The four-ton fountain is undergoing an assessment for structural integrity.

But aren’t we all! Has not the tragedy of one’s essential being left us all grappling for an assessment of our structural integrity? Are we not all FitzGerald fountains, floundering amidst the cold waves of years passing by, tiny cracks appearing in the grit that comprises our physical form until we are hauled out of the water and examined by experts in official uniforms seeking to ascertain whether we are ready to resume our position on the waterfront of life, spouting reclaimed water from our orifices and providing amusement for passing tourists?

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I’m not sure what I mean by that last one, TKTKTK metaphor to figure out later.

The important thing to remember, as the grim specter of death looms, is that Pier 58 has now been entirely removed, and focus groups are currently being planned for the design of the restroom that will be constructed on the park to take its place. Also, the developer team would like neighbors to take this kid-friendly survey about what kind of playground they should build.

Ah, Seattle! Ah, humanity! Ah, it's Friday and I've clearly cracked!