In my vision, hordes of people, not just me, walk into a QFC or a Safeway, and approach the management, and say with one voice, “We don’t want all this plastic. We don’t need all this plastic. We’re not buying another donut, another cake, another loaf of bread, another slice of cheesecake, or another sandwich here until you find a way to package it in something sustainable. Hemp cardboard, hemp plastic, butcher paper, we don’t care. But not plastic.” And they spin as one on their heels and walk out.
Because America believes in a free market more than in regulation, unless it’s to regulate the poor and the refugee and the asylum seeker and the uterus, in this vision the hordes of people walking into Safeway and Thriftway and QFC and yes Whole Foods and PCC and declaiming against plastic, then walking out without buying a thing-these hordes are heard. Up the corporate ladder runs the message: really, boss, they won’t buy anything until we stop. We’ve fooled them long enough. They care about the beach. They care about the whales and the dolphins. They care about eating fish which has eaten plastic. Go figure. We’re going to have to do something different.”
And in this vision, the corporations knuckle down and change their packaging. And while they’re at it, having been so knocked off center, they also cut down on sugar content and HFCS and all manner of additives. Because really, who wants a Twinkie in edible leaf wrapping, or a Ho Ho in hemp cardboard? No one!
And in this vision, the people who have found their hearts and their voice and their feet feel energized and empowered. And the animals in the sea and the birds in the air, those that crawl and walk and slither and swim and fly all hear about the choices these brave hordes are making. And they honor those choices, and lend their energy and their prayers to these American people. And because these animal allies feel they can work with humans, and honor them, these American people mysteriously find themselves being healed of their depression and anxiety. Which never was anything but a symptom of their violent daily disconnection from the natural world and all their relatives there.
And in this vision, circles flourish and drums and flute and all manner of music and art. And because there is less to make, because the people have finally stopped their headlong rush over a cliff to consume and consume more until they consumed themselves, because there is less to make, there are less hours to work. And people go to the beaches and the forests and the fields and clean up the mess they’ve made. And they sit and pray and sing and meditate. And they rise and play and worship. And they tell stories for the seventh generation, about coming back to a way of balance.
And the QFCs and the Safeways and the Thriftways and yes even the Whole Foods become, in time, museums and schools. Museums like Auschwitz and Treblinka are museums. Where children are brought and people make pilgrimage to see the ways that we used to kill each other and ourselves.
Some are converted to healthy markets and gardens. But more are used to teach the young ones and the old ones what lies down the path of “more”.
And in this vision, the sky over Seattle is again blue, not brown. The blue I remember, thirty years ago.
And there is peace, and there is hope. In this vision, the waters of Lake Washington are cold till July, and they are clear. In this vision, the longhouses rise again. And the shootings cease. And there is civility and dialogue because first there was justice. And none are homeless and all are fed.