Monday, May 19, 2008

the traveler

Yesterday I again went picking garbage along the banks of McVicars Creek, below the railroad tracks. This time Musti and Tassu and their owner, Martti, came along. To get there we cut through the path that leads under the overpass. This is the path last summer when the fireweed was up. It has yet to bloom. As soon as you get into the trees...

you will see this. Inside the trees is where some homeless Anishnawbe folks set up last summer to sleep and live. They left behind most of their stuff; the mattresses, however, seem to be missing. Or dragged off to the creek? The city does not clean this area.

This clean up job needs teamwork

as it spreads across the forest floor

but I did find this cheery handmade crocheted daisy shawl blanket in perfect condition. I brought it home and washed it twice and hung it in the sun to dry. I spent some time pulling small twigs and burrs off of it. It looks like the kind that were popular in the Flower Power days of the 60s and 70s. Everyone crocheted then, not just grannies.

The banks of the creek on both sides are scattered with paper coffee cups (as well as beer bottles, plastic grocery bags, etc.) These paper cups are left behind by the early morning anglers who come to try their luck at catching a rainbow trout. Most of the paper cups are from Tim Horten's. Fast food corporations and other corporations that sell disposable containers (e.g chip bags, plastic water and pop bottles, chocolate bar wrappers, cigarette packages, and plastic grocery bags, to name a few) should be heavily taxed. Then cities could use that tax revenue to hire people and pay them living wages (i.e. city workers, not Workfare) to clean up the garbage. Disposable paper coffee cups et al should be seen as a liability--a luxury-- that each corporation is responsible for to its (the cup's) end life--not just sell it and wipe their hands of it. And please don't cosy up this predatory corporation that kills local coffee places by calling it Timmies! It is responsible for many clearcuts through the massive amounts of paper coffee cups it encourages people to use -- and throw away.

This is the 2nd pack sack I've found by the mouth of McVicars Creek. A spider has spun a web into it. I stuffed it with the blue polyester sweater that was caught on the chain link fence and with broken glass, bits of styrofoam, and plastic water bottles, many.

I found a lot of clothing, from baseball caps to sweaters and gloves and...these star-spangled men's underwear. I thought it was an offense to get a flag dirty. Oh well...or..."Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed....

as The Essence of Man: Brut ... as in, brutalizing the land with our "stuff". With our "choices". With the Man over Nature philosophy. With brute force.

Musti was tired afterwards; garbage picking is back-breaking work. It's not easy getting those plastic bags and plastic bottles out of the underbrush. No walk to the end loop of Wilson St. headland today, we're going back home. For a coffee. Fairtrade, not Horten's. Organic, not plantation. In a mug, not a paper cup.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the garbage I found up on Rabbit Mountain, including this turquoise, mint condition, hard-sided, durable plastic--as in indestructible--60s suitcase dreamed up for the new consumer market -- the traveler.

No comments: