A dear friend of mine reminded me, last night, that the ‘evolve’ and ‘create’ parts of any struggle are absolutely necessary on so many levels.
Being involved in this maddening fight against industry and government and their exclusiomary collaboration in trying to build a fossil fuel future on our port takes a lot of energy. A lot of that energy is fueled by fear. Frustration. Outright anger. And while these energies can help keep some momentum going, they aren’t sustainable, and what gets created while living in those energies isn’t sustainable either.
So, let’s fight the good fight against fossil fuels with resistance, but let’s also make the time to create a vision for a better future! That’s what my deepest motivation and desire is.
What’s possible? Since time immemorial, Coast Salish Tribes have lived on the Salish Sea, fishing, creating, loving, and living in a good way. These waters and hills and wetlands have seen generation after generation of life, sustained by the water and the land. Then the profiteers came, and literally stole land in mass swaths. The railroads came, the loggers came, the speculators came…and so came the degradation and the poisoning. Now, we have generations and generations of toxic chemicals and a legacy of toxic sludge that threatens future generations to come.
Rather than continuing to make the degradation worse, we could start to give the land and the water a chance to heal itself! We could create beauty, life, and good memories on this land. We could create spaces for Tacoma’s artists to create, exhibit and sell their works in one central location. We could create an amphitheater for concerts and plays! These are just a few visions!
Granville Island, in Vancouver British Columbia sees 10 million visitors a year. They support arts and farmers and all on a former heavily industrialized site. Though they have transitioned to a more community based development, they still have industry on the site. Point Defiance gets 3 million visitors a year, and there are very little commercial / capitalism projects.
City of Tacoma won’t even contemplate a new vision for the port, a better future for the port, without pressure from us…the citizens. But we need all hands on deck to create and evolve! We need visionaries, artists, entrepreneurs and believers! We need to consult with the Puyallup Nation and see if our visions and dreams are supportive of and aligned to their visions and dreams for this space.
So, let’s resist and revolt against fossil fuels, but let’s come together to evolve and create a better future for our port, our city, our relatives and our descendants. Let’s build something beautiful. It is possible.