Wednesday, June 29, 2005

100,000 chopsticks

100,000 chopsticks
Originally uploaded by Waribashi Project.
Here is one of the staff at Kushi Tsuru adding to yesterday's's pickup.She said she wanted a copy of this photo.

I spent about 4 hours washing yesterday - just two bins worth. I am still behind, but today we made the 100,000 mark. Indigo keeps asking me when I am going stop. I want to have 200,000 or stop by July 25th whichever comes first.

During the last week of July, I am moving the project into Nikkei Traditions, a vacant storefront in the Miyako section of the mall which is ideal for the studio and gallery.

My physical therapist was explaining to me why I have continued to have hip and knee pain since my last visit. "You just don't know how to take care of yourself." She says I have to block time in for yoga and swimming and all the exercise I used to do before this project revved up. I have been feeling that the problem of disposables - chopsticks and all the rest - is so huge, so much bigger than me and what this project can do. And so, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the amount. How can I keep up?

I have been walking around wondering what impact all this could really have. Its so easy for everyone to pretend there is no problem without making the slightest change in their lifestyles. Everywhere, people are eating merrily without carrying their own chopsticks, drinking from plastic bottles, eating from styrofoam containers, throwing away over-packaged take-out. Am I just spinning my wheels? There is a mountain of waste so much greater than what I am collecting. Its kind of a nightmare, like I am trying to spin straw into gold.

If there is nothing really forcing the issue - trees, waste, global warming - only a few seem to change. There is a force of consumption creating oceans of garbage. At the SF Dump, they get receive 2100 tons of garbage each day.

David Suzuki said he didn't believe adults would change. I don't want to believe it. I want to believe that adults can motivate and change their behaviors. I want to believe that people will get it.

I am thankful today that I had the help of the JCCCNC's new interns, Matt and Lynn. We washed about 6,000 chopsticks so fast. I was so relieved for the help. There's still more on the way.