It is Monday, January 6, 2020. It is the first full work day back after the 2-week stretch of the holiday break. The holiday break is when staffing is the most difficult at work, as nurses and pediatricians want and need to be off with their families. This year the 2-week holiday break went on a crash-course with influenzae season. Trying to predict how well the influenzae vaccine will work and how bad or not so bad the influenzae season will be is impossible until April of each year.
And beyond that Protected Beach and the Parking Lot, I travel further
until I reach the soaring cliffs of beauty and life
Sand cliffs that may crumble at any moment
Posted signs warn “Unstable Cliffs, Stay Back.”
But there are Marbled Godwits there, a flock of friends feeding
There is a black shoe sole, alone and abandoned
There is a bag of mammalian waste with an aluminum can wedged inside
There is a jagged rigid piece of white plastic, there is a small rectangle of blue
I bend over to pick up the pieces, unafraid of the cliffs
I am cleaning the cliffs, picking up bits and pieces
The cliffs may crumble. The house above may collapse. Milliions of human dollars may be lost.
But the earth will warm. Our eco-system will collapse, and generations of birds will die – if I don’t pick up the plastic.
The Marbled Godwits will eat the plastic
So I am fearless and I clean the sand
A handsome man, so handsome with a leashed mannerly dog asks, “What are you doing?”
I think of Mr. Plastic Picker, and I smile openly and say, “I am picking up Plastic for my trash art. I love the blues.”
The handsome man says, “You are doing two good things, cleaning the earth and making art?” He smiles.
I think of Mr. Plastic Picker and I smile with openness and love for the earth, my husband and this fellow human being. “It makes me happy. There are Marbled Godwits over there.” I point to the North Shore. “They are endangered shore birds with sharp needle-point black beaks.”
The man smiles kindly and walks with his leashed handsome dog to the North.
An unleashed Pekginese walks by. I think, please don’t chase the Godwits. Those Marbled Godwits are my friends.
I walk within the soaring sand cliffs, the cliffs of beauty and I walk with life.
If you have reached this post, you are either a real new patient of drplasticpicker or a sentinent being out there in the internet universe looking for inspiration, free entertainment or were mistakenly directed during an Ecosia (not Google) search on Dr. Pimple Popper. Yes, Dr. Plastic Picker’s name was chosen trying to direct traffic from Dr. Pimple Popper. She picks zits under sterile technique. I pick ocean bound plastic using old bread bags as gloves. We are all doing a service.
Instagram’s loss is Chirp Chirp’s gain. I have no idea why I have been banned from instagram but I am going with it https://drplasticpicker.com/trashy-art-poor-chirp-chirp-the-joy-of-the-unexpected/. I am taking it as a sign to refocus on the blog and actually again advocate for reducing plastic pollution in the real world. Without my Instagram friends and the virtual Instagram world, drplasticpicker decided to return to the physical dimension. I have returned to Chirp Chirp.
This is Chirp Chirp’s bad side. She is the second piece in my “Trashy” art series. Our daughter named her. I was going to name her Birdy, but our daughter thought Chirp Chirp was better. It seems an appropriate name. “Trashy – Whale in Blue” is turning out much better. I love the different blue hues of the plastic I find, and that piece is coming together quickly.
Chirpy is not going as well. I really think Chirp Chirp is more beautiful in person. If you see her, you can appreciate the interesting pieces of plastic that make up her body. It’s not quite harmonious yet. I’m trying not to alter the plastic pieces, but letting them really speak to me about where they should go. She is like that junk drawer in your kitchen with all the important bits and pieces you don’t want to throw away but you need. I think in the end she will turn out fine, as long as I layer pieces of plastic like feathers. It’s harder to find “cleaner” looking white pieces of plastic because I don’t want Chirp Chirp to look like a dirty bird. But if you look at her carefully she has such interesting pieces as part of her plastic form.
October 5, 2019 I found a pair of round aviator like sunglasses that were in good condition. Just a bit of rust on the side that was easily cleaned off. Our middle school daughter used them for her WWII-era pilot costume. The rest of her Halloween costume was clothing we had at home, mostly her grandmother’s, and Goodwill Finds. She used the glasses three times for Halloween themed events, and then deposited them into my glasses donation bag.
I was having too much fun on Instagram. I was up to almost 200 followers and then my account was deactivated because I violated some rules. I’m pretty sure it was because the word I was trying to write for Korean New Year’s soup is maybe a bad word to someone. I don’t know. I haven’t learned how to type in Korean and Vietnamese on the internet yet. It’s on my to-do list for 2020, along with saving the earth. I’m just a middle-aged pediatrician trying to pick up trash! Anyway, I’ve emailed back the Instagram team and we’ll see what happens.
I included my haul from today for December 2019. Keeps my accounting easier. It’s 835AM and New Years Day. My mother-in-law is making special Korean soup that is delicious and we eat every New Years. It’s a tradition and the children look forward to it. The two tall Plastic Picker family children are sleeping, as they actually stayed up until midnight drinking bubbly apple cider which is a first. Life has given me so many new joys and opportunities for growth since I started ocean plastic picking and blogging 4 months ago, but I need to keep true to the mission – which is to get to the beach and pick up plastic and do my part.
Today is the first day of a new decade. The last decade that I actually knew what to call was the 1990s. The decade of my youth, when we were all into techno, dancing that Roger Rabbit and “raising the roof.” My children cringe when I show them the dances we used to do in college! The 2000s and 2010s, what were they called? I don’t think any of us really knew. But now it is the twenties, and it has a definite name and a definite goal. Our goal is to save ourselves from mass extinction and to rewild our earth. So on that note, I am truly hopeful because as famed anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that every has. ”
Five Reasons to be Hopeful on the First Day of The Year 2020.