This harbor is a wild one. The Chehalis peoples knew this for thousands of years before a boat full of white men sailed into it, and breathed Grays Harbor into existence. It continued to be wild, even after the native peoples had been all but exterminated by even more white men, come across the mountains for timber and furs — the trees of our land, and the skins of our murdered nonhuman friends. Sam Benn thought he could tame this harbor. So have others. All of them failed. The rains will fall, and the rivers will rise into the most well-placed homes, like they always have. The clouds will fill the sky with grey, and hearts not hard enough with sorrow — they’ll do our job for us and go out with their own personal bang.
This harbor is a wild one.
We’ve been taking note of this.
Americans have finally realized there are more homes without people than people without homes; goodbye timber industry. Good riddance. Still, companies like Weyerhaeuser buy up or steal, though in reality those are the same, the land we once roamed on, and rip it apart.
Have you ever seen a clearcut made of your own back yard?
Have you ever seen a river disappear?
Weyerhaeuser needs to learn, that this harbor is a wild one; not because of the terror they have unleashed upon us, but because of the rage we will visit in return. When the logging jobs dried up, the proles formerly enslaved by the industry were released. We say released, but they were not made free. Now they are slaves to methamphetamine, to heroin, to alcohol and domestic abuses and prisons and their own sense of failure at not being able to provide in this mad fucking world. They know firsthand, this harbor is a wild one.
Those of us who were raised here know these things. Those of us who call it home have seen our home and our homes torn apart from the inside out.
We know the machine upon which to lay blame. We blame industry. We blame capitalism. We blame the government, all levels of it, for treating our wild little corner of Cascadia like their own personal commodity, to be auctioned to the highest bidder or the one with the best bribes. We blame the drug dealers, for poisoning our families and friends and making them unable and unwilling to defend themselves and their home by our side. We blame the police, who work in lock step with each cog mentioned above, who kidnap our loved ones and keep them in cages, sometimes for years, for the simple crime of proving what we already know: that this harbor is a wild one.
This harbor has always been wild. But the wildness has changed. It once was uncontrollable, from the people who lived here to the trees which grew majestically from the fertile ground, to the animals in the forests which have been hunted to extinction, but would at one point have eaten your face without a second thought, to the floods which force us to retreat to higher ground and hope for the best. Now, the wildness we feel is based in fear and suffering. It is the wildness of a cat with a boot on her throat, knowing that if she doesn’t shred that ankle just a little more, she’s done. Many of us have no food, and for that we are wild. Many of us have no homes, and for that we are wild. Many of us have lost our loved ones to the prisons and the jails that dot our still-barely-beautiful landscape, and for that we are wild. Many of us cannot sleep tonight, whether it be because we’re worried about keeping the lights on or getting our next hit, but the reason matters little; alienation is still the cause, capital the root, and for that, we are wild.
Soon, you will see our wildness in action. We have had enough. We will not allow our home nor our hoomes to be destroyed by industry any longer. We will cast off our fear of the police, and we will run them from our communities. We will end the flow of life-stealing drugs into our communities, by loving rehabilitation or fiery vengeance, whichever seems a more useful tool at the time.
We will remind the state and capital that this is a wild harbor. And it is ours. It can be yours, too.