Tres niÃ±os before The Grid, June 2009
Lomas del Poleo/Juarez, Chihuahua/Mexico
June 20, 2009
Lomas del Poleo. The battle goes on. More people leave. People fight to stay.Â A mean strip of ten lane highway has snaked its way through Lomas del Poleo (see previous posts or Google it). The Developers got what they needed and left what they didn’t, more or less. They don’t even blink as they plow ahead. This highway is going to happen, no matter what. The development will follow, is gonna happen, no matter what. Nothing stops the grinder. The Grid viene: Diamond Shamrock, The Chicken Colonel, Pemex, trucks full of electronic crap, three bedrooms, two baths, probably a Wal Mart (whoa..let’s not get too crazy!), the same vexing and stinking Grid that we hate and that people fight to have (Iran, Cuba, Libya, you, too, can have it!). There goes the texture, and, in the case of Lomas del Poleo, the isolation and faux rural vibe, the farm at the edge of the city, the special dream that has been Lomas: get out of the city, raise some chickens, leave us alone. A quiet hope on the edge of always possible chaos that is Juarez.
The Grid does not stop: Noise. visual Blight. the great God of Equity.The Grid does not stop, it is a self-generating nuclear fuel rod, a hot spear of “progress,” measured in cubic feet of concrete and population numbers, congestion, blue skies turing to cyan as the dust turns to dust and carbon monoxide, and, of course, in the end, real estate income.
Todo viene/Everything is coming.
The colonos still fight for their property, their little piece of sanity. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.Â They are, though, sitting thirty yards from the new highway that is under construction. What will they have when this is over? An adulthood was spent on building their homesteads. Now the super carratera, the big highway, is blasting right through them.
It is quiet in Lomas. Pacifico. There is peace there. For a moment. First time in a long time. No electricity. No bulldozer with your name on it. No phonies. No panzon abogados working their mouthpiece for La Familia Mejor de Juarerz. No Angst. No Gas. No TV. No Net. No nada except for breathing that is audible, quiet talk, deliriously beautiful desert song birds, the land, La Tierra, the burning sun, over a long and personal afternoon, turns into la luz dulce, here, life only, real life only, mole cooking in a big pot, no makeup or pretense and tubs full of beauty. This is a temporary moment. For Lomas (as that angry concrete axe keeps coming) and for me (as my own angry axes keep coming).
Peace and dignity. The families have theirs…for now. Always have.
That, the highway can not have. That, the patrones can not have.
Do they -or I- think forward? Beyond this moment? I think not.
Take the moments you’re given.
This one is sweet. Muy dulce.