By Rowan Willow
few of the fracking wells at Greater Chaco are visible from highway 550. Some of the storage facilities and refineries look menacing, but the wells themselves don’t look imposing at all. If you were to drive by without the knowledge of the current struggle of the area with Big Oil, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary. Such large, oblong, sleekly painted shapes are a staple of highway life in the country, probably other countries as well. Chaco is a monument, ruins that can never be touched. Everything else is just business as usual.
These wells are fracturing communities. They affect the mental and physical health of the indigenous communities whose ancestors grew this land and worked with the magic of this place.
When I think of the fracking in the greater Chaco region, I think of the Tarot Card The Tower. The card is unanimously agreed to be a reference to the Tower of Babel, a tower where we tried to reach God through the heavens, and God- knowing we could not reach Him, made language divide so we could no longer communicate. The story does not communicate a disaster, instead it provides hope. The doorway on the card signifies that people were not forced to leave, they left out of their own volition, because the way to communicate with God is not through unattainable ideals, but through connection and cultivation of the earth.
Maybe our world is set up to make money off its exploitation, and maybe that exploitation will be realized until there is nothing left. But no matter how much we try to build our tower to utopia through oil, we will end up with the realization that we will only attain this utopia through working and understanding the earth and its wisdom.