Monthly Archives: November 2011

Being called by country

There is a beach I used to walk on a lot when I was growing up.
Each year I would hear the beach calling to me, or maybe it was the mountain above which cast its shadows on the sand.
My feet knew when they walked on the sand that something was talking; my heart knew to listen.
The feeling inside me grew; it’s still growing.
Sometimes, there’s a song in my heart that’s so loud, I feel like I’m going to burst… when I’m on that beach.
One time I was floating in the sea, looking back at the beach. I felt weightless and free. Another time I stood and watched the clouds pouring through the gap in distant mountains. Another story was being told, one from the east.
If I lay down on that beach and never got up, I think I would become the sand. Maybe the waves would wash over me and reflect an image of the mountain, the one that whispers stories to my heart.

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Filed under Poetry, Walking

Do we have the concepts?

How do ‘we’ (non-Indigenous westerners) talk about being in relationship with the land? Do our languages contain the words and concepts that allow us to make these relationships palpable? Is it that we need to borrow concepts from Indigenous people and their languages to help us talk a language of ‘being with’?


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Making it visible and seeing the bridges

I care about my connection to country. I feel pulled by some country, taken in, protected, safe, at home. Other times I get stiff and know that I shouldn’t be in a place. Other times I think everything is ok, but I’m really not listening to a deeper feeling. So is my connection visible? How do I validate, affirm my connections? Learning about Indigenous perspectives on relationship with country and everything in the universe (e.g. Yolŋu gurruṯu) sometimes leaves me with a sense that I haven’t got the language, the structures, the metaphors to share stories about my connections.

There must be bridges though from the teachings that Indigenous people have shared with me on their country, that have crossed into my way of knowing. Bridges that, if they could talk, might speak about nourishment ‘in a deeper way’ (M).

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