Leaving Mäpuru and crossing into a new space, I feel like I am bumping into the edges of other people’s realities. My awareness of how we talk about being in a community is heightened. The othering. The politics. The stories.
My connections here are a few threads that meander through the town of Gapuwiyak to my gurruṯu, many of whom are here visiting from Mäpuru. Wandering the streets of this place I see a footy oval (large expanse of grey cloudy sky above, about to lose its load of rain on the town), hear a rooster crowing, feel sealed road underfoot. I’m reading the textures, colours and sounds to make sense of what this place is and how I feel in it.
A feeling of relief explodes inside me like a water balloon when I hear my märi calling me from across the road, “Bilinydjan!” An acknowledgment, an anchor or connection to feel like something here might grow. I am reading a book about Indigenous Research Methods at the moment (Wilson 2008). Wilson puts forward that we aren’t so much being in relationships with other people and things, but that we are the relationships we are part of (2008: 80). I am still trying to conceptualise this idea of being the relationship, as opposed to being in relationship with… is it like being märi-gutharra, yothu-yindi? My experience here is so superficial. I need to couch it in my own terms from my own experience and connections.