We arrived at the beach just south of Narooma in the morning, well, the estuary that leads to the beach (not the one in the picture, I didn’t take my camera). As soon as I stepped out onto the sand I said, ‘This is like gaṉma!’ Our group was there with Uncle Max and his family to perform whale ceremony, on the small patch of sand that was left by the confluence, as the tide came rushing in. The creek was running out, mixing with the salt water from the sea, flotsam on top and lots of bubbling action under the water’s surface. A deep mixing… How apt then that all of us lot from all corners of the world should come to these banks to make and celebrate ways of being and connection. Only days before I had gone back to readings about gaṉma theory and metaphor.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
It feels different now, things are changing. A blanket and then an extra one. Feeling like something or someone is missing in that early morning, a lonely cocoon. Wanting to stay in. Being retrospective. We’ve been waiting for the seasons to shift, I knew this in my mind. But my body is translating this now in ways that are bringing felt memories to the surface. A slow bubbling up. I thought this would be a time for renewal, but the grasses are drying. Lushiousness being sucked out of what is green. A drawing out, but what is nourishing? A cocoon is calling. White silk wrapping. The prospect and possibility of emergence into another being.
How do I feel time?
Standing on the bridge and looking down into the water,
Variable tides and scatterings of folk doing things… Throwing nets, casting lines, searching for bait, walking canines, rambling on rocks, resting in the shade.
They were always swimming upstream, these skinny fish with long pointed noses. Silver bodies reflecting sunlight.
Cracks and pops sound out as the tide rushes out, but those silver bodies have gone.
Were they only here for a season? Did someone come and scoop them all up?
What else haven’t I noticed the disappearance or appearance of?
When will I get off the bridge and walk the sand banks, exposed like the bones of this landscape’s body?
Just came across Wade Davis’ TED Talk on The Worldwide Web of Belief and Ritual as I was searching for his 2009 Massey Lecture: The Wayfinders – Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World. I heard this lecture on ABC a few summers ago and was captivated be the story that Davis told of Polynesian wayfinders (seafarers) and their intimate knowledge of stars and the Pacific Ocean. Can’t
to find a podcast of this lecture which is disappointing!
Davis is an anthropologist that has spent time with Indigenous cultures around the world and in the talk above speaks about the deep metaphors that peoples live by and use to tell the stories of their creation and life. There is something quite profound about metaphor that keeps tugging at my shirt-sleeve, a constant reminder to pay attention to it and the deeper meaning that resonates beyond literal teachings.
Back from Gulaga and a fleeting visit to the south coast of NSW. So much that has been felt is waiting to burst into my consciousness. My reasoning mind was definitely up to its old ticks – trying to box up and disbelieve things felt and perceived. But affirmation from those who also sense, feel and struggle to articulate this being with country has given me buoyancy… I’m floating…
Speaking with K yesterday about what is at the tip of the metaphoric iceberg – what we perceive – but questioning everything that is below the surface that does not always have a voice or a language to be realised in the mind. But the body knows. Connecting, connecting, connecting… to myself and feeling integrated and whole. I think that this is what I am really trying to do in this work. But the lines of self are getting blurry and I want to learn more about this softening of edges, the bleeding into what surrounds my body. I felt this at the Creation Rock at Gulaga on Saturday, a falling into, a message that not all which appears solid is.
So many ideas to explore which might shed light on and give a language to these experiences – the field that is referred to by Mindell in his exploration of what it is that we are connected to and the space that carries these connections.
And a fortuitous meeting with folk who are asking similar questions: what is it that we are seeking to articulate our connection with? What can traditional owners share with us that might inform this seeking? Knowing that I am just one amongst a sea of people exploring this is heartening.
Prehistoric? Time warp? Transported to a timeless place where I am just here, being…
‘We all have our own stories about the places that matter to us, and about the ways in which our lives have been affected, and even shaped, by the places in which we live‘ (Jeff Malpas, 2008, p. 325).
‘Is our connection to place merely a contingent , an accidental feature of human life and experience? Is our connection to place merely a residue of the way human beings used to live – tied to a particular town, village or locality, and often having little or no experience of the world outside a certain narrow region? Perhaps it is the globalised contemporary world, in which air travel brings everywhere to within little more than a day’s journey, and in which the electronic media can connect us with just about anywhere at the press of a button or the click of a mouse, the idea that we have a special sense of place will come to seem rather old-fashioned, and the very notion of a special sense of place merely another form of nostalgia for a past that is no longer relevant or real’ (Jeff Malpas, 2008, p. 326).
The bones of the beach lie exposed at low tide,
a poetry of the place is emerging.
Sound of the wind blowing through the sheoaks,
turquoise and blue smiling back at me from the water.
Puffy-cloud ships sailing past,
they’re in no hurry today.
Dwelling… here in this place.
Something has shifted for me,
almost like the softening of scar tissue.
Not sure that it is a vulnerability,
just an opening to see, hear, feel, smell and ‘listen’
to be with…
Hesitation to enmesh,
I visualise self and place like tissue fibers re-knitting in the heal of a cut.