Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sunset, memory and red-tailed black cockatoos

Sunset, memory and red-tailed black cockatoos

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December 12, 2013 · 4:53 am

Metaphors, translation and articulation

Do metaphors help us to translate and articulate somatic knowing in lieu of the appropriate language and conceptual frameworks?

Whilst I was sitting on country with the storytellers in my research, most people commented that they found it difficult to put into words the feelings that they had on country and felt limited by the language they had available to describe their sense of connection with country. I too have been faced with a lack of words to describe different feelings of being with country. One person told me that maybe we’re not meant to be able to put everything into words. Fair point.

Maybe this why I seek to see myself embodied in country… so that my body and landscape can be bridged, giving me a metaphoric device with which to make my being with country experiences tangible. I keep thinking back to the Yolŋu term for creek, mayaŋ, which is the same word used to refer to the neck and other body-country metaphors embedded in Yolŋu languages. This discussion reminds me of the squeeze-box metaphor; in my mind I see body and country collapsing into one another. There is no separation.

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