Tag Archives: Metaphors
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.
one on each fold of a squeeze-box.
Life breathed into each;
collapsed with the squeeze of the hands,
air P-U-S-H-H-H-E-D out.
Story upon story,
they speak to each other.
They exist together as one materiality.
in a squeezebox.
I came across this image in an earlier blog and it reminded me of a story that P was telling us on Trail. He spoke about the djaburr (fog/mist) being caught in the spider’s web… you’ve go to find the right one and there will be a song in it. This isn’t a song, maybe just a metaphor for life…
Suspended in a web,
A universe of
When I listen to recordings I have made with people on country, it feels like going back into the density of that time and place. By going ‘back in’ I can feel new connections, hold time and be with all that is there is in a kind of timelessness. Maybe my little audio recorder is a time travel machine. What else does it do? It makes people shy, self conscious and feel like someone other than the two of us is listening. It constructs me as a researcher, someone who wants to take stories away. Maybe I could story this little machine as a time traveling device, something that allows us to go back in and dwell in the stories of being with country…
Post sound-trip to Litchfield with Al, I kept on envisioning sound and how it travels through people and place and where it originates from. I saw loops rising up from the earth, moving up and through people and looping back into the earth. Was this image influenced by what I had read from Maratja (as cited in Christie 2010a) about land, sound and people? He says, ‘It’s the land which holds the sound, and then after that, we Yolŋu people. What we are talking about, is how that sound emerges’ (p. 67).
During my journalling one day I felt compelled to draw this image of an entity weaving through the land, up above the surface and diving down into the earth…