Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wild Horses in the night...

It was like being on Mars as the moon rose over the ridge. Twilight transported me to the story, "The Little Prince", and I felt as if a snake was going to come talk to me any second. Wild horses were galloping all around us, and we made our camp in between the criss-cross of camel tracks.

For the first time, maybe in my life, I welcomed the dark (although it was like dark with training wheels because of the brightness of the moon). Two girls went with me to the watering hole at the dam near our campsite and there, barely discernible in the dusk, were a small herd of cattle. They heard us coming and bolted, moving up the slope faster than I thought possible for such big beasts, then we heard a huge splash as one of the horses jumped into the water. They took off as soon as the breeze picked up... we were not good trackers as we came in up wind of the beautiful creatures.

Stars competed for the moon's brightness and the glow of our fire as Uncle Bob told stories from Country. It was his land that we were on, and it was if the very Earth there welcomed us. Once you step onto Country here, you begin to understand what "kinship" means, and learn how to truly live in the moment.

I slept in a swag under a sky so bright with stars (after the moon set) that I thought I was looking at a dot painting. I still don't know if it was real or not. The profound silence of the desert was punctuated by the conversations of bullocks and cows, and the galloping and snorting of horses in the distance.
This morning we went to King's Canyon and learned Bush medicine and stories of ancientness and creation. The most poignant part was the lesson we all learned about community. One of the group was lagging behind and some of us were walking ahead, which in a Western view is pretty normal. Uncle Bob stopped us and said, "a group walks at the pace of its slowest member". Of course, I immediately became a little defensive, but soon after that got the gratitude I was hoping would show up. Our Western mind makes it paramount to be individuals, but in the Aboriginal Lore (The Law brought down from Creation time), the importance of your identity lies with your group, your mob, your family.

It's easy to say, "we are all one", but to live it is going to require practice. I invite you to have a go at changing your perspective on how connected you really are (and in that lies safety, support and power that goes beyond any amount of money or acclaim). Not easy, and not romanticizing, just passing on some amazing tools I'm learning. Much love! xoxo

Thursday, October 29, 2009

in the shadow of Uluru

The silence of the desert is punctuated alternately by crickets and wild dogs in the distance. The moon almost reflects on the red dirt and the gum trees are transformed into silver fountains.

The simplicity of fully being present in the moment is sharply contrasted with the gross injustice surrounding this most sacred centre of Australia. Should I make a list? 1. there is no money for housing at Mutujulu (the Aboriginal community here), but the Park service just built a 2o million (that's right- twenty million) dollar "viewing" platform for tourists. 2. the children of Mutujulu are not "allowed" to have a pool, because of expense and water... um, but at Yulara (the tourist resorts on the "other" side of the rock) every hotel and campground has a pool. 3. the only store in Mutujulu is run by non-indigenous people and the prices are exorbitant.

I could take up pages and pages to list what is unfair, unjust, violent and how much the government has betrayed and ignored these people. The contrast is in kinships and the kind of spirit most people only see at the movies. But how can I possibly describe what it is really like? Even being here and standing in country, my empathy can only go so far.

It's the journey, cliche or not, that is the guts of it all. Little lessons, new stories, letting go of pre-conceptions, self-reflection, helplessness, empowerment and most of all... simplicity. Everything comes down to love or fear, and this powerful place of violence and creation is no exception.