19 October 2013

Fire and flowers

Best wishes to Lewis P Morley (get his delightful False Childhood Memory Syndrome), Marilyn Pride, and everyone else who's going through fire stress now, and will over these next months. Australia is a tense place every spring/summer.

This is what our land looks like at the moment. The trees that were black sticks less than a year ago have now grown unsightly 'fur'; but this patch of Xanthorrhoea has now grown up to challenge their heights.

"[We] used to use them [flower stalks] as spears — just playing with them. The old people told us to leave them alone, even when they were green, because we'd make it rain." Jack Hampton
— from Geebungs and Snake Whistles: Koori People and Plants of Wreck Bay, by the Wreck Bay Community and Cath Renwick, first published in 2000 by Aboriginal Studies Press for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

I highly recommend this fascinating book, not just for locals like me, but for people the world over. Crazily, it is no longer in print in Australia, but is printed in the UK, and available to Australians as an import. Get it.

14 October 2013

A donkey after a drink

This is a picture of satisfaction. Sometimes the tongue can stay out for minutes, like any other thinker's stick of red licorice.
Of course the beautiful eyes are half-shielded, full of intelligence but giving no secrets away. If, indeed, an interrogator forces the donkey to interrupt thoughts and look directly at the inquisitor, what the i sees is only a big-nosed self-reflection.