SEPTEMBER 19 – 22, 2019
I pay my respects to the ancestors and descendants of the Gumbaynggirr land upon which I live and work and acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise this country was, is, and always will be the Land of the Original People.
Water Yarning’s – Tidings, Flows and Sorrows focuses on WATER, not water as a commodity we have a right to buy, “license”, dam and pollute – an object solely for our use and gain – but water as a carrier of spirit, culture, story, memory, a sustainer of life in all forms. We will focus on water as sovereign being with its own identities and rights. First Nation Elders will come together to share their knowledge. Selected non-indigenous people will also respectfully hold yarning circles to the theme. All participants are invited to add their questions and experiences in accord with yarning circle protocols.
Water connects us all. Join us on a journey that will bring us together.
The aim: a shift away from a materialistic, greed-driven ‘take’ towards a deeper understanding, a living respect, a uniting will to protect all bodies of water.
The ecological crisis we face today is a crisis of spirit; whatever pollution we find in the environment is a reflection of the pollution within our souls, a manifestation of cynicism, ignorance, hatred and fear.
In preparation for the yarning circles, please consider the following: As conscientious human beings we speak of ‘natural resources’ and as long as our use of these is sustainable we feel we are doing the right thing. Imagine a radical shift, ask yourself: how can my existence, my relationship to water benefit the cloud, the rain, the river, the sea, the tears, the water of the womb …
This water yarning is based on experiences gathered in two previous events: Listening to Country; Understanding Sovereignty of Indigenous Knowledge , Mullumbimby from the 4 – 6 October 2018 and Creative Spirit, Healing the Land, Healing the People, Canberra 25th – 28th January this year. At the end of Listening to Country, I was asked by the Elders present to hold the second yarning circles, Creative Spirit, Healing the Land, Healing the People, in Canberra around Survival/Sovereignty Day.
“There appears to be an opportunity to shift the filters of our perceptions towards direct experience, going beyond what is more and more imposed on us.”
“I am amazed at how little I knew before of the heartbeat sent through the world from this land and its people.”
“I came away from the event with a greater sense of connection to my family and my country. I deeply appreciate the generosity of spirit and sense of heartfelt strength and unity from each of the elders and their people.”
” This event and the presenters’ ability for compassion lead me through to a deeper understanding, emotionally not just mentally, of the trauma we all carry regardless of our skin colour. That we need is to look within ourselves to acknowledge these traumas and support each other in moving forward to a place of healing and then continue that ripple out into the world.”
“More than a year ago Uncle Lewis Walker spoke to children of the Shearwater school very eloquently in his 24th language: Aussie / English … Afterwards, I shook his hand and was literally JOLTED by the energy and life-force that met me. He, like each of the Uncles and Aunties whom I’ve met, have tremendous powers of transmission, despite having been squashed, beaten and brutalised since childhood. Childhood – when every spiritual pore is open to the world and ripe for blessing.”
“The feeling of Unconditional Love, non-judgmental acceptance, a reverence and respect for traditional culture, forgiveness, patience, joy and the connection to each other, family and the earth that was experienced throughout the Listening to Country event cannot easily be put into words and could only have been genuinely felt in the face to face manner within which it was held.”
“Firstly I would like to offer my deep thanks for all that I heard in the yarning circles. I heard that the spiritual beings that hallowed this land continue to inspire the human beings who listen to them. The knowledge that I feared was lost is not lost and is being shared generously. The elders and leaders who spoke into the yarning circles were deeply articulate: They prompted us to actively come together as a conscious and responsible community to resist the desecration of the land by the actions of those forces which are anti-life and anti-consciousness. Like the blooming of the desert after rain and the resurgence of the bush after the fires, there is a reawakening taking place. The indigenous people and all who through destiny are here on this land, share in the land’s resilience and power. The trauma and loss of culture that has been inflicted on our indigenous people since the Anglo invasion has not destroyed their spirit.”
“Listening to Country provoked strong formative experiences that allowed everyone to re-examine all kinds of pre-conceptions and habits of mind, and this was evident in the quality of the yarning circles. These circles of sharing and listening grew from many moving presentations, stories, tales, wise insights and work with Indigenous people, which manifested real substance to heal the heart and soul. So many deep and reflective understandings were brought to life: reflections on race and human connection, the importance of love and forgiveness, and the appreciation for the intricate, living threads that join us to this earth and to each other. The power of words has never been more evident to me than in the experience of those three days”.