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Sunday, December 1, 2013


australian aboriginal paintings

Thought I'd hear some Brahms this evening. Alban Berg Quartet again. It's such subtle music it makes me want to sit back, lights out, and hear every nuance. But I don't feel like it right now. I may have to turn the music off, because it takes me over, whatever it is. I can't use music for white noise, unless it's so repulsive I'd rather have silence, which I'd rather have anyway. This is not flowing with me like Dvorak did yesterday. Possibly Dvorak flows with my temperament. Had to turn off Brahms. I like it, but it wasn't the groove I thought I needed. It was going loud and quiet, loud and quiet, like an American movie where it's predictable that when they go to whispering in a scene, an explosion follows. I often use subtitles with American movies because I don't want to be turning the volume up to hear it when they're whispering, then have to turn it down in a hurry when the explosion occurs. With subtitles I can keep the volume even, read the whispers, and not have to turn the volume down for explosions. Just now in my head I've been listening to Brahms and to Dvorak to find the difference. The word institutional comes to mind for Brahms. With Dvorak I hear dance rhythms. There it is. That's when I call it music, when it makes me dance inside. This may be the foundation of my affection for Dvorak's music.

The temperature today is in the forties. A happy relief after days below thirty and nights below twenty. Last winter by this time we were wondering where the cold weather went. The cold did not hit until late. This year, it's starting off with cold. Every winter is uniquely itself. I used to try to find patterns in the weather, but never did. The only patterns I've seen are spring, summer, fall and winter. I heard a couple of meteorologists talking on NPR yesterday about how far off the weather predictions were for hurricane season this year. I think there were 2 minor hurricanes. The forecasters made out like it was going to be a bad year for hurricanes. I was interested that the man talking said they have learned a great deal from a year that went against the predictions. Isn't that what weather does? But this year was way off. This time of year I start thinking about pretending I'm living in Scandinavia where a day like today is on the verge of summer, pretending I'm acclimatized and a day when the rhododendron leaves never uncurl even in sunlight is mild weather. This way I don't get so impatient with feet being cold all the time. Found a little skullcap thing hunters wear under their hats to keep head warm. Warm sox and shoes and the top of the head warm makes a difference all the way in between. They say heat goes out of the body through the top of the head, so I'll wear this skullcap to help retain my own heat.

A documentary I saw a few days ago, JOURNEY OF MAN, has stayed with me and will for always. Spencer Wells, a biologist who studies DNA, found he can trace backwards through DNA in blood to find the original humans and where they came from. It turns out the first people on earth were the Bushmen of southern Africa. Their territory was the Kalahari of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Wells traces a band of maybe twenty or so people who left the region where they were living near the coast. They walked up the length of Africa, crossed at Suez, followed the coast around Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, around the coastal edge of India, into southeastern Asia where they evidently made rafts or boats of some sort and crossed to Australia. It was in the time of Ice Age over 50,000 years ago. Wells suggests that the ice accumulating at the poles brought the water level down quite a lot. The band of people that took off on "walkabout," must have changed as time went by, some dying, some being born. Some of them stayed behind in India, and thousands of years later branched out toward Europe and toward Siberia, where some crossed the Bering Strait 15,000 years ago when it was a stretch of land between Siberia and Alaska. Evidently they set out to find what is now Australia. Wells said the waterway between Australia and mainland was quite a lot narrower than it is now. The people who crossed the water had about fifty miles, less than from Cuba to Miami today. They became the Australian Aborigines. A book I'd read about them some years ago, VOICES OF THE FIRST DAY, by Robert Lawlor, said the Aborigines say they go back 50,000 years. Wells' DNA research confirms them.

A film made by a Dutch director using Aboriginal non-actors, TEN CANOES, 2009, shows the Aborigine way of life from their beginning to the time of the European invasion that put an end to their culture. It is a beautifully made film very well researched and as true to the Aboriginal way as the process of making a film can show it. They had a shamanic tradition all the way along. It looks to me like this migration to Australia was directed by vision. The walk was the most sensible of possible routes to walk from almost the southern tip of Africa all the way around to Australia. If they were guided by shamanic vision, by spirit, they were more than likely advised where and how to cross the water. They surely had to cross several wide rivers along their way. By the time they reached the southeastern Asian archipelago, they knew how to cross expanses of moving water. Following the coast, or even near the coast, they crossed rivers probably half a mile as a rule, at least, deltas with multiple rivers. I believe crossing that stretch to Australia amounted to another body of water to cross. The Aborigines made things as they needed them and discarded them when finished, buried them leaving no traces. I've an idea the very earliest people live by the spirit in such a way we can't imagine, we're so far from the spirit by now. The first thing I thought entertaining shamanic guidance to an island continent, Why Australia? I saw in my mind's eye Uluru, cave paintings, the Aboriginal paintings of energy lines in the earth.

I can't help but be convinced those early people on walkabout were guided by spirit in whatever ways they understood the ways of the spirit. They saw themselves as players in the world of spirit. By now, we are so far from spirit we don't even know what that means. So far from spirit that the Tao Te Ching is obscure unto opaque. The same can be said for the New Testament. Wondering why they were guided to Australia, all I can guess is uninterrupted isolation from the eventual covering of the earth by the spread of civilizations. Maybe, too, for the Aboriginal understanding, the continent is covered with what they call holy places in the spirit that are now tourist spots, a floating continent with some kind of energy they needed. Maybe they pray for the rest of us. I wonder if it was a way to isolate and preserve that original connection with spirit the earliest people had. Keeping it, something like an eternal flame among the Zoroastrians. I even suspect the earliest people were so one with the spirit that to us they look spiritually advanced. A big shift for humanity is in process right now. I'm guessing that our collective momentum away from spirit, our direction from the beginning, developing our new brain with experience, being self-focused unto the Age of Narcissism we're in now, is ready to reverse direction like an arrow shot straight up, the turning point. From that point onward, we'll be moving toward the spirit instead of away from it all through the millennia.

Maybe the places like Australia and Tibet are no longer needed to keep the rest of us in ongoing prayer. When we are turned to face the light collectively, it will unleash a tsunami of the heart. We will look at what's going on that's making us crazy and say: Cut it Out !!!  We'll say that to ourselves, individually, and, like Abercrombie and Fitch tshirts went away overnight, a cosmic twinkling of an eye, we'll cut it out. It seems like a shame to see these cultures go away at the same time all around the earth. They, too, are part of all that went before. I've watched a lot of contemporary foreign films from all over the earth, a theme that runs through them is the changes from the old people whose foundations were in a culture that went away. It's the same in China as in North Carolina. A few more generations will make a great deal of difference. The secrets of their cultures will die with them, as they already have. I can't help but find it curious that all the cultures of the world are being replaced by television culture. It surely is an interim culture needed to sever us from all that went before, a culture unto itself, out of which new cultures will emerge like branches on a sapling. The healing of the earth will begin. The healing of humanity will begin. Has begun. When things change on the outside, they've already changed on the inside.


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