Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Could it be love?!

Sometimes I get this feeling a warm happy glow kind of feeling when I think about Ngukurr or see photos of it or think of people there. especially when I am listening to recordings of people talking, I have this feeling of suffused joy and I cant help smiling. Isn't it incredible that people all interact with each other.. even in the simplest or subtlest ways share love and connection, even when there is no word that really hints at the kind of joy you have from interacting with people that you love and know well. I can't explain it, but it can make me feel like smiling almost any time if I remember my mami F saying something to me and then breaking out into laughter at her joke, or main nis B squishing up my face, or the way she disagrees with me when I say something wrong. These memories seem so piquant, absorbing and beautiful... like i say I can feel warmth in my body and it makes me smile ( sometimes laugh out loud), what a gift! Thankyou ola Ngukurr mob, you make my life a joy.
Actually come to think about it I have a similar feeling when I think about my nieces, twins, who are just 15 months old. Maybe it is something to do with a communication barrier that makes little nuances and the subtlest of smiles and interactions seem almost unbearably beautiful...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


A while back i mentioned going rock (wall) climbing with Cindy, finally we managed to do it again last night. It was great fun, but for some reason ( maybe the heat) it seemed harder than I remembered...the good thing about climbing though is that if you are around bette climbers ( which I always am) they teach ayou all these cool techniques that make you even the impossible seem worth trying. anyway we climbed for a while and there were quite a few people there (like eight) a few of them regular climbers, cavers adventurers....you know the type! Anyway they talked the rest of us into going with them on a caving expedition, right then at 9 oclock at night, out to a beautiful Gorge nearby Armidale. Seven of us went and it was a spectacular night for it, warm and light and the air smelled sweet and soft.
We collected helmets and headlamps and ( I couldnt believe i was doing it), climbed down a tiny crack between some rocks into a cave. For the next hour ( at least) we struggled climbed and squeezed through little cracks into bigger caves ( formed by fallen rocks.. I dont think we were ever more than a few metres below the night sky. The fresh water from the river was flowing through much of the caves and there were lots of beautiful small waterfalls. For the first couple of minutes I felt a bit claustrophobic, and one of the guys told us this story about how when you panic you swell up and get stuck more easily, and about a friends of theirs who got stuck and they took turns slapping his face until he broke out of his panic and could climb out (!!). I didnt really want that to happen, I spent a few minutes not panicking ... and I was happy to find that I really enjoyed the challenge and the feeling of exploring all the little caves ( even though there were slimy wet rocks). The air was cooler inside and wet on your face. Little guppies were swimming in the torchlight. I few times I couldnt believe they really meant we go through that little crack sideways, or lying on your back ( they told us it was an 'easy' cave). About half way through we all squeezed through this tiny little horizontal crack ( like caterpillars) using your shoulder blades to move along, to turn around and up ( it was like being born!) and in the cave we came to we found a backpack,it smelt bad but had a beautiful knife, maglight,water, a stubbie holder and clothes in it... maybe we all entertained a thought for a second about coming across some poor stuck person (!!). It felt like the Goonies. Dripping water and flashlights and theories flying about the little cave. We took the bag with us.. but is remains a mystery....

Anyway eventually we surfaced without any further incident. Wet and grimy , bruised and (me anyway) very pleased with myself, to lie on the rocks in the warm air and look up at the incredibly clear skies and stars.

It was midnight by the time I got home. Today I can hardly lift my hands above my head. But I dont mind. I am proud of every one of my bruises.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Good News

I had some very good news on Friday - the great intelligent people (at the top of a tree somewhere) have awarded me a Fulbright scholarship(!!!!!), and though I have been keeping it in a little box (in my head) and gloating over it (my preciousssssssssss) for a few days and now I thought I would let it loose and I would write it here. My PhD proposal and application have been influenced over the last couple of years by many disussions and interactions with lots and lots of people. And it is exciting that they are culminating so. The scholarship is for a year of study in the US and I am heading off in August next year. :) :) etc.