Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fashion (Fishin'?)

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Australia has been on my mind especially in the last month or so. Not least because we have bought our tickets home and I am beginning, emotionally and otherwise to think through the last year and consider going home.

Then a couple of weeks ago the bombshell hit with the Australian federal government's response to the 'Children are Sacred' report. And I felt completely paralysed- immobilised by it. I couldn't think any coherent way to just write about what has happened or could happen- spread the word, discuss it with people- even take in more than a little bit at a time of the news. Let alone talk about how I feel about it. So I am trying to just write something down about it and not get too swept up in it. I suppose the least I could say is that it is all looking a bit shocking and if you check out Transient Languages and Cultures, Langguj Gel, That Munanga Linguist's blogs you will get a lot more specific details, links and insightful comments.

For me I just needed to write down that it is happening and I will at some point have to face it a bit more clearly and understand more of the details and ramifications rippling through out Australian Aboriginal communities. At least when NJ died there was something a little constructive I could do, like collate an obituary (thanks Jane), but with all this at this point I can't see how to approach it constructively.

We will be going up to Ngukurr in October for a few weeks or a month, and I hope by then I will understand better. What I feel sad for really isn't (just) the Aboriginal people affected by the decisions the government is making, but more about what it reflects about the direction of the Australian 'civilisation' as a whole, about the 'soul' of us as a whole, and how little we understand ourselves in some ways.

I have also been thinking about Australia in terms of bringing Eyal to live there with me, in August he will be immigrating to Australia and it is interesting to think of everything, every aspect of the culture, how news is delivered, how the supermarkets are lined, people greet each other or the state of the roads, etc. and how it would feel to someone unfamiliar with it.

We are in Palo Alto at the moment in California, just south of San Francisco. I am going to the Linguistics Institute at Stanford for the month. I am enjoying it very much, though it is an almost disconcertingly perfect and beautiful campus! It feels a little surreal.