Waterhole Dreaming

Good heavens. I have only just discovered Soul Food Cafe. Thanks to Boynton What a fine site. What an innovative use of the internet to developing the historical becoming of Australian culture. Finding such sites is like following trails through the desert of cyberspace with other weblogs providing a series of maps of the country:

courtesy Barney Ellega

Then perchance, coming across soakage's in the sand hill country, or a waterhole along a trail:

Soul Food cafe is one such waterhole. Do take time out to replenish there. That is what waterholes are for---soul food. Many a time I've wandered the trails at night looking for a watering hole that pointed the way to the promised land. Around the waterhole we sit under the night sky and reflect about the country, express our feelings about what is happening on this earth, and start telling our stories.
Junk for Code

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Billabong Dreaming

Gary Sauer-Thompson's commentary (sidebar) about stumbling upon Soul Food, prompted me to rethink how I could help lay to rest the post colonial ghost that has haunted me and other offspring of the early Europeans who settled in Australia.

Exiles from England and Europe, my ancestors found themselves in a foreign land. While my immediate family were not directly guilty of crimes against the indigenous population, history all too clearly shows that native Australians suffered badly at the hands of violent colonials.

As Sauer-Thompson points out, "Aboriginal people decided that they needed a means of defining themselves to the seemingly hostile and ignorant white society that threatened their cultural survival. So they started telling their stories:"

courtesy Clifford Possum

The art seen here, as Sauer-Thompson points out, "arose from the violent colonial encounter and is produced by a culture resolutely opposed to the grand narrative of White Australia that lauds European civilization". Ironically, today, in the year 2003, it is easy to feel alienated and to feel that culture is threatened by an ignorant consumer, tacky corporate world.

If you are a native Australian who wants a voice, if you are an exile, a refugee, need to bear witness or simply feel threatened by the tentacles of globalization, take a leaf out of those who have suffered before us and take the time to tell your story by the Soul Food billabong.

This advent calendar is a living organism and I will be adding narrative or artwork that is sent to me long after the calendar period has ended.

So, help preserve unique cultures and take us one step further along the journey towards healing by telling stories that must be told and, perhaps more importantly, by listening to the stories told by others.

Thank you Gary for providing a fresh direction.

Stories from Suitcases


Pack a suitcase and take a journey of healing

Bush Tucker Stories

"Around the waterhole we sit under the night sky and reflect about the country, express our feelings about what is happening on this earth, and start telling our stories." You only have to ask those who have participated in story telling sessions by the billabong, and they will tell you that this is the very best bush tucker - a tucker that nourishes the soul and has magical healing properties.

courtesy of Josie Petrick Kemarre
Bush Tucker Bush Berry, 1999.

The Stolen Generation
Bringing them Home Report
Exiles and Refugees
Ancestral Tracks
Little Red's Mother
Prospecting for Gold
Waltzing Matilda