walk yourself back into the dreaming place

Many years ago now, I followed a strange little path out of childhood memories of bunyips and koalas and tall thin white trees into the Aboriginal Dreaming. And I discovered that, although I was a daughter of the dark hills of Aotearoa, the great red hand of Australia also held me. Perhaps this was because I travelled there as a girl and got myself entangled with dry-wind-boned ghosts and other long-eyed dirt things that crept unseen, singing almost unheard, through suburbs; or perhaps it was the forest fire smoke turning out sunsets red and the desert heat blowing in over the ocean; or perhaps because Zealandia is a lost daughter of that great land; I don't know. All I can say is that sometimes, not often, my heartbeat turns to clack-clack, like sticks banged against stones.

 Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri - Honey Ant Dreaming

Learning about the Indigenous Australians' Songlines deepened me into a sense of my own home : that place which is land but more, here but further, the Otherworld. Although my heritage is ostensibly Celtic, here at the far edge of the world the Tuatha de Danaan and faerie have little power, and Maori myths do not well serve an English heart. Like many people born out of pioneer families, I feel the loss of old songs and stories that show the path home. Only with age and love and sorrow have I learned to make my own.

Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri - Yam Dreaming

The Dreaming is here with us. The Kingdom is come. We breathe magic; we walk in the sky; we are the stone-boned brown goddess breathed on by the god. But still there is a membrane which separates us from the wild place of deep home. I have come to believe that the membrane is our own prosaic, linear thinking. I have seen two moons in the sky; I know enchantment is real. But you can't think it, talk about it, in any straightforward way. You have to sing it. You have to dance it. Or walk, trudge, skip, slide into it. Because it's not a scientific knowing. Its a soul experience.

Learn Indigenous Australian Songlines
Map of Indigneous Australia


  1. "long-eyed dirt things" yes. Also "stone-boned" ... yes. Thank you for always writing something that makes me say...yes.

  2. Some may not feel or understand that soul experience of which you write. Perhaps if they read your beautiful posts they might open their hearts to see. ♥

  3. love this. and maybe we need to listen closely to the land where we live, letting it speak to us. as emigrants, we often find that the indigenous land-stories don't resonate well with our own folkways, but our folkways also fit poorly into the new land. maybe the song of the land is site specific in many ways...maybe long, long ago, when we were all nomadic to an extent, it was simpler to hear it speak because we hadn't put it into our hearts in any settled shape. maybe it is we who need to change, and that is how it is meant to be...it's such an interesting question, or endeavor, this making our way into inter-relationship with place.

  4. The longing to sink into the land's dreaming. And after that I have no words to say what is unsayable. Thank you x