Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Two) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)
“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” – Australian Aboriginal saying
- Note: Uluru is a rock formation in the Northern Territory of Australia not the original name for Australia.
She stares far up at the Carlotta Arch’s stalactite ceiling where Ailbe Rose appeared to her and sees a female figure shrouded in mist.
Rita takes a step back. Dilga is not just of the Earth but the Universe itself. As the swirls of mist pass Dilga’s skin appears dark blue but as the mist covers her skin it becomes more light brown. Her only clothing are two intertwining serpents painted along her body in the colours of the rainbow. The colours change as the mist flows around her. But Rita only vaguely notices Dilga’s appearance. The goddess’s curly raven hair is like an archway that accentuates the dark brown of her ubiquitous-omnipresent eyes.
“This region of Australia will scorch your northern skin so you will need Kakadu plum,” Dilga suddenly says in a surprisingly young female voice. “You will find a satchel with enhanced Kakadu plum. It will help you be accepted by the First People while still appearing to be of European decent. And if you should meet a child who is the combination of the First People and Europeans you will be welcomed as kin. You will also find in this satchel many other herbs. Some will save you if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, spider, or jellyfish.”
“Thank you,” Rita says with a gasp. Her body is trembling. In Dilga’s presence she feels time is endless.
“What I tell you,” Dilga continues, “is so you understand. Captain Cook and those who came after him brought scientific understanding to Australia but it can be so miniscule in understanding and long in explanation. Life goes on and often an explanation needs to be simple and seen vastly.
“The Jenolan Caves came about when Mirragan–a feline fisherman, caught sight of Gurangatch–an eel shaped Burringilling resting deep in the water of the junction between the Wollondilly and Wingeecaribbee rivers. Mirragan tried to poison the water with hickory bark so Gurangatch would have to surface. When Gurangatch discovered what Mirragan was doing they started to fight. That fight created the Jenolan Caves. The fight that occurs now is between nature and technology with neither winning. You have been chosen to mediate symbolically between Gurangatch and Mirragan.
“Where should I start?” Rita asks with unavoidable respect in her voice.
“In the city of Sydney live a couple who are of European decent but were born in Australia. This land flows through them and they understand the importance of the merging of nature with technology. They are teachers like you. Search for professors Aurora and Oliver Martin.”
“How will I get there?”
“My mother’s milk brought my sons back to life after the cat-man Ngariman killed them. Look for a bull kelp vessel in the dilly bag. The contents contain my milk and will lead you safely to the professors. After that look up into the clouds and when you see two in the shape of slithering snakes, know my Bagadjimbiri sons watch over you.”
“Thank you Dilga,” Rita says bowing her head in gratitude. When she looks up only the Carlotta Archway faces her. She starts to step forward when the toes of her right foot bump into something soft. At her feet is a dilly bag. She looks inside and sees numerous herbs. At the very top is a Kakadu plum.
Background picture by Peter Samuel of Blue Mountain, Jenolan Caves, Australia; Body Paint by @amasonart Alannah Mason; Picture of Rita Walker by Dan Watt.
Carlotta’s Arch, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountain, Australia by Peter Samuel.