Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Ten) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
“If you believe your culture is shattered and scattered and finished, or your language is gone, then you are a dead man walking. But if you believe you can reconnect to your language and your culture, you become empowered.” – Ezzard Flowers in No Longer a Wandering Spirit.
Rita blinks her eyes and rubs them. From inside the Martin’s car she sees a tall woman lightly tanned and with European features wearing a mini skirt with rainbow coloured snakes intermingled with tan coloured circles containing three more circles. What is confusing to Rita is that the woman appears as European one moment and Australian indigenous the next. Shaking head Rita climbs into the back seat to be polite. She also wonders what’s in the Australian latte.
“This is Iluka,” Aurora tells her. To Rita’s surprise Iluka climbs into the back to sit beside her.
Aurora drives to a store with summer clothing and sandals displayed inside the window. “I’ll be back shortly,” she says.
Iluka nods at her with light blue eyes and a warm smile. Rita’s eyes get larger as she sees Iluka’s eyes turn dark brown and her lean nose flatten. Her long auburn hair turns raven black. “We are similar in many ways,” Iluka says with a thick Australian accent. “See me as a child of Cook’s for now but remember how I truly am. Also, if someone takes my picture they will be forgiven.”
“What happens if someone takes a picture of you in your true form?” Rita asks as she looks deeper into Iluka’s eyes.
“Taking a picture of my true form would steal some of my essence and allow certain individuals in the Dreamtime to hinder or even possibly control me.”
“Would pictures of Bamapana and Julana help us stop them from manipulating others?” Rita asks.
“No,” Iluka replies. “They encourage the picture taking of Australia’s First People, to control them. What you should seek to do is satiate people’s desires so they no longer listen to those two. Replace the coal and the plastic with something equivalent in convenience but that doesn’t destroy the environment.”
Rita feels a vibration in her short’s pocket. “Excuse me,” she says and pulls out Oliver’s phone. Zsofia has messaged that she is on her way. “My friend Zsofia is coming to Australia. Tomorrow I hope she can get work at the University.”
“What does she do?” Iluka asks. Rita notices Iluka’s appearance is completely European now, reminding her of someone from the British Isles.
“She specializes in medicinal herbs.”
“When she arrives tell her she can stay with me,” Iluka says. “Is she like you, or me?”
“Not in the ability to change but she is in touch with Mother Earth. I need to contact my partner, Marlo today.”
Rita sees a look of concentration on Iluka’s face and her eyes dim as though she is somewhere else.
Iluka’s eyes brighten with lucidity. “A child of Rán?” she asks.
“Yes,” Rita replies. “A water elemental.”
“I will change when you do and watch over you when you go to the harbour,” Iluka assures her.
Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt