Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Thirteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Thirteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The more we define our differences the more observers notice the similarities.

She remembers Iluka revving up her Super Soco as Liam helped her onto the back.  Something rubbery and tight pressed against the skin of her abdomen.

“I’ve bungeed her to you,” Liam said.

“Let you know how it goes,” Iluka said.

Rita felt herself moving but not on the Earthereal plain.

She’s on a river of sand the colour of silver under a crescent moon.  The river of sand piles into a hill under her feet increasing her perspective.  In the distance are giant land shapes she thinks she’s seen in pictures but the light is dim and mist flows everywhere.  Walking towards her are two indigenous men, naked but for bodypainting.  These men represent the poison drawn out of Australia herself.  She knows the one on the right is Bamapana a member deity of the Yolngu from the Northern Territory.  Covering Bamapana’s chest and abdomen is a white crocodile but with its head facing down as its tail wraps up to Bamapana’s left ear.  His deep set eyes are squinting and his yellow teeth are on display in a cruel smile.

Meanwhile, to his left, with his monstrous phallus swelling is Julana.  She sees that Julana has a lustful grin and realizes what he intends when he rapidly digs into the sand.  Rita grimaces.  Julana is a rapist.  She tries to run but her right calve muscle burns and refuses to let her move.

“Muldjewangk belongs to this island,” Bamapan says while continuing to walk towards her.  “You don’t so Muldjewangk attacked and now you are here with me.  I can’t stop what Julana is going to do to you but that could be it.  Stay out of the business of Australia.  The humans will all die but some of us can change into creatures that will survive.”

She sees a projected image of a coiled rainbow snake appear on Bamapan’s chest.  “No,” she replies clasping her hands over her head.  “Better tell your father Nijirana to come save you Julana,” she continues under her breath.

The change is more than she can handle and she may never be able to leave the Dreamtime again but she won’t let Julana defile her.  “Wish you were here Marlo,” she whispers into the mist swirling around her.  She calls to the soil of Australia to tell her what to transform into.  Her eyesight grows wider.  The strange sense of leaning too far forward fills her.  Her body feels as though it’s wrapped around itself.

Julana bursts out of the sand before her.  She sees an easy target and strikes.

“Your friend Zsofia is here,” she vaguely hears Aurora telling her.  She starts to get up but Aurora pushes her back down.  “Iluka said she used the salve in your dilly bag just in time.  Australia is full of poisonous animals and plants.  I should have warned you.  I guess we don’t notice it because we grow up learning about them.”

“Hey Rita,” Zsofia says from the doorway to her basement apartment.  Zsofia steps up to her with a cloth.  Rita feels Zsofia’s hand wiping away sweat from her forehead.  “You need to heal.  Lots to do in little time.” 

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Twelve) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Twelve) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

I keep thinking of Marvel’s Ultra’s words in Avenger’s: Age of Ultra: “I’m sorry, I know you mean well. You just didn’t think it through. You want to protect the world but you don’t want it to change. How is humanity saved if it’s not allowed to… evolve?”  He continues by saying the Avenger’s must become extinct (that’s its own discussion).

https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Ultron/Quote

The salt in the water keeps pushing her up so she lingers near a strand of seaweed and wraps her legs around it so her hands are free.    Giant trevally and parrot fish swim near her but sadly no tiny creatures.  She moves her hands and silently thanks Iluka for telling her messages to Marlo would move faster if she were submerged.  “Any luck with the plastics?”

She watches Iluka swim in circles nearby as she waits for Marlo’s reply.

“At one point China handled nearly half the world’s plastic recycling.  But there are so many products that are a mix of plastic and paper and other materials, Rita.  I think we need biodegradable material to replace constant use products like straws, cups, food and detergent containers and more.”

“Zsofia is coming here hopefully she’ll have ideas.  What about using more glass?”  As she waits for Marlo’s reply she notices a gargantuan shadow moving towards her.  Her body heaves back from a sudden pulse in the water.

Rita finds her left hand in Iluka’s.  The power in Iluka’s tail thrusts shocks her as Iluka drags her towards shore.  Rita kicks desperately with her feet.

As the base of the dock comes into site she feels an agonizing pain in right calve muscle.

Iluka throws her onto the dock before propelling herself beside her.  “We must change before anyone sees us Rita!” Iluka tells her.

Rita clenches her teeth together as she grasps onto her calve muscle to stop the blood flow.  “What was that?” she’s finally able to ask.

“A Muldjewangk,” she hears Iluka tell her.  “Normally they stay in Murray River.  The Dreamtime has opened Rita.  It allows Dilga and Albi Rose to communicate but also other ancient beings.  This is bad, the skin of your calve is already starting to blister.”

“Dilga gave me a dilly bag,” Rita says as searing pain burns through her calve.  In frustration she leans over to the water and pulses it.  I’m safe she sends to Marlo.

“I better get you home than, if Liam isn’t out riding my Super Soco,” Iluka tells her as she pulls Rita’s right arm over her shoulders.

https://e360.yale.edu/features/piling-up-how-chinas-ban-on-importing-waste-has-stalled-global-recycling

https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/04/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-plastic-and-recycling/

https://www.afr.com/world/how-visionary-activists-are-taking-on-the-problems-of-ocean-plastics-20181030-h17awn

https://www.astonishinglegends.com/astonishing-legends/2019/10/29/muldjewangk

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Eleven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Eleven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Maybe humans did come from the sea.

https://www.nma.gov.au/explore/collection/highlights/yawkyawk-sculptures

Later that day Rita is invited to eat supper with the Martins. 

“Hope you like meat pies,” Aurora says passing her a steaming plate.

“I do,” Rita replies.  She glances down at her new clothes.  “Thank you for everything and I’ll pay you back as soon my term starts at the University.”

“We’re going to watch, What We Do In The Shadows, tonight,” Oliver says.  “You’re more than welcome to watch it with us.”

“I’d love to,” Rita replies, realising she would like to, “but I’m meeting up with Iluka tonight.”

“Ask her to show you her paintings,” Oliver suggests.

“I will,” Rita promises.

Inside Iluka’s hallway is a painting of Uluru in the foreground with Luna in front of the Earth behind it.   Iluka tells her the painting is based off pictures of Uluru by a famous photographer named Peter Samuel and of Luna and the Earth taken from space by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory.

“It’s strange to see a place on Earth looking at Luna and the Earth,” Rita says.

“It tries to explain an aspect of Dreamtime,” Iluka says as she leads Rita to a side door attached between the hall and her kitchen.  The door opens to the garage where Rita sees a dark green Super Soco electric motorcycle.  “Neither of us can fly so we’ll ride to the harbour.”

At the harbour front Iluka parks on a dock near a bluebird yacht.  An older gentleman with indigenous features is fishing off the boat.

“Can I leave my bike by your boat Liam?” she hears Iluka ask the man.

“Those things will kill you,” Liam replies with a guffaw tinged with humour.

“Does that mean you don’t want to take it for a spin,” Iluka throws in.

“Maybe but not tell I see you’re off doing whatever you’re doing.  Wouldn’t want you to know.”

“I’ll leave my keys in the ignition than since there’s no worries you will.”

“How much ump is in it?”

“Enough for us to get back is someone were to take a short spin, and I mean no longer than half an hour.”

“I’m getting old.  My half an hour is about an hour or two in your time.”

“Leave your boat open then.”

Iluka takes Rita to the base of the dock.  “He throws whatever he catches back in.  The water’s oily here but here we must enter.  I’ll be in my truest form but I suggest you change to a platypus if you can.  That way you can communicate by moving your paws.  The messages will travel faster if you’re submerged.”

“What will you be protecting me from?”  Rita asks as she steps into the warm salt water.

“Maybe bull sharks but that’s rare.”

“I think I’ll just turn into my aquatic self.”  Rita’s eye turn yellow to see better, and gills grow at the back of her jaws.

Iluka climbs into the water beside her.  Rita is taken back when she sees Iluka’s upper body turn into an indigenous woman of Northern Australia and a fish below.  “If you feel a strong sound wave it’s me telling you to get out of the water.”

Rita nods and submerges.

Based on a picture of Uluru, Australia by Peter Samuel, and Luna in front of Earth by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Ten) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

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.

https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/aboriginal-voices-in-the-afterlife-of-photographs

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Nine) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Nine) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

Rita finds both the Martins sitting outside on their covered porch sipping coffee.  She can hear them talking in whispers as they stare into the sunrise.  In the distance she can just see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.  “There’s an espresso machine on the counter, and milk in the fridge if you want to make a latte,” Aurora tells her.

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge by Peter Samuel

“That sounds divine,” Rita replies.  “Could I also use your phone or laptop to contact my friend Zsofia?”

“Certainly,” Oliver says.  He passes her his cellphone.  “I can use my laptop for messages today so why don’t you hang onto it.  It will vibrate when there’s a call or message.  Just say the name of your friend and vibrate only if she calls.” 

“It’s going to get blistering hot, so we should get you some clothes before 10 a.m.,” Aurora says.

“That would be wonderful,” Rita says as she turns on the espresso machine.  “And thank you Professor Martin for lending me your phone.”

“Just Oliver,” he tells her.

“We’ll ask Iluka to come along,” Aurora adds as she gets up.  “I better show you how to steam the milk.  You need to pour just enough to make a face.”

Once Rita has her latte she sits at the kitchen table and texts Zsofia:

Dear Zsofia.  I’ve just arrived in Sydney, Australia.  Marlo is busy doing something else so I’m here with an amazing Australian couple.  If I can get you a position at the university will you come here?  The task Albi Rose has given me here is a bit overwhelming.

Please say yes,

Lots of Love!

Rita

Rita notices Aurora staring down at her feet with a frown.

“Let’s get Iluka,” Aurora says, “then while you and her talk in the car I’ll get you a pair of sandals.  Tomorrow Oliver and I will take you to the university.”

“Thank you both so much,” Rita says.  “I don’t know what I would do without your help and such kind hospitality.”

Grimacing against the heat Rita tenderly walks with Aurora to the Martins’ blue Tesla Model 3 electric car. 

“It’s getting old now but still has one of the best ranges of cars in our price range,” Aurora tells her as she pats the hood of the car.  “The tinted glass roof is also a solar panel.  So the car is constantly being recharged.”

As Rita watches Aurora knock on Iluka’s door out the Tesla Model 3 passenger window, she contemplates going to the harbour that night to check on Marlo.

https://www.caradvice.com.au/893403/tesla-model-3-price-australia/

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Six) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Six) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

Dhimurru Rangers trying to keep land clean while saving wildlife.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/15/monstrous-indigenous-rangers-struggle-against-the-plastic-ruining-arnhem-land-beaches

At night she climbs up onto a dock near the Sydney Opera House and waits by one of the docked boats until she changes back.

Figure 1 Sydney Opera House by Peter Samuel 9

In the sky she sees stars in the shape of two serpents and follows their touching tails towards where she hopes the professors Aurora and Oliver Martin live.

She’s thankful it’s nighttime so the pavement is cooler on the soles of her feet.  She’s faring better than Marlo who only had on swimming shorts when he changed on Haida Gwaii.   

Although she wants to protect Mother Earth she also understands that countries rely on strong economics.  It isn’t as easy as saying shut down coal mines and stop using it.  There could be technological advances that allow countries to keep or improve their economic situation while decreasing the use of environmentally damaging energy sources.  Then there’s plastic.  She wonders if Marlo is discovering any solutions.

If factories can be converted to using renewable resources with low to no pollutants than everyday use items such as water bottles can be designed to break down without leaving micro particles that can be ingested and accumulated in plants and tiny animals.  She looks into the sky and sees the snake tails glowing.  In front of her is an older style townhouse with a number 16 written in bold letters over the lintel of a door with many indigenous symbols.  There are too many symbols to count quickly.  She wonders if there is a symbol for each of the 500 plus clan groups.        

https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/04/nsw-and-queensland-coal-industry-uses-as-much-water-as-all-sydney-households-report-finds

https://skepticalscience.com/Australia-coal.html

https://www.statista.com/statistics/271748/the-largest-emitters-of-co2-in-the-world/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/

Sydney Opera House background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Five) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Five) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

“Our spirituality is a oneness and an interconnectedness with all that lives and breathes, even with all that does not live or breathe.”
– Mudrooroo

 

As she heads into the South Pacific Ocean from the Hawkesbury River, Rita changes from many trout into a single three meter long bottlenose dolphin.  Dilga’s milk will protect her from any pollutants caused by sewage being dumped into the ocean near the coast of Sydney.  Everywhere on Earth there is a pollution problem it seems.  Bottlenose dolphins that have died are often given an autopsy to see what contaminants they have accumulated.

Albi Rose taught her that life constantly flows but so can death.  Both are important for the balance of existence.  Moving with the seasons to areas that are bountiful in flora and fauna without changing the landscape are important to all the Australian Indigenous groups.  But the permanent living in one area throughout the year seems to have burdened the environment.  Fixed locations cause too much waste dumped into waterways and the movement of plastic and other waste to designated areas to accumulate until it overflows into the pristine areas.

Exhausted from thinking of all the Earth’s problems caused by humanity she longs to explore the kilometers of ocean water below her.  But that will have to wait.  She’s decides to invite her friend Zsofia to Sydney.  Perhaps she can get Zsofia a guest lecturer position as a Biomedical Science expert.

 

https://theconversation.com/australias-pristine-beaches-have-a-poo-problem-116175

https://www.britannica.com/place/Pacific-Ocean/The-trade-winds

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/native-animal-facts/bottlenose-dolphin

http://www.nrm.gov.au/national/local/whale-dolphin-protection

 

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

 

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Three) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Three) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

The Australasia Recycling Label

  • We administer the Australian Packaging Covenant to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging and optimise resource recovery.
  • We develop plans and guidelines to prevent plastic waste from entering the oceans.
  • We work with state, territory and local governments, as well as industry, to support and encourage the reduction of plastic waste and litter.

https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/plastics-and-packaging

It’s so hot as she walks to the Jenolan River that she grimaces with every step.  But she wants to wait until she reaches Sidney before using any of Dilga’s herbs.  Once she reaches the river she kneels down and diligently pours some of Dilga’s milk into the water.  Before climbing in she presses her hands in.  Feeling the ebb of the current she asks Dilga to send protection to Marlo.  Keeping her hand under the warm water she waits until she is connected to Marlo.

The vibrations she feels from Marlo tell her, “I’m near the Cocos Keeling Islands.  The plastic and other debris is bad and some of it is breaking down into smaller pieces that wildlife ingests.”

She sends back a vibration asking, “What’s causing it?” and waits.

“Most of it seems to be coming from Asia.  We both know the steps now.  Let the World know and then offer solutions.”  She can sense Marlos’ frustration.

“How do we solve it?” she asks with more vibrations.

After a time she receives his reply.  “In water form I can estimate the amount of miniscule pieces and larger pieces but it will take time.  The movement of water and wind will make it hard to clean up without hurting the environment.  I need time to find a solution.  Can you contact me in a few days?”

“I will,” she promises.

The heat is almost unbearable as she slides into the Jenolan River.  A lot of the 18.6 million hectares of the land burnt in the 2019 to 2020 fires has now regrown.  But the summers in New South Wales can be as high as 50°C.  The dilly bag and her clothes become a part of her body as she turns into a school of trout cod.  She will feed as trout cod do on her long journey to Cox River into Lake Burragorang then north into the Nepean River.  From there she will travel along the Hawkesbury River in Broken Bay and finally to the South Pacific Ocean.  There she’ll travel south to Sydney as a bottlenose dolphin.

 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43375-4

https://www.marinelitterthefacts.com/sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_Australian_bushfire_season

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trout_cod

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/native-animal-facts/bottlenose-dolphin#:~:text=The%20bottlenose%20dolphin%20can%20be,the%20lower%20reaches%20of%20rivers.

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

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Two) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

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.

Carlotta's Arch, Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves Australia by Peter Samuel (7)

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.

 

Pictures:

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.

 

http://goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com/2008/08/goddess-dilga.html

https://www.jenolancaves.org.au/about/aboriginal-culture/dreamtime-story-of-gurrangatch-mirrigan/

https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/causes-and-prevention/sun-safety/10-myths-about-sun-protection

 

 

 

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Rita Walker: Australia (Blog One) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker final choice low res

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

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog One) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

“We don’t own the land, the land owns us. The land is my mother, my mother is the land. Land is the starting point to where it all began. It’s like picking up a piece of dirt and saying this is where I started and this is where I’ll go. The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and identity.”— S. Knight

Rita detaches herself from Marlo and they both swim to the surface of Camp Creek near the Jenolan Caves.

“You’ve changed,” Marlo says looking at her as she steps out of the water.

Rita stairs down at herself and sees she has acquired some of his water elemental aspects.

“Will you be gone long?” she asks biting her lower lip.

“The Cocos Keeling Islands have beaches covered by plastic waste,” he says in a sombre tone.  “I wish I could stay and learn why Ailbe Rose called you here but I can’t.”

“Be safe,” she calls out as Marlo transforms into water.  She pulls her hair back into a bun so the water will run down her back.  With a sigh she watches the ripples of water that represent Marlo flow out of sight.  The one thing that gives her relief is that the water aspect she now has will allow her to communicate with him through any waterways that connect to the surrounding seas.

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves Australia by Peter Samuel Rita Walker bodypaint by Alannah Morrison 3 (8)

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

 

She is only wearing a black sports bra and cameo shorts; ideal clothes for the temperature in the New South Wales region of Australia.  As she walks towards the Jenolan Caves beads of soil halt her steps by rolling over her feet.  The blues and greens that her skin had changed into during their travel to Australia return to their normal whitish pink.

She closes her eyes and reopens them to see Ailbe Rose before her.

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves Australia by Peter Samuel (9) Leah Weir as Ailbe Rose picture by Kimberley Photography

Blue Mountain  Jenolan Caves  Australia by Peter Samuel model Leah Weir as Ailbe Rose, picture by Kimberley Photography https://www.facebook.com/KimberleyleeNI/

“Though there are other names for this place call it Uluru when talking to Dilga,” Ailbe Rose tells her.  “The arrival of Captain Cook has brought the deities of what Europeans call Australia into conflict.  Bamapana now travels in dreamtime throughout Australia causing discord with the likes of Julana.  Now the land is becoming more dessert as the Djunkgao sisters hide in fear.  As long as they do no rain will fall.”

Rita stares back towards Camp Creek and notices the edges of the bank are deep and the water low.  “What the people of Austra—Uluru do will affect the Dreamline?” she asks.

“Dilga will teach you the Dreamline.  You’re here as an outsider, to counter the negative effects Bamapana, Julana and others are having on the land by encouraging technology that works with the environment.  Remember, the Earth curves in all directions and we all belong to the core.  So anything that happens in one place affects what happens elsewhere.”

“Will there be help?   Rán has sent Marlo to the Cocos Keeling Islands.” Rita asks.

“There will be but most are new and naïve,” Ailbe Rose warns her.  “They came after Captain Cook and walk the land but most have not yet fully merged with the land.  As it is on any other continent there are many different groups of people on Uluru.  The original people will be singing and traveling the Dreamline.  That is where the most important work will be done.  You will walk the Dreamline too but focus on encouraging the technology that works with the land.”

Rita blinks and Ailbe Rose is gone.  Now she sees a woman who she senses exists in the present and the past simultaneously.

https://int.sydney.com/destinations/blue-mountains/oberon-area/jenolan-caves/attractions/jenolan-caves

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43375-4#:~:text=Plastic%20has%20been%20documented%20at,the%20northwest%20coast%20of%20Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_Aboriginal_mythological_figures

https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/on-this-day/2013/11/on-this-day-captain-james-cook-sets-sail/

https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/spirituality/what-is-aboriginal-spirituality