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 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 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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