raven song

February 25, 2010

New Dreaming

Sitting in a train reading a book ‘bad dreaming’ by Louis Nowra. Background reading for my role as a facilitator (2008) in an indigenous men’s summit in the MacDonnell ranges in central Australia at Ross river, home of the Arrente people. I was to facilitate workshops on family violence and Louis Nowra’s book told some of the stories around that, sober reading signs of a culture in trouble, a deep wounding.

I sitting on one of two parallel benches facing each other with a big floor space in between. Reading away, therainbow serpent train stopped and an Aboriginal man got on carrying a twelve foot carved wooden Rainbow Serpent. He lay down on the floor between us. The Rainbow Serpent is one of the most important totems in Indigenous mythology. A  creation being inhabiting water holes shaping and creating new landscapes, creator and destroyer.

We chatted for awhile till he got off with his carving. What was that about I thought, pure coincidence or  Jungian Synchronicity – best to let that intriguing question sit for awhile.

What wisdom or insights could I bring to this indigenous gathering? – From my own experience and this new reading, emerged a complex and deeply troubled story. I had no preconceived ideas/solutions to bring, it would be arrogant to do so. I resolved to bring an empty mind, compassion and wisdom, and just listen.

In thinking again of the Rainbow Serpent, a strong message came ‘we need new dreaming’. Dreaming is the story, vision and practice that guides the lives of Indigenous people. It comes from the parallel spirit world and applies to all people in relevant tribal groupings. It is law, custom, song and dance. It has serious power and is part of the soul story and essence of meaning. If existing dreaming was struggling with current troubles maybe a new dreaming was needed. What that  was or who would bring it I did not know. I did know that the words of politicians and ‘experts’ and new laws were not the answer. We are given an  energetic clue to this from the music of, Gurrumul Yunupingu released in the same year, 2008. The CD titled ‘Gurrumul’ for me holds the power of song dreaming gurrumul with mikeespecially the first song ‘Wiyathul’. Gurrumul won the world music aria award in 2008. Listen to Gurrumul in itunes better still buy his cd. Lots on youtube as well.

So maybe there is a new dreaming on its way, Gurrumul singing it into being. Maybe their is a new dreaming on its way for all of us in Australia,  a new song emerging from deep down. More in later postings.

Note:This is just my story. I imply no particular knowledge of Indigenous culture, or presume to be giving advice. New dreaming I realise, two years after these events, applies to all of us. Maybe a gift from the ancient elders for all.

Hello Don

Raven Song – Paddy Murray

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