Monday, August 27, 2007

carpentaria

This is my morning, and this my sea,




but there are elsewhere other mornings, and other seas.


I received an email yesteday from a friend, concerning the state of the sea in the Gulf of Carpentaria. I have just read the winner of the 2007 Miles Franklin award, (the opening of which follows) which planted some wonderful imagery and thinking into my head:


"A nation chants, But we know your story already.
The bells peal everywhere. Church bells calling the faithful to the tabernacle where the gates of heaven will open, but not for the wicked. Calling innocent little black girls from a distant community where the white dove bearing an olive branch never lands.
Little girls who come back home after Church on Sunday, who look around themselves at the human fallout and announce matter-of-factly, Armageddon begins here.


The ancestral serpent, a creature larger than storm clouds, came down from the stars, laden with its own creative enormity.
It moved graciously, if you had been watching with the eyes of a bird hovering in the sky far above the ground.
Looking down at the serpent's wet body, glistening from the ancient sunlight, long before man was a creature who could contemplate the next moment in time.
It came down those billions of years ago, to crawl on its heavy belly, all around the wet clay soils in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Picture that creative serpent, scoring deep into--scouring down and through--the slippery underground of the mudflats, leaving in its wake the thunder of tunnels collapsing to form deep sunken valleys. The seawater following in the serpent's wake, swarming in a frenzy of tidal waves, soon changed colour from ocean blue to the yellow of mud.
The water filled the swirling tracks to form the mighty bending rivers spread across the vast plains of the Gulf country.
The serpent travelled over the marine plains, over the salt flats, through the salt dunes, past the mangrove forests and crawled inland. Then it went back to the sea."

Excerpt from "Carpentaria", Alexis Wright, 2007,

Pease visit this website:

ghost nets



Particularly, in the "news" section, check out Chantal Cordey's reworking of the ghost nets to make beautiful bags.
No petitions to sign, no letters to send, just know about this.

And read "Carpentaria".

6 comments:

it's the little things... said...

You and your sea. When I drop my children off to live with you, and I mean, um, visit, I will spend my entire vacation in the sea.
Lucky you!

meggie said...

Those %&*#ing nets. Those ignorant bloody selfish fishermen!

Leann said...

awesome picture wish I could swim out and just drift along in the warm water.free from sharks .

Arcturus said...

It's going to be a race between me and Little Things to see who gets the spare bedroom for an extended stay!

I'm sorry for being so tardy in posting comments ... as you know, I've been on vacation.

By the way, I love this entry ... and not to be terribly literal, but the Gulf of Carpentaria is not a billion years old. It's far younger than that.

fifi said...

hmm, arcturus, that is according to western notions of time perhaps...maybe billions of dreaming years though.


meggie, selfish, yes. And ignorant.

Molly said...

If that is what you see when you look out the window in the morning I am insanely jealous.....