Let me tell you a story of a child who grew up in two worlds. This girl learned a lot about the bush from her grandfather and her mother and aunties and uncles. She learned the words from her mother about the land, animals and trees. Her mother taught her, her language, and from her Aunties and uncles she learnt pidgin.
She learnt the story of her Grandfather and how he travelled she learnt the story behind his prized didgerdoo that he some how came back from the Northern Territory with. She heard the stories of Aunties and Uncles taken to Cherbourg and Purga. She heard stories of mistreatment. Mistreatment from the Whiteman, police and from other blackfullas. Different race but skin colours are the same.
This girl from her father she learnt gaelic. She learnt the stories of the fight for freedom She heard of the anger towards her people, the Irish Catholic. She was taught of the fight for a free Ireland. Knows the stories so well of heros being imprisoned.
She learnt her fathers story of being drafted in the English army because his mother was English. His grandparents encouraged him so that some money can be sent home.
This girl had a mother who had barely any schooling, Schools in those days didn’t encourage Aboriginals. her mum sat her scholarship and wasn’t allowed further because of the colour of her skin. The girls father had a similar upbringing over in Ireland. He couldn’t go any further because he had to go out and start working to help with the family.
These two people shared their love of the written word and the spoken word to their children. The no nonsense language of this land, words that can in one sentence sum up a sunrise. Gaelic has a beautiful flow, it lilts and tilts it has a rhythm and a rhyme that just make it so beautiful to listen to. It is musical. Both parents of this child spoke English and they spoke it very well they read allowed to their children. They encouraged their children to read.
Every night at dinner each child had to share something new that they had learnt that day. Well that usually meant a rush before dinner to the Dictionary or the Encyclopaedia.
This girl grew up loving reading. Her mother told her reading was a passport to worlds unknown. And that Books can be your best friend, when all else fails a book is still there. Books were an open invitation to the rest of the world they held so many words and wonders. You shed tears in some and others you shed the pages of the book in rage at the actions of a person in the tome.
But the best stories were the ones told by family members, her father telling of the wailing of the Banshee. the carriages of the dead coming. of seeing spirits and going straight to the church to light a candle. Hearing how our family were involved in fighting against the English. How we learnt from the Fey and had an ancestor who was a selkie.
These stories didn’t seem absurd they just made the world a more magical place. My mother would teach us of junjeries and the spirits. Tell us the stories of the Dreaming and how the world was made. How crow brought fire to us, Willy wagtail is a trickster and the Eagle is a guardian.
This girl had so many stories bursting to come out she needed a release. She loved telling her stories the stories handed down to her to her children and nieces and nephews. She would share them with anyone who wanted to know. Plenty of people don’t know their history or the stories of their peoples but to share mine I think is an honour so that someone can feel a part of this land that they belong to.
This girl also writes her stories and poems and always says one day I will see if they are good enough to get published. She is shy about her work, it tells tales of love, of problems with grog. Stories of bashings and stories of beautiful children who turn out alright considering their parents and environment.
This girl worked as a journalist for a long time loving sharing stories. Our ways but done in a different way. She loves hearing Aboriginal voices doing mainstream. She loves the infectious laugh of Rhianna Patrick. The soft sultry voice of Karen Dorante.
This girl now blogs and twitters. But one day her voice will be heard in the minds of others as they read her book?