What is the one most important idea or experience that you have discovered in the writings of indigenous authors (other than Kim Scott) or in the writings of authors about the indigenous experience?
Co-dependency of everything on earth is a concept I had not thought about in great detail before realising the significance it has while reading indigenous writing. This aspect of life was highlighted through the fact that while each person, animal, plant etc, has its own space and meaning, they are only what they are because of their environment and the way they are related to it.
The poem Tree by Kevin Gilbert (1990) exemplifies this through the approach to life that all aspects if environment live through each other. The lines “I am you and/ you are nothing/ but through me the tree” shows this though personification as the tree being part of the reader as well as the reader being part of the tree creates a powerful connection between the two aspects of environment. In many ways, we are much more dependant on a tree than it is on us as a tree provides oxygen, food and shelter- three basic necessities for human life. In return, we may try to protect the tree from harsh conditions, water it when necessary and prevent it from being destroyed by pests. This idea makes it more clear to me than it ever has been why Aboriginal spirituality is so centered on the environment, the respect that they hold is truly admirable as, after all, what would we be if it were not for the tree?
The lines “for all creation/ earth and God and man/ is nothing/ until they fuse/ and become a total sum of something” further demonstrate the perspective of looking at the world that I discovered in my reading this week. The line helps to create a sense of unity, respect and co-dependency between all aspects of environment. It made me come to the realisation that a tree is not just a tree and a person is not just a person. While this sounds incredibly strange, in the context of this poem and idea of co-dependency it makes some sense. While each is an individual being, together, along with the rest of the environment, they are a part of something bigger, “a total sum of something.” This in a way makes each more valuable due to the effect it has on the other. In the end, is creation itself not more beautiful than a single person?
In this way, the co-dependency of nature and the beauty of this concept I have discovered this week has really opened my eyes to the different perceptions of the world. The beauty that the world has to offer is made stronger through the need for each aspect of nature to create a much more meaningful environment.