I titled this post Contrast as I visited a place not far from here that confronted me directly with just how contrasting the world of the indigenous culture and the imposed culture of industrialism are.
I visited Woodland Historic Park which is a huge reserve right on the outskirts of Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport. The reserve is promoted as a place that early European settlers would likely have encountered in landscape and animals. It has ruins of an old homestead and a restored old homestead & also is home to a lot of native wildlife. They have fenced a large section off that contains a released colony of Barred Eastern Bandicoots. One is allowed to access it by two steel gates. You enter through a heavily sprung gate into a wire cubicle where you open another gate to get into the sanctuary. These gates are to keep foxes out. The Barred Eastern Bandicoot was common across Victoria but became rare after the introduction of foxes, cats and dogs decimated their numbers. Sadly to get to this reserve you have to pass by yet another massive housing estate full of huge brick homes and from what I see and what I’ve been reading the government intends to open up even more large areas to housing and industrial estates. This is happening all over the country and indeed the world wherever the industrial empire casts its tentacles in its ever more absurd and freakish notion of progress at the expense of all other life on earth.
However as the title of this post implies I got to see and feel the contradictions of this culture and the indigenous. Within the Woodland Historic Park is Weeroona cemetery. It’s an aboriginal cemetery that’s still in use and is a magnificent place to visit in so many ways. The graves are simple, some being only pebbles over the grave with wooden planks for sides. Many don’t have headstones whilst some have tree trunks for a headstone. At the top eastern part of the cemetery are huge boulders and there’s a sign to tell one to respect the area as some aboriginal remains have been reburied among the boulders and of course not to remove anything. I walked into the boulders and reburial grounds with a deep sense of reverence, way more than any other cemetery I’ve ever been in. The feelings I had there were sublime. Below was a flagpole flying the aboriginal flag and to think I was walking in a cemetery that held the bones of a culture that has endured for 40000 years was overpowering.
The view from the top of the cemetery was spectacular looking out west, south west and north west. I sat there for a long time contemplating the fact these were the hunting grounds, the ceremonial grounds, the burial grounds and the country of these people The land was how they related to life itself and their worldview of the earth being sacred. Yet at the top of the cemetery one could see the airport and the sacred silence was shattered every few minutes by the sound of jet engines and one could see most clearly the contrast of the cultures. I could really see the deep disconnection of industrial humanity from nature and thus their own true reality.
I can’t say I feel that disconnection as I live my life as a human deeply connected to the universe, not apart from it but I knew as I watched these aircraft taking off and landing that most people inside of them would have little understanding of just what a tragic set of circumstances this culture has unleashed upon the planet and just how quickly it will unfold into the negative for them as the industrial empire implodes upon itself.