Monday, 22 October 2012
Original Writing Cave
I always enjoy visiting this Aboriginal cave shelter. It lies in the slope of a hill overlooking a grassy meadow. The stencils along the back wall depict hands and weapons. The roof of the shelter bears the smoke of many fires, while the floor is soft ashy sand. The people who used this cave would have hunted game in the surrounding eucalyptus woodland - wallabies, possums, wombats, goannas, and snakes. For water there's a nearby gully which only fills with water during storms, but a permanent river runs further down the valley.
It’s a peaceful, meditative spot. When I’m here it’s easy to imagine people gathering together in the shelter and lighting a fire to cook their hunt. Afterward, as the night draws in, I can see them sitting around the fire and exchanging stories, perhaps about the day’s hunt or myths about the Dreamtime. From these early beginnings storytelling evolved to become an intrinsic part of our culture. The people who sat around those fires passed their tales on through oral means, while my stories exist as a series of magnetised dots on a hard drive, but I like to think I share a connection with these early story tellers.