Terrains Of The Heart And Other Essays On Home

Terrains Of The Heart And Other Essays On Home-52
And I have failed; in this life I have not flourished.And so, I’ve come back to landscape I knew and loved, and where I would have told you I belonged.

Doctoral Dissertation Connie Spence - Terrains Of The Heart And Other Essays On Home

And I feel like the house, turned around in mid-life, asked to face what I’d had my back to all these years.7.I live inside a life, inside a culture, which has not placed value on, nor attributed intrinsic merit to, the more than merely human world in which one lives one’s life.I have not often, though I’ve tried, really felt at home among the trees, the birds, the rocks, the landforms, the watercourses, the weather, among which we human animals live and make our livings and make our way.It’s a stucco place, put up I’d guess just before or after the second world war, just a kilometre out of town.A line of nine pines stands along Kangaloon out front.Of all the cosmologies of belonging human cultures have known the Indigenous apprehension of country is perhaps the most lyrical and sophisticated.One feels, as a descendant of the disinheritors, an illness of ease speaking of Indigenous knowledge.For most of the human occupation of the earth, most cultures have sacralised the land, understood place as imbued with mystery, meaning, divinity, wisdom, lore.Before Descartes came along and defined a human being as a thinking mind and the Enlightenment demystified reality and rationalized nature and set us human beings apart from it—all cultures have shared an understanding of the world beyond the merely human as sentient and conscious, a Self from which we humans drew large parts of our identity; for most of human history, human beings have not merely occupied but been occupied by the country in which they lived.For Indigenous people, it is different, and it is well past time we asked them if they might help. They whose languages, linguistic marvels, we called primitive, whose very occupation we denied, whose wisdom we disparaged. And where one lives and what one belongs to, and a fair bit of what one means, is ‘country’, and country is, as Deborah Bird-Rose put it, reprising Levinas, ‘nourishing terrain.’ ‘Country,’ she writes, is a place that gives and receives life.For Indigenous Australians, land is not acreage or real estate or visual catchment or vista or background. Not just imagined or represented, it is lived in and lived with…


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