Nobody Owns the Notes
Jeff McMullen 2013
The secret beating heart of Archie Roach’s music is the connection to his country and people. On the Gunditjmara lands in south-west Victoria, near a peaceful place Aboriginal people call Tarerer (Tower Hill) where eagles soar and the sugar gliders, black swans, kangaroos and emus wander the wetlands around a dormant volcano, the songman finds the spirit of place he has searched for most of his life.Archie’s voice, with a tremor like broken moonlight, washes in across the southern ocean. Along this gentle shore at Killarney there is a midden in the sand dunes scattered with shells and bones, little bits of a story that is older than anyone truly knows. This is Archie’s mother’s country. She was from the Djab Wurrung clan of the Gunditjmara but was born on the Framlingham Aboriginal mission after her people were pushed from their lands. His dad was a Bundjalung man from the Clarence River in northern New South Wales.
Writing posts hasn’t come easily as you know. Not of late. Today I came across the ARCHIE ROACH music and my mind went back to when I heard that his Ruby had died. I saw something die in his eyes as well and then he had a stroke – seems like we almost go ahead with our Beloveds. But he came back and re-created himself and is making fine new music and doing fine new things. He will be up here in my area for freshwater saltwater .
My heart still beats. I have had 2 years of the excruciating pain of losing Izzy and then of grave illnesses. Today I took no medication and I had a very ordinary day – almost a normal day. A mixture. I rode the pony clear to Town. If I can normalise that, I shall add new dimensions to my days. I just want to collapse into being taken care of but that doesn’t seem to work very well so I am out there stretching my spiritual and emotional and physical being.
I haven’t taken medicine for 2 days and feel much better. I know I might well need it again but days when I don’t – then I won’t.
We shopped in the morning and then in the afternoon, I took the Pony Ride – clear up around the Council Chambers and along the Main Street and back across the Showground and home. I am not, as yet, specially AT HOME here. Then again I have experienced that before as I did in South Coogee ( 1988-1994 ) I didn’t feel at home there but it became one of our most loved and stable homes. Its been an enjoyable day. I even had a real breakfast and lived quite normal hours without the need for pain killers or fluid tablets.
Its bedtime now and I shall give that a go.
TODAY AND MY TOWN.
WHEN WE WERE BOTH ALIVE