|All Along the Songlines|
|Written by Jason Brink|
|Thursday, 29 July 2010 03:06|
In the beginning there was the song, and it burst from the stars and ravaged the earth with its melodies. Some of the notes struck the the stones in the form of stars hurled from the sky to crash down to earth. Others became waves, churned by the melody and tempo to beat upon the shores. Still others became wind, reedy and lilting as a piper’s pipe, winnowing from the scattered chafe of the earth the seeds of life before casting them upon the earthquake-tilled ground. The song grew and grew, weaving together to form the blades of grass, the trunks of trees, the majestic arc of river paths and the deep cacophonous boom of the earth. The music twisted, crashed together, burst apart, and then finally lay still.
It is always remarkable, the way you learn new things. New pictures of reality given to you by those you meet, new ways to tie the world together. As we were walking down the street to go meet a couple friends at Moka, a local place near the water that serves a reasonable facsimile of western pizza, I noticed she was humming a little song and very quietly voicing our surroundings...giving name to them in song. Generally speaking, she is a very sing-song type of person to begin with, and it is amusing to listen to her sing whatever it is that may have come to her mind. I asked what the significance of the singing was, and she explained to me that it was tied to aboriginal spirituality in Australia, and that at the beginning of the world before time, everything that exists in our world was sung into being. That these songs were called song-lines, and when traveling the aborigines would sing the story of their journey, which would allow other to make the same journey by following the signs from within the song.
She went on to say that the Aborigines believe that the world is held together by these songs, and that were the songs to cease to be sung, the objects in them would cease to exist. With these songs acting as a sort of collective memory, it is a perfect example of the belief that “if I don’t remember/see/think about/acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist. The belief that we in our remembering, control what happens in the world around us.
I do not believe that the world can be made or unmade by a song, but I do believe that there is a very important lesson here...that we can through our remembering of truths, and forgetting of slights and offenses. How much could we possibly make things better if we, as a race, let ourselves remember our human relation, and forget the walls that divide us. How much would the world change if everyone just forgot the dividing lines of their religions? How much more peaceful would the world be if we let ourselves move past the theological barriers that have held us apart for so long and recognized the common aspects of our humanity.
I laugh a bit when I write thing, because it really makes it sound like I should be wearing patchouli oil and sitting up in the top of a big tree somewhere trying to keep the evil lumber company from destroying Gaia, but that's not really my thing and everyone who knows me knows that very well. I am not a hippy, but when you look at causes of loss of life globally it almost always comes down to a REALLY REALLY REALLY stupid reason behind the conflict. Christians v. Muslims, Muslims v. Christians, Pagans v. Christians, Christians v. Pagans, Christians v. Christians, Muslims v. Muslims... I don’t understand why everyone can’t give it a rest. There is no need for us to fight one another, even from a religious standpoint. Every single religion without question has within it the basics of the concept of peace and goodwill. There are certainly outliers which twist the meanings of their religion to match the most terrible and violent interpretation of their religion; radical Islam, the Westboro Baptist nutjobs, and others like them...but by and large most people desire nothing more than to be left alone. The average Muslim bears no ill will towards the average Christian, nor does the average Christian bear any ill will towards the average Muslim...I think deep down everyone recognizes that they are all just human beings. If we could just for a moment stop singing the songs of destruction, stop chanting the rhythms to unmake the world, perhaps we could learn a new song.
Personally, I know there are many things that I have seen done over the years....many slights and offenses both perceived and real. I have made a choice to let them go...to let them fall by the wayside my mind, it is of no profit to hold things against people, its done, its over...moving forward from here.
That's my rant for the day. In other news I spent some time at the hospital in Rayong getting another dose of the TwinRix Hep A+B vaccine. Incredibly beautiful hospital, giant, clean, and shining. I was VERY impressed. The language barrier was something of an issue, but at least I am already in the Thai system now in case something happens. I even have a little hospital ID card and everything.
I am headed to Bangkok today for some shopping and paperwork purposes, and to help a friend with her baggage at the airport. Should be back in Ban Phe by later tonight, but I might end up staying over there somewhere. Always a big adventure.
Note: The girl who told me about the Songlines was Emily...she has her own blog at http://emily-songlines.blogspot.com/
|Last Updated on Thursday, 29 July 2010 03:29|