The Lovers Ghosts Prayer for us all.
Cafe Locked Out Views from the road
Sorry for not writing in a while. But last knight we stayed on at the Indigenous community Jurjumbah, where a group of original people from several nations are trying to protect what could be the sight of a massacre.
The Lovers Ghosts
When we grabbed out shovels and went to dig ourselves in, we found the trenches had already been dug. There were black painted hands decorating the balustrades and people from all nations with the same tattoo in their eyes, engraved there by the silent war of intergenerational pain.
Artist and Freedom Fighter Deekay
We were new to oppression, like kindergarten kids who’d been told that we could no longer play. But these people had not only finished segregation school, they’d completed university, and instead of telling us to go away, like our families and friends had, they offered up their hands and with a smile that our culture had tried to dim, they lit up our souls and welcomed us in.
“You have to relax,” Deekay told me, who, thanks to the colour of his skin, was born a soldier. “It’s a marathon not a sprint.”
We were here to share their story about the pit of bones they’d found. There’d been a mission here populated with Original people from all different nations, and this white, stained the forest, like a forgotten tributary that had once held life, Yowie had discovered, what she believed was the scattered bones of people from her past.
Was it a massacre or a pre colonisation burial site, that was the question, but over a thin line of trees a tide of houses had reached this shore, and all these secrets were under threat of being buried beneath the foundations of a new development site.
Across the country these original people were fighting similar battles. The protection of sacred sites, the prevention of major rivers being dammed to irrigate cotton. For the Land, that they called Mother.
We had a few new scars, and our eyes were baffled to where our country had gone, and why so many of our brothers and sisters had just watched quietly or even spat on us with all their condescension as we’d all slipped into these old trenches and stuck up our new posters and flew our banners from the lips.
Many of us had hoped the election would fix everything, an instant reset of our culture. In Melbourne our great marches had felt like a promise of change, but now they were just hard-fought battles lost.
“Relax,” Deekay said again, “It’s a marathon not a sprint.” He even told me that he won’t see the victory, not in his time. But we will win. They all said that, and an old woman patted my wrist warmly as they did.
We were cultural lepers now, the anti vaxxers meeting other rebel fighters, who told us as we rested, we are all unvaxxed too.
The night came quickly, and the full moon curiously wanted to see everything that was going on as on the other side of the trees, people watched Netflix while slipping back into their private silence in a search for personal worth; a point to their existence other than helping erect the propaganda cage being hammered around their principles, while here, one old woman, an Aunty, spoke of a relative. It was a story of a white man and an Original woman who, back at the turn of the century, and somewhere towards the top of the country, had fallen in love and gotten married.
Can you imagine the shit they would have copped, she said. But they made it work. They made it work. Can you imagine what the shit they would have copped, she said. But they made it work. They made it work.
And as the moon continued to rise, I peered over the edge of the trench, across the land that was no longer free, to where I knew the houses were preparing for sleep under the relentless barrage that continues to make less and less sense, there on the contested earth, I watched the ghosts of this couple embrace. It was like they using their entwined bodies to recite a prayer of love, and our moon was their painter, and our mother was their alter, and as I watched them I pray I knew, that their defiant and determined love would warm me into the grave.
Michael Gray Griffith