Wakuwal - Dream
The sun is blotted out of the sky - look there - a lethal mist spreads all across the earth.
This story does not begin at Burralku. It is the story of our time, not of time’s beginning. It is a story of the latest invasion. Despite calamity after calamity, there might still be hope. I tell you this story from the uncreated conscience of the soul. I tell you to escape nationality, language and religion. I tell you this story before it is too late. I tell you this story so you can fly from the prison and the stilted mind. I will tell you so that you too can know and feel and start again. I speak gently and humbly to those who have been visited by the sweeping cycles of death and destruction. I ask for forgiveness that we might restore some magic and light back into the dark world.
Who am I? Ha! My name is unimportant, for I have many names. I am one of the daoine sidhe - little people of the hills. I come from an island called Eire. Of me, nothing is material. ‘I am a spirit being. You can see and feel me. I am with you always. I am a stag of seven tines, a flood across a plain, a wind on a deep lake, a tear the sun lets fall, a thorn beneath the nail, a wizard that sets the cool head aflame with smoke, a spear thar rears for blood, a salmon in a pool, a lure from paradise, a hill where poets walk, a boar ruthless and red, a breaker threatening doom, a tide that drags to death, an infant that peeps down from the unhewn dolmen arch, a womb of every holt, a blaze on every hill, the queen of every hive, the shield for every head and the grave of every hope!’ (The Muse of Anergin) I was conceived as a thought from the mind of the world. I live with owls and snakes. I play in olive trees. I counsel generals. I am your divine intelligence. I guide the hand of painters and weavers. I am the muse that whispers in your ear. I am the dream of a child who struggles to tell. I am older than the piper’s stones.
We ‘little people’ are greatly feared by those who came to invade our ancient lands. For thousands of years we repelled fierce warriors with our magic and song. This was a time before the written word and the civilised mind. There were many lands and disconnected kingdoms and cultures. But even we magical beings of Eire had no inkling of the myriad spirits, lives and civilisations far beyond our shores. We were but youngsters compared to them but yes we were all to familar with invasions and death.
There is more to who we are. The ringing bells for the 7am mass call us to prayer. They ring loud and long to attract strangers, sinners and vagrants who have lost their way
Time and space are nothing to us. Our ancient lands and kingdoms are under mountains, lakes and even under the sea. We appear and disappear in your world. When we are at play, very sensitive boys and girls and old men and women can sometimes feel our presence. We may appear as a breeze in trees and leaves. I think you know that we can fly! When we fly time and space shifts. We can take our friends with us, but our greatest power is to place thoughts in minds even through the words on this page. You are flying with me now. You see us all the time but rarely do you recognise what you are seeing.
Birds and animals know better. When you hear dogs barking at night, seemingly at nothing, there is usually some faery flitting about. It is natural for us to change and shift and transmogrify. We just turn our minds and we are they and they are us. We feel and experience nature in the same way as the creatures we become. If you look very closely you will see us. Perhaps an animal will be noticeably larger... or perhaps it will have a little shimmer of light around it. These are the clues.
Like birds and animals we can sense when great changes are occurring. You know that animals can sense a storm or an earth quake or a great wave hitting the shore before it happens? We faeries had these feelings of trepidation in that year without a summer when the sun did not shine and plants did not grow. Dry fog hung over the land. Potatoes rotted, wheat and oats shrivelled. There were strange murmurings across Eire. The people were soon starving. Old men and women looked to the heavens, crossed themselves and asked themselves what was awry. Something far beyond our world had changed. Something deep within our world had also changed. Men were altering the flow of waters in the countryside, smoke and steam were creating new powers. Burning coal vomited smoke and absorbed the hands and bodies of small children. It was one of those times where it is hard to understand what was going on. We were travelling far and wide, alert to new vibrations, trying to understand why the life giving power of the sun had left us. A lone machine travelled across the maze, a hare ran out alarmed, shocked and fearful. It was a new age, a time of crowds when people fell by the wayside.
The manuscript of this book is nearing completion after many years of contemplation and thought. It is currently being submitted to literary and film agents in Australia, UK and the United States.
Painting: Mrs. P. Batumbil Burrarwanga, Gurtha Mata Mata With very special thanks to Mrs. P. Batumbil Burarrwanga and Ms. S.D Gurruwiwi