Sunday, July 09, 2006


Singing Rock rings like a bell. It is a big pile of musical rocks. You tap them; they chime. It's a wondrous thing. As Art Director comes up the beaten path, Erin and Dimity are sitting atop the red and black musical rock instrument. Dimity is smiling under her blue beanie. Erin is chiming the rocks. Apart from the sounds of smiling and chiming, the place is deafening in its quietude.

Art Director taps out a paradiddle. To the astonishment of the universe at large, he then sits atop the rocks, centres himself, sits quietly and begins to meditate. (I know what you are thinking. Art director? Meditate? Quiet? It just doesn't add up. But there are things about art director that you don't know, and he is yet to discover.)

In the middle distance, the road into Papulankutja is marked by a long line of orange dust. A vehicle at it's feathered tip speeds slowly across the vast yellowing lanscape. Locals are returning from the funeral at Warburton.

The deafening quietude fills his ears for some time. The girls then take turns to read prayers from the Baha'i. The sun sets behind the redblack rocks. The three sit very still for some time.

It's good, says Art Director finally. I feel spiritually refreshed. Beyond Singing Rock is a rock painting featuring a goanna. The story of Papulankutja involves magic men who, to play a trick on one other, turn themselves, coincidentally, and both at the same time, into goannas. When they see each other next, they don't recognise each other. Who is this goanna, they think. I don't recognise this goanna. Yet there is something strangely familiar. Papulankutja means just that. Something uncertain, but strangely familiar. Art Director surveys this landscape, these paintings with an eerie sense of papulankutja. The landscape feels like a homecoming.

The magic men are eventually killed, when through their hubris, they ignore the warnings of the women and interfere in Law.

He wonders if he too might have made a similar mistake.

No comments: