i felt a deep but elusive connection to the country around alice. i puzzled over it for a day or two and strained to work out what i was feeling.
i wrote this on thursday night:
"there is something so compelling and mystical about this place - i feel drawn, mesmerised by the rocks and red dust - i want to sink into it and lose myself in its red antiquity.
i long to take off into the desert and feel annihilated by the space, clear air and luminosity. i begin to understand the desert fathers. i think you could spend your life wandering, yearning, searching for the spirit of this place.
although i am a whitefella i can feel that there is another way of reading this landscape but it is out of my reach. whitefella maps and language and way of understanding the world are pitifully insufficient to grasp the spirituality of this landscape that quivers massively, just out of our reach.
like an unlettered animal we can intuit a skeleton of meaning and realise that there is a body of symbolism and that the earth is alive in a completely different way, but it is not ours. and i think this leaves the whitefella with a profound grief - so profound that he cannot grasp this either and is left bemused and pained by something he can't understand.
the red earth, the convulsed rocks reach out, yearning for connection. the whitefella can dimly feel and reflect the yearning but cannot work out how to connect, how to be with the earth and is condemned to bereftness."