Tuesday, 27 January 2015
I'll Sing You to Me
It was Australia Day yesterday. Around here it was a very quiet day. Just us. No BBQ. No lamingtons, although I seriously considered making some.
The most "Australian" thing we did was for Miss Mischief and I to watch the movie "Australia", all the way to the end, last night. Apparently I always falls asleep just after those "fat cheeky bulls" get driven up the wharf into the ship. Not because I'm uninterested in the movie, but because it's long and staying up til midnight is not normally in my realm of do-able things.
As I watched last night I realised this movie is full of incredibly special moments and beautiful themes. And heartbreaking ones too. What were people thinking, back in 1939, to imagine that it was ever going to be OK to steal indigenous children from their families, to "breed the black out of them" because they would be better off? How appalling and shameful! Our past is not one to be proud of in this regard and it makes our present so tricky. A present for which there are no easy answers or palatable solutions. The hurt goes too deep for either. Sadly I don't know any indigenous people because we live in very different locations, but I know I would have a lot to learn from them. And the first thing I would say is "I'm so sorry".
What surprised me, watching the movie this time, was the way Lady Ashley embraces all those she encounters at Faraway Downs. They are all immediately worthy of her protection, appreciation and solidarity, regardless of colour, race or creed. Her only exception is for those who do the morally wrong thing. Like stealing. I love her fierce loyalty.
What endeared me most in the movie, was Nulluh, played by Brandon Walters (pictured above). Is that not the most angelic, gorgeous face you've ever seen? Well, apart from your own children of course! Nulluh straddles two worlds with wisdom and intuition that just feels ... right. I feel like no matter how I say this I'll say it wrong. But Nulluh learns the ways of his indigenous roots from his grandfather and he learns the ways of his non-indigenous roots from the Drover and Lady Ashley. Both are embraced by Nulluh and the adults around him embrace them too. This gave me hope for us, as a nation. My hope might be naive and simplistic, but it is hopeful nonetheless.
My favourite line in the whole movie? "I'll sing you to me". It is a thread that resonated with me and I'm having trouble putting into words how those few words impacted me. It's a picture of what I imagine God does for me. I always thought about it in terms of God pursuing us. But maybe he sings us to him. He sings to our hearts and calls to us in the deepest places of our being. A song that speaks and calls, and connects. A song that tells me I am safe and loved and wanted and cherished. That no matter how far away I get, that song will guide me back. Nulluh told Lady Ashley that he would "sing you to me" as they were being separated. A promise that they would be reunited and reconnected in the deepest of ways. And their song guided her back to him.
How beautiful to be so known and so loved.