Part 1: HYMNS
9. EARTH MOTHER SONG
We call her : ‘our Mother Earth.’
We love her: we give her a name, our earthy mother-provider: Gaia, our Mum.
Good replenishing food, weather, shelter, home;
bush walks, wildlife, warmth, chill, adventure,
The big story is:
She Loves Us same way
Our Mum. Her Earth-Mother love.
Her soft booming heartbeat next to ours.
When we truly Realise and Know this :
that our arms and hearts wrap around each other so close :
then we cannot find it in ourselves
to hurt Her any more, any more …
… any more than we can choose to hurt family,
animals, feelings, God.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE EARTH, seen your country, your own land,
from five or ten thousand metres above?
– from fifteen to thirty thousand feet?
We can fly incredibly high above it, our land : watch it from a jet, unrolling thirty-five thousand feet below. Those of us who love to press our faces to the window can see right down into its unexpected heaving surface, t he billows of land-skin like a rumpled unmade bed, or the wrinkled back of a big goanna; and wide reaches of plains, as though the muscles beneath are stretched to full extension, to make a broad tense belly.
There are great reservoirs of water, trapped in creases and hollows, and some so vast and swelling they make you think of something more like inside your own body ~ that sense of heavy motion within, the tidal sway of amniotic fluid.
Some places the clouds shut you out, their habit of steamy condensation over forested mountains; where the trees breathe out their waste water-vapour and mist themselves out from our view. It is easier to catch in full sight the open patchwork farms and roadscapes, where the radiant heat lifts the clear air high, and dry.
(Though sometimes such surface radiation buries from view the smokey cities : as inverted temperature layers in the atmosphere above, crush down the week’s pollutants into a low compacted blanket of smog.)
It is always a beautiful, and sometimes sorrowful, astonishment to we heavy-footed mortals: watching our moody country rolling over beneath us from the high atmosphere.
AND HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR LAND, from only ten thousand feet, from five?
Closer up : the way we look at a man or a woman in bed next to us, move our eyes over their undulating skin, float our hands above their contours : just close enough to feel their live heat pass into our own. Count their dusty blemishes that we know so well, greet the folds forming with age, seek in passing for signs of ill-health, wonder again about some of the deeper crevices
From five thousand feet: You can see things that only mystic aborigines have seen :
the intimate body of the Earth.
We have watched her, the dozing terra australis: this oldest exposed land-body on the face of the Earth, moving beneath our small wings hour after hour, the slow turning of her faded deserts, her worn-down remote mountain ranges like aged lizards. We take steadfast high-wing aeroplanes, two or three sometimes; so all friends and
family can look down unimpeded to absorb their extraordinary privilege : this rare, intimate view of their sleeping secretive land.
Our antipodean country: some of her surfaces three and a half billion years old, three thousand five hundred million years; on a planet whose very birth as boiling star-gas and molten metal was only one billion years earlier.
As a nearby galactic star died in climactic explosion, the shock waves stirred local dust and gases into eddies, whirlpools, then passionate vortices of condensation; and as this crushing compression fired its core of hydrogen into brilliant nuclear fusion reaction, our Star-Sun was born.
And as its accelerating, spinning gravity whistled the lighter elements into its blazing heart, the heavier hot dusts hurled outwards to spiral around the child-star, falling into their own eddies, and sweeping up nearby debris into their own boiling proto-planetary hearts
(net abc science)
Thus: as our Star was born, so was our Earth born,
and her sister planets.
As the rib was flung out from the oblivious new-forming Adam,
so was Eve also new-forged.
And our Earth-planet was special : its rocky body nudged inward by erratic gas giants, to occupy the orbit around the Sun where Water-vapour gathered, and streamed into the whirlpool which was the incubating Earth. Melting meteorites pelted into her roiling
red-melt surface, and swelled her boiling steam and mass and gravity. And some proto-planet crashed into her one time, and threw out our moonrock into high shining orbit.
(net images and below)
And as she coalesced more densely, water gathered to envelop her in hot-vapour clouds, which eventually charged with mighty thunderstorms ; and it rained for perhaps two hundred million years or more, upon the groaning fissured crusts riding the surface of boiling magma below.
As the planet cooled, the crusts dragged and jostled upon the mighty convection currents deep within this magma mantle, and over-rode each other, and plunged subducting melting back into deep-cycling red lava, and broke surface elsewhere to form anew : like colossal, viscous subterranean cyclones.
So do our Earth’s crusts continue to cycle today, in great slow tectonic heaves, her pounding convection metabolism and musculature, her creaking peristaltic quakes. And her abyssal cold circulatory ocean currents, whose upwellings raise nutrients to pulsing surface plankton: who photosynthesise it into growing carbon-ecology-communities, whilst generating half the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen. Like pulmonary arteries and veins feeding great lungs, and carrying off excess warmth and oxygen back into deep, cool digestive ocean valleys. Her rhythmic, tidal, seasonal heart-beats swirling energy and life all around her body.
And seismic neural signal-networks sending homeostatic feedback loops to surface quake and volcano: her expulsive sulphur clouds to cool the atmosphere ; her sudden shivering ice ages, the huge era-rhythms of her crustal-aerial, biochemical, emotive biosphere.
And so does she convulse too, from time to time, under cosmic assault and transition and stress ; her intermittent toppling reversals of magnetic polarity, her mighty magnetic storms under clash from solar flares, her cataclysmic freezing dust-blackouts from volcanic outburst and meteorite impact.
(And today, her imminent shuddering exhalations under hot blanket of belched CO2, her dyspeptic storm-blasts, fiery fever tremors, reddening volcano-boils, anaemic fished-out ocean circulations, hypoxic and poisoned river-capillaries, her flinches from smarting scabby skin contagions and lacerations and burns. Hyperthermia, dehydration, fever, metabolic dysfunction and ultimate bio-cascade into shock, circulatory failure, hypothermia and pathologic organ failures.)
And within this immense routine cosmic phenomenon, this ordinary birth and life of a star and planets, an event can occur like a flash-point : a transfiguration of energy : ~
For within the myriad atoms, and most transient and abstruse of sub-atomic particles, is fixed the Pattern for the architecture of the whole of our mathematical Physical universe, and also for the phenomena of Life, and of Consciousness :
~ And new-formed Organic Life broke through on warm and watery planet Earth, arising from within the spiral and crystalline and free-form geometries of Earthly temperate carbon-chemistry ;
and the Atom was delivered at last of its latent biochemical power as the building-block of Self-Replicating Life-matter.
Then primitive life-awareness, cell-abreaction, evolved slowly towards sentience and self-protection and Mind,
and far beyond, ultimately, towards high Self-Consciousness.
The physical, esoteric, quixotic and mystic patterns of Atoms and Molecules are coming into
human comprehension now :
~ Atom-being encodes
the conscious awareness of Life,
as DNA will encode a great body within its microcosmic helix ;
~ in which Body, Life and Mind are immanent,
each inherent within the other ;
~ and which together can evolve and eventually encompass
the twined Ethic and Aesthetic ~
the Conscience ~
contemplative, intellectual, insightful, artful, emotional, spiritual, visionary inner voice ~
which inspires our acts of living ~
in High Human Consciousness
– in every Atom of all matter,
the Grace and Beauty of Godde.
Our extraordinary human brain-power is our measure of the Magnitude of this Universe : our insight and outsight, our growing discoveries of its mathematical languages of physics, its mirror-halls of quixotic dimensions, its self-propelling cyclic patterns and motions, its galactic life-spans, its bestowed gift of the Aesthetic, its myriad comprehensible mystic, spiritual, scientific, and humane realms, and its perfect universal moral axioms ~
the a priori Ethic.
We comprehend universal Knowledge through our own zillion mind-body Atoms.
“All things are knowable
within the confines of this long and wide body”
– Gautama Buddha
And so is our Earth, and all physical things, and all non-human life, also the archives of universal spirit and knowledge : all sharing the same still, elemental Consciousness, the same elemental Ethic, the same Aesthetic:
embedded in the microcosmic Code of the Atoms
of which Every Thing is made.
And so :
She is a mighty Conscious Being and Body, our own Earth;
And being undistracted by the flickering choices
of the darting human mind,
nor moved by fears and speculations ~
She holds within, the distilled quiescent Ethic,
the dreaming heart of Sacred Aesthetic Consciousness,
the literal embodiment of sub-atomic Moral Truth.
She is our primal and beautiful cognizant Teacher,
Deliverer of Life-generations and Provider for all,
Our abandoned, derided and defiled Mother
Goddess spun with Godly star-stuff :
Earth-stuff spun into our own every bodily Atom.
We are all of Star and Earth-stuff made.
Aboriginal people of australia, First People of the Earth, have always known : in their motionless contemplations.
They have always known that in looking into their own Land, there can they discern the universal Good; and the Law that is right for Her special care, and thereby their Own.
They have always known this :
that the sacred Law and Lore for the wellbeing of humans and all Life,
comes from the maternal Land.
They have always known that Conscience is universal, and lives within :
that to know what is right and good, we have only to look truthfully into our own hearts,
our own atomic being, our own embodied Earthly Ethic, our Spirit.
(“… all things are knowable within the confines of this long and wide body…”)
And so in looking into ourselves, and into our Land ~
can the Knowledge of How To Live on Earth be recalled once more by all People.
We can realise her pain and her recoil,
Her unreturned love, our head-bang injuries upon her every day.
And to Understand the Needs of The Earth
is to embrace the Care of all parts of Her,
and thus the care of Ourselves and All Life.
Yes : You can Pray to Her, the Earth, our learned Mother Spirit :
as can all people :
and She will Inform us, in her deep telling Song :
on How To Be.
If Sky-God is the blaze of Light, and of Love ~ as we have been taught ~
then Earth-Goddess is the beauty of Truth, and of Ethos.
And their Reunion at long last
is a joyous fusion
in Genesis and Renewal:
the genesis of We, their new child.
(And now –
– a picture diversion, into a painting about the life-forming body of Earth-Mother, both deep within her rhythmic body, and beyond into her floating magnetosphere….
…. her turbulent planetary fertility reaching up to the photosynthesising, life-siring hands of her Sun-Father consort…. )
Our Earth Mum has a magnificent Magnetic Bad Hair Day,
under the vibrant touch of a visiting Solar Flare from her Sun
The Earth’s great interior cycles of magma roll deep beneath us,
around her dense superheated core.
Her global Weather builds in streams, currents, spinning pressures and cyclones,
over her land forms, curved latitudes and heaving ocean tides and currents.
Earth Life arose in oceans, still today her greatest source and resource of Life.
Her birds rock and ride the surges of her atmosphere and oceans.
The rippling polar aurorae radiate from her magnetic storms,
under the impact of solar plasma flares and coronal mass ejections : both erupted from the Sun’s own intermittent, explosive magnetic storms.
Birds, oceans and islands migrate
across the Earth’s subterranean tectonic movements.
She carries all Life both within and without her vibrant sphere.
AND HAVE YOU LOOKED AT YOUR LAND, from a mere one or two thousand metres only ? ~ from three or six thousand feet only? Or even five hundred?
See her truly Female forms: the undeniable and Truthful Metaphor of her gender, the fact of her Femininity, her maternity.
See her Figurative Woman of all ages: of vibrant upstanding mountain peaks, youthful cascades of waterfall-tresses down steep young mountainsides, formative ovarian volcanic islands; the measured subsiding hills of her middle age, steady rivers in their established plains, deepening furrows of experienced gorge-waters; her fertility, the folded marks of her deliveries.
And she is old, old, in terra australis, my borrowed antipodean continent. And we can see right through her wasted papery skin, to her thin and sinewy muscles, to the forms of her soft viscera, even; her bones and gnarled joints pressing her dark skin pallid in places, the seamed wrinkles falling into her crevices.
See the immobile, geometric, red iron ranges of the far continental centre, north and west, the oldest visible earth crust in the world; and the ancient rusted sea-bed bluffs ridging the fallen continental belly. The stone ranges emerge from the desert sands in winding serried escarpments, the low worn stubs of once-mighty crustal impact-peaks, ground down over billions of years by ice-age force. They are like the petrified vertebrae and toothed jaw-bones of an old burial ground, exposing slowly under the millennial wind and rain; in places so worn they are barely recognisable as relics.
The eternal westerly winds have abraded the slow-subsiding deserts into vast ranks of motionless dunes. They lie like rows of orderly fallen ribs, five hundred kilometres long, the dry skin stretched and creased between them; their furrows trapping spare rare rains in long shining ribbons.
There are parts of the arid, primal sea-bed which were once compacted beneath three kilometres of sea-sediment rock strata above; now weathered and graded down and cracked gorge-deep, to expose the primal foundations of an ocean, rust-red as the ancient sea became oxidised by early photosynethetic Life.
And there are remnant circles of comet impacts that must have once shaken and clouded the earth, vapourised into craters many miles wide; now no more than the cracked bottoms of bone-socket shock-formations once miles deep.
In australis, we are looking at the very skeleton of our planet.
There are dry and low, rumpled hill-ranges near where crustal plates once groaned at each other, and dragged apart, and piled together again; and the cushioned reverberations folded the near hinterland into more gentle undulations, now dispersed by weather into visceral mounds: furrowed with the shallow branched gullies of a sparse circulation, the spare rain that may speckle once a year, or perhaps not for years.
Like an aged pancreas, or liver, its brittle persistent veins and slow-shrivelling borders. In places the blood vessels surge, in the radiating arterial channels of flood country, the immense deltic fans of seasonal inland-river outwash carrying nutrients and Life hundreds of miles into the plains.
And then: in the most remote and ancestral deserts: amongst the most absolute, stately, rectilinear geology on the face of the Earth, the exposed structural beds and pillars and architraves that once long ago supported the upper free-forms of a young land mass:
~ you may look upon the sensual sculptural metaphor of Woman in her most fecund time, her youthful years of perpetual pregnancy, her maximum bounty: in the breathing red rock bodies that heave up into your horizon, the wide-bodied haunches and sprawled rounded shoulders of the sleeping mothers, their relaxed breasts, their heavy stomachs, domed beautiful heads dozing under the red sun.
Kata Tjuta : The Sleeping Women in the Heart of our Land.
Our ancient woman mother-land.
IT ASTOUNDED ME, THE CAPACITY FOR ANIMAL LIFE on the surface of this faded grandmother-land, when I came to live in australia. Like seared or flooded or ice-bound or wind-blasted territories the world over : the seething Life that surges in great seasonal waves of opportunity, little billions riding the annual storms, seceding into desiccated quiescence during the drought. A continent of ants and termites, digging and aerating the hard soil, their lacy labyrinths stretched from coast to continental coast.
A land of slipping scared geckoes, and broad lazy lizards cast in the sun warming up for the hunt; of wakeful snakes, and waves of clattering beetles, million-moth migrations like bird flocks.
Yes, and birds: the flurries of parrots, so innumerable they display without risk in absurdly brilliant plumage, their evening congregation-clamour drowning out the overhead jets. There are huge thunderous birds in heavy flouncing feathers, grounded desert beasts like the big kangaroos who share their vast ranges; the roos whose millions rise and fall with the fortunes of the planet’s weather moods, whose tough laws prepare them for infanticide in drought, and fast activation of suspended embryos when the rains sweep through.
Sometimes it rains sea-creatures in remote inland Australia : when the first storms blow in, and arouse the encased nymphs in years-dry billabongs, which fill overnight with shoals of tiny shrimps in their frenzy of fertilisation; alongside the ephemeral flowers which burst open, pollinate and seed in a few short days of incredible, swelling, oceanic beauty.
On a land of bone-ridges and dusty skin: a wild sea of wildlife.
There are brown-grey gum trees right across the continent, whose stumps look like motionless kangaroos. They come back, the blackened trees, after fire from lightning or summer wildfire burn: the green spikes shooting straight out from trunks and forks, grasping for photosynthesis within moments of their immolation: their committed coexistence with fire.
The gumtrees speak their struggle to reach sunlight and water, survive and grow, their initiation by fire and drought, in all the pained slow twisting of their bodies.
They are like the gnarled tree-denizens of some epic hobbit saga.
I have watched sundown happening in the far-off plateaus and rock faces. The climactic descent of the sun is short ~ a rich-dyed horizon, a purple fade. And yet the sunset breathes and irradiates for hours each day, starting late afternoon, and sustaining long beyond the brief brazen sundown.
And I have realised as I watch: it is the landscape that delivers the slow gorgeous sunset: the pale or red-ochre surfaces, savannah and cliffs, marching escarpments, the still, scattered-rock hillsides: which absorb the late afternoon sun and then return it back into the soft pink air, reflecting the waning light in a quiet dark-red suffusion across the immense pristine panorama. The cliffs gather colour from the relinquishing sun, and then hold onto it, slow-release for hours, like radiant cooling charcoal: the warm fading red-gold-mauve, deepening to purple-blue with the passing of late lig
It is the Land which glows, far beyond the moods
and movements of the sky.
The blood perfusion beneath her skin.
Have you seen your own land? From only two metres away, five or six feet, your own height ?
Your own land, its falling-gold autumn or rosy summers, its low white ice-winter sun or green-red-blue-yellow tropical profusion, pale pink sunsets, cold tree silhouettes, the secretive scratch of your own mongooses, badgers, iguanas, raccoons, tree snakes, foxes, the tinkle of your own homecoming birds.
Your own Mother land :
Within the reach, the touch of your own hand, your own eyes, your own heart.