Graeme Kinross-Smith’s Serial – ‘The Barking of the Dogs’ – Part #5

KINROSS-Smith G profile pic.JPGContemporary Histories is pleased to present the serialisation of Graeme Kinross-Smith’s recent work, ‘The Barking of Dogs: Considering the Social Effects of Global Warming’. This piece will be serialised over a 6 week period.

The Barking of Dogs

Hinting at the Social Effects of Global Warming – Part #5

By Graeme Kinross-Smith

It is all that time ago, in the second decade. All that time ago, in 2016, I hear discussions of the importance of expanded Australian tourism as part of world tourism driven by the middle class in India and China. I hear restaurant and motel owners on Victoria’s west coast attesting to these groups as the foundation-stones now of their continuing existence. I see busload after busload of the visitor faces at their elevated windows, looking down this day as they pass on the ocean’s timeless blue passivity, looking down the next day on the ocean’s white-over-green strenuous force and ferocity. These tourists have come to Australia by plane, not desperately in asylum-seeker boats. Mention of overpopulation and climate change in the discussions? No – the dialogue is of money, the economy, replacement of the billions generated by the mining boom as its earning swagger lessens.  Is there general discussion of the ways population growth underlies everything that occurs and that in combination with other factors, religion high among them, is spelling growing social unrest as we watch overpopulation grow for the whole of the twentieth century and up to the present? No. That is then in time’s continuous present. Where is now?

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Dogs have been turned into the Melbourne streets before. The effects of the heatwaves are becoming palpable, you’ll remember, early in the third decade. Day after day with no refrigeration and the stores closed with power outages. He’ll survive, the owners say, looking down at the dog, looking up for reassurance at each other. We’ve got nothing for him. He’ll fend for himself, won’t he? This is what they tell themselves, as they scrounge for their own next meal in stupefying heat. He’ll be OK, won’t he? The dog is in the street, having waited to see if there will ever again be a welcome on the home verandah.

Rails are buckling. The elderly are breathless as they die. Where the dogs go, there is the stench of the stew of hot rubbish in the streets.

The dogs know the stumbling, distracted, uncertain gait of prey. The dogs roam together, exploring opportunity. The dogs we love. The dogs we fear.

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I love people. People change, however, when the chips are down. If the young mother in her elevated, grey 4WD is capable as early as 2014 of bearing down on a walking older woman struggling with two heavy shopping bags to her inferior and dated small sedan in the K-Mart carpark, and then nudges in closer with her bull-bar to make her physical claim to the next-door car space clear, and then blasts her horn to underline her impatience at the older woman’s slow progress – if she, for whom no chips are down, beyond the need to buy a new pair of shoes for the primary school daughter in the passenger seat as quickly as possible, if she is capable of treating another and frailer human being in this way, then what might she be capable of when the chips are indeed down, when water, food, power and civil control are in short supply? For the time being her bullying behaviour is a demonstration for her child of how power can be used. Some people at the best of times are venal, self-serving, vain, greedy, ruthless – and many times violent. When I go to help with the aftermath of the Warandyte fires as early as the year 1967 I see the opportunist looters, as soon as the fire crews are gone. They are already roving the smouldering blocks seeking copper and brass, tap fittings, piping – while police and volunteers still have not had time to remove the body of a man from a water tank to which he has fled in desperation as a protection from the flames. He has been boiled alive. When the chips are down and survival is important and some people think power can ensure it, history teaches that they might smell power and advantage and resort to violence to gain it and retain it. These are animal responses we have in us all. Some people control them more readily, and for longer, than others. And the dogs will be there. They are opportunist creatures of nature. They are conditioned to survive when the chips are down. History teaches, intones Gertrude Stein. History teaches. History – and the irony of dogs.

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Dogs are consumer items now, embedded in market forces. Look at the long and discrete aisles of pet food in any supermarket. Some households, replete with desirable technology and requisite white goods, then decide they should have a dog – for the cachet of being seen walking it in the street, for the kids. After all, Hamish’s schoolmate round the corner in the suburb has just been given a new terrier. Specialist kennels supply pet shops with the desired breeds of engaging young dogs. The preferred breed often varies from suburb to suburb – King Charles Spaniels here; Jack Russells there, Miniature Dachsunds closer to the CBD. Raids on some breeding kennels by Animal Liberationists allegedly reveal cruel conditions under which breeding females are kept alive to produce litter after litter designed to supply market needs – and then are dispensed with. The kennels are called puppy farms. Sometimes, too, appearance with a dog is something copied from the famous. In India, we are told, the new middle class ape the choice of dog breed favoured by celebrities, paying high prices for imported breeds that have been seen in the arms of Bollywood film stars. Recently the pug has been top of the pops. Is this demand met by breeding in Indian puppy farms? Similarly, in Australian resorts and café strips owners who are anxious to be seen strut with their dogs, seeking attention, seeking comment. In Paris I see a dog owner dressed in spotted clothing to match her attendant Dalmatian, sitting at a café table to field plaudits from passers-by in a thronged street in the 6th arrondisement. Observing all this at first hand, one vet estimates that only 20% of dog owners are responsible dog lovers. Costs of pet food, we are told, have doubled in India since 1998, indicating that, probably, true to the generally unvarying percentages, an increasing number of dogs will be suffering neglect, dumping, starvation or capricious ‘putting down’ at an early age. All this is part of the operation of market forces. It is never the fault of the dogs. Blame lies at the feet of their procurers, their owners and the fads of vanity.

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I doubt that the world knows what it’s up against. I suspect we may be 50 years too late in realizing the fate to which overpopulation and self-gratifying greed have condemned us – the fate to which we have condemned ourselves. Leaders and politicians do not urge those who vote them into power to sacrifice some of their comfort in living standard and expectation. There is no political mileage in that. So I suspect we might have run out of time to save ourselves, even by sacrifice.

Was the last opportunity for sacrifice and lowering of expectations and elimination of competition for profit and the levelling of inequity in order to reduce stress on the planet possibly, at the latest, in the 1960s? That time has gone, hasn’t it? We don’t know then. We are not thinking about it. In any case it requires something close to a world-wide unanimity of view and purpose – a human unanimity that history tells us has never proved possible before, and that goes against grasping human nature and ambition for power – and is impossible of achievement. We don’t know. We are not attuned. It requires something akin to Fabian socialism and ultimate wisdom in state control. Our understanding of human behaviour and self-serving tells us that that also can never be humanly achieved. We are not attuned. Even if we attain such unprecedented human unity of purpose in the 1960s it’s time is already past, isn’t it?  It does not happen. It is scarcely even imagined. We are not attuned.

Now it’s the third decade. But you will remember all that time ago in 2015 the self-congratulatory, mutual-congratulatory words of political leaders and Ministers at their setting of goals to attempt to limit global warming’s effects to 2 degrees after their long conferring at the Paris Climate Summit. You will also perhaps remember the words of the paper delivered by the Oxford scientists soon after, which drew attention to Australia’s equivocal setting of goals, amongst those of other nations, to reduce carbon emissions, especially in the field of fossil fuels: ‘…if the time for halting investments into new fossil fuel infrastructure is 2017 for the world, that time has been ten years ago for Australia – the highest per capita emitter in the developed world…’

Lord May’s words ring again. I suspect we are facing the sudden irrelevance of all the brilliance, inspiration, genius and sensitivity of human cultural endeavour in the final urgency of physical survival. It is the Anthropocene. Will bread and circuses – and more and more extreme and risk-taking behaviour – preoccupy the uncomprehending and the environmental deniers until the end, whatever that may be? I find my mind re-running the scenario of the endgame of Neville Shute’s novel On the Beach – a scene of desperate coping, of denialism but not denial, of strangely crazed, doom-laden human fatalism, of inviting of hazards, of self-destruction.

But how dare I paint a bleak picture? It’s what Susan Sontag calls ‘suffering future pain’.

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People read it as they wait for the ferry to Circular Quay on their way to work in the mornings, or as they wait for the home ferry to the North Shore or to points up-Harbour in the evenings. This is the Balmain East ferry stop. The prominent sign, with the Harbour Bridge far over behind it as travellers read it, is simple in its message: ‘ SEA LEVEL RISING MARKERS – THE NEARBY MARKER IN THE WATER SHOWS THE HIGHEST LOCAL TIDE LEVELS FOR THE YEARS 1920, 2006 AND 2050. LEICHHARDT COUNCIL HAS INSTALLED THESE MARKERS  TO SHOW THE EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON LOCAL SEA LEVELS – CHECK COUNCIL’S WEBSITE FOR WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE…

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I parse it to myself again. A wolf is a dog – in fact probably the progenitor of all dogs. Is a hyena a sort of dog? Is a jackal a dog? It has the requisite 42 teeth. Is a fox a dog? It is certainly of the canis genus. Much of the time it behaves like a dog. When and why does a dog’s behaviour get to the stage of being a nuisance? When does it tip over into being a danger? I have countless questions.

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I hug the others. We always do, even now. And she comes over, opens her arms to me, but tentatively. She needs hugging. I feel the uncertainty in her shoulders. They don’t tense with loving insistence, but they try, this first time. She’s fourteen. It’s the fourth decade, or is it the third? I fear for her, her days narrowed, super-heated. I worry about it for them all. Will she survive? Will the warming planet come for her as the Nazis came for Anne Franck?  The wind makes a high moaning in the wires outside.

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Does the world realize what it’s up against? Demonax, the Greek philosopher and law-maker, is agreeable to his body being eaten by dogs, wild animals or birds or fish after his death. He sees it as a way of putting something back. There’s a story in that.

 Does the world know what it faces? I hear Gertrude Stein repeating: ‘History teaches…history teaches’. People busy in the streets seldom have time for these thoughts. Gertrude Stein speaks again for us now, even more for us in our digitised and instant and short-grab world now, from the 1930s: ‘Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense…’ Already with our evening meal we can have the TV news pictures of blood-stained walls and a terrible detritus of things that we can’t identify on the pavements after suicide bombings. Already, in some instances – although news reporters don’t play it up – opportunist dogs from street packs make quick sorties into the carnage to snatch human body parts and retreat with them. They are stressed and hungry dogs with no fixed address in violent cities.

A dog vignette. In many years of researching, interviewing, and taking photographs for articles, essays and books, for fiction and poetry and memoir, in every state of the Commonwealth, I not infrequently have to wade into a committee of farm dogs in the house-yards of farms or sheep and cattle stations– sometimes even 10 dogs or so – as I seek directions to photographic sites or arrive to meet an interviewee. I talk loudly and friendlily to the dog pack as though we have known each other for years, meantime reading their faces and watching for the quiet one sidling to get behind me. I’m wearing boots. I survive. But I’m relieved to hear or see the signs of a human presence coming to a gate. Similarly, these days, as I bike-ride past farms in what Hal Porter used to call the dairy shires, the farm dogs come out to the road in vociferous defence of their territory, but some loud and friendly talk from me – ‘Goodday, you dawgs. How’re ya going, you beautiful animals?’ – and they become a welcoming party and trot the road with me, sniffing out grass clumps they haven’t visited in months, until their territory or interest in novelty ends.

Another vignette. At Walwa in the Upper Murray is the dog tree. It’s a thick post with a sturdy cross-tree braced on it beside the road. Hanging from it are the carcases of the most recent seven or eight huge wild dogs who have been shot by farmers as they come out from the forest to make killings among the sheep and cattle. They belong to dog packs resulting from the interbreeding of dingoes and domestic dogs abandoned to the wild, as at many other places north and south along Australia’s eastern mountain spine. Similar rapacious packs of dogs are becoming more numerous in the Tasmanian Central Highlands. Sometimes the dog packs bail up bushwalkers and work parties in their tents. Although they generally avoid humans, these dogs have a taste for new blood, for killing. More often than not they are tawny in colour. They behave like – look like – any other dog as they rest, tongue lolling, in the shade.

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Words and phrases are whispered at me with their sharp consonants by a voice I can’t place – water wars… infrastructure… direct action… infinite choice… groundwater… trucking… transparency… collusion… eco refugees… air conn… reverse cycle… deprivation… looters… CSG… aquifers… God’s plan… martial law…infinite choice… the social media…the caliphates…seat belts help truckies too…harvest-time gangs of fuel thieves in the paddocks…water-borne diseases… lifestyle… water catchments…infinite expectations…concealment of science…crystal meth and paranoia…paranoia and violence…the desperate town meetings…Vanuatu, Micronesia, and the winds of 2015…                                                                             #

Dogs are often forgotten by their owners. Dogs are assaulted by their owners. Dogs can be cowed, wounded, rejected. On the other hand many city people are nonplussed by dogs. They baulk at the idea of training them. They don’t know how to handle them. They try to regard them as they would human beings. Other people again are seduced by dogs, particularly by cuddly, innocent, intriguing young dogs. Many people gain great calm and reassurance from dogs, particularly if they are people alone or grieving or struggling for esteem. Many people grieve deeply for their dog when it dies.

As a boy I grieve for our second dog, Jock, in whose death I play a hand. He escapes the back gate when I am sent to do the shopping and won’t obey me, skipping ahead to the shops. Shopping done, I try to coax him across Riversdale Road and its traffic, but he insists in staying to explore the scents of the shopfronts. I have to get the milk and cream and cold meat home in the basket. He refuses to follow. Later that day there is a phone call from our dentist near the shops. My father leaves the table, goes away, returns. My father peels back the hessian bag in the back footwell of the car – and there lies Jock. I can still feel the shock as my fingers touch his cold and unmoving body. I entreat him for movement. There’s none. A car got him.        

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Lord Monckton, who ridicules the science called on as evidence of Climate Change, and Lord May, who sees humankind’s overpopulated hand in it, find themselves facing off at 20 paces. The duel will take place at some time in the second or third decade and one of them will be brought down…

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Dogs, unlike human beings, can’t be reasoned with – not enough brain capacity. But dogs can remember and deduce. Dogs understand body language to quite an extent – body language of other dogs or other animals or the body language of human animals. Dogs can remember and deduce from the body language of human animals or the types of sounds made by a human voice. They remember what brings rewards or retribution. Sometimes human body movements and tone of voice spell affection and tolerance. Sometimes they spell disapproval, anger, lack of patience, even disgust and hatred. Sometimes, also, they spell fear of the dog or dogs. Sometimes they spell panic. How does the dog regard the owner of the voice then.  As possible prey? Despite their inability to reason or to understand a moral code dogs’ sensory acuteness keeps them very well-informed. Their senses of smell and hearing are preternaturally sharp – dozens of times more acute than the senses of humans. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. I’m not telling you anything you shouldn’t know.

I still see the face of our little Cairn-Australian terrier cross, the afore-mentioned Jock, a couple of years before he dies on Riversdale Road. In our absence one afternoon he has jumped on our bantam as prey in the back yard – and killed it. We can imagine the desperate final flapping of its wings as he has it in his teeth. He has probably played with it for half an hour. As we try the bloodied bird for signs of life Jock is busy around us. His face is pointed, concerned – saying don’t hold it against me, please don’t think less of me for this…what’s going on? …what’s going on?                                                 

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I hear the science fiction writer Damien Broderick use the term – his term, later to be the title of his seminal book of 1997, The Spike – when we talk as he is completing his Ph.D studies at Deakin University in the late 1980s. His prescience catches my breath even then. He uses the concept of a spike to describe the converging trajectories of numerous problems affecting humanity. The words whisper it – the coming together of the warming of the planet and consequent climate change with overpopulation, capitalism and exploitation, grandiose human expectations, religious dogmatism and violence, political and business corruption… Words fade, and then come again: …food price riots… deforestation… bio fuels… Ebola’s creeping death… religious and cultural beliefs… peak oil…Libya remade in violence…water wars… infrastructure…urbanisation… words repeat themselves… infinite choice… the Arab Spring…displaced populations…the Jewish settlements… the ISIS noses and eyes looking from their balaclavas, the guns at the ready, the inflexibility and regimentation… food insecurity…the new caliphates…ocean rise… elimination of species… lifestyle… luxury… cruises… infinite expectations… it is 2015, remember 2015?  remember Vanuatu,  Truk Lagoon, the Philippines and the banshee of winds, the set-pieces of wreckage…and the green turtle, the white possum, dying thousands of fruit-bats – and jelly fish… jelly fish… jelly fish…

It has not been considered polite to include religion as an element in the spike of the world’s problems. But every element in the spike interacts with every other element at some point or other. Religion relates to capital expansion, to borders where a religion on one side faces another antithetical religion on the other, or where sects belonging to the same faith and often  opposed to each other in a tribal way murder each other, and where those antipathies may then go on to affect settlement, water, resources, trade, preservation of culture, education and spreading of knowledge and information, terrorism and not only killing, but monstrously inhuman killing. There are Muslim and Christian militias. Muslims kill Christian women, children, young men. Christians slay Muslim men, women and children. Both religions have done it for centuries. Consider Aceh and Somalia in the first and second decades. Consider the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Consider ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Consider God and The Tea Party. Consider the fundamentalist Jews and their privileged ability to arrogantly oppress – with religious, military and government backing – the ordinary, non-Hamas, Palestinian farmer, woman, child, protester. When is now? Where is God? Whose God? I am full of questions.

I think again and again about religion’s impact on the rights of women – on their self-respect and their chance of reaching their human potential through education and participation in society’s decisions, on their subjection to violence. I think about the way Muslims kill their own in terrorist attacks, because the attacks are designed to gain greatest attention, offer greatest threat, make maximum impact, in sacrificing human lives. Presumably attacks by Muslims that indiscriminately kill women and children and teenagers and young and old men who are also of the Muslim faith are justified in the eyes of the murderers by differences in interpretation of religious texts and then by a ‘tribalism’ that surrounds such differences of interpretation, which in turn often become expressed by political groupings and allegiances. For both Christian and Muslim – and the problem goes beyond these two religions – all these things are done in the name of God. They are done by those who claim to ‘know’, or by those prepared to allow others to ‘know’ and act on their behalf. Religions often claim to know God’s will. When very young children are slaughtered like chickens by ‘soldiers’ of different religious persuasions because they are not Muslim or because they are not Christian, are we to believe that these are cases of what we normally would see as ultimate human depravity sanctioned and orchestrated by a god? It seems to have been primarily a male thing, but perhaps it is no longer? Billions of people adhere to the faiths from which these acts spring. At the very base, it is religion that brings about the planned massacre in New York’s sky on 9/11 – on my birthday, as it happens.

I am full of questions. We often tend to hide religious violence in euphemism – it is described as ‘sectarian violence’. Is that so that the notion of a God is not raised in case it might be challenged? Is that so that God’s fundamental, perceived role in backing argument for it will be less frequently publicised and possibly questioned? Are we prepared to dig in our questioning deeper and deeper until we unearth the religious underpinning that has been there through centuries of these affronts to our humanity? If not, are we appeasing religion? The fears that prompt people to seek asylum overseas quite often have their roots in religious difference. I have many questions. Are we prepared to dig deep enough through the strata of loss of humanity and social control in our questioning until we find what is said to be the justification, as if by right, of multifarious acts against our common humanity? Consider the extremes of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Consider the extreme intransigence – and often denial of scientific enquiry – of the Pentecostals and The Tea Party. Consider South Sudan. Think of the militias. Think of Syria. Think of ISIS and new Iraq, and Syria – the new caliphates. What role does religion play in the power structures of both ‘sides’? Consider the human costs. I am full of questions.

At the quotidian level, religion is divisive from the outset, even as soon as dialogue begins: we are different from you of other religions, runs the rubric, we are different again from you of no religion. What acts might that asserted difference be called on to justify when the chips are down in coming decades, if people claim to have superior knowledge? Will the increasing stresses of global warming impinge on this? What acts is such division already used to justify where the chips are down? When is now? I have many questions.

It seems that the presence of religious influence is intractable and has been for centuries. It seems that the problem of the thousands, now the millions worldwide, seeking political asylum (often at bottom it is in reality asylum from something that springs from religion) is now intractable, given the numbers enduring suffering. Syria speaks to us. The refugee camps speak to us. Drowning deaths of desperate people in the Mediterranean speak to us.

What are the effects of religion’s sometime dismissal of science and structured and thorough enquiry, where dismissal occurs, on community awareness of earth’s history, of the origin of our species, of  Darwinism, evolution, natural selection – and now of first the physical effects and then the likely ensuing social effects of global warming?

I am full of questions. None of this is to deny that the religieuse do great good – great human good similar to what springs in equal measure from instinctive secular compassionate and humanitarian concern. This is not to deny that a great number of friends that I rejoice in are steady in their religious belief – but that is still something that divides me from them at one level or another. It saddens me that they sometimes use a debatable account of the life of Christ, of the perceived presence of God, to dismiss me – or more often to maintain a silence or to shut down the possibility of discussion and questioning. God is called upon daily to justify so many nefarious actions against our common humanity.

It saddens me because these are people I love, and who are in other respects generous and forthcoming and concerned with human joy and interaction.

I continue to question. Why should religion be shielded every day from having to answer questions grounded in our common humanity? God is called on to serve so many purposes.

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In Australia even as long ago in the second decade as 2012 the RSPCA deals with 135 000 sick, injured, neglected or abandoned animals in its shelters, most of them domestic pets, most of them dogs. What numbers of dogs will follow the expected doubling of the planet’s human population by 2030, when already in 2008 half of the earth’s human animals are living in city environments? Pamphlets produced by State and local government spell out owners’ legal responsibility for their dogs and their effective confinement at home in the backyard and their leashing in urban areas and public places – Dogs and Leashes, they sing. Dogs not on Beaches. But serious wounding, and even fatal attacks, are still visited upon innocent people. Still dogs make increasing depredations on wildlife. I meet owners who become aggressive themselves at any suggestion that their dogs should have restricted freedom. I’m full of further questions. What about dogs and celebrity, dogs and fashion? What about dogs as consumer items? What about the dogs that undergo ‘protection training’, which in reality means training to attack people or animals on order? It is never the fault of the dog.

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Seventy percent of human beings on earth have insecure access to water. National interests are invoked and war is threatened, becomes imminent, when one nation upstream of another insists on damming a river in the mountains in order to establish a hydro-electric scheme, while the nation at a lower altitude on the same river loses the water flow necessary to provide drinking and agricultural water for its people. The stakes are high.

Billions of human beings on earth must spend 85% of their pitiable income on food. If  the food price doubles, they have no means of avoiding starvation. Prosperity-cushioned Australians spend on average only 15% of their income on food. It leaves us considerable leeway. Perhaps such elements of the spike will create millions of semi-starving overseas environmental refugees and cities unable to supply themselves with food, water, power. If this makes civil control impossible, if this ushers in seething social dislocation and violence, what will be the fate of the world’s dogs, when their owners or keepers are battling the elements and each other to grab the food and other essentials necessary to sustain life? What priority will be given then to food for dogs? Will their owners and keepers humanely put down the millions of dogs condemned to starve? Will they euthenaise using guns, or capsules, or injections? If so where will they get their killing tools? If not, will the dogs be turned out from home to free-rove? Will we see them, hear them, in the streets?

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Of course my repeated references to dogs is a mere conceit in storytelling…Let’s get on with the business…

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I look down at it, white page following page. It’s a timeline. It proclaims Menzies/ Kinross/ Smith at its head – the Scots and Australian generations from which I spring. It’s sub-headed ‘Time’s Places’. It starts with the aeons of geological time of the Illawarra’s rock scarps and the sweeping ocean of the New South Wales south coast to which my great great grandfather, a ship’s surgeon, and his young wife, come as new settlers in the 1830s. It is a detailed family timeline, more heavily weighted on my father’s side of the family because of availability of evidence. I have compiled it for my children and grandchildren, so that they understand who and what and where has made them.  It continues with the long centuries of aboriginal time that see ritual and campfire and corroboree along the shore and deep in the cedar forests reaching up to the Illawarra’s mountain walls. Then it comes to the time when this region first surprises the European eyes and ears of my forebears. It continues to flow like a stream of clear water that comes to wash around our feet in the 20th century and then the early years of the 21st century. I will never finish all I have to say about time and place.

The timeline tells the stories of our joint ancestry as far as I know it. I would like my children and grandchildren and step great grandchild to feel themselves part of it. Exchanging stories is how we get to know each other better, how we come to better understand the world.

I add to the story as I constantly learn more from travelling to places on this continent and in Scotland  which until now have been mere names, as well as from the evidence in letters, photographs, the collapsing Family Bible, postcards, notes of lectures and sermons, nineteenth century shipboard journals, vestments in forgotten boxes, books in Edinburgh’s New College Library, weighty family albums, notes I have taken of talks with my aunts before they die…

It is a story of time and place. My Scots forebears think and write – and keep their writings and the chattels that accompany their thinking, as well as the printed evidence of how they change their minds and of what the world thinks of them and their actions.

Sometimes, as I move back and forth through these broad swathes of time rich with family trails and vicissitudes, the late nineteenth century, when my father is born in an Albury manse, seems to have been only yesterday. Will the timeline and its stories survive the onslaughts of a globe that is steadily warming and becoming more hostile to human habitation and creative thought?

…to be continued…to be continued…to be…

Read Graeme’s IntroductionPart #1Part #2Part #3, Part #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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