Miilba, Gumbaynggirr Country, 20 Feb

  1. This river has a voice
  2. This river has been misnamed[i]
  3. This river is an abstraction
  4. This river swirls, chokes and flows
  5. This river drowns people[ii]
  6. This river shines with possibilities
  7. This river flows in Gumbaynggirr time
  8. This river like any river refutes the concept of silence
  9. This river like any river welcomes contributions
    Painting by Wyn
  10. This river like any river has little control on our contributions
  11. This river is virtual – and concrete when falling from a 100 metres
  12. This river copes with the holidays
  13. This river may change direction but never its way
  14. This river never sleeps aware of exploitation and overconsumption
  15. This river presses stingray moulds along its flanks
  16. This river offers blue armies of solder crabs room for manoeuvres
  17. This river opens its banks to endangered birds
  18. This river reacts to changing light conditions
  19. This river refuses to be boundary
  20. This river is eroding the talons of Valla Nature Reserve
  21. This river is yin, rises and falls with the tides
  22. This river is yang, sometimes gripping me in its current
    Wyn swimming against the current
  23. This river can be thought of as an ars poetica
  24. This river has values that can’t be calculated
  25. This river is a companion at first light when no other humans are around[iii]
  26. This river has no concept of canals, reservoirs, irrigation or damnation [iv]
  27. This river is to hand
  28. This river needs rain
  29. This river needs care
  30. This river has a voice – listen

[i] The river is known as Deep Creek. Miilba is the Gumbaynggirr name.

[ii] Yesterday, a young man was pulled from the sea, almost died.

[iii] My ongoing project Eos, first light revels in opportunities to be intimate with natural fundamentals, without the usual noise from contemporary daily life.

[iv] The Miilba estuary is an ICOLL (Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoon). A sand bar barricaded the river in. Humans do not intervene unless the water level rises too high (risking flooding) or the quality deteriorates dangerously. Opening a river can result in a rapid release of water resulting in oxygen depletion and fish kills. The Council called in a bulldozer to open up a channel; sometimes we forced to manage nature. Usually because of our interference.

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