Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where there's smoke . . . .

Theme Thursday and I'm at a loss . . after being 'fired' writing about 'fire' seems to have lost it's verve! Yep need a fire lit underneath me! Well you know what they say,
"Where there's smoke . .!"

Here's a ceremony frequently practised at the opening of buildings, sports events, to welcome dignitaries and generally bless the earth we share.

For the Australian Coori people, the land has a spiritual connection; it’s their mother. The human spirit is born from the land and returns to it upon death. The land supplies them with everything that they needed for living.

Land has become increasingly harder to access for Aboriginal people. In urban areas, its appearance and use have been changed. Aboriginal people are concerned for the land and wish to be part of the healing process. This can be done by being actively involved in land management or by conducting ceremonies, or even by a combination of both.

The Smoking Ceremony is an example. Green leaves from plants used by the group that conducts it are placed on a small fire. The smoke is used to cover the participants’ bodies, ridding them of what is not needed. It also cleanses the area. The group feels that it is leaving behind troubles and beginning something new. Reasons for holding the rite are then discussed. The ceremony ends with entertainment, such as dancing and singing.

This ceremony is also an historic step in recognising the desecration of spiritual, practical and cultural bonds with the land that occurred during invasion.



Smoking Ceremony as part of the Sydney 200 Olympic Opening Ceremony

41 comments:

subtorp77 said...

Baino, you got sacked? Did I miss something?

The American Indians share some of the same beliefs; and have near identical problems. Damn invaders had to go muck it all up!

Any-way, 'tis a right good ceremony. If only all could learn to live with the earth, their spirits may rest easier whence they return to it.

Baino said...

Well Subby I prefer the word retrenched or made redundant but yes I am out of work as at May 15 . .see previous post where I rant and rave like an emo kid without cutting myself. Actually lots of races have a smoking ceremony. The Tibetans do it too.

steph said...

Impressive ceremony.

Baino,

Chin up, shoulders back, stick your chest out, walk tall and be proud.

Your employers are the ones who should be feeling bad about the way they've treated a superb employee.

Me thinks a Smoking Ceremony might be called for at the office, on May 15th!

subtorp77 said...

"Retrenched", nice. Sounds a lot better than "laid off" or "out of work". 'Tis tough every-where! hang in there lass.

...and steph's idea of a ceremony in the office? heh, heh, heh!

Miles McClagan said...

Smoke - Natalie Imbruglias 2nd best single...

Sucks to be fired - unless you work in the circus

Brian Miller said...

interesting ceremony and thought of leaving behind when we are starting anew. this was a tough one for me as well, not too many good fire stories on my end. peace.

i beati said...

This post tells me a lot about you. You have such a depth of understanding . Only people with very strong character and even deeper humanity could write this at this time in your own life. Quite profound..Sandy

California Girl said...

Did not make the connection about getting "fired" with TT til I read your post this morning.

just read your response to subby...redundant you are not.

willow said...

So sorry to hear you got fired...or should I say fired? Yikes, the flaming pink slip.

Mrsupole said...

I just read the previous post and have been there too, about 8 years ago. I worked part time for a marketing company and then that did not work, so now I just stay home and have to listen to hubby gripe about why I do not get another job. I ignore him, the arthritis is too painful for me to get a job and he just needs to realize this. But a part of me still wishes I had one. I feel for you in that I was lucky that hubby still made enough money to pay the bills. We do struggle if he does not get overtime and so my checks had made the difference between traveling and doing extra things, and now extras are not there.

Any business would be so lucky to have you and just go out there with that attitude. They say attitude is what gets you hired, that if you make them think they need you then you got a good chance. Your age should mean nothing because you still have a good 15 to 20 years of working left in you. Plus now you will find out who are your true friends at work and f... the ones who are not.

Vent here all you want. I will pray for you and know that you will find something. Now that you have put the feelers out, you never know what will happen.

Well I gotta go, the pills are taking effect right now and I am about to pass out. Some nights they work and other nights nothing happens. Not sure why tonight they are working so good.

Oh yes, almost forgot to say that we love you here and you are wonderful in my books. The partners, your ex to be bosses, suck. It is their loss and seems like they are all threatened by you.

Loved the ceremony, Mohamed Ali should of lit the flame. Can't remember who did. My memory sucks too.

God bless.

Baino said...

Actualy Steph, I'm notorious for saying Aborigines can't dance cant sing. It's a joke but ..they managed the land far better than us. Nah recriminations are useless ..life goes on and so shall I.

Subby, life does indeed go on and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I can't get used to you saying 'lass' it's so Lancastrian!

Miles yer a nit! Is she still Daniel Johns' squeeze?

Brian sounds like you're having a tough time of it. Solidarity bro . .feel free to vent.

Sandy we're in the same boat so . . count our blessings indeed.

Thanks Cali . .fortunately I am not defined by my job any more than you are. Great post yesterday by the way.

Willow that really is a spooky avatar! No pink slip, just a golden handshake for which I'm grateful.

Ces said...

Oh Baino, good luck my friend. I am praying for you that you will find yourself in a btter situation, whatever it is.

Smoking ceremony, we have those - drive evil spirits away, yep, we had them. Funny to see city people performing smoking rituals.

Squirrel said...

"...like an emo kid... " Baino, you have quite a GREAT sense of humor about yourself & what we call
'the lay - off'. or the "early retirement" sometimes.
Interesting post .

Squirrel said...

I had forgotten about the traditional burn factor in bush history too! like the stilt walkers the best.

nick said...

That's quite magical, more moving than the usual over-choreographed opening ceremonies. I loved the circular thing, whatever it's called. And the stiltwalkers looked like something out of Dali (or vice versa). We could certainly all do with a bit more respect for the land and how it inspires and sustains us.

Oh, and having seen some Aboriginal dancing and singing in Melbourne, I have to agree with your own assessment! It was painfully awful.

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Baino,how do you feel today?Even though I know you are sad,let me tell you that you have done a great post!Interesting.
Hold on.Speak to you soon.
Hugs

Nancy said...

Dear Baino,

I am truly sorry that you are losing your job.

I have been in your situation and know that it is no fun.

I don't know the prospects of getting a new job in your country, but anyone would be lucky to snag you and your wonderful writing style and your work ethic..

I do hope things work out for you.

Good Luck.

subtorp77 said...

Baino, Lancastrian? ***Switching accents*** 'Tis true I be of many a country, I do, me faire colleen! May the Saints see you through these trying times, they may! I'd gladly spare ye some of me old Irish luck, but I'm fearin' I've run out, I have!

'Tis bad enough working more than two jobs, it is. Be ye lookin' in the mean-while for another?

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks for the enlightening post.

Sorry about your job. I think it's reached the point where we all know someone if not ourselves who are affected.

Baino said...

Mrs Supole, happens to the best of us I think. I'm sorry to here about your arthritis and I'm not sure Mohammed Ali lighting the flame at an Aussie Olympics would have been too well received. Thanks for the prayers but I think yo trippin' girl!


Ah Ces, I'll do just fine. I have no pride and your painting to see me through. And in truth our Aborigines are largely Rural, very few in the city. It's a cleansing ceremony rather than a driving away of evil spirits. Very connected to the earth they are.

Well Squirrel, no sense of humor . .might as well be dead. It's what keeps me going.

Oh Nick I feel very guilty for criticising their ability to sing and dance. I know it's an ancient culture but give me Polynesian dancing and singing any day!

Bonjour mon ami. .I'm fine thanks all the more for your little post yesterday!

Thanks Nancy. It's devastating at first but I'm not proud. I'll do what it takes and hey, 7% unemployment means 93% employed so it doesn't look so dark under those terms.

OMH Subby that's possibly the worst Irish accent I've ever read! The Irish say 'lassie' the northern English say 'lass' . . .may the road come up to meet you and the sun always be at your back. Sleinte! Or as we Aussies say, 'Get a coldy down yer and cheers mate!'

Grannymar said...

Fired? Not at all, you are 'Resting' before being fired up to take on the world once more.

Go, girl Go!

reyjr said...

The Olympic Fire! Reminds me actually of the Barcelona Olympics where an archer lit the Olympic Fire. That was amazing!

Did you really get fired? Sorry to hear that. :(

laughingwolf said...

native americans also have what is known as 'smudging', wherein sweetgrass, sage, or something similar is set alight and the smoke is used in a cleansing ceremony, replete with prayers to the great spirit and/or grandmothers of the sky

i have taken part numerous times, and recommend everyone befriend first nations folk and hope to be invited at some point....

Poetikat said...

Wonderful! One of my favourite albums of music is Kate Bush's The Dreaming. I wonder if the lines "Coming in with the golden light" refer to this ritual.

Kat

subtorp77 said...

Baino no worries! I just got finished with a book on the art of "Blarney"( written by an Irishman, mind you ). 'Tis a bit out-dated( like my Irish ancestors and poor accent ). Things just get "stuck" in the ol' noggin for a bit, afterwards.

And "pour a nudder one down th' hatch" was a common one amongst us tars! I like yours, better...

Dakota Bear said...

Very nice and informative post. I like the video, I didn't remember the Olympic opening ceremony.

ian said...

"The ceremony ends with entertainment, such as dancing and singing"

No drink, then?

Dot-Com said...

What happened? Didn't realise you'd lost your job, I must have missed that. Sorry to hear it though!

Well, you'll get the fire going again, I'm sure. Great post :-)

Miladysa said...

May 15 is the first day of the rest of your life Babes - you'll do fine! x

Wings said...

As always, very interesting!

tut-tut said...

Hey, Baino! Don't worry. My problem was believing that I could take a back seat, financially!

DineometerDeb said...

Hey Baino, sorry about your job. I recently lived through a period of unemployment. The financial uncertainty sucked but in the end, I am better off for the change.

Marianna said...

So sorry to hear about your job :-( YOu know what they say...something good always comes after something bad.

thank you for sharing the history. Got to go re-watch the video!

Peace and love
xoxo

Renee said...

Canadian indegenous peoples also burn sweet grass.

Baino did you get laid off from your job. That can't be good.

Renee xoox

Baino said...

Clever Pup, snuck in there while I wasn't looking, yep I'm not alone, that's for sure!

Hmm, not quite resting yet GM but might take a week off after the 15th.

Reyjr, we sometimes light our big June bonfire in the same way! Spectacular!

Wuffa, you're very fortunate to have participated. Sadly, I don't know any aboriginals who partake of these ceremonies, it seems a rural thing.

More smouldering smoke, Poetikat

Haha, Subby I think it might be time for another post on Aussie vernacular - let stalk stryne.

Dakota Bear how could you - they were the best games EVA!

Oh Ian stop asking silly questions, of course they all go up the pub after for a pint!

Thanks Dotti, got retrenched on Monday. Yep, I shall rise, like the Phoenix from the Fire (almost convinced myself there!)

New life and a new knee for your hubs . . cheers to new beginnings!

Thanks Wings, I try but rushed this one a bit.

Toots, a woman's work is never done you know

Deb I have a bit of time before worrying about the financial insecurity but I'll crack on after the 15th

Here's hoping Marianna . . enjoy!

I think it's common with lots of indigenous people Renee . . yeh, but it's all good . .compared with what you have to contend with, it's a mere blip.

kj said...

i admit i didn't read this post because i'm too tired but that's no reason not to check and leave a little smoochy hello.

:)

Megan said...

I enjoyed that video very much. Thanks, doll!

I admire you more than I can say...

Evening Light Writer said...

Very interesting, I wish more of the world would view our planet with the same sort of reguard. I'm sorry about the retrenching, I think sometimes things happen for a reason..there is a new door opened for you somewhere.

Ribbon said...

I was at that ceremony.
I was one of the prop makers for the event and it was awesome.
Best bit of theatre I've ever seen in my lifetime.

:-) Ribbon

Jay said...

That was eerie and quite beautiful!

But .. . I missed it too! You got sacked? Oh, I'm so sorry. I know it's happening all over right now, but it doesn't make it any easier for you to endure or for us to hear. Hugs to you. I hope you find something good very soon.

Dakota Bear said...

I remember the games, not the opening ceremony.

Sorry to hear about the job situation.