Wednesday, 8 August 2018
Here I am sitting on my bed with Hurley, one of the dogs, at keswick, down for Amy's 42 birthday. I am thinking of recent times at Blackstone when I was sitting in the dark, in the back yard, waiting for the big eclipse. My dogs thought I was out of my mind, it was 1 degree C, bright moonlight and I was rugged up with coffee, sitting in one of my camp chairs, looking at the moon. Mars was very bright and it seemed to be coming closer to me as I watched. I was confused about what the eclipse was, the earth blocking the sun from the moon or mars blocking the sun from the moon. slowly the shadow began to form over the moon, as predicted, it took a long time and quite a darkness fell over my back yard. the moon turned a burnt orange colour, quite dramatic. Mars still shone very bright. When talking with my son Patrick about this event, he explained that in NZ the timing was not good and they did not get this view. For me it was quite wonderful and mostly cloud free. while talking to Patrick it brought to mind the last time Mars was close to the earth, about 15 years earlier. I was working for Papulankutja Artists and had taken the ladies to Alice for a Desart Inc Meeting. We went in my old Diahatsu 1 ton van. I was on L Plates, I had never had a drivers license, I was reliant on one of my artists with a current license to supervise me for the trip. We returned from Alice via Mutitjulu, I thought the ladies would like to see their art work hanging in the culture centre at Uluru. We set up camp at a deserted "sorry" area in mutitjulu, the ladies using Christopher's huge blue Canadian tarp and I camped in the van with the wafting scent of ripe cooked kangaroo. I saw Mars rise before Uluru, stunning! very excited I pointed it out to the ladies, they could care less :-). I watched Mars rise into the sky in this amazing place, we were camped very close to the rock and it was quite overwhelming. In the morning I rose early and watched Mars set over the rock, what a site, something I will never forget. It was amazing to think that I would twice get to see such a site in such an amazing place. Life on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands is quite wonderful at times. A very special place.