THE MAGIC MAN
Dreamtime created me with no story, no name, and no family. I can hear, and see, but have no language to record my story. I must learn to sing out or forever remain lost in the Never Never.
In Australia’s Aboriginal culture, songs keep sacred lands and family trees around me alive. My beginning starts with a songline, one of numerous creator-beings’ paths created across the land and sky during Dreaming.
The path of creator-beings is evident from their footprints upon the land, like lush billa bongs, rock formations, and other natural marvels. One songline can cross numerous lands through forests of family trees belonging to diverse cultures. Proper sing-song sequences have navigated Aboriginal people vast distances through the Never Never land’s extensive songline systems—why not me?
Language is not a barrier here in the Never Never because sing-song describes the land, and to listen to its rhythm is walking upon a sacred songline. Singing the wrong direction along a songline is a sacrilege that creates epic, dire, and tragic moments.
My journey is a heart-pounding right-of-passage walkabout. Not every word will be written to find my name, family, and story. I share this songline with two other boys: one of us is lost, one stolen, and one longs to return from the Never Never.
Timing is the most important factor in all our stories. Timeless footprints on the Never Never land uproot passion. What does passion mean in this story? The Latin word for passion is pati, meaning suffer for what you love. And so I shall.
There are two sides to every family tree story—one hidden inside and one that escapes like leaves on the wind. Readers are neither at the beginning nor the end of my story, only navigating the long middle part of life, questioning the past and pondering the future. Following my songline may uproot a reader’s passions, causing them to suffer for what I love.