Friday, July 2, 2010

Bob and the Coming of the Dogs

I sat in Bob's kitchen. He was sitting somewhere near the refrigerator, tired, wasted, animated and giving Shark and I the rave about his imminent lecture on the coming of the dogs. He thought that as the dingoes made their way south three thousand years ago, local technology changed to the point where it changed the whole Menang culture - from a matriarchal culture to a patriarchal one. He talked some more and Shark listened intently. I wandered outside to commune with the chickens and get scratched up badly by Bobcat (who always does this when she is lying in the sun, I later discovered.) I thought I'd heard it before and had plenty of Bob time left to hear it again.

He never lived to give that third public lecture. The second one created a groundswell at the Albany library. Bob was pretty sick by then and his physical appearance shocked many people.

Two years ago today, he died. I haven't stopped kicking myself, for many things, but mainly not staying in the kitchen that day and listening to the rest of the story.

Photo by Shark, May 2008.


  1. This is pretty huge ST, as I think you know. It is uncanny how I have just been having conversations with Free Thinker (alias assistant curator of the Berndt Museum and recently acquired blog buddy and Noongar friend who I have given your blog address to and who has now met Red-tailed Black Cocakatoo through my blog also) about this very subject in an e-mail only yesterday.

    Is Shark still around? I don't know who that is, but maybe they remember more about this. I would really like to know, given the issues I am dealing with working with Aboriginal people, and particularly the way women are treated.

  2. the plot thickens...there would have to be something written down...Bob was pretty meticulous at getting things recorded surely.....?

  3. Thanks for this lesson Sarah :)

    We are told to make the most of every moment - but to truly live this is such a challenge...driven by the mind that believes in linear time - that there is a past and a future and by the stories the mind weaves around this belief.

    Had Dr Dave visit the art centre last week - and I missed the moment, the brief window in time to connect - thinking we would be given time later :)
    Fascinating journey...see below

  4. Interesting, I checked out that site and I reckon that is on the money, I just call it fate, or figure there must be something else happening I don't know about yet.

  5. Thanks Barbara, WY and Michelle, Shark is Mark and he may pop up soon :) I think V's grand daughter has some of the notes and I am dropping hints all over the place that she should do honours in the Neill fish pics. We'll see ...

  6. Oh yeah, of course I know Shark. Yes, I am awaiting V's Grand-daughters evolution with anticipation. I am guessing the family has big plans for that girl and she sure is needed.

  7. I never knew him, just came to some of his work in the last 12 months. The insights are valuable. Even what is touched on here is like gazing out some new found window. I'm grateful, to both of you.