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    I am reading through 'both ways' literature of Yolngu and non-Yolngu working their knowledge systems together. Alongside I am reading Lorraine Code's 2006 book Ecological Thinking. I am also browsing through blogs and discussions on knowledge work and community development.
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    Here I post some of my work and thinking. It is a much harder task than I thought! It is an extension of my research on knowledge and difference connecting my experiences, reflections, formal written pieces, and hopefully friends and colleagues. As work and self cannot be separate this blog is both personal and intellectual. Comments are moderated because, while it is a site for collective work, it is not anonymous.
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Burn Out

I have been trying to find a story about the last few months. Lara and I had to leave the community we were living in quite suddenly. We landed back in Victoria and staying in Murrindindi with my parents. Murrindindi is now quite well know as it is the name of one of the dreadful fires that burnt only weeks before we got back.

I was sitting at a folded out trestle in a beautiful house, trying to keep writing. Autumn colors were just beginning. Just beyond view from the house were the burnt bush and houses. At night during the fires, my Dad described the fire as a wild beast, raging in the bush and terrifying in the mind. Always out there. day after day. And they were fortunate.

Burnout. Once the word was in my head it wouldn’t leave. For a time the bush, all brown and black, ash and dust, was the emptiness and wreckage that we felt. Lara and I we in burnout from something quite different to the fires, my parents from ‘the fires’ but not the fire itself. Burnout is what you are left with, and how you are left. It is not only something that slowly mounts, or something you go through only realising afterward, though your understanding maybe grow in time. Burnout, like the emptiness between the black trunks, it is state of being.

And then the bush seemingly betrays you. Green shoots appear on all the trees (and I’m not talking about the ‘yey green shoots capitalism is all okay after all’ green shoots!). There seem to be more than just a few. They seem to be recovering while you are not. I was stuck by the many works in an Art show in the Yarra Valley, produced in only weeks after the fire, depicting the burnt, smoking landscapes. But by this time, the burnout these canvasses conveyed, was disappearing outside. The arresting of time effected by the paintings was strengthening. Green shoots are like the way you say you are okay and keep breathing. They are the brave face of the bush, the bare minimum of living, but they can propel you too fast into being okay.

Copyright © 2009 Sean Miakin flickr.com/photos/seanmakin/

[From Burn Out]