They respectfully acknowledge the past and present custodians of this beautiful land called Australia.
They acknowledge the past and present Australians of Indigenous and other descent who have worked to grow intercultural understanding and the meaning of diversity in Australia.
The Red Land Songs (first released in 1986) and the more recent Fire Wrapped In Stone collection celebrate bridge-building work initiated by
Rev Roderick (Rod) James Cameron OSA and people of Australian Indigenous descent (too numerous to mention!) who graciously touched both his life and ministry as well as my own.
All songs are inspired by a warmth of spirit that have created encounters eclipsing the starkness - and sometimes attendant darkness - of cultural divides.
"If The Dreaming dies, all human dreams grow dim" - Rod Cameron OSA
"The Dreaming" is a translation of what is ultimately untranslatable in a few words. It stands for the Arrernte Alcheringa, the Tjukurrpa used within a Central Australian language and other Indigenous languages' equivalents.
James Cornell’s lyrics for the album Wildfire Spun and elsewhere are based on his poetry crafted within his ‘mosaic of encounter’ with the natural world, Australia’s First Peoples, and an ever questing faith. He wrote of the comprehensive beauty of the environing cosmos seeking to integrate it with the warmth and redeeming communion of love between human beings. He explored the unique nature of the human person - "the archetypal artwork" - as capable of generating self and growing via spirituality. He saw each person as a 'tessera' in a timeless mosaic. Most aptly his work endeavoured to encapsulate ‘tesserae' of life within many diverse experiences.
Depth-ed within philosophical and ministry training, James Cornell writes: "The Family of Being' is the phrase Marcel and Buber used to describe the relationship between the human being and creation. It is a beautiful description that presents the world not as a place of alienation, but as an environing home".
I also acknowledge Indigenous peoples around the world alongside other people (fellow pilgrims and seekers of truth, colleagues, friends and family) who have graced my life - significantly Maori of Aotearoa New Zealand; Objiwe I met in Chicago, Illinois, USA; people of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati and Samoa who have shared hospitality of spirit with me. Many representatives of Indigenous peoples also informed me at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York in 2005. Thank you for all you have taught me.