White is not a colour

White is not a colour

It is a reflection of all colours.

To be a white Australian you need to reflect all colours

This is my new White Australia Policy.

When a colour wheel spins, the colours blur and mix and appear white.

My Grandmother came to Australia during the white Australian Policy. She had to produce documentation to prove her percentage of whiteness. Down playing certain ancestors, highlighting others.

Spinning fast and appearing white.

Sadly now at 98 she has lost her marbles but what marbles they were; tigers eyes, and ruby shooters – bindi reds,  saffron yellows and urgent jungle greens.

If I played her for them could I play for keeps?

Can I use her colours and claim them as mine?

When I lose my marbles and my children collect them up, what colours will they be?

My ancestry contains Portuguese, Austrian Jew, Scottish, Irish, Indian and even a dime-a-dozen Burmese Princess. Who were these people who broke their connection with their homeland in order to travel the world for need, for greed, for love, for fear, for adventure, for safety. How did their random decisions and arbitrary movements end up with me?

Family tree is a misnomer. I am not standing with my feet firm upon the ground with the branches of my history rising above me fine and flexible with new growth.

Our ancestors are the tangled roots of an insignificant flower, fragile roots tying us down into the ground, filaments and threads, broken or grafted. But despite their fragility they are tenacious and hold us in position with their uncanny ability to double at each fork.

What happens when we are transplanted? Do we slice the roots off clean, cauterised, or do they rip and tear? Does vigorous new growth take the place of established history? Will we feel the ache of severed limbs? Will we feel their pull from deep in the ground if we go back?

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About Mikaela

I am an artist and writer living in the Perth Hills
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