Marilyn Torrens takes this photo in September 2019 during the terrible bushfires around Tabulam and Drake in northern NSW. She sends me the photo and asks: "Look closely at it. I can see a real old aboriginal and in the side of him I can see an old white man. Let me know if you can."
I say, "I can! I see ancestor spirits in the smoke. I see them both looking up into the sky"
The black and white faces make me think of Victor Steffensen who wrote, after sharing stories with with Indigenous people in Finland: "...Today the disconnected people come in all colours, from black, white, brindle and brown. There was a deepening understanding that I was starting to become aware of, and it seemed to be a connection that underpins us all." (Fire Country: How Indigenous fire management could help save Australia. 2020. p.118)