A shitload less understanding than is required!
By boy Brightlulb
Central Australian languages have a word for those who have passed on. You do not say their name after they have died, you call them “Kumunjay”. In fact anyone who has the same name as the deceased must also be called Kumunjay. Some respected person named Alice died once in the town of Katherine in the top end of the Territory, from a time they referred to Alice Springs as “Kumunjay Springs”. Kumunjay is not a name really, just indicates that you have an unspeakable name. Everyone understands and doesn’t bother questioning, they just call you Kumunjay until such time as people forget who died and go back to the original name. Some people change their name completely to avoid the Kumunjay phenomena – I met a Cigarette Morton once, and a Jungle Bob … Tarzan.
I was discussing the flying boy of the poem when someone said the word “anomé”. I said what? They said the boy had become disconnected from the world and from himself. In that moment, whether he has died or not, he has become not-himself, unreal.
If you look at the scene even more closely as the young man screams at his wife you might notice that something changes. Look at his belly. Something about it shifts; something more subtle than his centre of gravity. Perhaps his locus of control passes out through his navel. Perhaps it slips in through hers. Perhaps that’s why the look of terror on the face of his wife equals the anger in his. Perhaps he has given her all power over him but stolen her power over herself.
If I were her I’d rip that little silver ball of light out of her belly and piff it as far from her as possible. As far out of reach of him lest he forces it back on her again. Throw it out the window!
It’s this point that our young Spaniard becomes disconnected from everything. The silver ball is now falling to the concrete ground three storeys down and the fear has taken grip of his senses. As he runs for the window and his feet lose their connection with the floorboards, the world loses its connection to him, and he will go tumbling after. The situation has run out of control.
The man said that the word for this is anomé, the name for those with no name. An Aboriginal Mental Health Worker said yeah, that’s what we call Kumunjay, same thing see. The other bloke paused and said, isn’t that interesting, you could say that in that moment, in that moment before he becomes Kumunjay to the living, he has become Kumunjay unto himself.
It wasn’t as out of control as we thought. Perhaps he flew out onto the fire-escape and lay feeling sore. Sore but connected, connected to his world. Nothing but a bloody lip to show for it.
Lady luck does CPR. Nice lady sometimes ... but these things brew over time. Again, the ‘next time’ is already thinking about next time.
Remember son, all our problems come out of a clear blue sky.