For Ali Cobby Eckermann, writing is a healing process. It has enabled her to create what she describes as ‘a poetic manifesto of inner truth’, set in a time before colonisation, where there was ‘a richness of lore and law, and people were closer to their purpose’. Throughout her poetry and memoirs, we encounter spiritual and psychological recovery in nature, with earth being the restorative property of Country. She is the Earth, 2023, which includes ninety sparse metaphorical lyric poems, is set in the liminal spaces between earth and sky and charts the journey of a spirit voice. Cobby Eckermann describes:
I believe that we know all the answers inside us, and that’s sort of what life is about. I think life is about the challenge to know who we are, so there’s much wisdom inside us and it’s the external that squashes that. The more time we can spend with our internal, we’ll find that voice. I’ve chosen to call it spirit voice – that guiding voice.
For Inner Sanctum, Cobby Eckermann has created a visual interpretation of She is the Earth. She returns to an archive of negatives from the period in which she was reconnected with her mother to produce a series of images, accompanied by verse. With astute hindsight, Cobby Eckermann is co-scribing her original poetic verse to detail the emotive response to place and to add clarity to the greyness that once overshadowed her life.