“Tracks” by Robyn Davidson
Camel trips do not begin or end, they merely change form.Robyn Davidson
‘I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there’s no going back.’ So begins Robyn Davidson’s perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company.
Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia’s landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity.
Letting go of boundary and merging with everything around me
The heart of the book, I think, is the moment at which that paring away–the sense of ridding myself of mental baggage–allows for a different kind of consciousness to emerge.
Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation. A writer’s task is to look at the world from an independent viewpoint and to tell the truth as you see it–to take full responsibility for your own life.
Why? A journey of consciousness, reflection and transformation.
The question she is most commonly asked is ‘Why?’ A more pertinent question might be: Why is it that more people don’t attempt to escape the limitations imposed upon them? If Tracks has a message at all, it is that one can be awake to the demand for obedience that seems natural simply because it is familiar.
Wherever there is pressure to conform (one person’s conformity is often in the interests of another person’s power), there is a requirement to resist. This does not mean that people should drop what they are doing and head for the wilder places, certainly not that they should copy this journey. Rather, Davidson means to convey that one can choose adventure in the most ordinary circumstances. Adventure of the mind, or to use an old fashioned word, the spirit.
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