“I spent a week in Warburton, floating with happiness. I could not remember ever associating that emotion with myself before. So much of the trip had been wrong and empty and small, and so much of my life previous to it had been boring and predictable, that now when happiness welled up inside me it was as if I were flying through warm blue air. And a kind of aura of happiness was being generated. It rubbed off on people. It built up and got shared around. Yet nothing of the past five months had been anything like I had imagined. None of it had gone according to plan, none of it had lived up to my expectations. There’d been no point at which I could say, “Yes, this is what I did it for,” or “Yes, this is what I wanted for myself.” In fact, most of it had been simply tedious and tiring.
But strange things do happen when you trudge twenty miles a day, day after day, month after month. Things you only become totally conscious of in retrospect. For one thing I had remembered in minute and Technicolor detail everything that had ever happened in my past and all the people who belonged there. I had remembered every word of conversations I had or overheard way, way back in my childhood and in this way I had been able to review these events with a kind of emotional detachment as if they had happened to somebody else. I was rediscovering and getting to know people who were long since dead and forgotten. I had dredged up things that I had no idea existed. People, faces, names, places, feelings, bits of knowledge, all waiting for inspection. It was a giant cleansing of all the garbage and muck that had accumulated in my brain, a gentle catharsis. And because of that, I suppose, I could now see much more clearly into my present relationships with people and with myself. And I was happy, there is simply no other word for it.”
Tracks ~ Robyn Davidson