All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
At the very end of the movie Walkabout, the young protagonist, standing among people of civilized society, looks around with sad eyes. The audience knows exactly what she is thinking: I don’t belong here any more.
Walkabout is an arthouse movie about two young children – a white teen girl and her younger brother- suddenly and violently thrown into the Australian outback to fend for themselves. As they try to survive, they meet a young aborigine, presumably doing his Walkabout initiation. Through him, she learns the visceral and truthful values of the aboriginal culture in contrast to the violent culture in which she was raised. By the end of the movie, the white kids are rescued and brought back to “civilized” society. But we, the audience, realize in the ending scene that the teen girl knows that her viewpoint has changed and that she doesn’t belong there any more.
It’s been more than two months since I’ve been back in Los Angeles. But in so many ways, I feel like a fish out of water.
I’ve felt for a long time that I didn’t, nor did I want to, fit in the strictures of modern society. After the long bike ride through the Australian outback, I now know for sure that this fact is more embedded in me than I realized. With its fruitless wars and imbecile leaders, with its consumerist focus to drive people to buy as a main goal in life, with its pseudo-spiritualities that try to make people feel deficient in order to swallow their false teachings, with its uneducated citizens kept that way by elites who want them in that state, this society has nothing to offer.
The question now is, as I approach my seventieth decade, what to do next. It’s an odd question to ask myself. As I look around, I see the faint image of an answer in the distance. But I can’t figure out what it is. And the way to get nearer is blocked by many fences and chasms.
I stand at the precipice. That is where my bikeabout has brought me.