'Tracking' is a body of work about learning to track animals, and more broadly learning to become a Trails guide - someone who takes people on guided walks in the African bush. The texts that appear here are extracts from a longer piece and are randomised, meaning they appear in random order. You are invited to click through to the next text, but the panels do not construct a linear narrative, and will not appear in the same order twice.
Some days embed themselves in your flesh. Acacia days, thorns of hours.
Our days in the bush are decorated with event. But also the so much the same that time has lost its spatial dimension and no longer feels like time but a river.
The red and yellow barbet, its military parade jacket colours. The sand grass, hollows of rough-leaved shepherds trees. We roll through these hours, they envelop us. We are not insistent anymore that time be meaningful, that it dispense anything to us. We dissolve into minutes where nothing happens, until it does.
A hyena loping through the long grass, we see only its head, surfacing like a buoy on a grass sea. Walking through its paths and corridors, the lion occulted in the long grass, the African fish eagle who watches us, measuring our consumability, as we pass beneath it. The bush bristles with alarm. The gutteral blare of baboons, nervous chatter of vervet monkeys. The threat assailing them can be parsed from their position in the trees – if it is a Verreaux’s eagle they fear they perch close to the trunk; if a snake, they go to the end of the branch, ready to swing to safety.
Knowledge is a conscious effort, but also it is simply time spent. Every day we are learning, our minds are saturated with understanding. That is why we sleep so soundly at night.