The Movie Australia.
Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley and Hugh Jackman as The Drover.
Fast forward to somewhere two thirds of the movie: They have long become lovers. With the child Nullah to care for, she wants to create the ideal family with The Drover.
He is okay with this, albeit on his own terms. So he informs her ( I am paraphrasing here):
“ In the dry, (season) I go droving”.
Meaning that although he loves her, he will not change certain aspects of his nature that make him who he is. During every dry season, he will exchange her loving embrace for the harsh and relentless arms of mother nature in the wild outback. Gone for many months, he will be in the company of cattle, other men, the raw elements and his own freedom.
As he explained to the child Nullah, “...to be a man, a man needs to get away from woman every now and then...”
A man needs to get away from woman to do man-things and reconnect with his manhood; ergo: go droving.
For me this was the most significant part of the movie as I identify completely with the character of The Drover. In spite of my profound love for- and absolute appreciation of my own lover, the instinct within me to “go droving” is an irrepressible and unapologetic part of who I am.
I am a social loner. An incurable lover of humanity and yet a person who mostly enjoys solitude above togetherness. I cannot suffer the company of another humanbeing for extremely prolonged periods. I cannot abide continuous togetherness.
I am the woman who submits to- and luxuriates in the fiery intimacy that accompanies that kind of lovemaking when 2 people truly love each other and yet worships an empty bed.
Prolonged contact is for me at once ecstatic and agonizing: I am fulfilled by the gift of loving company, yet somehow my lustre diminishes. I stop hearing my song. When I look in the mirror, there is no reflection; I am happy enough yet I am an echo, a déjà vu of all that I encompass.
In a situation of constant togetherness, I retreat into the abyss and become a hoarder. I develop dualities and secret chambers, booby traps and borderlines. I become elusive. I become a phantom.
It is my wish that I die someday somewhere, quietly and alone: an eccentric old herbs-and-dreadlocks lady in a rambling empty house in the middle of nowhere. Rigor mortis in a rocking chair as the spirit departs my ancient weathered body. It may be weeks until I am found.
I have seen this image before in my dreams, the prospect gives a strange comfort.
It will be an honour to die the Drover’s death: all by myself, hopefully ready for the final drove, listening to the symphonies of silence as a nothingness without boundaries arrives to claim me for its own.