Two years and 3,000 hours ago, I started to edit The Inner Tracker(see trailer)and immediately I sensed something ominous. Within the subjects of the film I was seeing myself and my closest relationships reflected back in ways that would send my life as I knew it into a full-on avalanche.

“We are the hardest animals to track and understand.”


In 2002 a group of animal trackers was called together to discuss 'inner tracking.' It's one thing for trackers to evaluate animal track and sign out in the woods. It's another matter when those tracks are within themselves and their own relationships with one another.


So here are these big-name tracking teachers (Paul Rezendes, Charles Worsham, and Jon Young), and many of their students (who themselves went on to become prominent in their own communities), and they’re all trading opinions on inner tracking.

And it got messy: ideologies, people trying to heal and convert one another.

And here I am, myself working in the nature education community, and I start to see the same manipulations in the group-worldview that I identify with. We’re protecting belief systems, we’re scared, we’re defensive, and we’ll do anything to avoid seeing our blindness. I thought I was doing my part to save the world, and now I find that this is what I’m part of; this is what’s going on underneath?

And what’s more, in the end I can’t even make any one of them understand, can I? Where does that leave me?

All I can do now is pass on the invitation, as I continue to explore these questions myself:

Are you willing to let yourself be drawn in 

so far as to question the roots of your own worldview?

 


 

Acknowledgements

Thanks to all of those who participated in the 2002 inner tracking dialogue and put themselves on the spot for all that happened there. Also, I’d like to thank everyone who was present with me during my face off with The Inner Tracker.

We agreed that the production of this film would be purely for the benefit of the tracking community, and yet it did take much time and energy to produce. Please consider donating to the Teaching Drum Outdoor School for sponsoring me while working on this project for the past two years of post-production.



 

About the Filmmaker

Marcus Gardner lives in Milwaukee, having recently filmed 300 hours of a 5-month wilderness training at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School. He’s currently exploring the limits of documentary film as a tool to provide both self-reflection and publicity for his subjects.

anotherheadThe Inner Tracker whet my appetite for projects that challenge me to find the impossible-to-tell stories. The stories so paradoxical that I can’t tell them until I’ve taken myself apart. Stories of people risking it all for a sense of interconnectedness that goes beyond what any simple answers can bring. If you know of such a story, or an existing project that needs editing, please contact me.”


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  1. Marcus Gardner says:

    Hello all, does The Inner Tracker touch you in some way? Leave you self-righteous? Angry? Confused? Did you identify with some characters over others? I’d love to have an active discussion so either leave a note here or contact me privately.

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