The Songlines - Bruce Chatwin The wandering words of a wandering writer. The "songlines" were a sort of Aboriginal GPS. The people could find their way unerringly across vast territories simply by "singing" the ancient stories of the Dreamtime creatures. The stories contained landmarks, and were meant to be sung at a walking pace of about 4 mph. Thus, as he walked and sang, the singer encountered the sacred sites and knew he was following the correct "line" to his destination. As I came to understand the concept, I was moved by the perfect combination of reverence for the land, remembering the ancestors, and avoiding getting lost in a harsh and unhospitable landscape. The timeline of Chatwin's experiences was scattered, so it was sometimes hard to keep track of all the people and their stories. Also, I was puzzled by the inclusion of all the fragmentary pieces from the author's old notebooks. Most of the notes had nothing to do with Australia, and a clear connection never formed between the notebooks and the book's topic. Still, The Songlines is an excellent contribution to the ethnographic record of Australia's native people.