A road less traveled in San Francisco, California
I've been reading David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks this month, and while I'm nowhere near finished, I wanted to share a passage from the last page that I read today (no spoilers):
One of the narrators (there are a few!), named Hugo, is different; there is something special that distinguishes him from "the Normals," as he calls them, of the everyday world. At this point in the novel, Hugo is stopped in the street by a group of men in a white SUV who invite him to become someone/something different, an opportunity to evolve. But he must decide to leave the relative safety of the life he knows right now.
Hugo asks the man driving the SUV, the one offering "the metamorphosis,"
"Can I just ask for an outline--"
"Doesn't work like that. You need a leap of faith to leave your old life behind. True metamorphosis doesn't come with flowcharts."
All around us life goes on, oblivious to my quandary.
"But I'll tell you this," says the New Zealandar. "We've all been headhunted, except for our founder." D'Arnoq jerks with his head to the unseen man in the compartment behind. "So I know what you're feeling now, Hugo. That space there, between the curb and this car, it's a chasm. But you've been vetted and profiled, and if you cross that chasm, you'll thrive here. You'll matter. Whatever you want, now and always, you'll get."
I ask him, "Would you make the same choice again?"Knowing what I now know, I'd kill to get into this car, if I had to. I'd kill. What you've seen Miss Constantin do--that pause button of time at King's College, or the puppeteering of the homeless guy--that's just the prelude to lesson one. There's so much more, Hugo."
First of all, I love the line, "'You need a leap of faith to leave your old life behind. True metamorphosis doesn't come with flowcharts.'" It reminds me of "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
What leaps of faith have you made? What roads did you take without knowing where they went? And what rewards did you find there?