There Are No Alternate Routes

My ADD reading habit, which pings indeterminably off upturned and face-down books scattered around my library (including virtual equivalents, Kindle and Audible), often yields a common thread of thought so startling that I wonder there isn't an authorial conspiracy afoot. Thumbing back through Blue Highways, I was struck by a singular tone in that brilliant travel-writing tome: no divergent paths. The Highways quote reminded me of the Frank Bascombe utterance I had heard (via Audible) this week, but it was only when I opened The Solace of Open Spaces this morning -a book worthy by title alone- and read the preface, that the common thread glowed a brilliant hue:

The 'right' way was so worn so deeply in the earth as to be unmistakable. But without the errors, wrong turns, and blind alleys, without the redoubling back and misdirection and fumbling and chance discoveries, there was not one bit of joy in walking the labyrinth. - William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Automated signs over the lanes counsel way-worn travelers to EXPECT LONG DELAYS, TAKE ALTERNATE ROUTE ... So, as ill-advised, I take an alternate route. Though there is no truly alternate route, only another route, a longer, barely chartable, indefensible fool's route of sailing west to get east ... - Frank Bascombe, (author: Richard Ford), Independence Day

The detour, of course, became the actual path ... - Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

Shame on the soul, to falter on the road of life while the body perseveres. - Aurelius, Meditations, (Staniforth translation)