There’s a scene in You, Jane in which Our Heroine meets someone who will play a critical role in Jane’s story. Their meeting seems accidental, taking place when Jane visits a new-age neo-hippy ashram in Taos, as she searches for a place to call home.
It’s even described as a stroke of luck:
Sam’s description of her body made Jane feel a twinge, or a twinkle, or something, deep in the region of her solar plexus, a place she hadn’t even thought about in a long, long time. He stood, and Jane’s innards twingled again. She only wanted to follow him. Oddly, that was the whole purpose of the orchestrated experience of the first day at the ashram, but it was supposed to benefit one of the leaders of the “family.” Jane’s luck in happening to stumble on Sam instead was the best luck she could have.
“What kind of coffee do you want?” he asked as he gathered up his things.
“Whatever you’re having,” Jane answered.
“Good choice,” he replied. “But not a permanent one, okay? You’re going to have to learn to want what you want, Jane.”
But I don’t know. I mean, I’m the author, so of course nothing in Jane’s story happens strictly by luck. There’s a bigger purpose to every event, and the bigger purpose here is (in part) to wake up that twingling that is the life force in Jane. It’s been sleeping for way too long, and she needs it to face what’s coming.
In real life, though, are we driven by luck or by fate? Or are they two words that describe the same thing: our common experience of being unable to explain why something happened, something that rose up in our lives like a boulder in a river, diverting the flow suddenly, inexplicably, sadly, hilariously, beautifully.
I’d love to know what you think.