Headlong Flight: Oil Essences
Refers to the oils in plants that are used in the separation and purification of metals.
“Thinking back over my life, and telling stories about my ‘great adventures’—they didn’t always feel that grand at the time. But on balance, I wouldn’t change anything. In the words of one of our great alchemists, Friedrich Gruber, ‘I wish I could do it all again.'”
Oil essences are used in the transformation process. It might be that the protagonist, having endured betrayal and cruelty and the worst of human treachery, has finally scratched his itch for adventure and now has a better idea of what’s important in life. But he also recognizes that his adventures were essential for him to get to this point in his life, thus he says he’d do it all again if he had the chance. “Friedrich Gruber” is an inside reference to his former drum instructor, who, before he passed away, used to lament that he couldn’t live his life over again.
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