Champion

I’ve been sick this week. Also it’s been so hot. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if I had a fever or it was the weather. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and got antibiotics, though what I have feels viral, so I don’t know how much they will help.

I found myself wanting to look at this photograph of my niece Chloe because it makes me feel better. There are so many things I like about it. Her home-made bow and arrow, for example. Her commitment, not to archery necessarily, but to fantasy. She is Katness from Hunger Games, then she is a British archery champion (with hilarious accent) here to compete against the Americans. She throws herself into each idea. When she grows up I’ll miss the childish things about her. I hope she never loses this ability she has to imagine and have fun.

As sick as I’ve been this week, I’ve been working on my second novel every day. Everyone I run into asks me, “What’s happening with your book?” and I suppose they’re asking if “The Original 1982″ is selling. The truth is I have no idea, but I don’t even want to think about it. What good can it do to know? I can’t control its fate at this point. The only power I have is to work on the second one and try to make it good.

I’m not immune to feelings of ambition, and sometimes I feel furious when I think about how the world doesn’t care if I write a book or make a record, or whatever. That’s how I know my ego is out of control. The world doesn’t care about almost anything. There are people who have to walk miles for clean water, people who are living on the streets, children growing up without parents, families that don’t have enough food to eat. So if I don’t get to be reviewed in the New York Times, or have my work reach an audience who might like it.. well too bad. I mean, really. I’m so lucky. I think those feelings of ambition are ugly. I really do. I want to be kinder, and more patient. I want to be a champion the way Chloe is a champion, successful in my ability to imagine and have fun.

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