from Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all--a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named--but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not.
* * *
So it looks as if a press editor may, in fact, really, actually be interested in Chestnut Ridge. This isn't to say she'll choose to publish it. But she seems to be reading it with engagement and curiosity; she's asking me questions about process and is altogether behaving as if the book is making an impression on her. I live in hope.
Shortly Tom and I will be toddling off for a meeting with our mortgage officer, and then I'll return to the doll-house and reinsert myself into the copyediting life.
I might look busy, but my imagination is still crowded with visions of book contracts and Japanese-style garden plans.