Comment: Prayer for BILL3

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Prayer for BILL3

Bill. There can be an oppressive, paternalistic political correctness to this movement, one that you have been a master at twisting into pretzels. For that I am eternally grateful.

For your courage in challenging such deeply held dogma, and sharing such politically incorrect thoughts, let me come out of the closet with a little factoid of my own: I love the Sunday New York Times. I know, it has been called an evil institution, an organ of the State, the mouthpiece of the Regime. No matter to me. There's nothing I love better on a Sunday morning than a cup of coffee and the New York Times.

And what should show up on page 9 of today's Sunday Review section but this article, titled "The Trick of Life" by Akhil Sharma, author of the novel (so the NYT informs me) Family Life:

SEVEN years into writing a novel, I started to lose my mind. My thirty-seventh birthday had just come and gone, the end of 2008 was approaching, and I was constantly aware of how little I had managed to accomplish.

I would sit at my desk at 2 in the morning, unable to sleep, and drink pot after pot of tea and try to write. The panic attacks came then. I would be staring at the screen, examining a paragraph that I had already rewritten 170 times. Suddenly the screen would start to ripple, as if I were peering through water, and I would feel a pain like a punch in the chest. Months passed this way. My chest felt constantly bruised.

One December morning, the crisis finally came. I had lain down on my living room sofa and found I could not get up. The idea of another year ending with the book not done overwhelmed me.

And it continues:

Maybe the fever that caused you to write this has vanished. Thoughts like this come and go; sometimes they are particularly intense.

If there is one thing that I can pass along it is to remember, you are not your thoughts. At the same time, a successful life is the result of mastery over one's own thoughts. Mastery does not come overnight, but with time and patience come indeed it will.

My love to you Bill, whoever, and wherever you are.

He's the man.