"I was beginning to realize that I'd never seen him so upset before. With another part of my mind I was thinking that this would probably turn out to be one of those things kids go through and that I shouldn't make it seem important by pushing it too hard. Still, I didn't think it would do any harm to ask: 'Doesn't all this take a lot of time? Can you make a living at it?'

He turned back to me and half leaned, half sat, on the kitchen table. 'Everything takes time,' he said, 'and—well, yes, sure, I can make a living at it. But what I don't seem to be able to make you understand is that it's the only thing I want to do.'

'Well, Sonny,' I said, gently, "you know people can't always do exactly what they want to do—'

'No, I don't know that,' said Sonny, surprising me.  'I think people ought to do what they want to do, what else are they alive for?'"

—James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues