The marvelous part is the way [Michael] Joyce’s face looks when he talks about what tennis means to him. He loves it; you can see this in his face when he talks about it: his eyes normally have a kind of Asiatic cast because of the slight epicanthic fold common to ethnic Irishmen, but when he speaks of tennis and his career the eyes get round and the pupils dilate and the look in them is one of love. The love is not the love one feels for a job or a lover or any of the loci of intensity that most of us choose to say we love. It’s the sort of love you see in the eyes of really old people who’ve been happily married for an incredibly long time, or in religious people who are so religious they’ve devoted their lives to religious stuff: it’s the sort of love whose measure is what it has cost, what one’s given up for it. Whether there’s “choice” involved is, at a certain point, of no interest… since it’s the very surrender of choice and self that informs the love in the first place.
David Foster Wallace, from “Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness,” in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again