G‑d, I want to wheedle scenes from my pen, and craft words to fit together splendidly. I want to bring to the white page a black script that will make my readers finger the exquisitely formed letters to sense if the story is etched in it. I want to root my readers’ heart long enough so that the next page will squeeze it out and later be restored again.

I want to write about white birds with gray edges tipping their feathers when they fly across the blustery sky. I will stand a girl in blonde braids at the window to follow the birds swoop with her nugget eyes. Her mother will stand in an oranges-and-cherries apron backstage, her large industrial hands in a womanly mitt. A pot will boil on her stove, large puffs of vegetable-perfumed steam rising and dropping dewlets on the window’s glass. The girl will swing the braids that crawl down her back into her young, round face. She will brush her sapling fingers over the condensed window to draw a two-window home with smoke billowing from the chimney.

I want to wheedle scenes from my pen, and craft words to fit together splendidlyI want to bring a father into the picture, by my mere stroke of the pen. The father will have stubble on his heavy, overblown face. His eyes will be low in his nose, and his eyebrows bending toward it. I want the girl to see her father from the window, and like her mother, be afraid. She will swipe away at her happy drawing with a swish of the side of her palm.

I want to set up tent in the father’s heart, to bring my notebook and scraps and pens and erasers there. To probe it from inside and see the tunnels of emptiness that have snaked themselves in throughout the years. I will find out what he never reveals and bring it forth with my stark black-and-white of shades and colors. I will read it to him and show him the way, that my readers enjoy reading about his struggles because they can all relate. I will allay his doubts and make him real mostly to himself.

I want the father to read the story when it emerges on the outside of him, where he can clearly see it. It will make him think and change.

I want to bring my readers back home with him on another day. His daughter in blonde will be sitting at the table, coloring white papers with neat, stark crayons in her freshly washed and combed-out hair. Her hair will be slick from the bathwater, and smelling of Dove. Her mint-green pajamas with the sunny brown bears will be slightly damp under her square of hair. Her nose and eyes will be shiny and wiped and her teeth will be brushed.

When he opens the door, my readers will feel the girl’s skin tighten with the frost of the air. They should feel like licking the snowflakes standing on edge, then falling from his black wool coat. They should hear the dull stamp as he shakes his rubbers off from slush that clung to him on his walk from the car. I want the reader to wait patiently for the mother to greet him, when he comes in from the street-lighted outdoors to the warmth of her hearth. I want them to feel disappointed when she buries her head in the oven, to turn her spiced chicken wings on the other side.

I want to make them understand. I want them to see her tight-lipped reservation and soft prayer on her lip as she turns away to face the window, the dampness of the night married to the dampness on her cheeks. I will bring them into her mind to relive the nightmares of other nights. I want my reader to choke on a suddenly formed lump and turn back to the father to wait for the story to unfold.

My readers will see the eyes of the girl slowly lift off her paper and travel up, up to her father’s once-soft eyes. His eyes will flit over hers and land on the paper. He will see her picture of a house with a mother and a daughter, and a father standing outside. I want him to really see her, for the first time, and have his heart feel full and empty and black and full of light. He will turn away and then twist back to tousle her hair. I want her to look doubtful and then crack her lips open in the most wondrous smile. I want it to get better.

I want to take my readers on a journey. I’ll wield my pen and have previously unnamed characters become so familiar as to join the self of the reader, much like the soul slips into flesh, or a foot into finely burnished leather boots. The reader will laugh and cry and think, but most important, see.

The reader will laugh and cry and think, but most important, seeI want to show my readers, in the wrenching three-dimensional visions of words, how things could turn around. They will see the father, the daughter, the mother and family amalgamate in a fairytale blaze of clarity. They will see the father’s stacked heels and mother’s gold-rimmed shoes echoing like the sound of a steed’s hoof, first through mud and then on solid ground, faster, together, in time to each other’s pace, climbing straight into the feather-filled clouds.

I want to write it, because I want to live it. I want to be there with each wrinkle and furrowed brow, each hiccup, cough, tear and faintest hint of smile. For the first time in many months, the mother’s eyes will be polished with a happy smile. Hovering over the blonde girl’s bed, I will be privy to see her ride the blanket up to her ear with a cozy sigh. I will be in her nose when she smells promise in her mother’s powder brush, and in her iris when it sparkles with the diamond her mother has placed on her finger again.

I want it because I don’t have it. I never got a second chance, my divorce an iron grate G‑d used to bar my way. I live alone with my clock ticking its tock above the door, with my kettle hissing its heat like a snore. Still, I want to know it, unfolding it like a dream to line the hollow in my mind. I want to know what it’s like to live the strangling struggles of my unmet character, to forgive, to start again, to love and share the silence with the noise of voice. I want to hold the image as a hope and an heirloom of my old and wizened heart. I want to make real the life beyond my bolted door.

I want to write it, because in the scratches of my pencil on the blue ruler lines, I am allowing myself to feel. I am opening myself up to a world of promise and life. As the image of the mother is real, her flat face with a roseate mark near the corner of her forehead a map I have studied deeply, so is the whisper in my heart.

My written words are foundations of hope, each letter that I mark a granule of cement in my solid belief. They enforce what I have smothered in the valley of my pillow at one o’clock at night. My story tells me that my weathered gut still holds tenderness and fantasy on which all promise rides. There is place in me for a better future so long as I can dream. Therefore I want to write.