The match hisses alight, and gutters as it always does when it melds with the stub of wick on my favorite candle. I am patient, and await the leap of flame when it finds ignition and the small orange bud wavers to life in its violet wax canyon. I close my eyes and breath in the familiar fragrance of patchouli and lavender, inhaling the warmth of its light, letting it fill my soul. This stout candle came to me, heavy with hope and expectation on my 45th birthday, a gift from an encouraging spouse and bright-eyed children. Attached to it, along with a weighty pen and sturdy paper, a note in gaily lettered script was their insistent wish: Write. Above all. Write. So I light my candle and I try. Those wishes echo through my mind as with each inhalation I prospect for ideas, and those same wishes reverberate disappointment with each empty exhalation. But with each breath I discipline my thinking to move with that breath, and sometimes, an idea hisses in the darkness, guttering as it always does when it melds with the stub of my weighty pen on sturdy paper.