I wish I were barred from entering this emotional place. Time has brought me here, or maybe I just like how that sounds. Something has led me to an image that has remained long enough that I must try to explore it in words. So often images seem as fleeting as days, months, and years. Above, I almost wrote explode instead of explore. I would prefer to destroy what remains beyond my control. What can I control? Control is such a familiar word that I forget how foreign it is to this mind work that I call my writing. Words appear on their own: I imagine destroying these sentences so that I won’t have to discover where they might lead me. Seventeen years ago I wrote in the early mornings before work on our living room couch and filled a page or two with sentences that I assumed were somewhat grammatically correct. A couple of years later, when I moved to Madrid and struggled to learn Spanish, I discovered that one of the effects of my learning problems in childhood was that I’d never understood the fundamentals of my native language. Those early morning writing sessions seventeen years ago were a new beginning for me, and maybe it was a good thing that I had no idea how many changes I would have to undergo in my mind during the next twelve or fourteen years while my writing style was born. Writing time takes its own time. These sentences have taken their time with me. Images have come and gone, and some have made it onto the page. What more can a writer ask for? Seventeen years ago I woke up early to write with the help of strong coffee, and looking back, I had no idea what I was doing. I doubt that much has changed since then.