Here we are, gathered together, the little ones, the older ones, the darker, the lighter. The people around us—and those in and out of sight—we can call our own. We can say: This is my group. These are my friends. This is my family. You are my people.
For us, that is a blessing. And our fortune. Because it is too damn easy to have no one in this world.
Your presence makes an impression that doesn’t leave a scar. I look at everyone together, and I think of how empty our floor would be if any one of you didn’t break its plane.
I need you!
Look at our loud ones, their arcs screaming with joy and delight. Look at our quiet ones, approximately equal in volume, their faintness filling the room with a stability that is both constant and counted on.
Didn’t you know it? Someone’s shadow allows another’s light.
This is our family. And we are not one moment in time.
My grandmother made a light that never shined on me. I was born too late, born after her death, and there was no meeting of the eyes, holding of the hands, or singing in one’s ear. So her light had to reach me in another way. Her emanation shone on my mother, and my aunt, who reflected on me.
Some of us grew up without much affection or belonging. They are ours too. We can show them love in the way that we give it: Providing space to be protected, and granting them a shadow for them to shine upon. Allowing their shadow to bathe in our light. Carving a space they can count on to be open, a space just for them, always.
This is how it’s done. Because you are mine, and you are all I have.
ABOUT— Ara Hagopian’s latest book is out now: http://www.LeavesOfYouthTheBook.com