Were you scared? I ask because you looked unprepared. You didn’t want to step forward from the regular world, did you, despite being crowded out, by yourself. But you saw what was coming. Your own growth pushed you towards a new, uncomfortable space, unimaginable even days before, and you sensed it, right? You stepped forward and you knew it: The moment before you thought you were ready, you were being prepared for something bigger. It doesn’t happen to matter your age. If you are set for your next step, you are a fledgling.

The fledgling may grow into something bigger, but never greater. I say this because no matter what you’ve accomplished in life, your potential was just that much more. And that’s the essence of a fledgling, right? You’re at your early dawn, and there have been no failures.

Fledgling, you are a beautiful thing!

Fledgling, they are lying, those who say you must be young. You should understand that you are simply changing– emerging. And that is ageless. Fledgling, show those who are stuck with nothing new, show those who patronize or dismiss you, where they too will be going.

Show them, with your awkward wobbles and all, that yes, you’re scared. Watch as people with aching joints smirk at your burgeoning steps. You, in your state have one up on them. You are too focused on growing into what’s next, than to mock others. Those who learn this lesson from you will begin to move that much closer to their next uncomfortable space, that is, the start of their own change.

You are a 33-year-old woman, never-before married, on her honeymoon. You are now part of a team, planning for two. You have the joy of loving companionship, and sudden restrictions on personal freedom, too. What’s it like to be with your husband, 24/7, for the first week, ever?

You are a former High School senior starting your first year at college. You’re living away from home, for the first time in your life. You have all-new choices, and all-new friends. Whom do you trust? And whom exactly do you have to answer to?

You are an elderly person, moved from your home to a nursing facility. You’re learning to use a walker. You can’t lean on your memory, and the independence which you prided yourself for decades has been checked at the door as well.

Fledgling, you are only so for a while. Within a short time you’ll grow to be that much more comfortable, on the path to once again ruling your space. For your brief span, all eyes will be on you. The wisdom you can choose to carry is the knowledge that this hurts, just for now.

Your potential casts the biggest shadow against the glare of the new world.

Your wobbles will be forgiven, by yourself.

You are on a continuous movement to become a fledgling, but will never be confident with it. That is as it should be, until you are no longer, new.

Fledgling (2007) is a pen and ink drawing on 120lb watercolor paper.

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
This entry was posted in Artwork, non-fiction, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fledgling

  1. Clive Donald Watts. says:

    A lovely piece that I can relate to as I plan my retirement.. So many unknowns to face.

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