Between Two Worlds

Between two worlds. My voice needs to be heard, and self-protection is but a nudge greater than that need. I’m overloading, and have to bail, and the jump spot seems worse. The life machine is just stringing me along and I want to fight it, or correct it, and I don’t bother.

Why do I shout? When my whisper makes them wince. Why do I speak, when no one reads. Why do I write, when they’re not listening?

Peace is being unaware of the war around me. Which is why both will always exist. Which is why my being dulled and shut down is the way out of the fighting. Gladly so!

And that’s why I have to move. Because I don’t want to be glad about shutting up. Because I want to speak with an even volume. I want others’ voices to resonate with me, in all their tones and different ways. I want to look and smile, and be smiled back.

I have to travel very far for this to be so.

I have to travel to a place that will tear me up to get there. I need to be torn.

In twenty-two years, hmm, no one’s asked me to explain what I learned with my MBA degree. If they did, I could say, “You can’t change just one part of a system,” and I could break that down, like an MBA. Instead, for those decades, people have counted on me to leverage, not explain, what I know, to benefit the team or situation. Or the essay, or the art work, or the photograph.

Between two worlds. The seagull with the fish in its beak makes the biggest noise. The gull without a fish makes the biggest complaint. When you hear the same sound from both, and perceive no difference, when you’re not getting who is happy and who is bitching, not able to discern the right vs. the wrong, you’re right here with me.

I lost an idea and it was gone like a child. I can come up with many other ideas, beautiful, short, fitting for just now, and never-ending for a lifetime and beyond, but I can’t ever re-create the one that I didn’t write down. An idea that’s gone forever is fuel for me. I have to make up for it! Fuel sustains. Fuel is a continuance. It allows to happen what’s to be changed. And that is movement.

I’m given a register of what I’m to remember, what I’m to possess in my memory, and without a reason; I don’t know why I remember locking an eight-year-old classmate in a school closet and running away as she begged to be let out. Am I given this etched memory to make me never do a thing like that again? Or to sting my foolish fingers for a lifetime?

Out of all the billions of experiences since that day in 1973, why has hers stuck with me?

Was she given a memory too? Was it– Don’t trust? Or, trust in the teacher who thankfully opened the door?

How long did it take for the girl to shake the fear that I caused? Did it grow to a phobia? A semi-opaque curtain wrapped around her life? Don’t trust boys, don’t trust people in general. Don’t venture alone.

Or did her fright lead her to become an inspired lady, growing so much bigger than a shrunken, cowering kid? And going so much further than a foolish, fleeing boy.

I can’t go back to her, but I can come back to her. I have to travel to do it, I have to bend this and reconfigure that and this boy stops in his tracks. Retraces his steps. Quickly. I open the door and tell her it’s all right, and I’m sorry. That, dear reader, is movement from one world to another. It’s making a change to something that can never be changed, fixing what can’t ever be fixed, but in one place. I can travel to fix it by telling the world about it. By opening other doors, for other people. By learning, and re-learning, over and over again, to not run away and to not harm.

I have used up every bit of the resource that is me here. Every moment after trauma is improvement. I will no longer accept being between two worlds.

Between Two Worlds by Ara Hagopian.

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.
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4 Responses to Between Two Worlds

  1. Anonymous says:

    That is one of your best Ara.

  2. James Richard Bracewell says:

    I love the artwork, I forgot to mention that, but then you already know I am an admirer of your unique style.

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