Defeating the Divide

How can we possibly span the obvious gap between us? You are on one side, I’m on the other, and our separation is long enough, and deep enough, to forever cause our split. The fact is, we happen to be mixed in among many others, some of whom are over here, and over there.

Go ahead, look at our situation in clear light. We will never be close, not like those who are truly in proximity.

You and I can’t be that kind of neighboring company.

Can closeness come another way?

Will you try with me?

The divide. There is a gap, and there we are. It’s an attitude, a religion, a nationality, an ethnicity– name it. All, and more, can separate us. It’s surprising to think that the divide is natural, and exists for good reason. On a grand scale, division is important for organization, and for community. This is our neighborhood block, let’s take pride in it; it’s not so big that we can’t manage it. It’s not such a span that we get lost, or forgotten as we make our home here.

This is our bed, let’s keep it behind our bedroom door. Our refrigerator is best be separated from the counter and the couch apart from the sink. This is our faith, let’s not betray it. These are our values, let’s not stray from them.

I believe in grand scale division. It’s a plan that keeps everyone and everything from moving in the same direction.

On a personal scale, division is isolating. Personally, it hurts us deeply when anything– anything! keeps good people apart.

Why do I want to close the gap with you, when you and I are so different? Because I don’t think we’re so different as to make a restriction. Because I happen to think your differences are fascinating. Not for me to change into you, nor you to change into me. Rather, if people can manage to get closer, and form a bond, we can grow to understand something outside of our sphere.

We can challenge the divide by going easier on each other. We can develop a personal regard, where we shift focus from our roots, perhaps for the first time. And then oh, how I can see you!

That’s how we begin to diminish the divide. If we want you and I in each other’s lives, this is one way to do it.

The fact is, our roots ground us. We can’t change them. We wouldn’t want to. If we lose our roots, we die.

Together we learn that rooted beings can lean. If we do that, then our flex is how we can manage to move. If I have to bend without the help of the wind, I will do it– to be closer to you. Maybe our limit isn’t where our feet are planted, but where our arms can reach. And our eyes can see. And our voices can land.

Let it not be just one of us. Our true reach is the sum of two efforts. We can make a connection, without betraying who we are, if you and I choose to defeat the divide.

PHOTO CAPTION: Look to the treetops to see how nature defeats the divide. Once again, the Summerville pines provide material for human interest.

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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