Vanishing Act 

Remember when we believed a Stepanakert street block
was too far? Mesrop Mashtots, Vazgen Sargsyan street, and so on…
well, new boundaries stack those blocks, and now there are thousands,
maybe millions, blocking. 

My preschool days taught me how to stack the reds, the blues, and
the greens of building blocks but when I would finish, they would
crash down like boulders, collapsing into an unstable heap. No
sense of order. No sifting through for the parts that you want,
discarding my least favorite color, red, or the pressure would crush
down upon my hand, holding it down. 

And as of late, the laws keep lecturing me: “stay in place, shelter at home.”
But where is my home? Here, in the glimpse of an Artsakh sunrise? Can a
home be created in a place, or is it a manifestation of anticipation before
you make eye contact, the connection of pure blues with ephemeral
greens? Will home only be found once a month? Twice a year? 

Across a nation, future plans slip over a waterfall of dreams into a river’s
rapid flow. It carries us past those blocks, and disconnects at a right corner
turn, and then I realize that the emotional burden will only wash me into an
enclosed cave, no crevices. With this thought, now I am washed into a
shore, reborn into the grass trodden ground, stamped with the imprint of
tiny footprints, animal maybe, and our memories. 

Now, the sunsets, and each and every block…are an
honest reminder that a touch, when removed, leaves no physical imprint
and honesty might not exist in this life, but we can be reborn and each
life lets us decide what home we will return to.

The sun sets over Artsakh (Photo courtesy of Anush Ghavalyan)
Danielle Mikaelian

Danielle Mikaelian

Danielle Mikaelian is in her senior year at Columbia University. She is majoring in English.
Danielle Mikaelian

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