A beautiful face is perhaps the only place where true silence is to be found.
– Giorgio Agamben, “Image and Silence” [i]
Ava, my little love.
What do I see when I look at you? I see me; I see your mother—I see you. In you I see the amazing convergence of past love. You carry the past, mine and your mother’s. Your presence is brand new and yet it is not. For within you is the enduring past—the love of your parents. Your being, our past, the shared joy of shared life. Ava, in you I see the miraculous and mysterious awe of life—the wonderment of being. You’re a testament to the beauty of the past, its end and beginning—the past birthed into the present.
What do I see when I look into your eyes? I see my eyes, your mother’s eyes—your eyes. In you I see the blissful now. I look at you and the newness of your being astounds me to no end. For in the newness of your existence I see my joie de vivre—my joy of life. And though you’ve yet to discover your own being, in you my being finds its purpose. Your eyes carry the present, not as a burden, but as an opportunity. In your eyes I see the opportunity to connect, to share, and to love. Thus, your eyes fill me with hope. A hope built on the togetherness we share each moment—mother, father, and child. The hope that every day is an opportunity to live in the fullness of being-with.
What do I see when I look into your face? I see my face, your mother’s face—your face. In your beautiful face I discover the silent future. I see a peaceful present that awaits the future with confidence and eagerness. When I see your face, I see your future. This future silently resides in your face. The future waits for you, beckons to you, and offers that you fill it with your presence. I see the expectation of this future in your face, your eyes, and your body. I too await this future with you, yearning to discover how your presence will mold and shape the days, the months, and the years ahead. In your face I see the culmination of the past, the joy of the present, and the silent expectation of the future.
“For this reason, in the face, and there alone, is [humanity] truly at home” [ii]
Ava, in you I better understand the liminality that we carry within us. The way that each one of us uniquely carry the past, present, and future within our being. For in you I see my own past, present, and future. In you I see what I’ve desired to see for so long.
In your face I’m truly at home.
[i] Giorgio Agamben, “Image and Silence,” DIACRITICS 40 (2) 94-98, 2012.