With a title like this one, I open myself to speculation.
“What’s wrong with life for Jake?”
“Why isn’t he talking about _________?”
“What speculations can I make?”
Yes, this post will seem evasive.
Yes, it will seem obscure. Meta. Cowardly.
Yes, I open myself to what I’m not saying much more than what I have said before.
So very many of the entries to this blog have bravely revealed intimacies and intricacies and complexities and hardships and struggles and vulnerabilities. I have applauded such posts. I’ve laughed with them. I’ve cried with them. I’ve been, more often than not, envious of them.
This isn’t something that comes easy.
This isn’t something I’ve expected.
How can I participate in these sharings? How can I be a member of this community that has committed to each other so openly? What can I add?
I know what I can add.
I really, really do.
Yet I can’t write about it. This is the closest I can come.
It seems like I’m holding out.
It feels like I’m not as committed as others are.
For this, I apologize.
This post, though it may not seem like it at all, is much more personal than anything I’ve written thus far. Am I writing for myself or for others? To whom am I accountable? I have the potential here to write something that can rack up readership views and shares, likes and comments, discussion and well-wishes. I can’t bring myself to do it. At least not yet. This behind-the-scenes reference is a teaser. I know this, but I don’t mean to do so.
This isn’t me.
This isn’t about me.
This isn’t, even, about the post calvin.
I am not my own.
I belong to others.
I’ve yet—and haven’t we all—to realize the longevity of blogs and digital communication. How will this affect those around us? The generations after us? Those already among us, without even recognizing it?
I feel it.
Can you feel it?
Why can’t you feel it?
Have I done something wrong?
Am I not sharing in the spirit of what we are committed to here?
Is this a safe place?
Should this, for lack of better words, be beyond me?
Bigger than me?
There may come a time I can write about such things.
I hope there is.
There may come a time I can help others with regards to such things.
I know there is.
Today, and call this cowardice or something else, I cannot help you.
For this, and for so many other reasons, I am sorry.
This comes as a hollow expression.
It comes as an echo of something that could be much greater.
Tally up those missed likes, comments, shares.
That sounds too cynical.
Again, I apologize.
I care less about those missed likes, comments, shares.
I ache for those I cannot help.
At least for right now.
Someday I will.
Today’s thoughts are not about me.
They are not about you.
What can be saved for writing?
What can be saved from writing?
What can be saved from you?
What can be saved from me?
For those closest to me?
For those who will be left to deal with the touches I leave behind in words?
For whatever you have to give. Whatever you may be willing to give.
This is about boundaries. I’m not trying to play coy.
Jacob Schepers (Calvin ’12) is the author of A Bundle of Careful Compromises (2014), a winner of the 2013 Outriders Poetry Project competition. His poetry has appeared in Verse, The Common, PANK, The Destroyer, and others. He lives in South Bend, IN, with his wife, Charis, and two sons, Liam and Oliver. He is both an MFA student and doctoral candidate in English at the University of Notre Dame.