With Love, J. Sheppard

The Archives (Clarity)

jelina sheppardComment

The records of our lives in the 21st century are easily discoverable. “Archives”… a collection of records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. The first meeting was intellectually stimulating to say the least. I’m reminded it was right before thanksgiving break, and I won’t give much detail but it was one of the days I’ll never forget. Perhaps because knowing you was exciting for me.

At a time a lot of me had died, you popped up during lunch and brought life back into that smile of mine.

Fast forward… casual friends… first encounter… death…. misunderstandings…rectification…rehabilitation... pure laughter and fun during it all. 

Anyway, tonight I found your archives I honestly don’t know what happened. I was exploring my founders and somehow I stumbled into your history. I’m not surprised because going into this I knew you two would forever be related, but I searched… from day one up to yesterday. Initially, it was to learn something new that I didn’t know before meeting you, but then I began to search for myself. (That selfish side of me, I have you to thank). Years into the archive, I was digging, looking for any trace of me. Anything I inspired, any emotion or memory I produced, any song, any picture, any writings…. I clicked through with a fine tooth comb.

Nothing. No trace of me. Nothing whatsoever. It’s natural to jump to conclusions and I’m sure you’ll laugh and remind me my antics are unnecessary but, immediately I produced the rawest truth I could feel in that moment.

You left no trace of me because I wasn’t supposed to exist.

Deep in my womb but you granted me no life.

I found no records of my existence and that wasn’t the part that affected me...just no hidden meanings, no art produced on my behalf, no inspiration when I know the images we painted and the interpretive form of dance on your floor came from an inspired place. 

I never mattered. You’ll argue me down and say I’m overreacting but I hate the number two it’s unforgiving. To matter a little is not the equivalent or even comparable to mattering enough. No one remembers the person that tried, they only write about the ones that did. This is what makes our friendship for lack of a better word, authentic. We have the hard conversations… correction, I address the hard things and you now hide as if you’re not open, when the truth is, you’ve become so comfortable in hiding where you are, that you’ve disregarded the nature of our authenticity. We didn’t have to beat around the bush, it was always head on. Now, you’ll take every other route instead of straight to the point. I used to think you were courageous but now I wonder if you’re cowering because it’s easier to not address it or are you now choosing to be in love?. 

I’m unsure of what this is that I’m leaving here, I don’t feel any emotion just clarity which is it’s own emotion unidentifiable with any other feeling. Am I upset I didn’t make the cut? Upset there’s no trace, record, or art of my being in your museum? Or am I just finally clear on our grey areas? 

Lol, I’m choosing the latter. What the world will interpret as “upset” due to the words on the page, we both know this is just our norm, clarity…. The Archives.