PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. There are no rules. Everything is anonymous. People simply write their secret, as creatively as they like and send it in. It is worth checking out.
I don’t want to get into a discussion of whether this is art or not – some of the entries have artistic skill and some do not. But they seem to come from deep within people.
The project was started ust to see what would happen, I don’t think the organiser was expecting such deep and profound longings. Sometimes people send in hopes – “I wish I was thinner”, sometimes thanks –
“To the man who held my hand and made sure my son was ok when I totalled my car 9 years ago, I’m sorry I didn’t astk your name but I will never forget your kindness”,
but most of the time the secrets are confessions, guilts, hurts, or longings that they dare not tell anyone else. For example
“I would like to know who it was, so I could start hating the right person, and not me”.
“By the time you get this, I will already have made a HUGE mistake”
“I’m afraid I won’t be strong enough to raise my son to be be the man that his father failed to be”
“Even though I know my way around this town, sometimes I get so lonely that I ask strangers for directions, just to talk to someone.”
I own the first postsecret book, and I get the weekly blog roundup of the new postcards. Most of them make me feel sad. Telling someone your secrets is theraputic, and this blog seems to be doing the job of an external spiritual higher power. Are these prayers – I think some of them are, but without the expectation of them being answered. How do we address such emotions such as the fear of being a failing father, overcoming self-loathing, letting people in to see the real ‘you’? This project airs these questions, but it does not answer them. It cannot answer them, they are too big. Wheredo we find the answers and the acceptance and the forgiveness for these things?