Saturday, July 17, 2010


No matter where I find myself on Sunday morning, I am instinctively drawn to my computer. Almost without knowing it, I start typing "postsecret" into the navigation bar. I have been religiously checking Frank Warren's weekly Sunday updates for over 4 years, since he published his first book my freshman year in college.

It is hard to explain exactly what these collections of words and images mean to me, be they a link to kindred unknown or a route to understanding my own inner workings.

Frank Warren started the Post Secret as a community art project where he handed out postcards to strangers, asking them to fill them out with their innermost secrets that they have never exposed to anyone. An astounding number of people replied, and soon these beautiful works of art were curated and organized on Mr. Warren's site, Through the simple act of collecting and bringing together of 4x6" pieces of cardstock, Frank Warren created an incredible community of artists, of writers, of humans: In our innermost solitude, we became one.

Every Sunday, thousands of visitors type the same words into their navigation bar, only a few letters suffice for the computer's memory to suggest the right link. Each person is looking for something different, be it their own secret staring back at them in calm defiance, perhaps they are looking for an apology from a friend, a wedding proposal, or simply the awareness that at the same moment, countless others are searching the same images for links to their own hearts. I am fond of scrolling to the bottom to see what number visitor I am, and refreshing the page once I am done, to see how many I have shared those past few minutes with.

For the past year or so I have been slowly collecting my favorite secrets in a folder called "Love". The secrets share this folder with images of my favorite people in the world, and in those fleeting lonely moments of life, I find myself flipping through these images as if I was looking at glimpses of memories.

A few months ago, I bought the most recent Post Secret book, Confessions on Life, Death and God. Gleefully, I ran down the escalators of Union Square's Barnes and Noble to purchase my book so I could devour the images. I flipped through the pages with fervour, unlocking the new secrets hidden behind each page, until I stumbled upon something quite unexpected. A secret! Alas, unlike all of the others this was not included in all of the others, someone has slipped their own secret in on the back of the packaging of a pair of men's socks. The secret read "I only feel ALIVE when my love is UNREQUITED."

I felt a strange pity for this stranger upon first reading it. I longed to find him, if him he is, and be his friend if nothing more. I spent hours staring at this card, wondering why it meant so much to me, why I felt a kindred to this person, until I realized his secret is my own.

Thank you Frank Warren for allowing so many of us to feel connected through your efforts.

No comments:

Post a Comment