After reading about Post Secret in the New York Times, I quickly became a devotee. To anyone who hasn't yet visited the site, it's a blog that releases a trove of new secrets in the form of Post Card art every Sunday. No wonder the blog is rated # 8 on Technorati and "Frank," the administrator, recently got a book deal. Who among us can resist a good secret, especially when artfully exposed under the cover of complete anonymity?
But after a few weeks, I got a little bored. The secrets got, well, kind of repetitive. I started to talk back to the post cards: Is this all you've got, people? And come on, tell me something I havent heard.
So I stayed away for a while, and then returned. While I can't say the secrets were all that different, the expression was fresher. Or maybe my eyes were just fresher. I don't know.
Anyway, here's what I learned about the Secrets of the Human Heart by reading Post Secret.
They seem to fall into four categories:
1.We're not very good people. We harbor more grudges and feelings of jealousy than a city apartment harbors roaches; we litter and enjoy it; we go to church, but privately doubt God; sometimes we wish our family members were dead. And we are ashamed. We are very ashamed.
2. We do strange things to hurt ourselves. We cut ourselves, attempt suicide, seek destructive relationships, abuse substances of all kinds.
3. Other people have done things that hurt us, and we're ashamed of that too.
4. We love other people, or one specific person, but fear rejection or have already experienced it. We're ashamed of that, too.
Or even more concisely put:
1. We hurt other people.
2. Other people hurt us.
3. We hurt ourselves.
4. We're afraid to love. (Given #s 1 -3, I guess you could say #4 is pretty understandable.)
If you're a writer or an artist, that's what you've got to work with, the limited palette of human secrets. But another thing I learned reading Post Secret is that it's not really about the secrets. It's about the art.