Saturday, October 20, 2007

Secrets in the Mail

A friend of Tim's gave him a book called A Lifetime of Secrets, which I've gotten into the habit of staying up and reading whenever I spend the night. This guy had made this blog encouraging people to decorate a postcard and write their secrets on it and send it to him. The book is a scrapbook of sorts of all the postcards, and it the kind of book you want to just devour in one sitting, but it would be a disservice to do so, and so the practice of self-restraint has the opportunity to be exercised. Some of the posts in the book almost knocked me over, or took my breath, or both.

It's interesting, too, how religious Confession (in the Roman Catholic sacramental use of the word) has fallen out of style. And yet, people still feel this need to confess their dark sides to someone. I think the anonymity of Post Secret allows for this. People may or may not be seeking absolution or forgiveness. Some people may capitalize on the opportunity to write to a stranger about themselves because they have no other friends. Occasionally there are jubilant posts about being in love or beating cancer. But the majority attest to the fact that most of us are living our lives under heavy yokes. And they want someone to unload them on.

The founder of Post Secret gives people that opportunity. But he is completely laissez-faire. There is no need to play God or therapist or counselor. He could have thrown all the postcards in the trash for all anyone knows and it wouldn't have made a difference. Because it is the act of confessing itself that heals and unburdens. A 4x6 piece of cardstock becomes a scapegoat, marred and profaned, dropped in a box and step closer to redemption.

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Here are some of my favorites:

check out the website!

1 comment:

Michelle's Spell said...

Hi there,
I also LOVE this site! I just recently discovered it and am now in the process of getting all the books. Totally addictive.