Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Do You Have a Secret?

You may have heard of the PostSecret project and seen the website. Now there is a book. The book is a pleasing package. The dust jacket looks like brown paper, has a stamp and a postmark at the top. The title and address for mailing your secret appears in the middle. It is "handwritten" with what looks like a black Sharpie marker. At the bottom is a barcode strip the post office attaches to letters these days for processing through their computerized machines. Inside is page after page of full-color postcard secrets people sent to Frank Warren, the creator of the project. Even though one could sit and read the whole book in an hour, I couldn't do it. Some of the secrets are just so heart breaking that I found I couldn't go on. I'd then have to put the book down until the next day. But then could only read a few pages before I had to put the book down again. Here's a few examples of what I mean by heart breaking:

  • Sometimes I wish that I was blind, just so I wouldn't have to look at myself everyday in the mirror.
  • I can't tell my mom about the rape...she wouldn't want to know. And it kills me.
  • God is the only one who loves me no one else on earth does (typed in braille)
  • My dog knew all my secrets, but one. I put rat poison out back to get rid of a family of rats. In around five days I had no more rats. Around two weeks later, I had no dog. I hope someone can learn from my mistake. Max, I'm so sorry. We miss you so, so much.
They aren't all sad. Some are funny like the one that says "When people upset me I draw pictures of them on buses going to Hell, disaster, or Ohio." Or the this one: "I used to fertilize a ring in our lawn every time I mowed it. It grew. My parents still think it was aliens." And a few of the cards just made me plain happy:
I have made six postcards with secrets that I was afraid to tell the one person I tell everything to, my boyfriend. This morning I planned to mail them, but instead I left them on the pillow next to his head while he was sleeping. Ten minutes ago he arrived at my office and asked me to marry him. I said yes.
The book is definitely worth a read. And part of the proceeds from the book go to support the National Hopeline Network, a 24-hour hotline for anyone thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.