Where Secrets Are Art

Every Sunday I read PostSecret. (PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.) I have been a fan of it for many years. I used to save the ones that I really liked but computers crash and I’ve lost most of them. However, there’s one I saw a very, very long time ago which has always been stuck in my head. I find myself thinking of it often. Too often. I’ve looked for it but haven’t been able to find it again. I can only guess at its meaning. It gives me the impression of a lie told, of trust broken, of an unforgivable secret kept. But I haven’t been able to understand exactly what it meant or what the sender wanted to convey. That’s usually the case with the secrets posted there; many of them are open to interpretation. I don’t know why I cannot forget it. It was in the form of a poem written on the cover of a Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. The sender, evidently, had kissed it with lipstick on. And the secret went,

And you’d never forgive me
If you were to know
What really did happen
That night two weeks ago.

I had made a promise
Of what I would not do
But I did it to him…
Then I did it to you.

All images here are from postsecret.com.


That melody there will make you happy, they say.
I am, I tell them, thank you for the advice.
You don’t understand, they insist. Listen, for goodness’ sake!
To what?
Are you ignorant? You know what we mean, and all that jazz.
Maybe someday. Maybe not. Who knows?
Now is the time! You’re not getting younger. Time’s flying by…
I commend them on that brilliant observation.
You’ll wonder where they’ve gone, the years! The years! Hark–The clock’s ticking!
That’s just my heart, I inform them, but it’s a most reassuring sound, indeed, yes.
Your heart’s not as young anymore and you should find it another beat.
It is free to catch another beat, another rhythm, of its own accord.
And what if it doesn’t because you didn’t care to find the orchestra and write a symphony?
Well, then it’ll have to make its own music, won’t it?
It’ll be just the one instrument by itself. That should worry you.
It doesn’t, I assure them, I believe it is possible for solos to be quite enchanting.

Read the Sign, Kid.

When you run into so many of them that life seems to be but a series of coincidences, you tend to stop believing in that term. It becomes so commonplace that it isn’t really a coincidence anymore. Experiences and events are interwoven with threads of synchronicity. They appear to be connected in a deeper, or, if you wish, simply less superficial, manner.

I never cease to be amazed at the way in which my choices intersect at distant points in the future. For instance, at my last job I met a person whom I had a chance to interact with and discover that they had founded an institute which offers a variety of interesting resources to help people achieve significant changes in their lives by developing a better understanding of how the human mind and its underlying processes work. I was intrigued by it but did not delve into it too much. I did not speak to the person about this again but, for some reason, I never forgot that encounter.

A few years later, I crossed paths with a wonderful lady who, to my great delight, shared my enthusiasm for dreams and helped me with some of my dark and confusing ones. One of my dreams actually took me on a tour of my own mind, introduced me to different facets of myself, and I found parts I didn’t like very much that I, then, could work on changing. I was greatly surprised to find, some time later, that she was directly connected with the institute I had found so interesting and that she knew the person I spoken with that day quite well. It was such a strange coincidence that it seemed almost like it was a message to me, telling me this was meant to happen as a result of the choices I was making. Strangely, I felt that it meant I was on the right path. Choices I had made that led me to that person and then to her were the correct ones. I certainly concede that what’s right and what’s wrong is highly subjective, but I felt that if there was a path charted out for me (by me, of course…but that’s a different story) I was on it.

A few weeks ago, in Dolce’s training class we met a mini Dachshund who was born on the same day as him. In their classes, these two are the only ones who behave like kindred spirits. The Dachshund is a little shy and Dolce gives her her space. He respects her boundaries while inviting her to play and that is helping her open up a little more. We keep commenting on what a coincidence it is that they have the same birthday, are in the same training class, and get along so very well. What compelled me to write about this today is that I found out that the Dachshund’s owner and I are born exactly a week apart. Was that part of the reasons she was drawn to that particular puppy while I was drawn to the one I picked? Maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe it isn’t. There may not necessarily be a reason behind us meeting, but it has definitely made the experience more meaningful.

I wasn’t on the search for these coincidences. I wasn’t looking to figure out whether I’m on the right path or not, that isn’t part of a conscious thought process with me. I happened to run into these meaningful discoveries and they made me stop and think. You can look at these synchronous occurrences and play them off lightly, nonchalantly, like they mean nothing. Or you can choose to look at them as those roadsigns that subtly tell you, whatever you’ve been doing, whether you’ve taken detours, missed exits, or gone around roadblocks or crashed into them, you haven’t lost your way yet.