Monday, February 12, 2007

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives, by Frank Warren

When I discovered the PostSecret website I had no idea that the creator / founder had already published three collections of the postcards people have anonymously contributed to his website.

As a refresher as to what PostSecret is: Frank Warren came up with the idea of having people anonymously send a postcard with a secret that is true and that has never been shared with anyone before. The postcard could be drawn up in any way to have the image reflect the secret being told in the text. Warren has a PostSecret website which he updates every Sunday with a new round of secrets. The secret can range from the painful ("I love one of my children") to the funny ("I would love to jump in a pool of Jell-O") to the sad and embarrassing and silly. But the common thread here is that they are all deeply personal and true for one person and reading through the secrets of other people it is clear that what may seem like a shameful secret that a person thinks nobody else has ever had is really something that is a common human emotion and a sadly common truth. Other people have gone through some of what these people are going through, and that's what makes PostSecret such a fascinating website because while it is a glimpse into the secret hearts of strangers, it is also a glimpse into our own.

The above paragraph is tailored specifically to the website, but the collection PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives is a collection of secrets previously posted on the website and likely also shown in traveling PostSecret art exhibits. But the book can bring the secrets to a wider audience. Since I am very new to the world of PostSecret every secret contained in this collection was fresh and every one was fascinating and many rang true and others I could at least understand.

Since Frank Warren appears to remove previous secrets from his website every Sunday when he adds new ones, this collection may also be the only way to see some "old favorites" again for those readers and viewers who have long been familiar with the concept of PostSecret.

It's worth checking out. I am glad that I did.

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