Day 149 Post Secrets

May 7, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Secrets are the currency of intimacy. ~ Frank Warren

Frank Warren spoke at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) today. In 2004, he began inviting people to anonymously mail him secrets with some artwork on postcards. Since then, he has received more than one million postcards which have been exhibited in more than a dozen museums and galleries. Why would people send their secrets to him—or anybody? 

Warren shared his feelings about the secrets anonymous people have shared with him and, as he spoke, I understood the human need to connect:

Kept secrets are walls; shared secrets become bridges. ~ Frank Warren

 He shared secrets people had mailed to him on postcards and it was uncanny how these secrets seemed to reach out to everyone who heard them. He asked if anyone in the audience had sent him a secret. A few hands raised and when he asked one brave woman how she felt after she had shared, she said, “It was freeing.”

Warren spoke about the narratives of each postcard and how suffering is universal. He also shared some of his own secrets and said that if he could go back and start over again, he would do all the same things because, “You earn your soul through suffering.” This is what I’ve been saying for many years. If I could go back and start over again, what would I do differently? I would do all the same things because I believe that in order to get to where I am now, I had to live through those experiences. They helped shape who I am today and I like who I am now.

My gift today was strangers' secrets.

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