My First PostSecret Event

Yesterday, I attended a PostSecret event.

I’ve been following PostSecret for years. The blog post I did about it in 2009 is my top viewed post. I have all the books. I look forward to Sundays because that’s when the blog post comes out.

What is PostSecret? In a nutshell: people write their secrets on a postcard, mail it to Frank Warren, he posts some on the blog, he publishes some in the books. Sounds goofy?

No. It’s amazing. The secrets are touching. Or funny. Or tragic. Every week I laugh. Every week I relate to one or more. Every week I feel like I’m not alone. Every week I say a prayer for people who have sent secrets in.

Finally, Frank Warren came to Edmonton.


I wasn’t sure what to expect. You can see from the photo how minimal the stage was. Someone came out to introduce Frank, laying out some ground rules: no photos after the first five minutes, no texting, no talking on cell phones etc. There was also an American Sign Language interpreter (two actually, they tag teamed on and off). Then they showed a clip from the All American Rejects video that used PostSecrets:


(Three of the secrets in the video are from band members - I’m not telling which ones!)

Following that, Frank came out. He asked who had sent in secrets - and gave a book away to someone who volunteered their hand. He asked who had read the blog and then set out the agenda, splitting the talk into three parts.


First, Frank talked about the history of PostSecret. Then he showed photos of particular secrets, telling stories about each one. Finally, he opened the floor for people to share their secrets. This part was very emotional. There’s a lot of pain in the world, a lot of beauty. I commend those who shared secrets for being so brave - and also the audience for being so supportive. After each person shared, Frank gave them words of encouragement and/or understanding.

And I reckon there wasn’t a dry eye in the theatre. I know I was tearing up. I know the people around me were tearing up, and I was close enough to see Frank was tearing up.

This is the bit I’m not sure I can explain. Unless you’ve seen an event or read the blog or the books I’m not sure how to make you understand what it’s all about. Frank has started something, something whereby complete strangers feel comfortable enough to share their deepest, often darkest secrets with him, and subsequently each other. It’s like, you know you’re not alone because often you share the same secret with someone. Or like, you feel for someone, empathize, and through that emotion you bond and strengthen each other.

It’s amazing. Amazing and beautiful.


Frank is an amazing man. He’s charismatic and funny and relatable. And very honest. He shared secrets about his life, and made everyone feel part of something bigger. He was brilliant with everyone; there was a lot of emotion in that theatre and he did a great job of holding everyone’s hand through the journey we took together. He has turned what started out as an art project into an international support network.

A tweet from @postsecret following the event: "Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light shine through" - Guy at the @PostSecret Event today.

I’ve mailed in secrets, and I’ll continue to mail in secrets. I hope PostSecret never stops. It makes me feel sad. It makes me cry sometimes. It makes me happy too. And sometimes it makes me laugh.

PostSecret inspires. PostSecret is hope.

Thank you Frank Warren.

Comments

  1. You're welcome! Please keep doing what you're doing - we'd all be thankful for that!

    ReplyDelete

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