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26 Secrets

Way back in the summer, a friend and I were discussing Postsecret. She'd recently sent in a couple of postcards, and I asked her, "Do you want them to show up on the site? Or are you afraid that they will? Because I think I would feel a bit of both."

"One of them already did," she responded.

"WHAT!? For real!?"

She told me which postcard was hers; I remembered it. She also told me that the real secret was written underneath, and since Frank Warren does not tamper with the mail he receives, it will stay a secret.

In the ensuing conversation, we talked about the nature of secrets, the reality that most secrets are partial secrets; there are very few things that people hold as complete secrets from all others.

Knowing that I've considered mailing in a postcard or two myself, she asked if my secrets are actual secrets or partial secrets.

I paused when she asked, considering how to answer.

"I have both," I finally replied.

I have been thinking about secrets ever since. Honesty, vulnerability, privacy, shame, guilt, anger, pain and many other related concepts.

Somewhere along the line, I had a (seemingly) separate idea. An art show on my birthday. And then the two came together.

I'm calling it 26 Secrets.

On my 26th birthday, I'm ready to tell 26 stories. Each one is a partial secret, a story told in a pairing of photography and poetry. Most of these poems have been secretly stored away for some time, and I want to share them. Then there are the stories that birthed each "poetography" pair. Those are stories and secrets that I'm claiming as my own (I believe that holding secrets is a sort of power - it can be both destructive and empowering, depending on the context - which is a very intriguing side conversation I'd like to have sometime), but these second layer secrets... they're ready to be posted, seen and discussed.

So if you're in the Toronto area at the start of January...come check it out.


Aimee said…
Beth. If I weren't flying back to Montana on January 8th...well...lets just say, I am beyond excited about this. I will be there in spirit, admiring your incredible creativity, pondering your insight, thanking God for all He has in store for you and your talent. Wow, wow, wow...can't WAIT for this to happen! Toronto folk: You had all BETTER be there, for those of us who WISH we could!!

Love you. Love your art.
Katie V. said…
Can't wait, Beth! You're such a brave person :)
Mindy said…
Wow, Beth. I wish I was in Ontario so that I could attend - I think it'll be utterly fantastic and soul-touching. Hope it all goes well and hope you'll post some on here for those who aren't able to attend. Merry Christmas, my friend :)
Christina said…
I am so depressed that I only discovered your Blog via Silas this past weekend and so could not come see your show. We know many of the same people, probably courtesy of UoG, but regardless, via blog postings, I like you! I am a studio major, and your newest blog stalker. :)
Beth said…

Thanks and welcome! Now that you've left a comment, you're no longer a blog-stalker :)

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