Monday, February 20, 2006

Catharsis: A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.

Have you ever had a secret that you wanted to tell everyone but couldnt tell anyone? I do, you do and everyone does. We repress things that are uncomfortable or impossible to share with others for any reason. Maybe its just embarassement. Maybe we are afraid of social repercussions. Maybe we think that by sharing our desires/feeling/wants/emotions we will alienate our friends and family making the whole purpose of sharing our secrets moot and counter-effective.

For those of you who have never seen it before, I present to you

This is perhaps my favorite website for the simple 60 seconds a week of enjoyment I get from it every sunday.

To the unintroduced, postsecret is a place where people go to confide these secrets. they can be anything and posts range the full gamut. There are posts of lost or hidden love and lust. They are about children and parents. Friends and relatives. CoWorkers and strangers and everyone and everything else.

The format is simple. People, anonymously, send homemade postcards that reveal their secrets to the world. These postcards are then randomly posted on the website for the world to see. This offers the sender the ability to reveal their dirty little secret to the world in a touching and artistic venue, while maintaining anonymity.

On a personal level, as someone who has been observed to be, and is admittedly, entirely unemotional and completely dead inside, this website rapidly surfaces emotions in me that the most touching pieces of art or music never could. I am Tyler Durden and these posts are my support group, allowing me to feel and cry. These cards drill to the deepest depths of our emotional core and set the bomb that triggers the explosion from the inside out. With the simplest of statements we relate to and sympathise with these nameless strangers that are so like us.

I am writing this post because I only now understand the cathartic backbone of the website. Today, after working on it in concept and artistic format for the past 2 days, I have sent out a secret of my own. It is a simple card, with crude drawings and a simple secret, but the rush of dropping it in the mailbox, knowing I can never retrieve it, was intense. Its out there. My buried shame is revealed to someone, maybe even many people.

Now, dont ask me what I wrote. Its anonymous and, quite frankly, its rather unimportant. Even if they were to post it, which it is unlikely that they ever will, I still wouldnt say. The point is only to have it out there, and hopefully inspire others should it ever be seen.

For a truly cathartic abreaction, I reccomend that everyone locate a secret of their own, one never shared with anyone ever, and send it in. I believe I will sleep a little better tonight for it.


At 5:02 PM, Anonymous h. leilah. kaye said...

you're right about the secret thing, but what if you genuinely like keeping secrets?

i'm wondering if i know you from somewhere...

[b.c. insider joke: doesn't the guy at Starbux looked like an older version of Harry Potter?]

you're an Ingersoll boy i presume... i'm developing a quiet affection for Morbier's chemistry class...

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Avrohom said...

Tzvi, we all know ur obsessed with bette midler-its no secret

At 9:46 PM, Blogger XVI (R) - NY said...

True Avrohom, but...

The extent of my obsession, and the ramifications of it...

Therein lays the meat of my secret.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

It's a good concept but not so very different than the classic "dear Diary".
Writing down secrets, on a paper, postcard or website is very liberating!
Of course secrets would no longer be secrets if the undersigned wasn’t anon.

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous sara said...

1.i dont know how much i agree with that. part of the whole excitement of a secret is knowing that you are absolutely the only one who knows about it- and therefore it remains something abstract- verbalizing it in any form would concretize it too much.
2. bette midler... r u joshin me???
3.also, i know ur into the whole "xvi: im so cool bc no one else has my name" thing... but it looks much better when spelled "tzvi"- 3 letters is too short to be a real name

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Sara said...

I've been thinking a lot about the whole PostSecret idea. Wondering how it would help me, I guess. I'm proud of you for putting yours out there.

P.S. I'm going to stop identifying myself by my number, as the other Sara doesn't seem to find it neccessary. :D

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous sara said...

yea, well i only wasnt identifying by # bc u were; so the confusion had ended. we could just call you "the other one"

At 2:53 PM, Blogger XVI (R) - NY said...

Well, the secrets I am specifically discussing are not the fun, exciting types of secrets but mor of a swell-inside-your-chest til-it-hurts kinda secret.

Also, prag, I think it transcends the diary concept by far. It is now revealed. It is out there on public display. I have released the burden to the world, whether or not they know that I have.

Further, no identification is necessary. There are no primary or secondary Sara's, but rather different Saras of different opinions. I have yet to find it hard to distinguish one's writing from the other and will only distinguish between you when I am adressing someone specifically.

For example: Iced Coffee Sara, three letters is the perfect amount for a monosyllabic name such as mine. The two phonemes, tzssss and veeee, are perfectly delineated by the three letters. The "x" begins the word with the hissing noise, the "i" ads the vowel eeee sound for the conclusion, while the "v" acts as the bridge, combining the two noises into a single word.

P.S. In the future, there will be no more negative speach in regard to the Divine Miss M. Understood?

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous sara said...

what do u think of the name tzviki?
or maybe tzvikalah? the more letters the better!

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

PostSecret was one of the first blogs (if you can call it that) that I ever discovered. It had first started, and Blogger had thought it incredible - so they linked to it on their homepage.

It's fascinating, and some of them are incredibly inspiring (others, the reverse). Interesting that you sent one in - I'm not the type to deal with secrets that way, but I think most people get a lot out of doing so. I like keeping secrets in my head.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

I disperse my secrets among friends. And then there are some none will ever get! :)

At 10:16 AM, Blogger zenjew said...

dude cool blog.

post secret is actually a book now! i think they published the best of or something.

also, i dont know if you've seen the all-american rejects video "dirty little secret", but they play off of these postcards in the video. its kinda cool.


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