My favorite favorite book of all time [thus far] keeps coming back into my life as of late…
Today, flipping through, a passage stuck out that made think…
“Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one’s past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way – not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I’ve-seen/lessons-I’ve-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers.”
– A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. [Dave Eggers].
Don’t get your hopes up… I’m not going to share any juicy secrets via blahg. Gimme a break. I’m not that ridiculous. Although I think it would be an incredible “stab at engagement with a mass of strangers”, it is fairly self-involved to think that you’d care and abundantly pathetic to use a pre-formatted WordPress screen for anything of palm-to-cheek worth.
But yeah, secrets. Turns out, we all have them. We do. If you say you don’t, either a] you’re shitting yourself or b] you are boring. Many times I’ve sat with the friend [or been the friend] who had too much to drink [or too much of life… usually the former, though] …and I’ve heard them tell me things [or I’ve told things]… wild things… incredible things. I love it. I’m starting to see the dark beauty in our pasts, our mistakes.
The terror of a past… the fear of the cancer by mutilation… and so then the quick [drunken and/or tearful] confession as a cutting, a slice, a hope to tear the chunk of cancer out in one full swoop. Bleed for good minutes, cry hard, sew it up with whatever [whoever] is lying around and hope no one asks about the scar… but moreso, hope that you got it all so it doesn’t grow back.
So many times we opt for this over the slow process of truly sharing our secrets: our lives, our mistakes, our great victories, our discoveries, our love, our hate, ourselves. Why? What are we afraid of? I mean, it’s either make it useful or let it mutate, right?… according to Mr. Eggers.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just wanted to talk about secrets for a whole second… I promise it will be back to funny stories about children and co-workers in no time.