Thanks to Charlotte Castle for a Facebook link to the PostSecret website – a glorious find.
People send anonymous secrets on postcards and these are collated into books (available via the website). The display on the website itself changes daily, but there’s an archive too.
Some are poignant, some funny, some discomforting – all are stories in miniature; tiny graphic flash fiction. They’re quite beautiful.
C S Lewis said, miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. These postcards – their tiny summations of big stories – perfectly illustrate this. We hear, see and read details about other people and their lives constantly. Swamped with information, impact can be lost and it takes something simple to hit home and make us think.
One of today’s offerings was hand-written on a postcard showing a black and white movie clip of two men in suits pointing handguns. It read: She lied, I NEVER Raped her. So simple, so poignant and behind those six words, an event – a story – the impact of which doubtless spreads beyond the two people directly involved.
The fiction writer is forever seeking these small nuggets – shrinking down the noise of all we see, hear and understand about people to find these simple core notes. Once we’ve found them, and have our pitch, we expand them again. But for us, the trick is expanding into a more controlled noise, so that this essential nugget isn’t lost as it often is in life.
The postcard at the top of this blog I thought intriguing. It triggers a thousand stories.
The one on the left just resonated personally… I know. Pathetic, isn’t it?