Secrets. What fun are secrets if you cannot share it with everyone and say, "I am telling you in confidence." We all have secrets. None of us are open books because in the deepest recess of our minds we know there are things we will never share. The fears, the griefs, the aspirations, and the achievements that no one knows about. There are things we have done that no one knows about other than the self. These are moments that are so supremely personal, and they will burn with my body. Yet secrets tempt us - there are moments, over a drink with a bondhu, without realizing, without planning, without strategizing the secret is spilled. A bondhu you trust. Really? With that secret? Can anyone be trusted? As one bondhu once said, "one picture" and it is all over. Moments that need to remain buried, think about it - that moment that was supposed to be a secret - a personal moment - do you want that revealed? To be dragged out in the open that you did that. You did what? Seriously? Why? The communal judging would drag you through the ditches or the communal accolades would offer trophies for the moment of success that you did not want anyone else to know - that intimately personal moment when you overcame the fear and walked through a flock of pigeons rising up in the air around you. That was a personal moment between you and the birds and was supposed to be a secret, not to be displayed to anyone, but now that little bit of you is also public. In an ecosystem of quickly disappearing privacy we hold on to those moments. In my recent book on surveillance I make much of the way in which personal privacy is lost. That is a loss that is a product of tools watching our every move, but we still find a way. Turn location off on the phone. But that is an amateur move. I know enough to still find where you are. We have been lulled into believing that we actually have personal secrets. But is it a secret when two people share the same secret? Does a secret really have to die with me or is the burden of a secret so big that we find solace in sharing a secret knowing that the secret is as safe with the other person as with me. Trust. Secrets rely on trust. Do I trust myself to hold my secrets private or in a moment of intoxication I will spill the secrets? Is it still a secret when another person knows it? At that moment the burden of holding on to a secret disappears, and the relief of knowing that I could say it is sufficient comfort; in knowing there is one in my life who will now share the heavy load of a secret. I have found the person who I can trust to share the secret and a true bondhu who would say, "it is safe with me" and I know it truly is. Who is that person? Is that person more vital than what the secret is about. A curious puzzle - the secret is important but the ability to share it is also important. But who will be that person? Some know that answer well and they are the fortunate ones, but most people do not have that person - with whom your secrets are safe. The lucky amongst us are those who have that person to whom you can say, "I am telling you in confidence" and you can rest assured your words will never be divulged. What is that "feeling" called? Is there a category for that in our restrictive language of labelling relationships? I wonder just as Lobo did in his song, "No Secrets."


Unknown said…
A very interesting angle to an old topic..very readable!

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