‘Skeletons in the closet’ or whatever you chose to call them: everybody’s got ’em. And I mean everybody. From a squirrel hiding its favorite morsels underground for a cold winter day, to international espionage, nobody can escape the insidious nature of the secret. But isn’t that what makes secrets so compelling? The fact that we have them? Of course it does! Which is more compelling to you? An expansive park where you can run the dog with four hundred of your closest neighbors every Saturday morning, or a walled garden with a fifteen foot locked iron gate that you pass every day on the way to work? You can look in through the gate, but you can’t see much in the shade. The answer is the walled garden is far more intriguing. Why? Because over the weekends of walking the dog you learn every inch of that huge park and, in essence, you lose respect for it because you eventually know all of its intricacies. It simply loses its identity to common knowledge.
Governments (including our own) are focussed on keeping their secrets while their own medias and thousands of people from other countries are driven to risk their very lives to ferret those secrets out into the light. Each and every one of us has secrets. As transparent as we might think we are (or try to be), we all have that little treasure chest of secrets that nobody, save ourselves, is allowed to unlock, let alone peer into. I call it a treasure chest because that, in the end, is what it really is. It is not a closet because it is not a mess, and it is not large. Our secrets are wisps. They are small little scraps and shreds of critical information. Our secrets are carefully categorized and ordered so that we can easily examine them over and over again.
Why? Because our secrets are actually our true identity. They are our deviant nature contained. They are the remaining brush strokes of the incomplete painting we hang out on the sidewalk for everybody to see. We covet them and protect them from the daylight. We never truly share them, so sometimes they live out their lives as wants or needs that are never fulfilled. They are our weaknesses that we shelter from the critical eye of a stranger.
Are they necessary? Absolutely! On every scale! Why? Because without them we would all be the same. We would all be vulnerable. We could never be ourselves. We would all be perpetually subjected to the abuse from those who would wish to exploit us. And most of all, we would live our lives under the constant threat of acceptance, because our paintings would be finished and our worth as an artist would be truly known.
Clemency ended with its treasure chest of secrets only partially opened. Without secrets, there would be no discovery scheduled for tomorrow.