The First Postcard Project

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The seed that grew into PostSecret was planted during an extraordinary dream I had my first night in Paris. After flying all night, I arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on a cold and wet December morning. I caught a taxi to my hotel in the Latin Quarter but before going inside I took a personal detour down the serpentine streets exploring some historic bookstores, warm cafés and tourist shops.

I was shivering when I finally checked into my hotel that night still carrying my luggage and the only items I had purchased that day: three postcards from the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry story, The Little Prince.

In my room, I felt a gratified exhaustion as I prepared for bed. The last thing I did before falling asleep was place my three postcards in the nightstand drawer. During the night, I had a lucid dream. This was not the first time I was aware while dreaming, but this vision in my dark hotel room would redirect my life and eventually lead me to the PostSecret project.

In my dream, I was alone my room – the same hotel room where I was having the dream itself. I saw the nightstand, wondered if my postcards would be inside, and walked over to see. When I opened the drawer all three were there but each one had been altered.

The first postcard looked like it had aged 50 years. The next one had been cut like a shell and the last one looked upside down and had a pattern of holes resembling a neural network. I got excited when I turned them over and saw messages on the back. I knew with my heart beating faster I would be pulled out of my dream soon so I tried to take some mental pictures.

One message I couldn’t understand at the time. Another one was about a ‘reluctant oracle’ and the last one read:

unrecognized evidence

of forgotten journeys

unknowingly rediscovered

I woke up a few moments later and instantly tried to recall how they had appeared in my dream. Then I took the actual postcards out of the drawer and worked to recreate each one as I had seen it. I didn’t know it then, but that artwork would be the first in a trilogy of postcard projects that would eventually turn my life upside-down and reveal a hidden world.

I continue to keep postcards around my bed at night to search for in my dreams.

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