Saturday, 23 February 2013



Among the blogs on my dashboard reading list there is the mysterious Ten Thousand Questions, which keeps asking daily questions without collecting any answers (or at least never publishing any). This week they’ve been asking annoying ones to suggest my life is full of deep dark secrets:

What are a few of your biggest secrets? Are they things that nobody knows, or things that everybody knows but no one talks about? Do you keep more secrets now, or did you keep more secrets when you were much younger? What's changed over time in your situation, or in your attitude about keeping things secret? Do you worry about people thinking less of you if they found out your secrets? Are you concerned that some of your secrets could impact your job or your relationships? What big, guilty secret did your family share when you were growing up?  Do you still carry shame associated with your family's secrets? Are you the person that everyone tells their secrets to, or are you always the last to find out?

I very rarely write down answers to the TTQ questions – only give them a few seconds of brain time. This week, my brain kept giving the spontaneous frustrated response: “WHAT secrets?!” 


Still, I wonder if these questions might possibly have made their way into a dream I woke up from this morning… For some obscure reason, I was subjected to some kind of theraphy with a most annoying therapist who kept asking questions out of context – not that I can recall now what the context was supposed to be, nor what kind of annoying questions it was I was asked – you know how it is with dreams! Anyway not much remained when I woke up but the frustration: “but… but… but…” (The dream also reminding of a clever attorney questioning a witness in a court of law; or some conversation from Alice in Wonderland.)

Another factor behind the dream may have been some frustrating talks of different (and yet in some ways similar) kind lately with pharmacy and health care staff, trying to sort out a complication with a certain prescription. (No secrets involved, just too complicated to explain here as I hardly understand it myself in my own language.) It’s probably sorted now (I’ll see next week when I try going to the pharmacy again). But it involved a lot of Wonderland-twisted nonsense arguing.

Anyway, the week’s package of prying questions from TTQ reminded me of a little book I bought some thirty years ago, hardly more than a pamphlet, entitled Secrets, by Paul Tournier (a Swiss Christian physician and author, 1898-1986).

Wise words from this little book:

Freedom is what makes the individual. Keeping a secret is an early assertion of freedom; telling it to someone that one chooses is going to be a later assertion of freedom, of even greater value. He who cannot keep a secret is not free. But he who can never reveal it is not free either.

While I’m not the kind of person who talks with anyone about everything, I also don’t think I carry a lot of big dark secrets that no one must ever know. (But then if I did, it’s hardly likely I’d suddenly blurt that out all over the internet, is it? Which leaves you none the wiser.)

As for the last of the TTQ questions: “Are you the person that everyone tells their secrets to, or are you always the last to find out?” - I’d say that ironically, I think it’s been a bit of both. Some people tell me things because they know I’ve little interest in idle gossip. On the other hand, sometimes I’m the last to find out, for the same reason!


PS. The two photos are from a gardening expo last year. (I guess my mind wandered to “secret gardens”…)


  1. of course i kept more secrets when I was young, anything i did that i knew was wrong or that daddy thought was wrong was a well kept secret. most of those have been told and told again, nothing deep or dark, like smoking a grapevine, going to the movies on Sunday, which was a no no for me...
    i have several secrets that have never been told and never will.....

  2. Of course, calling myself "Librarian With Secrets" already gives an incling as to there being at least some secrets in my life. When I was a little girl, they were quite different from now; my secrets have evolved over the years just as I have evolved. How deep or dark they are, is very much subject to personal judgement; none of them is really dangerous. Different people in my life know different bits about me, but nobody but me knows the entire picture.

    1. That last sentence is probably true for all of us, Meike! :)

  3. What a strange, strange little book. Are you liking it, and why? I don't story interesting info...The first picture is just SO peaceful and restful!

    1. Ginny, I'm not sure I understand what you mean, or why you find it strange. Have you read the book?? If it has no story line that's because it isn't a story. It's a lecture or seminar on pastoral counseling and/or psychology. I read several of Tournier's books back in the 1980s and learned a lot from them/him.

    2. The questions are NOT from the book. Ten Thousand Questions is website (also to do with 'self-therapy') which posts questions on a different theme every week. This week the theme was Secrets. The connection with Tournier's book was made in my own mind.

  4. I used to be told secrets but never told when it no longer is secrets anymore.

  5. I'm not sure I could visit that website everyday....too many questions...and questions that make you think too deeply.
    Like you, I hate idle gossip, but I think I keep secrets better now that I am older.


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