I thought home needed to be tall and luminous, a glowing building with a luxurious setting. Status. What I failed to understand is home is not where I place my head down at night or the color of my furniture. Home is the people I surrounded myself with, the ones I break bread with. The keepers of my secrets and my fears. It is to be loved and to give love without inhibitions.
Revelations help us accept the things we need the most, expose the secrets we so desperately try to hide and illuminate the dangers all around us. But more than anything, revelations are windows into our true selves… of the good and the evil and those wavering somewhere in between. But they have the ultimate power to destroy all that we cherish most.
It was always so hot, and everyone was so polite, and everything was all surface but underneath it was like a bomb waiting to go off. I always felt that way about the South, that beneath the smiles and southern hospitality and politeness were a lot of guns and liquor and secrets.
―James McBride, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother
Public Domain Image: Vivian Malone, one of the first African Americans to attend the University of Alabama
Illustration by Richard Doyle for Princess Nobody by Andrew Lang, 1884
Watch the robin especially because it always flies low, and you might see a nervous young Minpin perched on the feathers having its first flying lesson. And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
Sharing secrets is the way in which women tie themselves together, for it reveals complicity and trust. Holding secrets shows trustworthiness and a sort of quiet defiance. It is a natural thing for a female to hold secrets within her breast until the time is ripe to release them. Does it not follow the way in which her body is formed? A woman is made with that dark and mysterious recess that can grow a child safely until the child is ready to come out onto the birthing bed. And like birthing, secrets present themselves in many ways. Some slip easily into the world, others must be torn out, if the body is unwilling.
― Kathleen Kent, The Heretic’s Daughter
There is nothing like discovering your own secrets in someone else’s story. Those thoughts and feelings you believed were too ugly or strange or idealistic or desperate or whimsical or hungry or sad they had to be just you because there could be no other place for them, anywhere. Books that make you realize you’re not alone, you never were. Those are the ones I like best.