There is a simple electricity in finding something where you don’t expect to: a dollar on the sidewalk, an interesting trinket at the park, a strange book left on the MAX . . .
The Secret Message Project is all about bringing small moments of synchronicity into the lives of everyday Oregonians living in the tri-county region. Volunteers create and distribute hundreds of finely printed excerpts from literature—sealed in enticing gold envelopes—leaving them in public places for anyone and everyone to find. The following is only one of infinite scenarios:
Imagine walking into your local coffee shop. As you sit down with a warm, foamy latte you spy a mysterious golden envelope wit an intriguing quote printed on the front. You look around, not sure at first that doesn’t belong to somebody nearby. As it were, nobody seems to have noticed it but you. Cautiously, secretively, you pry open the fold of the envelope and slide out a small card made of fine linen paper. It feels deliciously fancy between your fingertips, a sumptuous little note that seems full of intention. You read the text: a compelling quote by a female author. The words move you and get your mind swirling. They speak to your heart. This simple moment is suddenly transfixed with the wondrous power of literature. You turn over the card; on the back is a colorful Rorschach watercolor print, slightly mysterious. As your mind fills in the blanks, your imagination is put into gear and you cannot help but to feel like something special has happened to you. As you look around the busy cafe you smile inwardly and keep your little secret message to yourself. That is—until you see that there’s a link to a website: http://www.secretmessageproject.wordpress.com. Out of sheer curiosity, you must visit the site. Soon you discover that there’s a community of others who have found messages like yours. You are invited to share your little secret and divulge a bit about your feelings and your thoughts. And what’s this? There are some prizes to be had for those who share? A $20 gift certificate to Powell’s? It just keeps getting better . . .
The reason for The Secret Message Project is to enliven our community through random acts of inspiration. While digital modes of correspondence overtake more tactile forms of communication, The Secret Message Project weds virtual encounters to real-life moments of mystery and inspiration. By delivering these finely crafted—and utterly free—secret messages, unsuspecting members of the public are reawakened to the power of literature and infused with a sense of wellbeing and simple joy.
Is there a theme to the secret messages?
Yes. The Secret Message Project makes meaningful choices in its selection of quotes, considering impact, education, and social justice. All of the Secret Messages due for distribution in 2014 will feature inspiring quotes from female authors, to give visibility to a historically underrepresented category of writers. Members of the public are encouraged to submit literary quotes and excerpts for nomination using the form on this page.