17 January, 2022

Turning trauma into art

"Writing about trauma is more than simply documenting experience—it's about illuminating life on earth. It's about transforming tragedy into art, and hoping that somehow that piece of art may help someone else who's gone through something unbearable and who doesn't yet see that there truly is a light at the end of the dark tunnel."

— Tracy Strauss, Poets and Writers Magazine, Sept/Oct 13

I found this quote some years ago and have been meaning to show it here. Not that I would describe this blog as “art!” But the idea of writing about our traumas, about our losses, and about our recovery definitely applies to this blog, and to the blogs of so many of my readers too. I love that it recognises that writing about our own traumas helps others feel less alone, that they can read our stories and see themselves in it, that they don’t feel quite so isolated.

I love too that it recognises that writing about traumas can provide hope that maybe things will improve. After all, when we find our lives are going to be spent without children, it is not a static situation where life as we had planned it stops. Where there is initially a vacuum because our lives are not filled with the children or grandchildren we had hoped for, life and light and joy will fill it. In particular, hope fills that vacuum, although it is directed somewhere new. There is, as the quote above mentions, light at the end of the tunnel, and we all find solidarity and friendship and joy through the third, feared and neglected door of Infertility’s Waiting Room.

I know all of us who blog in our No Kidding world talk about this – the pleasure of discovering that life goes on, and is good and rich and full. I apologise to those who find it repetitious. But I do think it’s worth repeating for anyone new who might find this blog. And it's worth reminding those of us who have been here for a while too, and may have the occasional lapse. It gets better. I'm not kidding.


  1. Dear Mali,
    I love love this quote!
    And I do think your writing is an art! The art that heals. I've always loved reading your writing.

  2. Love this quote. Love the hope, the shining of the light, the healing nature of writing about trauma. Thank you for sharing, I think especially because our door in "Infertility's Waiting Room" IS the feared and neglected one, it's a message that bears repeating as much as possible! Hearing you say it years ago definitely helped me in my time of transition. Love!

  3. What a beautiful sentiment that includes both the darkness and the aim toward light. And I DO see this space as art!

  4. Great quote! Not sure I think of my blog as "art" -- but it's most definitely a creative outlet and a release for me!