I recently watched the season finale of "Project Runway"--a reality TV show that documents the competition to find the next big fashion designer.
The season always end with the top three designers creating a collection that is presented in a runway show. This year the judges were so impressed with the final four that they broke tradition and let them all go to the runway.
While I enjoyed seeing what each of them had to present, I was paying more attention to the story that unfolded. Each one of the final four either dedicated or attributed the inspiration for their designs to a family member who had passed away. Two designers lost their mothers and two lost their brothers.
Why was there such an overwhelming commonality of loss? What is it about pain that propels people artistically?
As I have been writing about my travels through the Great Unknown, I find that when things go smoothly--when the water is running clear, my pack fits right and my feet aren't sore--I just don't have much to say (not in this space anyway).
It's when I slip and fall--and still have fresh blood dripping down my knees--that I feel most compelled to write. It's in those moments that I feel the pull to put pen to paper and make my story known.
I don't have a tidy explanation for this. I only know it's true. Somehow each time I sit down to document the truth of my present experiences, a little bit of the sorrow that has held my soul bound for so long loosens its grip and unravels a little more.