From the Greek κάθαρσις and translated as either cleansing or clarification. Though the meaning has been much argued over, it is nonetheless a powerful action which we undergo when seeking to salve our troubled thinking. Part of the reason why I embarked upon 100DaysToOffload was to achieve some portion of catharsis in a year which has had equal measures of sorrow and joy.
Yet at times, writing alone is not action enough to free my thinking from its melancholy trends. In such times I turn to that most lyric of the muses, Euterpe:
because she gives to those who hear her sing delight in the blessings which education bestows. - Diod. 4.7.1
Tonight I enjoin the twin actions of writing and listening to the sounds of Hildegard von Bingen’s (1098-1179) music: O eterne Deus. A sound to ‘bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses’ and, though a moment of rapture, leave the cares of our mortal coil behind.
Through this cleansing, a clarification is achieved. That in this time of lock-down, a measure of engagement with the moment is enjoyed which our busy lives often preclude. Cloistered in our homes, it becomes necessary to think of ways to make the quotidian new and cherish the brief moments of contact with family and friends who, for the moment, the pandemic has separated from us.