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. One which we undergo when seeking to salve our troubled thinking. Part of the reason why I embarked upon 100daystooffload.com was to achieve some portion of catharsis. Much needed 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 seek catharsis from 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 write to the sounds of Hildegard von Bingen’s (1098-1179) music: O eterne Deus. Which ‘bewitches the mind and ensnare the senses.’ A moment of rapture to leave the cares of our mortal coil behind.
Through this cleansing, a clarification is achieved. In this time of lock-down, a measure of engagement with the moment is enjoyed which our busy lives preclude. Cloistered in our homes, it becomes necessary to think of ways to make the quotidian new. To cherish the brief moments of contact with family and friends who, for the moment, the pandemic has separated from us.