When my words flood out onto the page, someone’s paint splatters across a canvas or melodic tunes drift by on a whisper of the wind only the musician can hear… not only is it all art in its own form but whether we realize now or not, it is our catharsis.
It feels weird writing a blog about writing but I believe there were only two non-visual artists chosen this year and I was one of them. I was going to write about art as a means of catharsis, only to do some more research to find out that the very definition of the word, describes catharsis as a purging of sorts through art. Per Merriam-Webster catharsis is: a: purification or purgation of the emotions (such as pity and fear) primarily through art or b: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension.
The lack of clarification regarding what type of art form can bring one to a cathartic experience is interesting to me. For me, my words can stick to the screen, page, wall or wherever they landed, never to be seen, just out of my head and it feels like a cleansing or “purge” for me. I have dozens of journals that no one has or ever will read that weigh down boxes that have been moved from Dunedin to Vermont and back but never once opened in the decade since thy made that cross country trek to the granite mountains and back.
I always imagined visual artists as needing their work to be seen to be validated or appreciated. My partnership with my hu
sband has helped me reevaluate that and see that while writing feels incredibly different than visual art, they are one and the same to the artist in need of catharsis. Watching him sketch, brow furrowed with the repetitive sound of graphite scratching on paper, almost franticly- without seeing what he is working on- I can feel it is his emotional purge. Whether it is Dimple or one of his “doodles”, it is his cathartics. Just as these words, no matter if anyone does or doesn’t read them- are mine.