Catharsis

November 16, 2005 at 11:08 am (Uncategorized)

This title reminds me of the Disney movie “Hercules” where Phil tells Hercules, “I trained all those would-be heroes. Odysseus, Perseus, Theseus. A lot of “yeuseus”.”

So, I’ve talked about metamorphosis, chrysalis, and today catharsis. A lot of “ises”.

Catharsis is rooted in the Greek katharsis meaning purification. However, most people associate it with a purging (or purgation, especially of the bowels. For Jeanette, I’ll say poop.). The purifying of emotions and release of emotional tension especially through art, so sayeth Mr. Webster. Art – a concrete expression of emotion.

Instead of having psychotic episodes, I have cathartic episodes. I can rant and rave and scream and sulk with the best of them, and I do all of that, in writing. Sometimes, yes, I will fervently act out frustrations by a waving of the arms, pacing, and dancing. Sometimes I have a slip of the tongue and attack someone verbally who just happened to piss me off that day. They get the entire purgation of all that emotional tension.

That’s why I’m looking forward to hunting season.

Some people may believe that its all about killing Bambi, Thumper, Rocky, and Bullwinkle, but its not. For some of us, when you actually do kill something, it’s an exhilaration followed by a let down. Its not the kill that makes the hunt, it’s the hunt itself. Its climbing the mountain and braving the elements. Its about being alert and cunning. Its about snow and rain and mud, wet leaves and climbing trees.

Its about standing in the middle of a dirt road, in dirty boots, camouflage, blaze orange, your breath hanging in the air, a rifle passed down three generations slung over your shoulder. It’s the hush of snow falling on snow, an errant caw of a crow, its about being alone with the Earth.

Instead of an explosion of emotional energy, it’s a steady trickle of release. Your sweat flushes it from your system, it burns in your muscles, its calmed by the music of the wind in the trees, it hangs in the air with every breath, soothed by silky leaves, and nut hulls, hoof prints, ripples on the pond, snowflakes, and sunshine.

Hunting is not just about killing. It’s a catharsis, and even though I may return empty-handed, I know I’ve accomplished something.

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