Catharsis. Wednesday May 27, 2015
We had to laugh.
I have a mutual buddy relationship with a fellow Moodscope user. She's much better at being a buddy than I am and a couple of weeks ago, when my scores had dipped (ironically, just as hers started to look a lot healthier) she invited me to go to a concert with her; a way to get me out of my reclusive seclusion and to spend some time together (see – I never think about doing anything like that for her).
So we went to a Gretchen Peters concert.
Neither of us had heard of Gretchen Peters before, other than that she is a respected Country singer who has recently been admitted into the Nashville songwriters' Hall of Fame. We went along in the expectation of having a good evening.
And we did. The band were skilled, the music excellent; Gretchen herself warm, engaging and funny.
But she doesn't write happy songs.
Let me see now; we started with Blackbirds, a song of incest, murder and torching the family home in the cornfields of the Mid West, and lyrics-wise, we went downhill from there.
Gretchen writes songs about loss, about pain, about coming home from the wars with PTDS and no resources; about life with no hope, no future, nothing to live on but the tattered remnants of dreams.
Was this a good place for two depressives to be?
Well, yes, actually.
There's something immensely therapeutic about immersing yourself in musical misery for a defined length of time and then popping up at the end, like a cork in champagne. It seems to create a lightness of spirit, especially when shared with a kindred spirit.
The Greeks understood this; it was they who came up with the concept and word catharsis.
I don't think it works if you're on your own though – you get sucked into the tragedy and it can haunt you. So I don't plan on reading about sad things or watching Film Noir alone.
But – I might book several tickets for the next performance of Titus Andronicus or Tosca; plays where everybody dies in the end. Sounds like fun will be had by all!
A Moodscope member.