The Great Catharsis
The Great Catharsis

The Great Catharsis

Read Time:2 Minute, 59 Second

As I write this, it has been just over two months since Hurricane Harvey cleared out of Houston.  At this time, there were still many areas of Houston still under water, and that would continue for another couple of weeks.  For myself, water came within inches of entering the house before the heavy rain finally stopped.  People who live less than a mile from me, behind Barker Dam, lost everything.  One of them is a colleague of mine.  Others are friends of my girls. The elementary school they attended flooded as is currently gutted.

And don’t forget those who took the brunt of the storm at landfall down in the Rockport-Fulton area.  Or those in the Beaumont area who actually received more rain than Houston did and in a shorter period of time.

We were lucky.

To some extent or another, I’m sure we all suffered from some PTSD. For me, the satellite cutting out became scary.  It meant the water was going to rise again.

Yet even while the tragedy was unfolding, you could see the resiliency of this city.  There are countless images of rescues by ordinary people using their own boats or whatever was available.

Our local sports teams also came through.  We will never forget, and will always be grateful, for what JJ Watt did.  From a simple request to raise $200,000 for hurricane relief, he raised an incredible $37 million and then supplies on top of that.  The Texans have turned into the best offense in the NFL behind the incredible pairing of head coach Bill O’Brien and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The Rockets have looked impressive in this early part of the 2017-2018 season.




But it was the Astros that gave Houston what it needed the most.

The Oxford English Dictionary describes catharsis as

The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

‘music is a means of catharsis for them’

Material things can be replaced.  The recovery has already begun.  On occasion, my commute home from the Texas Medical Center takes me down Braeswood through the Meyerland area.  This area has been particularly hard hit in the last few years.  Each of the last three years (Memorial Day 2015, Tax Day 2016, Harvey 2017) has seen significant flooding in this part of Houston.  I’ve driven through this area several times in the last few weeks. Yesterday, November 1st, was one of those days.  It had been a few weeks since the last time.  At long last, most of the large trash has been removed.  There’s still plenty of debris visible, mostly broken up sheetrock on people’s curbs. I also noticed several houses up for sale.

The emotional scars are harder to heal.

When the Astros won the ALCS, I could already sense that as a cathartic moment for the city. But last night’s emotional win in the World Series was the true emotional release, the city’s Great Catharsis.

This tweet, I think, sums up what so many people have gone through, and what made this so important.

And from Eric Berger with Space City Weather:

Enjoy this, Houston.  If ever we deserved a moment of joy, this was it.

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