(n.); a cleansing medicine or preparation; (adj.) able to cleanse, especially a wound
“Art begins in a wound, an imperfection—a wound inherent in the nature of life itself—and is an attempt either to live with the wound or to heal it.”
–John Gardner, Grendel
The idea of creative expression as a healing experience has been tossed around in both artistic and non-artistic communities for as long as most of us can remember, if not longer; there have even been scientific studies to support the cleansing quality of artistic output. Last month, Phillip Graham published this delicate, reflective essay on writing as a means to heal emotional wounds. And just recently, two prominent members of the medical community—Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Dr. Rebecca McAteer of Georgetown University School of Medicine—made the case in Academic Medicine for the importance of cultivating creativity in today’s doctors, encouraging open-mindedness and honing communicative skills.