Yesterday I had my weekly acupuncture session and it was all about my blood. The blood that comes when the moon is full, the blood that runs in my veins carrying information that is both familiar and mysterious, the blood that needs nourishment and replenishing. My Chinese Medicine doctor took my pulse and looked at my tongue, and then as usual he started with needles on my back. He left me in a dark and warm room, and I slipped into the other world - where the stories dance and the spirits sing. I am deep in ancestral connection this season and all kinds of blood stories are swirling in my dreams, both when I am awake and when I am asleep. My mother just told me about my grandmother being sent to live in a nun’s house when she was 19 because she was pregnant from being sexually abused, and she was not married. There, she gave birth and lived with her baby boy for two years.
When I think of it, I can feel her blood during these two years, I can feel the blood that nourished that baby boy, full of red anger and scarlet love, carrying oxygen to breathe in-between the secrets and the lies. I myself have never known my biological father, and half of my blood is a sort of enigma, the songs born in the marrow of my bones coming from a different language and culture, a fire from the South of somewhere.
And as the needles did their work of creating pathways of clarification and flow in my meridians, I travelled through times and places and stories, being a boundless and timeless future ancestor myself. I started to wonder: what does my blood have to tell me, and how I could listen?
The door opened and my acupuncturist removed the needles on my back, I turned around and he placed more on my front. Ankles, head, and a lot on my abdomen. With each of them, I imagined an opening, a portal to my ancestry, the cold-blooded and the bloody hell, the blood of my blood and flesh of my flesh stories, the blood of the unborn children, and the bleeding of the dying mothers, the hot blooded men, the spells sealed by witchy blood, and the brotherhood born from blood oath.
I then slipped into my own blood vessels and observed the ancient symbols and words whispered to me there, abandoning myself into the sensation of being carried by a river of knowledge that is not really liquid but not solid either. I lived like blood for a few minutes or for an eternity, flowing and swaying in a sanguine rhythm birthed in the deepest part of my bones, where my ancestors have been singing my name ever since the time before my conception.
And I ask you this morning: what does it mean to live like blood?
To live like blood,
Slow and thick,
full of ancient matter and ancestral truth.
With intentional movement instead of a run on the surface,
with the realization that we carry in us the origin of life
and the rewarding necessity of being present to our lineage.
It is not thick like something that makes us stuck and effort-full in our movements. No, it is the thickness of awareness, the one that helps us slow down, pay more attention, sink into what wants to come through us. It is the thickness that brings just the right weight so we feel grounded and anchored, and we can feel depth.
The medical term describing the system in our body involved in the creation of blood cells is haematopoietic. It comes from two Greek words:
Haema (Haîma) - blood, which is also referred to in the Bible as the seat of life, and Poiesis (Poiētēs) - creation. Poiesis is, in philosophy, the act of bringing into being what did not exist before.
Poiētēs, which also means the maker, is the root of the words poet and poetry (from the French poète).
Our blood holds stories that want to be told and expressed in the world in as many shapes as we can think of, it longs for and belongs to our reshaping into poetic form.
To live like blood is an honoring of our legacy - the one we hold from those who came before, and the one we create for those who will come after us - whether they are human children, relationships, or projects of ours.
To connect with our blood means to take time, to sit and visualize or sense the thick fluid slowly moving through every part of our body, life-maker, replenisher, creator of internal matter for us to matter in the world. For us to be of matter: visible, tangible, touchable.
Let’s live like blood.
Let's live like blood because we are made for it.
This post has been edited and rewritten, and is different from it first published version.