Monday, November 8, 2010

About Blood

I've been thinking a lot about blood. Last week, over the weekend. At the farmers' market I got a package of sirloin from these great free range people, and it had about a cup of blood in the bottom of it. It was a shame to throw it out, although I don't know what I should've done with it instead. My friend Sandy told me at the hospital where she used to work, when the blood got past its expiration date, they were allowed  to take it home and pour it out in their gardens. Apparently it's helpful for enriching soil. I didn't think of it quick enough but I wonder what the neighbors would've thought if they saw me pouring blood outside. 

Yesterday Fidget and I were reading about how Clara Barton was called the Angel of the Battlefield in the Civil War (wish I was an angel of something. How does Angel of the Laundry sound?); how she was so selfless she drove her wagon out on the battlefield and cared for the sick and dying. It got me thinking about how important blood is. I made a book about blood back in art school- East Carolina U, MFA, 2004- and of course I can't find it this morning. It has a picture of Clara Barton in it from a Red Cross pamphlet and says, "Freely you have received; freely give." I've done a lot of art work about blood. I may not be finished with blood art work. The only problem is that naturally no one wants it. I admit, it's kind of a weird subject.

Sometimes it feels like we're not of much use to anybody, and that is when I like to think about giving blood. I like to be encouraging, but blood is something tangible I can give that is truly needed. I have been turned away by the Red Cross numerous times for having 'tired blood'. Sounds bad, doesn't it. Who would want that kind? Not even me. I really do eat well, lots of irony vegetables, but it doesn't seem to add up. I am taking iron pills and it's put me over the top, fortunately, but the last time I was going to donate, 2 weeks ago, the guy couldn't find my vein and sent me home.

So, I can't always give. But I can keep spreading the word about how good it is to give. If you're wondering what you can do today, think about that. We can all do something.


  1. I had read about blood being good for the soil and purchased some this summer for my vegetable beds. I had it out to remind myself to go put it down when I read your post! Today I got it raked into the veggie beds.... I think it's cool how we all come from the earth and go back to it. like this blood. It will nourish my plants, giving them abundant life next summer and then nourish me and my family.
    And how Christ's blood was spilled for us to have LIFE. It's this huge circle!

    But I have to say that dried blood stinks!! ;-)

  2. Sorry to hear it, Lollie G =:0 !At least it will be good for the garden. It doesn't come liquid, right? Is it flakes? I wonder how they dry it.

  3. It is a very fine powder that blows in the wind easily. I had to make sure I kept low to the ground when I sprinkled it. If it turns to liquid when it rains, it'll just soak down deeper into the bed... but I only used 3 cups on a 12 X 12 bed, so it's not a lot... but guess a little goes a long way for fertilizer!

  4. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Speaking of which, thanks for the seeds you sent...