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.