Bloody Questions

PrintI’ve been posting a lot this week as my BFF and partner in crime, Kirtles, is receiving a visitor. His same sex BFF – a term we used to refer to as SSBFF before realizing it had a vaguely Nazi-esque ring to it and abandoning the term –  is here, and those two need time to bond as they don’t get to see each other very often.

I have some questions about Blood: The Stuff of Life (our current read) and they actually have nothing to do with having read the book, so you can contribute whether you’ve read the book or not. That’s the nice thing about non-fiction, it brings up questions about a topic and it encourages others to express their opinions on that topic, not necessarily on the book itself. It encourages storytelling and you know how pro-storytelling I am. I also would love to get your own questions about blood (the book and the substance).

1. Lawrence Hill starts this book with a story of a scrape he got when he was little and how fun it was for him.

          As I ran, I held out my arm to direct my splashing blood onto every single sidewalk           panel, each one just over a metre long. I slowed, when necessary, to ensure that                 the bright red trail remained unbroken. Later, I wanted to be able to walk with my          friends up and down the street and say, “Look! That’s my blood!”

This is definitely a 1st world reaction to our first big injuries. We look on the injury as a sign of our toughness, a first attempt at having a story, a legend, being told of us. My question is: What are your stories of your first big injury? Did you feel the same way as Hill? Did you want to brag about it?

Tania’s answer: The first mass amount of blood that came from my body that I can remember was when I busted a tooth out when I fell while ice skating. I remember all the blood coming from my mouth scared me and I went to my mom, who freaked out a little and then my dad coming up and saying “It’s just a baby tooth, you were going to lose it anyway,” then wiping my face and pushing me back out onto the ice. I remember feeling kinda badass about recovering so quickly, but I mostly remember this event because it was a role reversal for my parents. My mom is usually the stoic non-freaker and my dad is the one who overreacts to everything. I remember the reaction more than the blood itself.

2. Hill states quite often that blood is the most thought about and talked about bodily fluid. So, do you really think about blood very often? And, if so, what do you think about?

Tania’s answer: I honestly don’t think about blood that much except as it relates to being a woman, and then mostly as an annoyance. Women deal with a lot more blood than men do, let’s just accept it. We have periods and we give birth. Vasovagal response (fainting at the sight of blood) has got to be pretty rare, not to mention inconvenient, among women. I do think about my heritage a lot, but not as it relates to blood specifically. I’m not sure why I don’t make the connection, but I don’t.

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3 Responses to Bloody Questions

  1. Naomi says:

    Okay, I’ll be the first one to answer these questions- why not?
    1. I used to love explaining (that’s a better word than bragging, isn’t it?) to my friends how I got my one and only scar. My sister and I used to sleep out in the tent trailer in the summer when we were young (I think I was 8 when this happened), and I had to go in the house to pee in the night. I couldn’t see very well, because it was dark, and I ran into some chicken wire that was wrapped around a little tree. It cut long and deep into my thigh, but I didn’t really feel it at the time. When I got inside and saw all the blood, though, I started crying. I needed 6 band-aids to cover it up. At the time, I was so proud.
    2. No, I hardly ever think about blood. Except that it’s a pretty colour. But my husband hates the sight of it.

    • writereads says:

      6 band-aids? That’s a doozy. I can see why you liked explaining that one 🙂 It is funny how we’re proud of injuries and how sometimes we don’t feel them until we see them.
      And I don’t really think about it much, I kept thinking, “really? where’s your proof?” when he kept re-iterating his thesis.
      Thanks for sharing your stories 🙂

  2. lauratfrey says:

    1. I heard Lawrence tell this story when he was here for LitFest. He made it really funny, I could picture a kid reacting that way. As for me, I don’t know… nothing really comes to mind. I haven’t had a lot of serious injuries but I would never look right at my own blood, on purpose. It makes me queasy.

    2. I’m like you. I don’t think of it much in the “bloodlines” or “family” sense. I think about it more in terms fertility and birth… having experienced miscarriage, birth, and more recently, crazy PMS, that’s what I think of. Not great associations really – well, birth is great but not so much the weeks of bleeding afterward!!

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Hopefully I don’t get too queasy!

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