"Every year at this time it's as if I can taste faintly my mind's blood..."
- Jim Harrison, The Road Home
I swear I've tasted my mind's blood this week. I am familiar with this vaguely acrid taint. It is a flavor that arises when I speak my mind or entertain a thought and the witnesses simply will not have it. A bow is strung, an arrow flies, and thoughts and dreams are pierced; the aim is never to kill, just maim. Then the wounded limp and drag through the valleys of my mind, leaving the bright red trail. I track them and pause and kneel to finger the red. I taste and know. Mind blood.
Do you know this experience, this taste?
If you think this an occasion for sadness, then you judge too quickly. It is never pleasant, but it is good; a returning to myself. And for that, I am always grateful. It is then a quest to find and care for these fragments, these pieces of who I am, and bind them, tend them, nurse them back possibly stronger than before. To not search for the bleeding, to leave them to slowly cease because of some navy-blue shame, is to permit the gradual extinction of me. And so I leave the ninety and nine and search for the ones, such is their worth.
The taste of mind blood always brings clarity, differentiation. Yes, we are more alike than we know. We are also, at times, more different than we'd wish. Before the first person plural, there must come the first person singular; I before we. If the plural is truly comprised of singulars, then something tapestry-like exists; maybe the ragged old flag. The alternative is the melting pot, a gradual simmering away of character until the earth and all that is in it can be ladled into a bowl for public consumption; a mess of pottage for our birthrights.
I realize these thoughts are scattered from hell to breakfast; off the path, off the trail. It's alright. So am I right now. If you see the red on my lips, you needn't be afraid. To some, blood indicates death. To others, it is the taste of life.