Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can’t give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They’re all blood, you see.
-The Player, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead by Tom Stoppard
If love is heart and rhetoric is head
Then blood is all soul.
It’s a thing intrinsic and precious and filled with substance
And I’m not only talking on a cellular level.
It’s a dance of life that ties us to time like nothing else can
A hereditary game of chance,
of habit and circumstance
Like a baton in a race
So paced as to barely be able to catch a breath
And now you’re done
And off to death
Perchance to dream
Of substance over style
Of a place to stop and sit a while.
The head dictates that a poem should rhyme
Because the silly heart believes it sweet.
The heart sees nothing wrong with it at times
Because the head prefers iambic feet.
But without blood,
where is the passion and the substance
and the raw, rich
gore of a world ripped wide open
Its flesh flayed to reveal depth.
Its hair pulled and eyes red, sobbing for
the pulse of meaning.
So I’ve been doing some research into my genealogy lately and discovering a certain amount of pride I wasn’t really aware would exist. It’s not a place of ‘oh, I’m descended from a guy who..’ It’s actually simpler than that. It’s a matter of ‘I’m descended from a guy..’
That’s it. My delight comes from this knowledge (which I already had) that I am the descendent of humans. Yes, I always felt a connection to my grandmothers, I met them. And by extension my grandfathers though they both died well before I was born. But that’s kind of where it ends. I recently discovered that my dad’s mum, my Nana, had a younger sister named Isobel. I have much curiosity about her and hopefully will be in a position to write about her soon, but that’s not tonight.
Pretty much the only reason at this point that I even give a half a thought to the prospect of breeding, stems from the fact that everyone who came before me was successful at it for the benefit of me. As selfish as you wanna get, we can do this dance. Every single ancestor I have somehow managed to avoid childhood mortality, grow old enough to marry (or not) and procreate so that child could in turn do the same and on and on and on…..until me. Here I am, the product of thousands of years of fucking, about to go extinct. I don’t honestly believe that’s terrible. There are better genetic lines (and worse) I’m sure that will carry on (7 billion strong!) and I’m not fearful of the human race losing out on my genes because I have enough relatives (likely some I don’t know about) that are doing it. There are lots of Irish/Scottish/English/French people out there.
Fundamentally, we’re all from the same place. Our genetic makeup is similar enough, even if our brain chemistry differs radically in some instances. We’re tied by blood whether we like it or not. Is it arrogant of me to have a ‘the buck stops here’ attitude towards procreation? I really don’t think so. The responsibility of it used to bother me, but I think there’s more arrogance in that, than in my quietly taking a genetic bow and exiting stage left. Not chased by a bear.