Red and white pulp bursting everywhere? Maybe not, but apparently it just pisses blood into the abdominal cavity when it bursts. Which is bad. You can die and stuff.
You’re probably better off getting it removed completely than actually letting it vent. Blood pumps through it at a high rate. Bursting blood is not good.
I recently had an existential (acutely inaccurate use of that word) panic attack at work, caused by the reading of a book describing the function of the brain. I was kinda wobbly but fine with the sudden alienation of being told in scientific detail the way the brain builds an illusory image of a world that is nothing like it appears. I wasn’t sure if I could pick up my tea any more, but I still felt like I was just being blurred. It wasn’t so bad.
Then it started describing strokes. Blood vessels that were misshapen or clogged, flooding or stopping blood flow to the brain. The idea of that image of reality fading or being distorted by gushing torrents (or absences) of blood in this network of pumping vessels.
Inside me there is so much weird fleshy matter, all manner of shapes and textures. It’s all pumping and heaving and undulating and generally doing it’s thing. I can feel my heartbeat. That beat is echoed throughout the body. If I press my ears to something, I can feel blood cascading. We are bags of flesh, with a network of nerve endings and neurons complex enough to interpret the world into something that we can functionally interact with.
Inside, I’m weird. (It’s been argued, convincingly, that outside I’m weird too. I have no comment on that matter, surprisingly.)
Yet we keep on working. This complex jumble of organs and systems, held together by bones and skin, it all works. Surprisingly well. Sure thing break down, but we also tend to not keep up the maintenance schedule. Most of us fill our bodies with junk, and yet they still function and do their business.
They still give us the gift of love and life and learning and bouncing and dancing and sunshine and everything.
It’s a pretty majestic achievement. Evolving from single cell units all the way to you and me and Ian McKellan. And the dogs at my side. And this lady singing to me from my stereo.
All just bags of organs with a strong sense of adventure and a lust for something we think of as life.
The lady is singing to me that we can be heroes. She’s right. We can be, and that’s even more miraculous for the fact that we can burst and break and collapse at any time. Our brains can stop and our hearts can panic, and one day, for everyone, it will all fall apart.
But for now, we are heroes. Bags of flesh, gunk, water and stuff. With the capacity for love and hope and life.
And venting. That too.
Illustration by Adam.