Serendipitous sanguinity

Flowers and trees
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal Length: 28mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter: 1/250 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Northport, Alabama

And just as suddenly as it disappeared, it came rushing back, bidding the blood to run faster, faster, ever faster until the only thing I could hear was my heart pounding in my ears, a ceaseless refrain of yes-yes-yes-yes.

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed liquids were the cause of all emotion coursing through the body, and perhaps there’s something to this idea, this concept that a well-balanced person had the proper mix of black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. Too much black bile caused melancholy. Too much blood caused sanguinity.

There’s an interesting word. Sanguinity. It can mean anger, blood-thirst, or oddly enough, cheerful optimism. Regardless of how you take it, there’s no disputing this fact: anything that gets your heart pumping serves as direct counterpoint to depression.

As I stood by the toll bridge today, semi trucks whirring past, bored commuters hurrying home, I wondered how many gazed at the sunset from their steel and glass prisons. Each driver had to stop long enough to dump change in an equally bored attendant’s hands. Did anyone else feel the wonder, the breath-taking joy of a happy memory, a stalwart tree, and a lavender sunset?

I’ll try to retain my cheerful optimism and believe that yes, a few of them did. A few of them heard the call of creation to creature and whispered yes-yes-oh my God yes. 

Music: When the Lights Go Out by the Black Keys (lyrics)

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