Hijo, you have to understand that the blood you let out of your wrists, into the sink, into the floor, over my dress and dried in the back sit of the car is not only yours and it is much older than your teenage years, that blood is ancient, like your soul. That blood belongs to the great-great-grandparents that knew that the past lays in the stars long before scientists could prove it. It belongs to the great-grandparents that fought the war against the conquerors to defend the Mapuche land, it belongs to the grandparents that immigrated to the city speaking Mapudungun and had to learn the settlers’ language, mistake by mistake, shame by shame.
It belongs to the uncles and aunt that were not taught their mother’s tongue, so they could speak Spanish well enough not to be discriminated in a Santiago where indigenous people were thrown stones at, while being called indios. The strategy didn’t work, they just became discriminated monolinguals.
It belongs to the uncles and aunts in the other side of the family, who knew little about where they came from, but wanted to know where they were going; trying to build a Chile of justice, when justice was something you could die for.
It belongs to me and the youth with which I raised you, defeating the outcomes the neighborhood had for me as a single mother of two at age 23, with no career.
It belongs to your brother and the miles he walked, while I could only hold you. It belongs to the days he stopped playing to help with the lotion and the baby powder, or to contemplate your tiny fingers. It belongs to the patience with which he followed your instructions in most games and to the love with which he watched over you, many times.
It belongs to the people that doesn’t have your blood, but that has learned to love you enough to be willing to give theirs for you, if necessary. it belongs to the children that your or your brother might have, to your nieces and nephews and the music you must teach them about. It belongs to a world where your immense compassion is needed.
Hijo, you have to understand, that blood, that you left running out of your wrists, into the sidewalk, across the emergency room, over the nurses shoes, is not only yours and it’s so much older than your teenage years, you keep it inside next time, do you hear me?
For a complete biography, English and Spanish, of writer and artist Ximena Soza, see her page https://www.ximenasoza.com/biography
This brief memoir was first published in “No place like it: stories from the Berkeley Public Library memoir workshop” edited by Frances Lefkowitz, printed by Paper In My Shoe Press, Petaluma, CA. 
Featured image: Ximena Soza at work with mixed media.