It is astonishing to me, that our genetic code is written with instructions, consequences, punctuation, notes and even has intervals of no code at all, as it anticipates the uncertainty of our future and already knows the outcome of our days. Strangely, we sense the genetic incompleteness of ourselves and lament with Robbie Williams ‘there’s a hole in my soul and its a real big place.’ I therefore want to explore the form of this experience and find its shape in clay.
I’ll start with the smallest part of ourselves, the gene that makes us human. It looks like a ladder twisting in space with its two strings joined by rungs of base-nucleotide pair combinations; the written language to our proteins on how to build a human body and house a mind, emotions and a breathing soul. 1] Our bodies seem as literal houses of hearing and with this realization, houses became my allegory for living, hearing souls.
I then placed all kinds of houses, from French chateaus to plaashuise, to squatter shacks around and within DNA landscapes and wondered whether age-old promises encoded on our souls could be re-written by the way we live in the land. Epigeneticist, Adrian Bird, said ‘attributing behavioral consequences to DNA methylation maybe overreach.’ 2] Still, we know we are changed by lived experience, but where on earth is it written on our souls?
I then read about a woman who needed two names to describe her whole:
There was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation was called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and deeds. And it came to pass in those days that she was sick and died. They washed her and laid her on a bed in an upper chamber. And then sent two men to Peter, begging him to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper chamber where all the widows stood by weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was still with them. But Peter pushed it away and kneeled down and prayed : and then turned to her body and said, ‘Tabitha arise.’ And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up and called the widows, and presented her alive. And it was known throughout Joppa and many believed. 3]
Tabitha was her Hebrew name and Dorcas was her Greek name, perhaps she crossed these borders as a maker of garments and coats. Both names meant gazelle and was used to describe her soul. 4] 5] In Hebron, Tabitha was filled with good works, which made her stand out like a gazelle but in Greece, as Dorcas, named after the Dorcas-Gazelle of the dry river beds, it described her soul’s thirst for the fountain of living waters in Jesus Christ. 6] Hearing the rushing waters, she then follows it, even if it means crossing the border of this shadow land, and walks with her gazelle feet surefooted from the parched lands on earth into the paradise of God and back.
I then imagined how the living waters flowed deep into her soul to awaken her spirit so that she can hear and perceive the word of God and she is changed into a new creature, from a gazelle-woman into a woman-gazelle – as angels ascend and descend up and down another ladder, the spiritual ladder of Jacob’s dream, from where God determines all. 7, 8]
Visualizing her new being in physical form, I then used the form of a teapot combine and shaped her gazelle behavior and combined it with her carnal ways and then began to fathom the miracle of her experience as I pour fragrant water deep into her teapot belly soul and she becomes refreshed, satisfied and whole.
- Strong’s Greek concordance, 5590, breath i.e. (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished from the rational immortal soul.)
- Hall, S, 2013. Behavior and biology: the accidental epigeneticist. Nature Journal, [Online]. 505, 7481. Available at: https://www.nature.com/news/behaviour-and-biology-the-accidental-epigeneticist-1.14441 [Accessed 2 October 2017].
- Acts 9:36-43
- Strong’s Concordance, 5000, Tabitha: gazelle, a Christian female. Its Hebrew root is 6646: a female gazelle to be compared with 6638 in the sense of prominence, splendor and beautiful as a gazelle.
- Strong’s Concordance, 1393, Dorcas: gazelle, a Christian woman
- Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. 1 Cor 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
- 2 Cor 5:17-18 Therefore if you are in Christ, you are a new creature: old things have passed away and all things have become new. And all things are from God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.
- Rev 22:16 I, Jesus, I am the root and the offspring (=shoot) of David, and the bright morning star