"The XY Conundrum" - mixed media on canvas paper, 16" x 20". Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
DNA. That most unique of identifiers. The slightest mutation of which can result in a host of oddities, such as being more likely to become addicted to heroin (really!), a sensitivity to biorhythms and sleep cycles or the likelihood of having smelly pee after eating asparagus. And about a million other things.
It also connects families, details heritage and discloses what percent Neanderthal lives in your body. That explains the foreheads (or "fiveheads", as we call them) of a few people I know. It is a bit exciting to find out how many genetic relatives you have out there in the world, and to maybe make a few connections you would otherwise have missed without the miracle of genetic testing. It brings the whole wide world of family right there to your computer.
DNA also tells you who your parents are. And who they are not.
That's what happened to me last week. The sisters shared their genetic testing so that we could compare medical information. Instead, we discovered we are only half sisters. It has been Jerry Springer kind of week in our family, as we try to unravel what happened more than a half-century ago. Secrets are being revealed: stories spoken. A trail of clues as to who my biological father might be. And the reassurances of my forever dad that nothing will change between us.
There are tweety birds swirling about my head as I process this information, stunned and disoriented. In the midst of it all, a mysterious male appears in an abstract painting and gives form to what I don't know. The universe has a wacky sense of humor.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation