The Dumbfounded Elect   Leave a comment

I explored this idea with art long ago when I was a child. If I believed my nostalgic memory of my creations it may be that I did it better then.
The story of Noah’s Ark and the flood intrigued me in ways it possibly shouldn’t have at that point in my life. I saw many holes, but many truths. I also saw the art in the story.
The writers knew what they were doing.
They painted a picture that gave us beauty while leaving just the right amount of dirt to juxtapose in a manner to entrap a person’s imagination.
I can’t really go on about all of that because it would be an entire book, but I will go on about the dove and the raven. That is what this painting is about.
The story, even painted in glittering gold did not paint these birds as we later view them in the story. The raven and the dove both did their jobs. The raven wasn’t selfish, and the dove was not a glowing beam of pure white in the sky with it’s olive branch.
I’m going to talk about the second bird in the story first. The dove. The dumbfounded, awestruck, bedraggled, disheveled, and disarrange in all ways that can be imagined dove.

The Dumbfounded Elect disheveled dove and the raven in the Noah's Ark story.

Look at that dove. When I was working on this my working title was “Seen Some Shit!”
As in the dove has seen some shit.
When the dove enters the scene in the story my vision of this poor bird is not the one which I have seen so many times put forth by churches and related religious groups. It is not the vision I usually would create if someone wants requests a dove from me. If it is a dove related to Christianity or other Abrahamic faith ideas I make if pretty, glorious, and strong.

Even here I kept it more pristine than I imagine. I kept it more sane. The reality if this story is taken to be true is that this bird would be dumbfounded.

Imagine you are the dove, living your dove life and free of worry while doing dove things. Then poof, you have something happen to your mind, making you feel an urgency to travel, then enter a large man made structure that is full of animals including those which prey on you. Something makes you calm, but your instincts say “That thing will eat me if it gets a chance.” Then imagine the man made structure is closed up, starts moving around, screams of humans are heard outside as rain pounds hard. Then it begins to move hardcore, you are locked in a space with your natural predators, dark, smelly, hot, moving in a way you and I can’t truly imagine because there has been no storm even a tenth that size since. It seems to never stop and when it does you still are moving. Finally you emerge. The other animals have not been allowed freedom. You see the world and it is water. You have been chosen, called, you know your duty. You watch as the raven performs it’s duty. Also called, also the elect of God. The raven is smarter than you are as a dove. Stronger, wiser, and a better survivor. It flies out to do it’s job and you watch. You are in shock, but you are the elected. You have no choice.

The raven is now gone. You are a dove without much reasoning, but a species of the wild. You know not if the raven lives, but it is your turn. You are sent out over the waters. You see bits of land, but your dove instincts aren’t being met. Eventually they are, and you succeed, as was ordained by the Word.

So, doves and pigeons can’t eat carrion. They also instinctively need to build themselves a nest and instinctively know the way home. Genesis says that Noah sent out a “dove,” but in all really, it was not likely to be the European Turtle-Dove, but instead the Rock Pigeon, whose biblical Hebrew name yonah, used in the text is translated as either pigeon or dove. I went with a disheveled dove instead of a rock pigeon because if I used a rock pigeon the iconography would be a fail for sure. Nobody would get it, and instead of this painting representing an image of a dumbstruck dove on a mission from God, we would have a pigeon wanting some crackers on a ledge. Anyways, this dove/pigeon was the perfect choice for this job. It would by nature have went searching for twigs and branches to build itself a nest. Until twigs and branches were found there was no way to be getting off that ark and letting loose the animals because the circle of life demands vegetation to exist.

So what was the raven doing? A lot of ignorant ass people and preachers have painted the raven’s flight as a fail. Seems weird for a preacher to do so, but whatever… Like the dove, a raven has instincts. It lives in a certain manner and does specific things. It is (unlike a dove) extremely intelligent too. The writers of the text included in the bible were very aware of the ravens nature. They did not state a specific purpose to the raven’s flight in the text I’d guess because they assumed all would understand it. People were more sparse and animals more plentiful in those days. We humans were closer to and understood the natural world much better then.

The raven is a carrion eater. It can eat the dead stuff, but unlike what even many preachers and rabis assumed… eating death on the sea… they can’t do that. Why? Swimmers they aren’t.

Land had been sighted before the raven was sent out. The tops of the mountains it says. Sending a raven first was to make sure the waters had receded enough for the raven. It needs shelter and food. If it has shelter and food then humans can hope. The raven flew around a good long time finding not what it needed, but when it did, it was gone. This signaled the time of dove. The dove could not have told Noah there was land to give hope. The dove instinctually would have just kept returning.

If you are not a bible reader some notes on timing here. The flood did not last just 40 days. That is what most people will say. 40 days and 40 nights is how long the rain poured in a crazy manner to initially flood everything. It then continued to rain for 110 days more. After that they floated the flooded earth for another seventy-four days before a mountain top was found. Another month and a half almost till the raven was brought forth to do it’s job. Noah didn’t leave the boat until couple months after the dove had taken off on it’s third flight. If you want to be a stickler and read the chronology and add it all up we end up with the whole event being 371 days, and some animals being in the ark for up to 378 days.
How could they look so darn pretty like the goofy illustrations always show in the little kid books?

Now, if you are or are not religious this painting and my babble about the state of the dove should still be cool. The story of the flood is old. The great deluge happened and all peoples with ancient stories of the past have a version of it. The oldest form of genesis with this story in it comes from 1000 BCE. The poems of Gilgamesh Epic poems tell the story similarly including our raven and dove, but with an additional swallow added in. The oldest written record of the story is from 2150 BC. Think on that. Until recently that is about as old as it got. The oldest human manuscripts ever found were estimated to be from possibly 2600 BC. Nobody thought humans could even make such things before 2200 BC. until recently.

Science. Oh the prickly pear that science has become in this F’d up century. It isn’t just science attached to medicine and biology that has turned into some sort of pay for consensus crud instead of a quest for knowledge. Nor is it just “climate” scientists who are pushing dogma back and forth for dollars. Sadly it has spilled into paleontology and general biology as well. Everything really. It is sad. Nonetheless, even with the “scientists” and historians who specialize in the fields that would be touching on this, a general consensus is there. Two actually. One is that we had a huge worldwide flood. Dates don’t match up to those in Exodus though. Two, we had a catastrophic almost worldwide flood that caused a flooding where most of the people existed. This would according to science be the flood talked about in all the ancient texts because it would make more sense when looking at timelines.

Personally, I think they need to stop acting like they know things they are guessing at. We (humans) don’t know crud. We discover new things constantly and find things we believed yesterday are total hogwash today. All of the sciences are in their infancy. Someday if humans don’t kill themselves off as a species I think people will back at us the way we now look back on people of the bronze age. They will wonder at our ignorant belief’s and find interest in us primarily through varied lenses of wondering how we somehow became them.

So… The painting. You can get a print of it HERE – The Dumbfounded Elect Art Prints.
It is available as nice art prints, lower cost posters, and even as an expensive puzzle you can give to someone as a gift.
Make sure to tell them what the working title was. That would still be the title, but some places I sell prints wont allow the word shit. Gotta keep the title consistent.

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