It’s funny, isn’t it, how difficult its can be to express an idea. I had a concept of what I wanted to do, but I was under the impression the work already existed and I would be presenting somebody else’s genius.
Not so. I am working on a musical edition of the tale of Noah and the Ark for performance next month. I believe I have found my Noah, and I think I have enough young people to sing the refrains and generally hold everything together.
There is even the possibility that I have a rainbow on which to pin the hopes and dreams of a future humankind.
But it’s not been easy to pull off and we’re not there yet!
The things I’ve learned about this tale could fill a stand-up set. Stuff we really cannot present in a setting with children listening.
But overall the tale is one of adversity and hardship paying off in the long run, of floods, storms, elephants and trying to find two pandas who will actually look at each other once they’re off the ark.
Because at the heart of the debate on Christian mythology is the current understanding of genetics which precludes the ark incident from being literal – you cannot support a population of animals with only two progenitors because the gene pool rapidly becomes too shallow. If that’s not literal, is any of the creation account to be taken at face value?
And yet, it’s a tale worth telling. It reinforces ideals of commitment and faith, both in a divine presence who guides the protagonists, and also in each other as a small family unit struggles to save all the land-based creatures from certain destruction.
I’m not conflicted about this project because I understand the wider gains – children involved will develop performance skills and the wider community can get involved. But I am curious. After the flood, where did all the water go? Into the icecaps at the poles?
Some things are evidently sufficiently complex to elude my elementary understanding.