Jennifer’s Ark

“as much as i try to be a stretch your wings and fly type… i can’t stop trying to burst people into flames with my mind.”

Thus reads a coaster given to me by a dear friend around my birthday. One of those cool, squishy coasters that’s really more art than a place to put your mug. I want to put it on a chain and wear it around my neck. As my friend  held it out at a recent dinner party, she said, with a loving grin, “I’m not giving this to you because it reminds me of you…” But we both know better. And I’m okay with it. Passive aggressive mania pulses through my DNA.

But I didn’t set out to write about my groovy new coaster, which I carry around in my purse. I set out to present a more biblical theme, as it’s a pretty biblical time of year. Or maybe it’s just a gift card time of year. And not that I’m a biblical kind of girl. And really I wanted to write about the invention of  the leaf blower, but the New Yorker beat me to it.

Again, I digress. You know the story of Noah’s Ark. God is seriously bummed about what a wicked pain in the ass mankind has turned out to be, so he picks righteous dude Noah to pack up his family and some hetero-normative animal pairs, and off they go to safe landing in the mountains of Ararat. Meanwhile, God sends an epic flood that wipes out all other life. It’s a helluva tale, really, and not to be confused with the short-lived cable series and subsequent film, Noah’s Arc, which featured gay Black and Latino men engaged in lots of socially relevant same-sex activities.

So my friend Jennifer and I are having coffee, and we’re talking about what a wicked pain in the ass mankind has turned out to be, and how the whole wide world is more or less coming undone, and she says to me, “You know who I’d take on the Ark? I’d take the people who are on five kinds of antidepressants, the crazy people, cuz they’re the ones feeling the pain. I wouldn’t take any dumb, happy people who aren’t feeling anything. Nope. Feeling fine? Fuck you.” And dogs – she’d take a lot of dogs. She really loves the dogs.

Some say Jesus was a schizophrenic. And while the Ark conversation calls forth a painful reminder of that incredibly awful personal-growth-seminar-life-raft-exercise, I can’t stop thinking about it. Jennifer’s Ark. Would there be hip hop dancers? A psychoanalyst, a beat poet, some disenfranchised youth? Could Pema Chodrin and Maya Angelou come along? Maybe Ravi Coltrane and the Be Good Tanyas? Van Morrison, Sweet Honey in the Rock? Would we need an attorney and an accountant? A good massage therapist and a crackpot barista? Whooping cranes? We’d have to bring polar bears. Would Obama be invited?… Or would it simply be a bunch of crazy people and their dogs? Start from crazy scratch. No “leaders” or famous folks; no professionals or service providers. No cats. No zebras. No peacocks or kangaroos.

This has evolved, for me, into either a very heady party game, or a much more startling exercise in who and what I really love, and value. The truth of who I simply am. I can stretch my wings, meditate, fight the good fight, be all loving and generous and shit, and try to burst people into flames with my mind. Not long ago, I heard Nina Simons, co-founder of the Bioneers, speak. She asked, given the state of things, “How can we not go mad with grief?” She also said that this is no time for small talk. Enter Jennifer’s sailors.

My daughter woke up the other morning excitedly designing the fort she would build in the living room after breakfast. Every pillow, sofa cushion, chair, stool, sheet and blanket we possess would be involved. “Oh Mom!” she declared. “It will be a beautiful mess!” I leave the Ark, and the future of all things, to her.

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8 Responses to “Jennifer’s Ark”

  1. you came full circle once again, and the child became the adult, and visa versa, and you made it to the end ,where that little kiddo clarified it all, once again, full circle

  2. Id like to be the first to say that I don’t think I’d want to be on that ark but I’d hate not to be invited.

  3. karencares Says:

    Hmmm, we must be on the same wave of this flood thing. I been reading Margaret Atwood’s new book “Flood” and having meltdowns about the last polar bear and why the FUCK so few of the people around me are as freaked out as I am. Count me in for the Ark, but you know what I am not so sure I want to be around for the end. Two days ago I almost got smashed by a mongo truck on my bike – I keep wondering why I didnt have that adrenaline rush that you get when you come close to being a goner. My yoga practice keeps reminding me to count my blessings – I go outside as much as I can to kiss all this beauty good bye. Thats what the scientist that runs the Mona Loa Observatory does with his children. I read that in the NY times a couple days ago – we are at 390 ppm CO2. My own baby came home the other day and when I told her about the scientist and his kissing things good bye, she scolded me and told me to lighten up. So back to YOGA every day. I love you Kira.

  4. No mere “gift card” from you dear Kira – but plentiful words following rich mind honestly.

    This is talking about such important stuff that I want to gift it to my closest folk, so good discussion can continue.
    Thank you !!!
    cc

  5. pema et al and sweet honey and the rock to boot…. that last put me over — i’m all about it. where do i sign up?

    happy holidays! keep the music, your music going, flowing!

    jb

  6. Laura Robbins Says:

    Great piece….Humor – And I did feel my eyes and throat at the Alley part. So I figure this: I just want everyone to have the peace and abundance that I have. That means it’s fine with me for me to have the peace and abundance and to be constantly feeling thankful. As long as I feel I’m doing something worthwhile, something that helps, the grief is waylaid. I like learning to get simpler and simpler. You know what I mean? And as far as a boat; we’re all in this together.
    Love you.
    L

  7. kiradjones Says:

    Testing, testing – there seems to be a problem in the comment department. People are attempting to post comments, but with no luck! Sorry about that. WordPress, can you help? Can you hear me now?…

  8. I hope this 4th attempt at posting a comment will finally work!

    I’m so glad you are back to it, Kira. I miss the goofy beautiful way you see the world and move through it, letting Ally teach you. But why no cats? Crazy people love cats you know. I’ve worked on many a psyche ward and I’m on 2 kinds of antidepressants so I hope I can come!

    Regarding the grief of it all: I read something written by a woman with cancer. She said:

    Unknown. How do I keep a peaceful mind? I move toward acceptance, non judgmental awareness of the experience. Mindfulness. And I began to relax into things, as they are, right here and now.
    That night I slept. Since then, the thought is still here, I have cancer, but not the overwhelming tension. I do my meditation, I do my yoga, I laugh with my family and friends. Though my body may not be healed, something in my mind has been.

    Maybe we can’t heal the world and it will all go to hell in a hand basket, but we can heal our minds and hearts. That’s how I get through the day.

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