Monday, December 06, 2010

Build Me an Ark

In times of despair and hopelessness folks turn to all kinds of things, but building an ark? Well, not exactly, I suppose, but some Biblical literalists with more money than good sense are planning an ark-based theme park in Kentucky. They have raised a small fraction of their expected costs and are seeking financial aid from the cash-strapped commonwealth of Kentucky.
What is it with ark builders and funding? We regularly drive across I-68 in the panhandle of Maryland, and alongside that road you can find the steel-beamed skeleton of an ark that has been rusting there for years. That project began, so the story goes, with a dream back in 1974.
The historical contexts are certainly not identical, but 1974 was, like today, a time of political turmoil, economic uncertainty, and seemingly endless war. In such moments, curling up in an ark while all of the messiness of the world gets washed away can seem like a fine idea.
I've never had dreams of an ark, but reading this morning that the Unabomber's land -- 1.4 "secluded" acres in western Montana -- is on the market did give me pause to consider the prospects of "getting away from it all."
Alas, I am not a Biblical literalist nor a member of any sect of withdrawal. I still hear Isaiah's call to repair the breach and restore the city's streets to live in, and I hear in that the call to serve where I am with what I've got. Still, a boat would be nice.