Less than a year ago I was walking through the beautiful city of Trakai (look it up) with a group of people I was playing music with that day, and we walked past an old castle surrounded by a frozen lake. I was sick. And not accustomed to walking on frozen lakes, so, i wisely told myself “Jeremy…. you are not going on that lake” but all my friends went on the lake, and I convinced myself that… just walking on the lake will be fine right? So… I stepped onto the lake and began walking towards my friends. And as some of the more adventurous of the group started sliding around on the lake, I told myself “Jeremy… you are not going to slide on the lake… just walk” But.. as there was a smooth part nearby, and how hard can it really be? and what damage could I really do? I stepped onto the smooth ice to slide easily across like everyone else.
Without blinking an eye I was on the ground, in so much pain I could not speak. I could barely breathe. As I lay there, face to the ice, I thought “ironic… so ironic…. but.. I should get up, and dust myself off, I’ll be fine” So, with my rusty and former skaters wisdom, I stood up. But, I still could not breathe or speak. It hurt so badly. And all my friends hadn’t seen me slide, they had only seen me on the ground and then standing, so they were laughing a bit. But after realising I couldn’t speak, I answered their “what happened?” with acting out and pointing to the parts on the full sized Ukrainian doll that hurt the most. My ribs. My ribs hurt so much that I could barely breathe or speak. So my french friend asked me to put my arms in the air. Which helped with the breathing. And as we walked back to the venue, I coughed, and tried not speaking, thinking about the 40 minutes of music we were about to play.
For weeks after, I struggled to sleep and move and shower and work and do much. I didn’t believe that my ribs were broken, but still, it hurt to do most things. And my body go so used to the the trauma of the pain, it refused to do many things as an instinct. It got deeply sad when things dropped on the floor, or when I got freaked out and moved suddenly. The physical, invaded the mental. And the hopelessness of the slow healing, impeded on my sense of a greater tomorrow.
Rewind the tape a few millennia. You live in an anarchic town, filled with people convinced that no one, not even themselves have value. There is death and orgy at every corner. But you and your family are convinced, that there is value in human life. That it needs to be preserved, and you are convinced that you are to build a giant boat, to save the animals and humanity from wiping itself out.
What happens after Noah gets out of that boat? The trauma of seeing all the people he has ever seen in his life outside of his close bloodline being destroyed by water…. Then leaving the ship and walking out to what? Desolation? A different place altogether? Like a pain in the ribs, the trauma of the flood would stay with Noah for a long time. But, trauma can be soothed. Trauma can be talked about. Trauma can be massaged. and comforted. With wine. With adrenalin. Or…..