Friday, August 17, 2012

go fly a kit

Have you ever watched a goldfish?  I mean really watched them?  We see them swiming around and we automatically assume they are happy and free.  I think that happens because we associate them with our feelings and memories of the time we spend in the water which is usually full of happiness and freedom.  How could lazily floating in the water not be carefree?

But, what if nearly every move they make is about survival?  Searching for food, while trying not to be food.  Diving deep when the pond is too warm, rising to the surface if the pond is too cold.  Hiding under the lily pads so as not to become bird food while trying to escape the pull of the water pump.  Most of all, not becoming a cat toy.

Our pond started out with 3 goldfish and 2 koi.  We are down to 2 and 2 with no sign ever of the one who lost the battle.  As I watch them I have discovered that what looks so blissful is simply a matter of survial to them.  I can't help but wonder how much of our lives look like that to the rest of the world?

What does that have to do with flying a kite?"  In my case, maybe everything.  I haven't flown a kite since I was 10 or 11 and even then I can not add kite "Flying" to my list of accomplishments because I can't say that I was ever really successful at it.  My sister and I would go down to the empty field between our house and the hospital and we would fly our kites.  The scenario always played out like this;  Liz would instantly launch her kite into the sky where it would float and dive, dive and float forever, literally, since one time I had to run and get the neighbor guy to bring her kite down and even he couldn't get it.  They finally cut it loose and let it go.  I, on the other hand, would run back and forth across the field trying to get my kite to catch even the tiniest gust to no avail.  My sister would come and hand me her beautifully soaring kite and then proceed to set mine afloat.  When she would return from launching mine I would be standing there with her kite in my hands because the moment she passed it off to me it would begin it's desent.  We would trade kites back and forth, back and forth.  I can't believe she never got sick of doing that for me.

My bucket list has kite flying as one of its' items.  When purchasing my kite recently I explained to  the store's propiretor my kite flying dilema and asked for some suggestions.  His only response was that the kite had to match its' owners personality.  To which I wanted to respond, "What the heck does that mean!", followed with, "They don't make a kite as uptight as me." But politely I said nothing.  You see, I knew the instant he said that why my sister's kite always soared and mine didn't.  She has the most carefree spirit in the world while I always need to be in control of everything because I am certain everything will fall apart if I'm not.  So instead of saying anything, I pondered his words and looked at the kites.  I mean really 'looked' at the kites.  Instead of seeing a butterfly, dragon, batman or rainbow, I saw the personalities they were representing.  That's when I settled on the goldfish.  I have always lived my life in survival mode, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of choice, and I have learned that the fruit of necessity is habit and not all habits are good.

I have attempted twice to fly my new goldfish kite.  I have been unsuccessful.  But now when I look at my fish in the pond I watch to see if they have moments of freedom.  Are they always darting from place to place or do they have moments when they swim just for fun, without a care in the world?  I have to believe that they do because you see, it is not really kite flying that I want to master.