The fine art of kite flying lies in knowing when to hold the string tight and when to let go. Just like in life. I am a person who holds on so tightly, wanting to always feel in control. Frightened that if I loosen the hold I will fall apart completely, swamped with grief and anger and general misery. And so I build walls within myself to maintain some sort of solidity. But I’m realising lately that despite generally feeling like I’m coping with life, I am battling with feelings that eventually find a way to bubble through the cracks.
“I need the wind to blow through my resentment and my focus on the things that are negative, that make me sad and angry and closed off. I’m building walls within my soul.”
I then opened a book I’ve been reading – May I Have This Dance? by Joyce Rupp. And (I kid you not) this was where my book mark was…
“The rushing wind often sweeps through our inner space when we try to control an uncomfortable situation. Often these are the very places where we need the energy of the Spirit of God. These times can lead to moments of surrender or to great vulnerability. In our struggles, our defences tumble down, our walls crack, and our hearts can be penetrated. Our minds and hearts are opened and the rushing wind offers us the possibility of transformation.”
I struggled a bit with this. Part of me knew I was supposed to read those words at that time. Part of me, though, saw them as just squiggles on paper – the idea of transformation seeming like a ridiculous proposition.
Later that day (a blissful day off after a particularly difficult week) I suggested a walk to Michael. Well, he liked the idea, but what he really wanted to do was take his kite to the beach and make good use of the windy day. So that’s what we did. I occasionally helped with the launching, but mostly I attempted to take photos and enjoyed the beach.
And something I was thinking about was that flying a kite is the perfect balance between holding on and letting go. Hold it too tightly, too closely, and the kite will jump and dart for a few moments before returning to land (often none too softly). Give it more string and the kite can soar and dance and play with the wind. A sense of freedom and delight. But letting it go completely can be very counter-productive. Because no matter how beautiful it looks as it soars higher and higher, further and further away, when the kite is without the control of the string it will ultimately come down to earth (or sea) and never fly again.
I am not sure about transformation. But a bit of dancing and delight – I think I can let go enough for that.
After the kite was packed up, we went up onto the bluff for a particularly brilliant sunset. The wind was strong and marvellous and blew right through me and I felt more peaceful in the full force of the wind than I had for weeks.