‘Let’s go’ “Where?” ‘For a ride.’ “Ok.”
Zigzagging through traffic, a mild tension veiled the air. Out of seeming randomness, I felt the tell-tale signs of predestination slowly taking form. Was anything really random or simply unknowable in the moment to the ego-mind? “What’s this?” ‘A kite store.’ Upon hearing those words my body froze. “Why don’t we just drive into oncoming traffic?” I muttered under my breath sarcastically. ‘What?’ “Nothing,” I returned, tongue in cheek.
Getting out of the car like undoing a Velcro strap, I prayed he only had one kite. No such luck! He needed to buy string for two kites! Oh well. Shaking internally, I asked the Universe to stop the wind, make it rain, snow or even give us a plague of locusts -anything but allow a kite to be flown! But I was no Moses on an exodus.
Through the mounting anxiety, a deep rooted fear resonated within. The last time I’d tried to fly a kite was when I was a child with my dad and brothers. Despite every attempt to get the kite to fly me and my dad couldn’t get the kite to fly. For some reason I took it personally. I was responsible for the wind not blowing properly. My dad wouldn’t try to make me fly a kite with no wind. There was nothing wrong with the kite. It was me; I was no good – not even at playing. The only one to blame was me. The wind was the wind; the kite the kite; my dad my dad. I’d dared to let my guard down and failed miserably. Mortally wounded I sadly made a pact with myself to never play again. It made logical sense. I’d tried and failed. The Universe had given me a test and I’d failed. And even though it hurt to give up my childhood, it wasn’t a complete loss. I could still play with the toys grown-ups played with: logic, science, math, school and books.
Perched upon an inner dimension of my being I watched as people laughed, played and strolled around me. ‘Here, you try that one and I’ll try this one,’ he said handing me the two string kite. Not only wasn’t I going to get my way, I was given two strings to hang myself with.
‘Not very windy is it?’ “No,” I said, eyes lighting up in hope. ‘No problem. It”ll soon pick up.’ “Yeah, probably.” I begrudgingly returned to the task at hand. Not knowing how I did it, the kite came together – a few pieces short, but not bad for a first try. In the distance my friend had his single-stringed kite flying high in the sky. ‘Why hadn’t he given me that kite? I wanted that kite – no this one damnit! Did he do it on purpose? Did he think I couldn’t do it? Well I’ll show him!’ Daring to ruin his good time, I spoke: “Now what?” ‘Oh, I’ll be right there.’ After showing me what to do, I tried it a couple of times before the kite slowly left the ground. Yet despite all my running and puling and holding and nursing and maneuvering it nose-dived each time into the ground with a thud. Damn, this thing could do some damage if it landed on someone. ‘Keep trying,’ he said. So I did. After about half an hour of trying, succeeding a little, but mostly failing I finally laid down and passed out from sheer exhaustion.
I awoke to ‘wanna try my kite?’ “I guess so.” I didn’t, but a little part of me did. ‘This one’s easier. Just keep the string tight if you want it go higher.’ Keeping something tied down and expecting it to go higher sounded absolutely ludicrous, but intriguing at the same time. I’d show him how to fly the kite alright – my own way.
A gentle gust of wind took it out of my hands and sailing into the air uplifting my heart in the process. Up it went, higher and higher. I beamed in child-like glee. Then experimenting with how to fly a kite, I let out more string and mentally spoke to the kite: “fly, you’re free to go. Go on. I release you from my control.” Pleased to see it flying, it hovered before slowly beginning to fall and fall and fall. ‘Keep the string tight,’ he shouted out. Reeling in the string the kite jerked under the tension reaching its new equilibrium. Then I slowly released more string and it went higher! It didn’t make sense. First the kite needed to be reeled in and held back before it could go higher! Then I saw how the kite, mind, emotion, body and spirit were all inter-connected by tension.
As if I’d joined a class for Capricorns, I saw how a constant amount of tension was like playing and existing within a particular area. While it felt safe and secure, it also felt confining. Bored by the contents of the box, I wanted to ‘go where no man has gone before‘just like in Star Trek. But how did they get to know what they were doing without going outside first? Going back and forth made me feel like a big fish being slowly reeled in then let go, then reeled in again ultimately to be gutted, cooked and eaten for someone or something’s dinner?
If I abandoned the box altogether, I’d risk severing all connections and then what? End up on a mountaintop like some yogi? But with no or too little tension I ran the risk of becoming complacent, self-serving and self-loathing – all ultimately self-defeating. Somehow the right amount of tension also required a mastermind who knew how to administer tension that allowed life to evolve. Where would I find such a masterful ‘fisherman’ or kite-flyer? Was it me?
If I was the kite then wind was like the ever-changing forces, situations and life-scenarios that blew me from place to place. Instead of blaming or fearing the wind for being the wind, the string for being the string and the kite for being the kite, we could see them for what they truly were: developmental technologies necessary for our spirit to learn and fly higher. Was I learning to not get blown about by life, but to gracefully soar to new heights? The other choices seemed to be stagnation and decay resulting in mental illness, emotional trauma and physical sickness.
Humbled by the sheer majesty and ‘wizardry’ of such universal processes I felt like I could fly on mental winds seemingly forever safely connected to the body through emotional strings – maybe even to the stars and beyond. All I needed to do was learn how to play.
© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –
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