― Kurt Vonnegut
The man above (Paul) struggling to gather up his loose bits of string after a kiting disaster this past weekend reminds me of Santiago the main character in Ernest Hemmingway’s , “The old man and the sea” who in the novella came so close to catching the elusive marlin despite his every valiant effort to succeed.
In this situation loosely re titled, “the old man and the string” the gentleman in question planned his afternoon outing for about one hour before launching his kite.
“The wind picked up nicely and the weather not too warm…a pleasant afternoon to go about doing such an activity” he told me.
This was his “very first attempt” at kite flying. “I noticed the children in the school yard flying their kites and I wanted to try that for myself” he said.
His intent and attempt to fly were honorable but the wind became so strong that the string anchoring the kite broke and landed it in a nearby tree after which an updraft sent it crashing to the ground not in the school yard but on a public street.
He said he ran to where the kite finally landed but its balsa frame was broken beyond repair.
“The wood holding it together was shattered and the plastic material was ripped apart making it unable to fly” he said.
When I first noticed him along the side of the road gathering his string I did not see his kite. He told me that he threw it in a nearby trash bin and was now salvaging the string that was scattered higgledy-piggledy about the street and adjacent lawns.
Was this unfortunate incident going to dissuade him from tying to fly a kite in the future? “No way” he said and added that he “now knows what not to do when flying a kite alone.”
“Kite flying is a team sport and you really do need a co pilot there to help you out of a jam” he said.
He told me that he is looking forward to the next sunny day to once again try his hand at the sport.