Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Weathered Kite by: Karen Pilarski

Youth is fleeting and yet there is a lack of respect and willingness to hold on to it. At thirteen, dreams of proms, weddings and popularity send hopes sky high as if kites flying above.

 Romantic strings connecting and intertwining without a care in the world. Mismatched shapes and bright kites sailed through the air. Grass stained and scraped knees from running along the grassy hills.

Bubble gum, sparkled nail polish and short term crushes floated us through the teenage years. Dreaming and wishing about love and sex until it actually happens. Somehow between Jellies, Now and Later candy and graduation there was a shift in the air. Reality let out a gust of change that blew the kite out of loose hands.

Twenties were a chance to experiment and test new waters. Self discovery through higher education or just struggling to make ends meat defined early adulthood. Ups and downs in matters of the heart still determined moods and actions.

Frosted tipped hair and treasure troll collections were throwbacks to being a kid at heart. Instead of Cabbage Patch Kids store aisles amplified Tickle Me Elmo's nauseating giggle.  Brain crushing hangovers were appropriate reasons to stay in bed all day. Tequila breath and blistered feet from dancing were just nonchalant reminders of a night well spent. Strangely thoughts of weddings and careers sobered up the drunkest minds.

The warning sirens sounded but over the partying and working it was muffled. Thirty hit like a thunderbolt ripping through the kite. By now many acquaintances had wedding bands and babies. Those who didn't have those things listened to the ticking of the biological clock and mother's fingernails tapping impatiently. On top of that school loans, mortgage payments and the simple task of buying a gallon of milk became draining. Instead of consoling over coffee with a friend there was Facebook and Twitter. To catch up to speed on family members and chums a quick breeze through a stream did the trick. Good friends no longer spoke over the phone but texted instead.

The familiar feeling of crisp pages of a newspaper was replaced with websites and catchy tweets. While the world and technology certainty evolved, the concept of youth felt disillusioned between clicks and status updates. Media platforms dried up in drought like fashion. While today's youth didn't seem to mind, the situation was devastating to writers who grew up in the 80's and 90's.

As the years went by there was the need to make everything easier for the Earth's population. However, convenience shifted to inconvenience. Backlash over posts, terrified over online predators and internet hacking created a dark cloud above everyone. No one had motivation or inkling to try flying the kite again. Too many distractions such as blinking, beeping and brazen messages cut the stings that connected at one point.

Mid thirties appeared out of nowhere like a rainbow after storms. The abandoned kite takes flight and floats over soaked rooftops. There was still pining for the free movement of being a kid. Slowly the clouds parted and thinking like the skies became clearer. Newly formed aspirations and dreams patched up holes and rips. Miraculously the weathered and torn kite still has the ability to soar. Kids of yesterday and today have the opportunity to move where ever the wind takes them. Only if they hold onto strings tightly. Once and awhile when nostalgia hits, still run through the tall blades of grass carefree.