Yesterday, I wrote a poem, Kite. It was one of those poems that initially are for nobody and for everybody at the same time. I wrote it because I had to write something and unlike most of my poems I did some editing to it before posting, in the end, changing the message to something that I would come to need, that I have come to need today. I don’t have a clear memory of actually flying kites as a child. Kites are even rarer now in Ghana where children do not seem to have childhoods. What I do remember though is making kites, with paper and broomsticks and a string. I do not recall them ever being airborne. But the paper planes I made sure did fly, my boats sailed and every other thing I made sort of worked.
But yesterday, I made a kite that has turned me upside down and shaken me up, dropping the brick-a-brack that I had collected over some time, making me too heavy to fly. I believe in roots and in people. I subscribe to valuable friendships, but yesterday, even today, I told myself to pull out my anchor and set sail. And it refreshingly feels like what I need to do. It was what I used to do until my wing broke in November of 2015.
I have had to do a little reassessment and I have come to the realization that I have stayed grounded because I have been so afraid to fly with a broken wing to the extent that, I haven’t even thought to check to see if I have healed. Yeah, yeah, there have been times when I have given myself pep-talks and done the whole stirring out of the slumber act, but I really had not stirred until yesterday, after I wrote Kite. It is hard to explain how cutting my ropes, imaginary as they seem, has been one of the most liberating decisions I have made. Another decision, which has empowered me more than I could have ever imagined was wiping that invisible line that lies between years, months and days. Because of this perception of time as a seamless continuum, I have been able to restart at any moment. Trust me, being able to restart, or reboot is my lifeline. I used to shut down because I did not know how to reboot. And when I shut down, I shut out. I could go through an entire week shut down and nobody around me would know, not even me. I could be in my classes, talk with my roommates and friends and even cook on shut down mode. I won’t try explaining what my shut down mode is because I don’t have words for it and you may never understand. But this one you can understand, that when I eliminated the invisible line, I broke the shut down button.
Ok, so back to the Kite. I told me flying is not for the cowardly and that dreams could be free of ropes so I gave them wind again and let them go wherever they would go. Now, we’re up and out and don’t get me wrong when I say we do not navigate with the North Star. Because for us, really, home is not the destination. We take it along with us so wherever we arrive, which certainly won’t look like home, at least the one we know, we would be home. And this was just the assurance that I needed, that I would be home only when I leave home. That I can sail free without an anchor, much against popular belief and that my kite can fly without strings. Anchor, string, rope and home means so much here, but I’ll leave them at that.
Yes, this is still not as clear, not clearer than the poem, but this really is for me and I understand it, and so that’s all I need.