CAPE COD, MA – Welcome, all you first-time visitors to Meet The Matts, drawn here because you were searching for all things having to do with either words or kites or 500… you’ve come to the right place today, cause I’m just going to talk about kite flying.
If you’ve come for Hot Olympic Athletes… I’ll get to you in a minute.
I’m here deep in Red Sox country on a family vacation, renting a Cape Cod house that, after what must be a century’s worth of add-ons, looks like blind moles designed its many turns and interconnecting rooms. But it’s got a grill outside, a bluff overlooking the beach and it’s own path down down to the rocky sand and all the dead horseshoe crabs the kids can find. Since I’ve been here it’s been unbearably hot, muggy, rainy, and windy…this is something I’m not used to as an Angelino – actual weather. Mostly it’s been windy, buffeting this house day and night and frankly a warm, stiff sea breeze feels good. Dudes out wind-surfing and para-sailing were flying across the bay. Boogie boards too big for little hands were being ripped away from children and helicoptered into nearby camps, inevitably whacking a baby or two. It’s perfect weather for kite flying.
This simple pleasure dates back to China over 2800 years ago and we’ve come full circle – as most kites on the store shelves are made there. The one my ever-prepared brother-in-law had was shaped like a fighter plane, sleek and streamlined with a twirling red tail that gave the illusion of afterburners, of motion, or more often the flaming tail section where it was hit by enemy fire and sent nosediving into the Earth. For the kids, this gave them the chance to yell “Mayday! Mayday!” in a somewhat proper context. When it stayed up, though, it seemed to be just slipping through the air and gliding effortlessly. At one point a seagull came by to check it out, floating in perfect sync alongside of it, looking over quizzically, and hanging out for a spell before banking away. The gulls here seem like Olympic athletes dealing with this, as opposed to the overfed winged rats we have in Santa Monica.
Flying a kite taps into some primordial symbiosis between man, machine and nature. Are there traces of piloting a yacht in the America’s Cup? Of a championship fly fisherman surgically coaxing a bass from a stream? As far as I know anything about those two things, sure… Why not? This feeling of zen peacefulness lasts about five minutes, then you look around for some kid to hand it off to.
Grote2DMax won’t disappoint tomorrow.
Oh, wait… Here’s where you can vote on the Hot Olympic Athletes. If you don’t agree with the order you can make your own version: