One August, a man I loved tried to kill me.
Only he didn’t kill me.
Earlier that day, we had gone kite-flying.
I stood quietly by his side watching the blue of the kite blend with the blue of the sky, watching him control the kite, make it do what he wanted it to do.
Later that night, he took my body and showed me that his was stronger.
That he was in control.
His leg weighed tons, and I couldn’t wiggle out from underneath him. At first, I thought he was just fooling around but he wasn’t laughing and he didn’t get off of me even when I told him I couldn’t breathe.
Afterwards, he took my head and tried to make me believe that he wasn’t a monster.
But he was.
Even though he sent me long, love letters filled with apologies.
Even though he put a heart-shaped rock on the windshield of my car.
Even though he tried to make me remember sweet, summer peaches.
I could only picture them bruised and split down the middle.
I remembered how he pushed me under water and tried to drown me.
How it almost worked.
Except it didn’t.
Every August, for over twenty years, I find myself remembering this man.
And, strangely, I feel an odd sense of gratitude.
Because that night, in a stranger’s room, in a borrowed bed, I learned that I could be broken.
But I also learned that I could put myself back together again.
And somehow, it’s August again and I find myself in a park wrestling with a kite.
It is windier than usual and tough to fit the cross spars in their slots because the kite fights me impatiently.
I think it knows what I have planned.
Finally, I stand up. The tails snap, wanting.
I run backwards, feeling the pull.
I run, turning my back to the wind.
With the front of the kite facing me, I release it into a gust and pay out line and pull back to increase the lift.
In thirty seconds the kite is far out over the lake, pulling hard.
I run around the muddy field, making the kite dip and soar, dive and swirl.
From the ground, I control that rainbow diamond in the sky – make it answer my commands.
I remember how he hated things that refused to be controlled and so it is with great swelling pleasure that I release a new kite each year.
I like to imagine him chasing after the dropped driftwood reel, his hands outstretched, the Screaming Eagle kite a quarter of a mile up, blazing.
NOTE: This piece originally appeared on Deb Bryan’s blog. I needed to call this one home.
31 thoughts on “One August”
Wow. Blaze on.
Wow.. Beautiful. Blessings to you…
Can very much relate to this story. Ah, “control.” Fighting against nature, fighting against how nature/spirit works is always a loosing battle. Sooner or later nature (and human nature) rights itself even when you think you’ve controlled it.
Much better to collaborate with a 4-plus billion year ‘system’ than an egocentric 20, 30, 40, 50-year old person thinking he/she could take over… on any level. HAH! Yes, indeed Renee, we can all survive & put the pieces back together; often in a better stronger montage, huh? 🙂
I’ve been thinking about you since August began. You’ve put yourself back together beautifully, like only a free spirit can.
Thanks Hippie. August is always rough. xo
I’m glad you’re a survivor, and I love how you make a choice to remember that every year. Celebrate your victories! The kite is a great symbol of it all. It’s been years since I’ve flown one…and now you’ve got me wanting to do it. =)
Soar, my friend. Strong and proud.
Not feeling so strong today, Lisha. But I’m glad to remember I’ve struggled and made it through dark times before. I’ll be okay. Eventually. xo
Very moving. The kite is a perfect symbol.
I like it , every person should have a symbol to release , meaning destroy, when someone damages a small part of their life. Great that you and the original blog person have much more going on.
Complete full body goosebumps, Renee. So glad you had the courage to share it with us. Something so horrifying but beautifully written. I’ve considered you my mentor and great blogging friend and now I am in awe of your strength and courage and ability to make a beautiful life for yourself and your family.
So glad that August is almost gone and that you survived yet another year of these memories. What a great way to release this darkness – every August.
You are officially THE brickhousechick!! Stronger than brick, in fact. xoxoxoxo
Oh Maria, if you only knew what I’m battling now. I had to remember that I’ve struggled and win before. Thank you for reminding me…because here I go again.
I will never look at a kite the same way again. Powerful writing, Renee. Wonderful.
A celebration of you released into the air.
I think it is good you called it home. I think it is good you control the August wind and the kite as well, especially in the release. All of us, us survivors, us victorious warriors of demons need these symbols.
Thanks for understanding my need to call it home, Val. August is always hard: this year more than ever. Thank you my steadfast friend. xo
You over came a terrible situation. No one should be forced into something they don’t want. Soon August will be over and you can fly high once more. Free!
HUGS to you. What a beautiful post about something so very difficult. If you ever feel like chatting… That darkness can be awfully oppressive alone.
I remember this piece. Beautiful words brought out of pain. I’m so glad for your strength to pull yourself out of a bad place and soar.
Wow, Renee, powerful. Very. I don’t have anything to say that seems sufficient, but I hope that the memory of your strength and your ability to put yourself back together serves as a backbone for you now, and that whatever happens, you know that you are indeed able to survive. Many big hugs.
Hugs Renee. A very moving story. Be strong and remember you have lots of friends who are willing to listen.
You know just how much this squeezed on my heart. You are a woman of strength, integrity and power. I honor you for fighting your way back to yourself and regaining your light. *hugs*
I am glad you release the kite–every time you release it I hope that you release a part of this memory my strong, strong girl. (((hugs)))
Beautiful and touching, Renee. Your strength and resolve to rise above tough challenges is an inspiration. Hugs from your friend in the ‘cuse.
Oh, Renée …
All I can say is I am sorry for your pain, and I am in awe of it, too. xo
Your August is my June. Blaze, baby.
Blaze and be strong, Renee! Excellent piece of writing!
I had no idea, Renee. What a chilling piece. I hadn’t seen it on Deb’s. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
This is the first time I’ve visited your blog. I came to read Don’s letter. I’m so glad I did. Wow. How did I never know you were out there? Blogging? Amazing writing.
Very powerful (like you).