Like many U2 songs, when I first heard Kite on All That You Can't Leave Behind in 2000 I think I liked it but it didn't stand out as a great song.
It wasn't until watching the U2: Elevation Tour - Live In Boston concert DVD in late 2001 - which is somehow available for free on YouTube, but good luck finding it to buy anywhere - that the song really came alive for me. Which is true of many of U2 songs. Slight tweaks, a little more room to breath, a guitar or loop part added, a different outro - something makes the song hit me in the gut or heart in a way that the album version didn't originally. But then I can't help but hear more energy in the album version going forward.
Anyway. Back to Kite.
Something is about to give
I can feel it coming
I think I know what it is
I'm not afraid to die
I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did
For years I heard the lyrics as the child. Imagining my own parents looking at me getting a job, getting married, buying a house - moving on from the home that I grew up in all the physical and emotional ways that happens as kids grow up.
In summer I can taste the salt in the sea
There's a kite blowing out of control on a breeze
I wonder what's gonna happen to you
You wonder what has happened to me
I'm a man, I'm not a child
A man who sees
The shadow behind your eyes
Now, as happens with the circle of life, I'm the parent who's kids are getting older. They haven't left our home (yet), but the days are getting shorter where we can hold our family of 5 together in a tight unit. Where we all experience similar events, share meals, and do life together in a very intimate, fun, and frustrating way. It's measured "in a few years" now, no longer a "10 years or more" unit of time.
Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to know what it is will break you
I don't know where the wind will blow
Who's to know when the time has come around
I don't wanna see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye
This is our last summer before our oldest gets their license. And suddenly the world our kids can get to without us grows exponentially. It's going to change, no matter how much I want to hold on tightly to the way it is now. I don't want to waste it.