inspiration: philippe petit's 1974 high-wire act

IAM REMINDED AT THIS ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 of something else: of Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire act that temporarily connected the two now-fallen towers of the World Trade Center in defiance of fear, and maybe even sanity. Petit (and especially his book “To Reach the Clouds”) is one of my inspirations whenever I am feeling stuck.

He is also someone I quoted in my book “And I Shall Have Some Peace There;” someone I re-read and re-read to keep things moving forward, because he says things like this:

Whenever other worlds invite us, whenever we are balancing on the boundaries of our limited human condition, that’s where life starts, that’s where you start feeling yourself living.” And this: “It’s impossible….but I’ll do it.”

12 comments
September 11, 2011

comments

  1. says

    Yes! Wonderful quotes. I saw him when he did a high wire crossing in Jerusalem, Israel,
    where I lived at the time. I don’t remember the year. It was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. The balance, and the fear all together. I, too, was greatly inspired by him. A good image to have, before bed. After this day, after that day. Beautiful posts. I love your site. Thank you.

  2. Renie says

    Oh Margaret, what a wonderful video for this anniversary. it reminds us that the human spirit and art survive despite all the hatred.

  3. Bonnie Wilson says

    Thank you for the video, Margaret. It’s a reminder that we can overcome fear and rise to great heights, literally and figuratively. I loved your book, by the way, with it’s wisdom about gardening and life in general and thank you for the weekly inspiration of your newletter. You’re my gardening guru!

  4. Sharon says

    What an inspiration to see this incredible feat and to read his wonderful quote. Just what I needed…just at this time. Thank you for your always inspiring newsletters!

  5. says

    Damn, I love this guy. Man on Wire has become one of my favorite films since I first saw it a few years ago. I watched it ‘again’ recently to remind me of myself and to live my life on the tightrope. Next to Philippe, the towers are the most significant character in the film.

  6. says

    Thank you Margaret! I had never seen this inspiring video. Now I’ll be sure to get the book. Don’t we all need such inspiration and encouragement in our everyday lives, sometimes just to cross the street. Glad to see Jack, just had a scare with my yellow boy and a bad ut episode, all is well now thank God. So grateful to have found your book and this blog. God bless, Daisy Marshall.

  7. says

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this, albeit late. I am an occasional visitor, and I love this story of Philippe. I first heard of it through a children’s book I found at the library with my little son–it’s called “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” by M. Gerstein, I think? It is a beautiful book. I did not know that Mr. Petit had his own story. I must check it out! What an amazing commitment to a dream. Thank you for sharing!

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