Monday, August 10, 2009

Aug 10th - Can A World Trade Center Memory Make Us Smile?

I hope all is well with you.

I saw a documentary last week.
I have seen many fine documentaries about the Twin Towers since 9/11, all of them focusing on that event, and there are some inspiring stories.
Since it was such a horrific thing, is it possible that a WTC documentary can make us smile, and are we allowed to?

This one is called 'Man On Wire', and it tells of the 1974 tightrope walk between the towers. It won the Oscar for best documentary this year, and I found it enthralling, especially since you know I like all that performing stuff.

Phillipe Petit found out about the towers in 1968, and when he saw a drawing of them, he decided he would wirewalk between them. He had taught himself everything about that art within a year, and found himself seeking new challenges. He walked high above Notre Dame in France and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

He made several trips to the Twin Towers, and made a mock up back in France to work out how to do it.
One problem was how to get the wire, weighing over 400 pounds, between two towers 40 metres apart, and quarter of a mile in the air!
The solution was to fire a bow attached to fishing line between the towers, then pass thicker pieces of string, then rope, then the wire.

So, early in the morning on Aug 7th 1974, having said it was impossible to get away with several times, Petit and his team found themselves on top of the towers with the wire ready.
He stepped out.

It didnt take long to get noticed, helped by having team members point him out to passers by, and there was a huge crowd watch as he walked back and forward, kneeling and lying on the wire.

He was arrested of course, but the huge worldwide publicity saw all charges being dropped, and in fact he had helped to popularise the towers which at that point had still not found a place of affection with the public.

So, as we approach 8 years since 9/11, the 35th anniversary of Petit's walk tells me that yes, we can still smile when remembering the Twin Towers.
Apart from the sheer enginerring feat of getting them built at all, Petit's adventure illustrates the wonder of human achievement and possibility.
He said afterwards that he was amazed to be constantly asked why he did it, his answer being that there was no why, it was an artistic endeavour.

Let's not forget, it was illegal and life threatening, not just to himself but to others too. The question could indeeed be asked if he had gone too far in his personal quest, but if nothing else, in a newsletter aimed at goal achievement and self improvement, it's a story that deserves a place! Go and google the pictures.

Ok, that's it for this time, I'm off to hang some washing on my own high wire, yes that's right, the washing line. I guess I could attempt to walk along it, but suspect a tale of turned ankles would follow, so I'll settle for the adrenaline rish of hanging my socks instead.

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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