Last night I was watching a documentary on a high-wire artist, Philippe Petit. It was about how he found a love of finding balance in the oddest of places. Over cities. Across cathedrals. Over mountains and valleys. In the backyard of his own home.
Maybe we’re being pulled today to theother ends of the spectrum. To the extremes. Turn on your TV, or the radio in the car, or itch around the Internet… It’s a smorgasbord of angry extremists on the far-right and left, barking how they’ve got it all figured out and how anybody not listening to their channels are allthere’s a connection to why this is a lost art. You don’t see a lot of tightrope artists, balanced only by a long pole weighted at both ends — grabbing the headlines.
We’ve lost an interest in that in our lives. Generations before us, all had tightrope artists. They didn’t exactly give Mickey Mantle a run for his money, but people knew who they were. Charles Blondin. Farrell Hettig. Bird Millman of the Ringling Brothers. Maybe, on some level, they were part-preachers, reminding us how good it feels to find balance. Reminding us how hard it seems at first to find it, but how doable it is if you clear away all the clutter and distraction — and keep moving forward. How balance and getting where you’re going are very connected.
We’re being pulled today to the other ends of the spectrum. To the extremes. Turn on your TV, or the radio in the car, or itch around the Internet… It’s a smorgasbord of angry extremists on the far-right and left, barking how they’ve got it all figured out and how anybody not listening to their channels are all morons and dead wrong. Ten minutes ago, I just heard one presidential candidate on TV assuring the newscaster he’smuch more to the right than the rest of them. That’s what he’s selling. And you’ve got just as many TV and radio hosts beating the left meter, mocking anybody right of Mary Wollstonecraft.
Balance used to be a powerful word. A word of strength. Of dignity. Of passion. Of intelligence. Of commitment.
Now balance is an over-priced candy bar.
– Jimmy Dunne