Sunday, February 1, 2009

Man on Wire. And Men on either side of a Net.

I have had a very relaxing weekend. Claire let me stay at her place while she is in Atlanta and I have used the peace and quiet to do a lot of reading and reflection. I'm now well into my re-reading of East of Eden and even more in awe of the sublime ways John Steinbeck captures the truth of the human condition and all its various emotions. It truly is a myth for a more modern age (well, at least subjectively when compared to Genesis).

But my weekend hasn't all been Adam and Charles Trask. I was up very late last night watching the live broadcast of the Australian Open Men's Final. Rafa Nadal outlasted Roger Federer in five grueling sets, finishing just before 8am in the morning Eastern Time. I had watched all five sets of their previous meeting at the final of Wimbledon in July and once again I was mesmerized by the artistry they display on the court. They were truly born to be tennis players. It is an expression of who they are, and beauty comes of it.

I was reminded of this just a few minutes ago when watching a rerun of Tuesday's Colbert Report. He was interviewing Phillipe Petit, the famous tightrope walker who crossed from one Twin Tower to the other in 1974, and jokingly asked him why he did it. Petit looked at him and simply said, "I didn't have a choice." In other words, he felt an inner call so profound that he could not deny it. And sure enough, just like Rafa and Roger, beauty came of it.

That is what happens when we listen to the language of our souls. It tells us what beauty we have inside of us that needs to be shared with the world and then in following that call so often the universe opens up avenues for us to express that to the larger world.

I have been thinking about my walk for many years now. I guess in a way, when people ask me why I am doing it, I could answer the same as Phillipe. Because I have to.


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