I must have read The Red Notebook half a dozen times in my 20s. I haven't opened it for years, though I did just now to reread the Petit preface, from which comes this:
Each time we see a man walk on the wire, a part of us is up there with him. Unlike performances in the other arts, the experience of the high wire is direct, unmediated, simple, and it requires no explanation whatsoever. The art is the thing itself, a life in its most naked delineation. And if there is beauty in this, it is because of the beauty we feel inside ourselves.