Thursday, 19 February 2009

Wombats and Wires

Yesterday after work, PJ and I went up to the neighbourhood centre for the Wombat Awards ceremony – an award given in recognition and appreciation of a person's contributions to our local community.

This is Ken, the winner of the 2009 award. He is a shy man and as he spoke to the small casual crowd, his cheeks went pink with embarrasment at being the centre of attention.

I have recently been invited to sit on the board of the neighbourhood centre so for me last night was also an opportunity to meet the other board members in an informal setting.

After conversations with these and other interesting people, egg sandwiches and glasses of bubbly, PJ and I came home and watched Man on Wire, about the highwire walker, Philippe Petit.

Oh what beauty! What audacity and poetry! One individual holding onto the hearts and dreams of every individual, balanced, poised up in the sky like a breath personified.

Yet after he walked between the twin towers Petit alienated his girlfriend and the friends who had helped propel him to his height of fame. The grand performer composing poems with his body on a blank sky; his best work now behind him, his contribution to an economy of extravagance. He walks his wire at the end of the film, a man alone in his garden – a community of one.

1 comment:

ms. delisha said...

We saw this documentary a few weeks back, and I was struck by the same thing. He was a depressing image, in some ways, to me. It seemed he had become drunk on his own legend and broken many hearts.

It made me think:

Grace and fame do not often hold hands.