Tuesday, March 22, 2016

MYSTERIOUS OBJECTS




DYING FREESIAS AND ANTIQUE MIRROR
FROM NANA'S HOUSE IN RYE BEACH, NH
AT DUSK
PASADENA, CA

"I believe in outside forces and influences, I believe in the personality of the elements. I believe in the aliveness of things seemingly inanimate.

You already know of my belief that certain objects have a soul: my top hat, my three juggling balls and my steel wire-rope. I also recognize the aliveness of certain other man-made structures (a cathedral, a skyscraper) as well as nature's creations (trees, mountains, waterfalls).

I am convinced that what surrounds us sometimes emits secret messages that beg to be deciphered, for our own good--to guide us, to help us, to protect us. This is why I wrote a chapter titled "Meeting the Gods" in the book on my WTC [World Trade Center] walk. In it, I recall how I summoned the air, the void, the towers, the wire, the balancing-pole, even my slippers, to lend their assertive presence to my journey. To add their godlike powers to the walk.

In my opinion, not all objects have life. But I am convinced that the ones that do, receive that life from us. The baton of a (possessed) orchestra conductor, the chisel of a (transcendental sculptor, the balancing-pole of an (illuminated) wire-walker...

Part of my faith is to acknowledge that the faith lent to me by these elements or objects is going to serve my pursuit rather than turn against it!

To protect that faith, I never insult these “sacred beings” by openly denying their aliveness. When a moment of doubt concerning their existence arises, I keep it a secret…

I believe in the unbelievable.

The natural flow of this discourse leads to this not-so-distant belief.

Consider (if only for an instant) believing in myth, miracles, and magic.

I have praised the virtues of simplicity, of elegance. I should add that I find a certain intellectual elegance in simply believing. In believing in simple things, and believing in them with a simplicity, with purity.

One of the creative forces that never fails to empower my endeavors is to allow myths, fairy tales, miracles, mythology, magic, mysteries, the wonders of legends, even old traditions or proverbs to enter my life and feed my creativity.

(Parentheses here to salute “impossible things”: things, objects—and, why not, animals or people—that carry within them a mystery that seems impossible to decode. I make sure my life is kept on a razor’s edge of excitement and intrigue by surrounding myself with such mysterious objects).”

--Philippe Petit, Creativity: The Perfect Crime


DRIED ROSES FROM CHRISTMAS AND
CAN OF TUNISIAN HARISSA

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