It looks much harder than it in fact is. No, really. It’s just a rope, me and a stick. The mountains around are only a scenario, the background that makes it looks even more beautiful and dangerous. I mean, I’ve been doing it for ages. My family has been doing it for generations. This is my life. This is what I do for a living. Like many people in this world I am constantly walking on a wire, except that in my case I do it literally. I’m a Wallenda, and with God on my side I should cross this canyon in no time. Easy as pie.
For most of those watching from the safety of the land this first step is much more than they ever dared to try. Sometimes I think people are too afraid to accomplish. Well, not everyone can hold the balance like this. Stepping on a tightrope is much more representative than one might think: while I’m here I need to stay focused, always aware of the potential death on either sides of me. It’s life, really. I have to aim on my objective and fix my sight on it. No looking back; never glancing downwards. Life is much more important than what happened in the past or what comes from the bottom. With an objective in mind I keep going and going.
Jesus. The temptation to succumb is gigantic. Any weakness that I show might cost my existence. Each step must be carefully taken and there’s no coming back. In order to progress I can only go forward. Run, if necessary, but never stop. It’s impossible to maintain a sane mind while being static. The balance on comes from within. Look at me — almost finishing the crossing of the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. If that doesn’t mean anything, I don’t know what does. Really. I’m doing this for you, Grandpa. I do this for all of us who perished walking the line. All of us.
This story was inspired by the recent crossing of the Grand Canyon by the daredevil Nick Wallenda. He, as the current star of a circus family specialized in walking on tightropes, did so on a wire, no safety harness or a net below him. The intention of this work is to show his supposed inner thoughts before and during the crossing, and with that trace a parallel with life as whole. Metaphorically speaking, what the character considers the right approach towards existence in symbolized by the way he needs to concentrate in order to properly perform his job. His speech in the text is intended to demonstrate where he physically is (“ this first step ”) as well as to state his beliefs (“ and with God on my side ”), all based on a real life episode. The apparently cheeky ending is an attempt to find purpose on the activity, implying that Wallenda does it to prove the world the capabilities of a human being.
Fonseca, Felicia. 2013. 'Skywire': Nik Wallenda Completes 1,500-Foot High-Wire Walk Across Grand Canyon Live On Discovery Channel. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/23/skywire-nik-wallenda_n_3488161.html. Accessed on 24 June 2013.
Gaynor, Tim. 2013. Daredevil Nik Wallenda completes high-wire walk across Grand Canyon. Reuters. Retrieved from http://reuters.com/article/2013/06/24/us-usa-highwire-grandcanyon-idUSBRE95K15Z20130624. Accessed on 24 June 2013.