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HERE'S What Tom Says About THAT
“Houston, we have a problem.”
Famous words from the Apollo 13 capsule.
Imagine being launched into space aboard Apollo 14. Seriously, can you imagine that level of bravery? That’s Edgar Mitchell, who passed away Thursday, February 4, 2016 at age 85, the day before the 45th anniversary of his walk on Earth’s moon; one of 12 men to have done so. Having presented at a few Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) conferences with my friend and mentor Belvie Rooks, I was blessed to meet and speak with Edgar Mitchell. He founded IONS in 1973 after returning to earth.
I’ve heard that traveling in space changes you… astronauts may become self-abusive alcoholics… or deeply spiritual… or lord know what else… but seeing our tiny planet from outer space has an impact few of us earthbound humans will ever know. Edgar Mitchell recognized the deep and obvious connection between spirituality and science and founded IONS. He’s definitely onto something true and deep…
I’m grateful for having crossed paths with this deeply spiritual and thoughtful man, as well as with so many people who are part of IONS, and to Belvie, my friend who always reaches for the stars. We’re onto something, my sister.
I feel a special connection to Phillipe Petit, the man who walked back and forth across a wire strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center for almost an hour; some 1,350 feet above the ground in 1974. In 2008, the documentary film Man On Wire screened at the Newport International Film Festival in Rhode Island. I was there with many of my cousins with our film Traces of the Trade. When Petit was introduced after his film ended, he pretended to trip and fall walking on stage. His fake pratfall is one of my fondest memories from the festival. His extraordinary accomplishment left me in awe. His focus, not on cheating death, but fully living life… what an inspiration. Man on Wire went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary of 2008.
Now comes the dramatic retelling of the same story in The Walk, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit. It’s brilliant! My heart pounded, my mouth went dry, I had to stand up because I just couldn’t stay seated as he walked back and forth, stopped, turned, stood, kneeled, and lay on his back on that thin cable so high above the ground for fifty minutes while police on both towers and in a helicopter above tried to coax him off.
Look, I knew how the episode ended. I met a very-alive Phillipe Petit in Newport 34 years later, but I feared for his safety. Dude is crazy for sure… crazy for life. He inspires me to live my life as fully… doing what I love because I love it. Check out The Walk. You’ll be inspired.