In Search of Fear

‘The Forest in Winter at Sunset’ by Théodore Rousseau, c. 1846–67, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of P.A.B. Widener, 1911

By Philippe Petit

void like that is terrifying. Prisoner of a morsel of space, you will struggle desperately against occult elements: the absence of matter, the smell of balance, vertigo from all sides, and the dark desire to return to the ground, even to fall. This dizziness is the drama of high-wire walking, but that is not what I am afraid of.