the big stuff

Mike atop a pyramid at Teotihuacan. Bearded and determined.

Mike atop the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan. Bearded and determined.

The picture is about eight and a half years old. It was one of two or three photos taken of me during a three month long trek around Mexico. I remember this day fairly well. One of central Mexico’s notorious thunderstorms began when I made it to the top of this pyramid at Teotihuacan, and I found a couple of fellow travelers willing to snap a picture of me before heading back down and out of the rain.

I found the negative for this shot the other day during a phase of rummaging through old pictures and snapping digital photos of the ones I don’t ever want to lose. There was no print, so I had one made.

The reason it’s here on The C Word is because it is rare, identifiable evidence of something that I need to remember these days. It is up on the wall in front of my desk now, reminding me that I have an iron clad will, and I can get done what I set out to do. Whether its surviving a solo backpacking trip through Mexico, launching a new theater collective during the worst economic downturn since the Depression, or facing up to the medical realities of testicular cancer. (Another stubborn success would be not starving after leaving a perfectly well paying and secure job to drive a taxi cab for three years so that I could live a life more conducive to writing — something my dad was dumfounded by).

This is the big stuff in life. Remembering how I’ve done it in the past — or simply that I have done it at all (sometimes in the face of poor odds and lots of advice to the contrary).

Of course it’s nice to see myself with that much hair too — I’ve already told Dawn that I’m growing a beard when I come through all of this chemo. Maybe not such a full beard, though.


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