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  • Writer's pictureCharles Austin Muir

I'm going to Rome!

Two years ago one summer weekend, still shocked from my wife's diagnosis of stage 4 colorectal cancer, I stayed at a campground with my childhood friend James and we ended up making a little movie on my iPhone for a gag. We figured we'd throw it on YouTube and send the link to a few friends, maybe some family, our spouse/girlfriend, whatever... it gave us both a diversion from the weight of cancer and passed the time in a fun, creative way with a dose of nostalgia.

Since then, "The Unbearable Lightness of Crashing" has played at the the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, the PDX Motorcycle Conference at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon, and it has been accepted by the Mototematica Film Festival in Rome, Italy.

We never expected it to go this far.

Thanks to a pandemic, not to mention Kara's cancer and my financial situation, we never expected we would have a shot at watching our movie play on the big screen in mothereffin' Rome.

The city of gladiators, catacombs, and Catholics (pretty crazy for two bad Catholics, former altar boys, no less). The city that provided the setting for one of my favorite movies--no, not Way of the Dragon with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, although that fight and Chuck's back hair is pretty epic--but Roman Holiday!

But Kara's oncologist cleared me for travel. And my friend is helping me financially. And Kara has arranged for professional daily wound care in my six-day absence. And my work let me take off that week. Barring any terrible mishaps, we're going to board a COVID-free flight, touch down in Rome and settle into a darkened room with people from around the world to watch our 35-second movie for the second time on a big screen. We're fully vaccinated and we're going for it.

We're not professional filmmakers. I'm not even sure I'd call us amateur filmmakers. James is a physics professor and I'm a writer/personal trainer. But look what might happen if you work on something creative and throw it out there.

You've got to have something you want to bring into the world with your imagination. Effin' do it.

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