by Deborah Hirsch Here I am again, stepping back from the details and looking for the big picture. In front of me is the immediate image of you by a stream, without breath or pulse, and the knowledge that I will never see you again. When Maria told me of this, I couldn't see anything for all the crying. Now, reading what people have been writing about you, the picture forming is something so inspiring. I want you to know what I see, Micah.

I'm sorry, its not you as the mythic hero. Its not even you, the iconoclast. To begin with, its you sitting on a couch last summer in Boulder, gently talking with my son and I about your your hopes for CCUM, your feelings about what all of us involved in Norawas de Raramuri were doing, and speaking of each with a love and calm that I had never before witnessed in our conversations. Some kind of peace had grown inside of you. Some kind of love had taken strong root.

What is left now? Part myth, part legacy, its the legacy that interests me, and I think that is what would most interest you too. Your memory is not served by mythologizing. Heroes are larger than life, made more perfect in the public mind than they ever could have been. With those of us who live changed by how you've inspired us, you may have a true legacy.

You, Micah, are a hero, not because of how great you were, but because of how human you were, and yet you accomplished so very much. I have never known anyone who suffered more and few who suffered as much. However imperfect, you held yourself and others to a vision, an honest, non-materialistic vision. You did so in different ways: sometimes maddeningly, as a single-minded iconoclast, and sometimes so lovingly, with huge compassion and real wisdom.

So, here is what I see, stepping back from the crisis of your death: I see the miracle of thousands of people from around the globe all responding to your very simple message and the experiences you offered them. Especially, I see the miracle of these thousands of people feeling a bond with each other--not only with you--because of shared experience. We are a kind of spiritual family that has no doctrine and no borders. This is true synergy, it is a shared experience that, as a whole, has evolved into a state of beauty and energy much greater than the sum of its parts. You know you did not, could not, create this alone. You would smile, pleased with how people have created this with you.

All who were changed by the experience of CCUM are exchanging a sense of common loss and mutual warmth. Micah, you would be so glad! I remember how you put it in 2007, on the plaza of Urique on a night before the race: "Out there, they are making war, while we are here making peace." My wish is that we continue to do just that. Every one of us should carry your legacy forward by holding each other in respect and esteem, in warmth, as we find ways to amplify the spirit of korima in every way we can--especially for the benefit of our friends in Las Barrancas.

Thank you, Micah. It is my deepest intention to amplify your legacy, much more than to amplify your myth. It is with what you valued most, love--respect--beauty--that I intend to live the rest of my life. So many of us will do so because you touched us. You, who too rarely encountered these qualities in your own life, but who showed so many of us that we could place them before all else. This is what makes you a hero to me. And I am deeply grateful to all of those, and you know who you are, who gave Micah love and peace in the last years of his life.