The Lengths We Go to Get the Right Shot
This is probably MTM’s favorite picture of me. And, every time I see it, I can’t believe I’m smiling.
It was Thanksgiving, the actual Day of Turkey, in Ribe, the oldest surviving city in Denmark. I thrashed through the night in the Danish bed with the crack down the middle and staggered into weak sunshine. A migraine teased its aura across my left eye at the exact moment the Viking gods decided it should rain.
“Well. I’m upright. I might as well go on.” I pinched my left eyelid together and let MTM lead me wherever he wanted. He took my hand and marched straight to church.
Perhaps he intended to pray for a miracle for his haggard, migraine-infested wife. I didn’t really care what his mission was. I leaned against a stone wall and waited for The Architect to take whatever pictures would make him happy.
“The Commoner’s Tower is one of the tallest in Denmark.” MTM roused me from my stupor with the announcement that he wanted to climb it. “The view from up there should be something.”
The inside of my head was a tragedy. I think I slurred with pain. “Yeah. Something.”
We started up the spiral of stone. Just when I thought it was a stair to nowhere, it opened out onto an array of bells. I hope these things don’t decide to ring while were up here.
But, MTM was already crawling—CRAWLING—along a wooden ledge toward a wooden ladder and rope that looked like they had been there since 1546. I sighed and inched along behind him. If I fall, at least my head will quit hurting.
We pushed open a trap door and stepped into daylight. The rain had blown into the North Sea, and everything was clean and green.
I remember that day because of the pain.
Still, the pain didn’t kill that moment.