Being the Diablo
Crippled with bipolar disorder, Mickey Mahaffey, a Baptist preacher, abandons his family and faith to search for mental and physical healing and for the strength and honesty needed to repair the wounds left behind in the wake of his childhood. During 12 years of long distance walking, sleeping outside in the wilderness and on the streets among the homeless, Mahaffey thinks he’s found a way to cope with what ails him--living a simple life in direct contact with nature.
An epic walk from North Carolina brings him to Mexico and thus begins an intimate, decade-long relationship with the indigenous Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons. This rarely documented Native American tribe has lived in the remote canyons for centuries, isolated and largely uninfluenced by the world around them. Mahaffey's genuine interest in their culture resonated with the Tarahumara and he was, in turn, welcomed into their community and invited to participate in their rituals -- a cultural bridge rarely crossed by outsiders.
Mickey’s daughter Stephanie has spent most of her life defending and justifying her father's choices. His quest for a deeper, yet simpler, spiritual life was constantly at odds with what Stephanie's family and friends expected from a father. But Mickey’s search for himself could not be derailed by what people thought of him. His path went from being a preacher to living homeless, to being committed to a mental institution, to finally dancing with Tarahumara Indians at the bottom of a remote canyon in Mexico's Sierra Madre.