Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16th, 2009: It’s been a couple of weeks since the last posting, a lapse of time that hasn’t happened since my visit to Southern California. Since getting my reprieve from Dr. Jahan, I have been settling into a cultivation of normal. This means going to work more hours each day, and the timing has worked well because I've started a reasonably large project. Also, I’ve been dealing with some pain management ups and downs for the first time in several months. As a result, I’ve decided to up my dosage of transdermal narcotics to take the edge off my discomfort.

A couple of weekends ago, my friend Dan Avshalomov was in town with his group, the American String Quartet. My friend David and I went to hear them at Hertz Hall on the Cal campus in Berkeley. The program opened with Haydn, progressed to Alban Berg and after the intermission moved to the Dvorak piano quintet with Menahem Pressler at the keyboard. What a wonderfully resonant piece; echoes of Schubert and lavish writing for all the instruments, particularly Dan’s viola. A wonderful afternoon followed by a visit backstage with the players after the concert.

During my visit with Dr. Jahan at the first of the month, an event occurred that may have repercussions. When he came into the clinic room for our visit, he was accompanied by a physician who introduced herself as visiting from Shanghai, China. “Oh,” I exclaimed, “I’ve always wanted to visit China, particularly your city. And also Beijing and Guilin and the Great Wall.” Without missing a beat, Dr. Jahan, piped up, “Don’t wait. Do it now. If that’s something that you really want to do, start planning and do it.” So I’ve been imagining my trip to China. At Passover this year, David and Judy Orzech talked about their China tour a few years ago and how much they enjoyed the three weeks that they were on the road (as well as on the water for the Yangtze River portion of the travel). That would be my ideal amount of time: three weeks. Details to follow as they unfold.