A Perfect Storm


As I type these words, my regular prescription glasses are off, the widely displaced double vision of three hours ago is beginning to coalesce into a manageable semblance of clarity,the pile of disarray that surrounds me sits in a fresh clean loft space with clean white walls and a glossy polyurethaned floor. The only background sound is the lilting chatter of Common House Sparrows and an occasional Mourning Dove or (gasp) Red Tail Hawk as opposed to the loud blatty exhaust of would be hot rodders zipping down Northhampton Street or a screaming Police siren announcing yet another neighborhood emergency. But these conditions are only the calm in the eye of my personal biotic hurricane.

 There wasn’t a single entry on this blog for June. Not one. The reason is simple. Yours truly has been caught up in the fierce tempest of a Perfect Storm of life events. Let me explain.

 A while back I blogged about the criminally expensive costs of potentially life-saving medicines and the flaws of our Health Un Care system. That entry was spurred by a suspected cancer diagnosis in November. Around about the same time, Dotty and I received notice that there was a possibility we could combine our two separate residences into one new loft here at the Piano Factory. There would however be many hoops to jump through due to a partially subsidized rent structure at the Piano Factory for some tenants under a previous legal agreement. Too long a story to tell and painfully boring for most unless you have to live it. The short version is we started a round of intense paperwork pugilism and bureaucratic boxing that lasted for about six weeks before getting the approval.

 Meanwhile, after completing an intense round of musical performances in February, I had ½ a lung removed on March 1st. (c.f. the Cancer Bus) They did not tell me that the first two weeks would be very scary or that the next three months would be a tango with nerve pain from all the pulling and shoving they did with the remaining lung tissue. They didn’t tell me that my skin would be so tender on the left side that the touch of my shirt would hurt. But… Ces’t la Vie. March 9th I attended the opening of a group art show at the Yawkey Cancer Center at MGH. I had about 15 pieces in the display areas. My Radiation Oncology Physician (Dr. Paul Busse) couldn’t decide if I was invincible or just insane. I also had a joyful surprise as a group of friends from Boston Consulting Groups photography club and my friend John Limongelli and his family also attended.

 Jazz Week occurs in April each year and for this April I played three concerts (yes, the first, the Aardvark Annual Spring Concert was just about a month and a few days after leaving the hospital) and helped produce two Jazz Week events here at the Gallery at the Piano Factory of which I am a board member. I needed to file my taxes in order to fulfill some housing requirements and because Uncle Sam likes it that way. And I started packing boxes and making lists in preparation for the big move.

In May, Aardvark had a major concert celebrating the music of Mary Lou Williams so naturally we had a hectic rehearsal schedule and I needed to crack a tooth just to keep things exciting. Four rehearsals and a new crown later, we had a great performance at Boston College of this very challenging music.

 June was spelled M  O  V  I  N  G! A wonderful friend and superb craftsperson (Eric Meyer) built a custom art tower in the new unit to hold the 200 or so framed and unframed pieces of art Dotty and I hold as the Niko collection plus my own photography. Then it was time for me, Dotty, a dolly and a core team of friends plus our strong angels Eric and Rodney to get to work. For weeks we pulled and toted, tugged and dumped, boxed and barged stuff from the old spaces to the new one. Just two days ago we closed the doors on my old apt and Dotty’s is yet to be finished.

 Today, to start the new month of July off right I had a cataract removed from my right eye. The surgeon, Ann Bajart is a kind, conscious, compassionate and highly skilled miracle worker. (As I completed this post, the phone rang. It was Ann inquiring as to how I my eye was doing. It was after 9pm at the end of her very full day. Need I say more.) 

What a revelation this is. How brown and dirty the lens in my left eye is compared to the crystal clear lens in my right eye. I initially thought that I only needed to fix the eye that was so badly starred that I couldn’t focus well on anything backlit. Alternately closing one eye and then the other now suggests that I may need to revise my thinking. We shall see. In the meanwhile…

 I hope to be able to get back to more regular posts and some outlooks that don’t read like an episode from Gray’s Anatomy. More soon.


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July 2010

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All Photographic Images ©Arni Cheatham, Segami Images and Eyes and Ears, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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