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Further Down Blog

This blog will be unlike any of the previous ones in that I will have to dictate it, and have it typed up, and have it posted from the corrected text.  I am no longer able to sit for long periods at my computer typing blogs and other texts, and I have never been able to use a laptop computer in bed effectively.  So this one will be dictated, and posted from the corrected typed text.

The title of this blog indicates its content: I am again quite a bit worse off than I was before.  Without going into details--I don’t want to be one of those people who entertain others with endless accounts of their health problems--I spent three nights and four days in Alta Bates Hospital here in Berkeley, and was taken to other hospitals in the East Bay to be run through, or placed under, huge machines like those in science fiction movies--when I came out, after excruciating periods within or under one of them, I almost expected the doctor to shout, “It’s alive!”  All this was to diagnose what’s wrong with me, and without relating that in detail, I have a mild form of prostate cancer that has invaded my bones.  And, while I will go on living for a while, it will keep me pretty much bedridden from here on.  I can get up and go to my computer for limited times, but I can’t sit in front of it for long periods and type the way I used to.

I am still continuing with producing and eventually posting the video lectures in the new series, the GIPs, or “Gazing into the Past” series.  Six of them were posted already under the icon at left, the one showing the man gazing down into the fog, and lots more will be posted in the near future.  They won’t necessarily be in proper numerical order--some of the later ones will be finished and posted before the earlier ones.  There are still seven or eight of the ones I did in Vancouver with Rand Chatterjee that I don’t have, and I’m waiting for him to send down in postable form.  This has been a long and complicated matter, which still isn’t over.  Meanwhile, I’m working with another filmmaker, Skip Sweeney whose company in San Francisco is called “Video Free America”.  I will continue to produce these-- another dozen or so are in progress and some close to completion--as long as my voice and mobility allow it.

For friends and former students and others who want more information about my situation, send an email and I will try to answer it--again by dictating answers and having them typed up by someone.   The bright side is that I am not in any real pain, except a certain exasperation over declining mobility and the necessity of staying in bed much of the time.

And I enjoy the services of a number of people: notably my daughter Sarah, but also my helper Katie Coffey, and full time helpers from an agency.  So I must continue to count my blessings.  I should add that my twin sons Julian and Benedict were down here for a brief time before flying back to Vancouver and on to China to join their mother there.  They will be coming back for a longer period later in the summer, and perhaps be here for my birthday.  They have now graduated from St. George’s School in Vancouver, the very good (and very expensive) school to which they have been going from fourth grade on.  Julian will be enrolling at NYU in New York to study to be a film technician--not a director, but someone who works with the sound and lighting aspects of film.  Benedict will be in a pre-med program here at UC Berkeley, living in a dormitory, but visiting me more often. He means to be some kind of doctor.

So in the long run, as I say, I continue to count my blessings: progeny and grandchildren who are all healthy, smart and interesting people; lots of help; and other blessings too many to enumerate.

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