It’s been one of those stretches when all of my medical appointments jammed together. Since last Thursday, I’ve had one tele-med plus two in-person appointments at Boston Medical. Thank goodness for remote visits, or I would have had to drive into Boston to the same place on three different days instead of “just” two.
Even so, I am grateful for the excellent medical care I receive. I was reminded of this all the more while recently watching a new documentary, Angel Applicant, by filmmaker Ken August Meyer.
Meyer lives with diffuse scleroderma, the most aggressive form, and he tells of how he found comfort and insight into his experience from the art of Paul Klee, who died of complications from the disease in 1940, seven years after being exiled from Nazi Germany to Bern, Switzerland. Klee is a favorite of mine, too, for his luminous paintings, as well as for my sense of kinship with him as an artist who created some of his best works during the three years that he wrestled with systemic sclerosis.
Meyer’s film is the most meaningful, poignant, and true story of what it means to live with scleroderma that I have yet encountered. Though it is not in wide distribution, it won multiple awards this year and is currently available to stream on DOC NYC for $15, through November 26. I recommend it highly. You can find the link information here.
I must add that it was not easy for me to watch. Meyer’s experiences, though more debilitating than my own, resonated deeply. Everyone’s encounter with scleroderma is unique, and his has been brutal. Even as I have been living with my own version of this inscrutible disease for more than four decades, now, I gained a different sense of what I’ve been up against all these years that really shook me. At the same time, I profoundly appreciated how he has come to terms with all that scleroderma has thrown at him through his exploration of Klee’s exquisite art. We each have to find our own path in dealing with chronic illness. Meyer’s journey is inspiring.
Above all, the love of Meyer’s family and friends has been essential to his ability to persist through life-threatening challenges. I feel equally blessed.
To you and yours, Dear Reader, my best wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving. Be well.
Image: Communing with Paul Klee at the Museum Berggruen in Berlin, 2018. Photo by Al.