Saturday, December 31, 2016


It's almost New Years, little sweetheart. I'm writing this sitting by the beautiful Christmas tree near the mantel in your parents's front room where our Christmas stockings, yours and mine, hang next one another.

At home over my desk along with lots of pictures of you and several of your little handwritten cards to me framed so I may always have them near, are two little notes to myself. One says "it's good to get things done - remember that." And today has been one of those kind of days.

I woke up to California birdsong and dreams of you to guide me on this last day of the year. I made the bed and went down to make coffee and get things started - I wanted to make some nice things for your mom and dad. Last year on New Year's Eve I made beef stroganoff and they really liked it, so I got everything to make it again. New Year's Eve day is actually the sixth day of Christmas also - I forget what that is in the song, maybe swans a swimming? - so, I'd made cookie dough the night before for a whole new batch of Christmas cookies. I got the coffee going and then started baking.

First, a graham cracker crust for that cherry cream cheese pie your dad likes and then I started on the cookies. The kitchen smelled really good with the molasses ginger baking away and the fresh coffee. Your mom came down and had a cup and we looked after the kittens and cocker spaniel who were curious about all the activity. Once had all the cookies done and cooling on the counter and the cold pie chilling in the fridge and all the dishes done, I changed into my gear and went for a run.

It was kind of a perfect day for running- cool but not cold, a bit overcast and foggy. I was out for about an hour and then had a shower, got the laundry in and started in on the stroganoff. Ilsa, one of the kittens, was terribly interested in that. Especially when I was cutting up the sirloin. It takes quite a while getting everything going in separate pots and pans until it all comes together in one big pot at the end with the noodles. I made a salad and frosted the cookies during a couple points of waiting during the prep and had that BBC Radio 6 show with our friends Low on the whole time - it's sort of been the soundtrack this season.

By the time everything was done it was actually just about dinner time. Your mom had an idea to watch an old mini series that she had on DVD - "Rich Man, Poor Man". We put that on after dinner and before dessert and somewhere around episode 3, we started to hear fireworks outside. It was cold and crisp when we went out interesting the garden to look. It reminded me of Guy Fawkes Day in London because it wasn't like just one big "official" display but half a dozen separate ones in different parts of the sky from all over. When we turned to go back inside, we could see the kittens up on their perch by the window looking out at us with great wonder.

And that's when I stepped in here to write all this down to you, little sweetheart and to tell you how much I love and miss you and so want to be with you in The Forever. I hope you'll come for me soon, maybe taking me in my sleep, so that I wake in your arms and find everything is finally again the way it should be. I know I must wait patiently until that day. I know I must do my best and listen quietly for your instruction. I know, as that one little note to myself says and as I did today, that "it's good that get things done". And I know, as the other little note says, that I "feel better when I'm a good boy" and to remember that, too.

May I do both in this new year to come. May I do the things that you want me to, work harder at becoming the man you were helping me to become, to grow my heart and learn, to honor and to conjure you. And to listen quietly for everything you have to tell me, so that I'm ready to go when you call. Please come for me soon, my love. It's all I want in the whole world- just to be with you. Forever. With all my love...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Take My Hand Again, Please. (and soon)

Little sweetheart, the year is drawing to a close and - although I don't know how it could ever be really better or that I even have an expectation for it to be otherwise - I'm feeling particularly lost. I'm such a creature of obsession. 

It can be handy, even wonderful, when it's directed at something good like you (and all the better for having you return all that crazy love in kind, if not doublefold - it's why we were made for each other, the way we match mutually emotional-depths.) But it's also why I don't drink and have to very assiduously uncouple myself from the sea-wreck rocks of other habitually unhealthy behaviors. I'm lonely but I don't know what to do about it. No one is you. There's not much for me, even when I try.

I need to find a way to be, my little sweetheart. I don't want this life without you. But I know I'm not meant to harm myself or bring my it to an end by my own hand. I have to wait until you and God call me if I want to return to your side. Danya said if I did take my own life that I would never find you. Even she wasn't able to say just exactly what she meant by that but still it has suck very resonantly with me. I must wait. But I don't know what to do with myself, my love. I really don't.

Today, as I have been for a little more than a week, I am with your parents. I'm staying in the room next to yours. Often when I'm here, your Mom puts me up in your room but just now she's giving it a little make over. One of the key pieces is a big photographic print I gave her for Christmas of Clauia Courbet that looks exactly like you. She's dressed as a harlequin and it's a still from an old black and white movie called "Tonight Is Ours" (1933). I saw the photo in a colorized version online and investigated until I found it. Another case of obsessive behaviour but put good use this time. These are actually good moments. I feel close to you.

The other night, your mom and I were watching a show on HBO and a song came on that you first played for me - Bruce Springteen's "Secret Garden". It made my cry just as it made me cry at the time I first heard it in the car with you and you smiled and reached over and took my hand.

Little sweetheart, won't you take my hand again, even now? The year is coming to a close and I can't imagine another new one without you. I know the rules - I have to wait. But please, my love, don't make me wait much longer. Love you forever and with all my heart and soul.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

At Christmas

Little sweetheart, it's Christmas Day and it is much like you once described it here - your Dad reading aloud shocking political news, your Mom wrangling dogs and kittens with great and tender care and me... missing you.

Please be near me today, won't you, my little sweetheart? Let me know you are closer than I can readily imagine. Please help and guide me. Please help me to be a good boy and to do things that please and make you proud of me. I am so very grateful for you, my gorgeous, miracle girl. Please help me be the better person, the better man, that you were so effortless and generously molding me to become by the shining power of your presence.

My heart so aches and longs for you today and every day, my little sweetheart. Please take me to you soon. And know that I love with all my heart and soul forever. As you whispered to me in dreams to quiet and comfort me and as it is written on my flesh in your own handwriting - Our Oneness Can Never Be Erased.

Happy Christmas, Summer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

In Stone

Little sweetheart, I've driven up to Davis today. I love being here. I have so many beautiful memories of our times here together. I remember how eager you were to share this place with me, speaking of it in such a glorious, glowing way when we first met, so looking forward to bringing me here. I still think of it as something rather magical. Much like you yourself - my miracle girl.

Your mom had a few things she wanted me to pick up at the house and there is a lot going on back in Yuba, so I'm not able to linger as long as I would like but I did walk through your closet and bedroom and the adjacent bath and take things in a bit. I walked over to the UC Davis campus and gave a copy of the new album to the station manager, leaving another for the music director. It's a beautiful, warm California day here.

I loaded up the things your mom wanted from the house and then drove over to pick up some dry cleaning she needed, too. Then, I stopped in at The Nugget Market, where you and I would always go the moment we arrived. I get flowers there now, little sweetheart, before I come over to sit at The Angel and talk with you.

I tidied things up a bit around your stone and arranged the flowers and sat quietly talking, sometimes wordlessly but full of every emotion, with you. The sun moved ever closer through the trees as I sat there, until it shown directly upon that little place where I know you are not confined - you are everywhere and free, I know! - but simply alight as I pause there. You alight in those moments there to guide and encourage and comfort me.

Sometimes, like just a few moments ago, when I sit here, Something wordless and powerful wells up inside me. It usually begins in my chest and then breaks into sobs, deep and escaping my throat. It's as familiar as breathing and it shakes me to my core. I think it's my soul trying to flee my being and fly to you through the air filled with my cries of anguish and longing.

I laid down then, my little sweetheart, face down across the earth there, with my head on your stone as if it were a pillow. And when I opened my eyes, so close to the marble, within the grains and texture of the rock, your face appeared. I could see your face in the grain there.

Many magic things have happened before when I have come to sit at that spot, and this - again, in the midst of my despairing - to let me know that you hear and are doing you best to help me.

Thank you, my angel. May I do as you would have me do. May I honor and please you in all things. I'm so very grateful for you, my love. You have been teaching me from the first - changing my life with a wave of your hand, in the phrase of an old favorite song -  and you are teaching me still.

I'm learning to discern your guiding presence in clocks when they strike or bring a significant numeral to my attention. In birdsong. In the play of light or electricity in an uncanny moment. And today in stone. In the very living rock.

Thank you, my angel. Thank you, little sweetheart. I will endeavor to do my best. Please take me to you the moment Heaven will allow. And know that I love you forever and with all my heart and soul.

Monday, December 19, 2016

You Are My Home

I woke up this morning with my head on your pillow and pictures of you around me. Birdsong was in the air and the warm California sun breaking through the windows here at your folks house, little sweetheart, where I’m spending Christmas. I didn’t arrive until after 2am last night! Your mom picked me up and then we stayed up talking till nearly 5am.

My flight was delayed leaving NYC because it was coming from Orlando and there was a lot of crazy weather down there, apparently. More than a few of the planes meant to take off from JFK were originating from Orlando, so people wanting to fly to Boston or LA or Chicago or anywhere were all delayed, too. My own flight was delayed over three hours, so I can a lot of time to wander the terminal looking for a quiet place to sit and wait. I usually do that when I arrive early - I find some quiet corner, usually not anywhere near my own departure gate, and have a little snack and maybe write in my notebook and wait away from all the rush and bustle.

It was hard finding a place last night, little sweetheart! It was so crowded. But I did settle into a little corner seat near some big windows overlooking the runaway where people were waiting for a flight to Austin. And I struck up a conversation with a young woman who turned out to be a flight attendant heading home (to Austin) after several days flying all over the country.

I wound up telling her all about you - how we met and our trip to Ireland and how you loved hot water bottles after you discovered them while at school in Oxford. About food you were always at wanting to do things now and not just “oh, some day”. And I gave her a copy of the new album. Her name was Krista, little sweetheart, and she was very nice.

Later, it was finally about time to look in and see if there was any updated news about my own long-delayed flight, so I went down to that end of the terminal to find out. They told me that the plane was only about 15 minutes away and after they cleaned it, we should be able to start boarding in about half an hour.

So, I went and found a new place, a bit closer to wait. I was watching all the people go by as I sat there and I was feeling lighter, somehow. I wasn’t worried or anxious about the long flight or the late hour. I think it was having been telling someone about you that calmed me so. It often does, my darling. And as I sat there I noticed there was a little storefront across the way called “Be - Relax”. It had what looked to be a dozen big lounge chairs and people were laying down. A few of them were getting massages.

And it was then that I remembered that when my Mom died and I had to fly back from London and you flew yourself from San Francisco to Detroit to meet my plane, that you had waited all night in the airport there. I was happy to see you! I ran to you and took you in my arms. You were wearing that little blue backpack you’d only just gotten for your trip to Thailand. And you told me how you’d wandered around the airport all night meeting everyone who worked there and talking to them and that you’d gotten a massage!

I’d often wondered how you did that and what it must’ve been like. I kinda couldn’t imagine it. And then here was a place just like that, right in front of me, right after I’d just been telling someone all about you. I felt so very close to you in that moment, little sweetheart. It made my heart soar with love!

And I thought again, as I so often do, of what a treasure you are. How sweet and thoughtful and kind hearted you are. And how you filled my life with light and love. How breathtakingly good to me you were - and still are with your angel presence always helping me. How you were always there doing things for me not only without being asked but before I even knew that I needed them. How you are by far the best person I’ve ever known and who loved and loves me with more depth and trueness and generosity that anyone. How you could and can always be counted on. And how very very grateful I am for you and grateful to you for finding me. For everything.

And when I feel at peace, it is because I feel you and your love surrounding me. And I knew in the moment that I met you, my heart knew it had found its home. I knew I was where I belonged. My soul found its long-sought-for place of belonging. It is within your keeping. And I am so grateful, my little sweetheart. And I love you forever.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Signs, Omens and Not Knowing

Little sweetheart, there’s something, a few things really, that have always haunted me. Strange little goings on just before your sudden tragic passing, that have in retrospect, seemed like possible little omens. Warnings or signs that couldn’t be fully read or understood at the time.

I remember reading aloud the play - Blackbird - we were working on at the time, just a week or two before your accident. We were sitting at the table in your apartment by the big windows. The director was there, too. We took a little break. I got up to look outside and there were two raven-feathered birds sitting there. I think I even took a picture. It seemed like a good omen at the time, given the title of the play, but in the tragic afterwards and forever now it seems just the opposite.

Another instance came at Christmas. Our only one together there at your folk’s house. The old clock on the mantel that chimes on every quarter hour was acting strangely. On the third note, something would ring discordantly. A blue note not usually heard. I think your mom said something about it needed to have a crank or a battery, I’m not sure which, replaced. But now, as I say, it haunts me, as if it was some warning that things were awry and that if I’d only somehow known and heeded this sign, you’d still be here safe and sound and in my arms.

I’m flying in a few hours to be with your folks at Christmas, little sweetheart. And for the last two days, an odd thing has been going on with the little clip light that you and I perched in a corner of the red table room here. It’s been flickering constantly. And I have a foreboding that something is about to happen.

I feel like the worst already has. I remember you saying sometime once about things that have already leveled us making us, now bereft, somehow “disaster-proof”. Maybe if this is a sign, it’s good sign, a sign that I too will pass and be again in your arms in the forever.

I’ve taken to looking for signs. A beautiful, speckled-breasted bird has alighted this week, on two different mornings, singing outside my front window. I tried to take a picture of him/her the last time, but he/she flew away in the instant that I snapped the shutter. Maybe a spirit avoiding photographic capture.

Birdsong and clocks (especially at the 11:11 hour) capture my attention and imagination. And what could be more attention-grabbing that a literal big flashing light.

Let me know what I need to know, won’t you, my love? Are you telling my to change course? To work harder to be a good boy who you can be proud of? Are you telling me to quiet myself and be ready, for my time is nearly here? Let me know, my little sweetheart. I long to follow you. With all my love forever.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

And At That Hour...

I looked up just a few moments ago and it was 11:11pm. It's said that if one notices, at that hour, a celestial presence may well be looking in, wanting to make contact and alight to comfort and guide their mortal, lonely charge. Thank you for finding me tonight, my angel. I've felt close to you today, little sweetheart. We have the first copies of the new album. The CDs and gatefold and the booklet all are beautiful, my love. Jason was just going to come by to pick up a copy but he stayed and we listened and had Christmas cookies and coffee and went on the roof briefly - it's freezing here, even inside it's cold! As we listened and your gorgeous vocals rang out above the guitars, I closed my eyes. I could feel you near. I remember exactly how you feel in my arms and how your legs and arms feel wrapped around me. I swayed in my seat, leaning forward to hear every note. And I cried for you, my heart so filled with longing. I think it's something else you taught me, my little sweetheart. That it's important to mark and observe these events. You've guided me all through the making of this record, little sweetheart - literally coming to me in dreams with some of the songs. Dream Together, indeed. Thank you for letting me know that you are watching over and are near me tonight, my angel. Take me to you soon. With all my love forever. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Grow Your Heart

Little Sweetheart, here’s another one of those notes-to-self I was telling you about. This is mostly the kind of one that is a sorta instruction to myself but I think it also might serve as a topic for me to write to you about at greater length. It’s sort of both.

It’s hard sometimes, indeed, often, for me not to simply fall into despair. I miss you so. It all seems so desperately unfair. And things of far far less import and people, too, seem to disappoint. I get so very discouraged and not infrequently that feeling turns to anger.

What I wrote, not without humor, not with a wry self-awareness of my failings was this:

“Try not to Deep Water Horizon the endless well of your resentment.”

I can fall into that well so very easily, my little sweetheart. But what I need to do in these situations, need to do more often, is try to find gratitude within me.

You told me more than once that the thing you wanted to do most for me was to help grow my injured heart.

It’s such an extraordinary thing to tell another person, even a lover. So extraordinarily generous. So full of love. So, incredibly like you.

Please help to remember that today, little sweetheart. Please help me to remember your heartstopping kindness, the breathless gift of your great love, and help me find my gratitude. For you. And to listen quietly. For you. And all you still have to teach and tell me. With all my love forever.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Quietly (and not so quietly, too) ...

Remember, little sweetheart, how I was telling you the other day about the little notes I leave for myself? Sometimes they suggest a subject for further examination and writing. And other times they are a little instruction or reminder. Here’s one of the former. I mean to write about it at great length.
The introduction, the back story to it, is that I made an appointment with a new dentist. There are so many things that I have neglected in the horrible void of your physical absence, my little sweetheart. I haven’t entirely neglected my teeth. Don’t worry! But I hadn’t been to a dentist in quite some time. I found out that my health plan allowed me to - thank you Obamacare (seriously) !

So, I did my research and selected my provider with my usual narrow prerequisites - a new Jewish (preferably female) doctor on the Upper West Side. She did the initial check up, X-rays and examination, then had me come back to see her colleague.

And that’s what the note is about.

Her hygienist is a woman named Tatiana. She’s tall and gentle and has a vaguely east European accent. As she worked on me, I noticed that she spoke very softly to herself in a way that seemed to mirror her gentle actions. Although I couldn’t exactly make out the words, it seemed she was telling herself to remain mindful and gentle and cautious.

It was very lovely and quite resonant. And what I wrote later (when I was flossing at home - she told me I was doing it too roughly, “glide,” she said, “softly, never in an X, always in a C”!) was this:

“On we inveterate self-whisperers”.

I mean to write more on this because it is something I do constantly - I whisper and talk quietly (and sometimes quite emphatically) to myself and to you and to God. It’s a kind of prayer, certainly, but it’s more (Can anything really be “more” than a prayer? I guess I don’t mean “greater than”. I just mean “in addition to”, I think…) than that.

It’s the ongoing conversation even if I have trouble making out the words on the other end, on your end. And it’s about Faith. Knowing that you hear me. And quieting myself to listen for your answers. Awaiting instruction. With all my love forever…

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

On Dreaming...

Little sweetheart, all the art and audio for the new album Dream Together is in the hands of the powers that be. We’ve approved everything - the mastered mixes, the CD layout and design, the special accompanying 20-page booklet (that based on the idea of a Victorian book of verses). The digital distribution (to iTunes, etc) has been finalized, the CD manufacturers have begun production and the printing house is rolling presses on the booklet. All are expected to be in hand before Christmas and the official release with the record label is on New Year’s Day. A special pre-sale on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby begins on December 18 - the day I fly to NorCal to see your folks. When people buy the album in advance, they can immediately download the first single, “Radioside”.

I’ve been so involved, pre-occupied with this album, my little sweetheart. I so want you to like it. As ever, your voice, both spoken and singing, is prominently featured. And the album is very literally as titled - many of the songs actually came to me in dreams with you at my side.

When you are in my dreams, my little sweetheart, I know that I am doing something right. It is such a comfort to me.

Conversely, when, upon waking, I don’t remember you being in my dreams, I am terribly worried that I have gone off the rails, am not living right, have done something wrong and offended you.

Little sweetheart, I make mistakes. I always have. I’m stubborn and opinionated and difficult - a handful. I am so very sorry - I can’t even tell you how much - for my mistakes, for every hurting your feelings. For any and every cross word.

I know we both make and made mistakes. I know that we are both wildly emotional. That that is also an enormous blessing. It’s why our love is so profound and true and passionate and unabashed and undeterred and deeply rich, authentic and real. Yet still it haunts me.

Please help and guide and forgive me, my darling. Please know -  and tell that you do, remind me - that the sum of our true love is so vastly beyond any of our earthly errors. That the little disagreements, the hiccups, fits and starts all have their root basis in the same thing - that we just desperately need each other and its only the sometimes frustration (like now) when we can’t be fully in each others arms, that we quibble and get cross.

These dreams, my sweetheart, these dreams with you are a testament to that. They keep me going. May they take me to you, soon, again and forever. With all my love…

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Love of My Life. Always.

Remember yesterday, little sweetheart, when I was talking about the little notes-to-self I write sometimes? Sometimes they’re a quick topical sentence or two meant to prompt me in writing something at far greater length later. Sometimes, they’re a kind of koan or mantra. Some little nugget to hold dear, to hold on to, to help me cope in these days before I’m allowed to join you in The Forever.

Sometimes they’re on index cards awaiting me at my desk. Sometimes, they’re hastily scrawled on a bit of scrap paper and left on the little table next to the front door, something to see and remind me before venturing out into the world and a new day. Sometimes, I tape them to the walls.

Here’s one - of the latter stripe (the instructive kind) - from a little while ago. It’s sitting right next to the keyboard:

“It may be a mouthful, but always say “The Love of My Life” not simply “My girlfriend”.

That’s a little instruction for me that I needed to get down on paper, my darling, because every time I would say it, it felt so inadequate. You are so much more than that - my true love, my best friend, my soulmate, my partner. The Love of My Life. My heart knows that. And my words need to reflect it. Always. With all my love…

Saturday, December 3, 2016


I write little notes to myself, sweetheart. Sometimes to remind me to sit down and write about something in greater depth and at greater length that just a sentence or two of quickly scrawled handwriting is meant to conjure and remind me.

Sometimes the sentence or two is the complete thought, a kind of mantra or direction or encouragement to myself as what I need to remember and do. Something to guide me. Something I need to do for myself in the terrible void of your physical absence. Perhaps, like I find in dreams sometimes, the very thought is you telling me so. You helping me, guiding me, willing me from where you are, unseen but urgent, to listen closely for you. To quiet myself, to block out all the noise and distractions and to listen for your counsel, your instruction, your encouragement. Your presence.

Let me reaffirm my commitment, little sweetheart, to listen closely to you, for you, forsaking all other voices, beings and noisy unnecessary things. And I will take note. And I may share some of those very notes, at greater length or quite briefly and concisely, here. With all my love forever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30th

Little sweetheart, there's a movie on Netflix, you and I watched it together on DVD when it came out, called A Single Man. I had never seen it again since we watched it together. I remember starting to once and then stopping quite soon. I only remembered that it was very sad, I thought, so that was probably why I stopped.

Tonight I put it on again and I could see why I'd stopped it so soon. The love of a man's life dies in a car accident in the very first scene. I imagine myself, having watched it with you, putting it on alone one night and switching it off right there.

Tonight I kept watching. Incredibly, a placard comes up that says November 30. That also happens to be today.

There was so much that I forgot about the movie but it is really quite beautiful. The man is completely inconsolable but on this day he has come to the decision that he is going to kill himself that night. He lays out all his papers and ID and writes letters to his handful of friends and practices with his gun to see where he will land after he shoots himself. He tries to make it easier for whoever will find him.

Then he goes to work. He's a teacher. He had a way about him knowing that it's his last day that makes him so gentle and good and real with everyone. He says some extraordinary things to his students. Later he talks to a man in a parking lot he might otherwise never have. They look at the sky together. He talks so gently to a little girl who comes up to him, a neighbor. He visits an old friend for dinner. Then he comes home to kill himself but he decides to get a drink first and one of his students who's been worried about him sorta follows him there.

They wind up swimming in the ocean together. Then they go back to his house and talk. He passes out and then goes out to find his student curled up on the couch. With the gun. He was worried about him, so he hid the gun and had put him to bed. He gets the most extraordinary look on his face. He puts the gun away and burns the letters in the fireplace.

Then he opens the door onto the deck and an owl is there that suddenly flies away. As he watches, he sees the moon is enormous and full. He says something about his life being understandable only on these very brief moments of clarity like now when he sees everything is exactly as it should be. How things happen. And suddenly, as he's about to go to bed, he has a heart attack. He falls to the floor. And as he dies, his love comes to him and kisses him.

Little sweetheart, it is all far too much of a coincidence that I have seen this movie tonight. Only for the second time after we first watched it together. And that it is set on this very night. And that it is so very resonate. You are with me, I know. You are telling me things, I know. You are guiding me. This is exactly how I want to go myself - a heart attack - soon and to be with you forever.

Thank you for showing me. Thank you forever. Love you forever. With all my heart and soul.

Letters From Abroad

Little sweetheart, we're nearing the release of the new album, Dream Together, which you, of course, are a major part of. Not just because your vocals both sung and spoken can he heard within but because several of the songs literally came to me in dreams with you. I know you sent them. I know you're doing your best to reach me, comfort me, urge me on. As one of those songs quite clearly says, another one that came to me intact from you in The Forever, She Hears You Calling.

I'm listening today to the second pass of the a possible final mastering of the album, little sweetheart, and waiting on corrections in the galleys for our artwork. Meantime, we got a lovely letter from a woman in Poland who has been a fan since the double-album, of, for and about you - Of Love and Loss. She said she was looking forward to the new one and also had these very nice things to say, which I'll leave here below.

It's so very true, little sweetheart - I want to do everything I can to honor and be close to you.

Here's what our friend in Poland had to say. She starts out talking specifically about our last album, Electric Hymnal, and then somewhat more generally of the albums as a whole...

"...I listened immediately
some melodies made me feel good.. some I remember made me feel anxious. Which is good...
because no song left without moving me in a way. It is amazing... I really really like it. Like all the albums and covers and music and lyrics... it is a story
not just random tracks to make an album.

It is like a book.  It is a book of poems,
feelings. This is the most important and the most beautiful thing in the world.

To have something to say
and to do it beautifully, to touch peoples lives.

It is a gift. Thank God for such amazing form of self expression.
How you can convey the message to people... talk about your life, about Summer to people in this artistic way..."

It's all for you, little sweetheart. Always and forever. Until that day I may join you. May it be soon. Very very soon, indeed. With all my love...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Only You

Sweetheart, I was just thinking now of one night early when we we'd just started seeing each other but no one really knew yet. We were supposed to meet up but I was with friends without a car of my own and you were an hour away and we were supposed to go to some stupid play downtown in San Francisco that was maybe sold out so there might not even be tickets and we talked on the phone and you didn't think you could come. I was stuck there without you, sitting in some gastropub waiting to go see the show and I was so sad and miserable and then all of a sudden I saw you outside walking down the street toward the bar.  I shouted out "she's here!" and I literally leapt to my feet from the chair. I could feel my heart flying out of my chest! And I ran to you. Crying. I don't know how much of a secret it was after that. Or during the play when we couldn't get seats together so I kept looking back several rows to lock eyes with you, and that look on your face that said "I know, sweetheart, but we can't do anything right now". I never felt so much for anyone in my whole life, little sweetheart, and I never will again. You are the reason and the treasure of my life. Love you forever .

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful... for You!

Little sweetheart, it's Thanksgiving and when I woke this morning, as I sat at my desk with a cup of coffee, a pretty little bird with a beautifully speckled breast sang to me, alighting briefly outside the window and I knew he was sent there by you. You're doing your best to let me know you're near and encouraging me to do my best and have faith and know that I will be with you again, soon and forever. 

I went to the little candlelight service last night. It was a bit different than usual. It had a Thanksgiving theme, of course, and as we arrived we were given a little blank sheet of paper that had a heading that read: "Blessings". We were meant to write down a list of things we are grateful for and then share those thoughts aloud near the end of the service if we cared to. 

I sat down and wrote about you right away. And when it came time, I'm told them about you. That you are the reason I am there. And then I read what I wrote. Mostly how grateful I am for you. How grateful I am to you. That you filled my life with light and love and that I ask God to strengthen my faith to let me know you are safely in His care and that you and I will be together again and forever in just the blink of an eye. 

It's Thanksgiving today, little sweetheart. I'm all on my own. But I decided to cook for myself and light a candle for you, like always, and to listen quietly and attentive for further celestial instructions. 

It's Thanksgiving today, little sweetheart, and I am so grateful to and for you. I love you with all my heart and soul. Forever. Forever. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Little sweetheart, since the rather shocking and dispiriting election results last week, people have been leaving post-its - those little sticky notes - of love and solidarity on the walls of the Union Square subway station along the tunnel between the N/R and 4/5/6 train platforms. There are thousands of them there now. I went yesterday and left one for you, my darling. And then I shot this little video. So many people were stopping to do the same and as I stood there a group of tiny schoolchildren under the watchful care of their teacher, sang. It is very much as you taught me, little sweetheart - Love conquers all. Love you forever.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our Oneness

Little sweetheart, below is a triptych of the tattoo you whispered to me in a dream: Our Oneness Can Never Be Erased. Saved's Michelle Tarantelli did this work for me one year ago in your own handwriting. The photo is one that Ground Control Magazine's Daryl Darko Barnett took for last January's profile about the band. And I'm writing about it here because our story appears today in Tre Miller-Rodriguez's article as part of a series on the Modern Loss blog. Love you forever.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

For You. Always.

On my way home from meditation service last night, little sweetheart, I saw the prettiest little pair of pajamas I think you would like. They were sorta light pink almost white but with a kind of rose hue too and they had double decker buses on them. I immediately thought how I'd so very much like to get them for you. And that made me remember how much I liked doing things like that. Getting little presents for you. Maybe I'll get these and start a new or resume an old tradition and just set them aside with a nice letter or card for you telling you all about it and saving it for you. I think I might do that. Love you forever.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Little Sweetheart

Little sweetheart... Happy Birthday! It's your 37th and I wake with thoughts of you, prayers for you and your name and spirit in every room.

I'm so very grateful for you, my darling. You found and saved me and brought such blindingly brilliant light and love into my life, the kind that could knock a man down. You felled me. You are my miracle girl.

I'm so very grateful, too, that we spent each of your birthdays together once we had become one. I remember the first in Boston when you were on the road doing Rock n Roll at The Huntington. It was brisk and wintry there already and I walked you to the stage door every night, watching the show from the orchestra almost every performance. On your birthday, after walking you there, I went grocery shopping, then back to the sweet little apartment where we were staying and made dinner and baked a cake for you to come home to.

The next year found us in San Francisco on the day. I'd been gathering lots of little presents for you with a plan to surprise and shower you with all the many gifts, securing and secreting them for you to find at last. I had most everything but while we were browsing at the great little punkrock bookstore, Needles and Pens, in The Mission, I saw how taken you were with a pretty set of feathered earrings. I quietly sneaked back later and bought them for you.

On your 31st, we decided to go up to Calistoga to the hot springs. We wended our way through the hills in your battered blue Prius and got there in the late afternoon. We checked in to a charming little room and then changed into our swimsuits to go visit the pools. You weren't crazy about the super hot one but the warm one was, Goldilocks-like, just right. You were, as ever, unbelievably stunning to every passerby, in your black one-piece, your perfect ivory skin, long red hair cascading over your porcelain shoulders and with your ever-present and enormous black sunhat perched on your head. Like a bathing beauty Zorro.

You wanted to wade across the pool into deeper waters but you didn't want to get submerged, so you wrapped yourself around me and I walked us across, a stately, striking procession. Carrying my giggling little mermaid. I can't think of too many times I was ever happier.

Little sweetheart, you are in my every thought, today and every day. I love you with all my heart and soul. And I'm sending all my love to you. May it fly to where you - closer than I can imagine. I know you're watching and guiding me safely toward you. You are my lookout, wrapped around my soul just like you wrapped yourself around me in Calistoga, taking me through the waters of the journey I must complete and then to be reunited with you so very soon and forever.

Thank you, my angel. My true love, my best friend, my soulmate, my partner, my gingersnap, my gorgeous gorgeous girl. Happy Birthday, Summer. Soon with you, my love, yes? Soon. So very soon. All my love... m

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Rememberance

Little sweetheart, Leonard Cohen passed away last night. I remember how much you liked him. And I'm remembering something about all that this morning...

In April of 2009, just before my birthday, you told me you had tickets for something special. I already knew you were taking me to see DCfC in Sacramento on the second day after and that we were going to decamp to Davis for nearly a week on our own - heaven!

But this was something else. You had tickets to see Leonard Cohen at the beautifully restored Paramount Theatre in Oakland.

We had great seats just a few rows back in the orchestra. Cohen came out, immaculate as ever, with a great band and proceeded to play a breathtaking 90 minute set. We were thrilled. After the last number he said, "we're going to take a little break and then be back". Incredibly, this was only the first of two sets. About 20 minutes later, he returned. Before they began playing, he thanked everyone and then told us that he'd had the great honor of having his Buddhist teacher with him backstage tonight and that during the interval they'd had a small drink of some very fine spirits (whiskey, I think) together. He said that his teacher had asked him if he could tell the difference between this and more commonplace ones. Cohen admitted that he couldn't exactly and then told us his teacher looked at him for a moment and said "I've taught you nothing." 

He laughed and so did we. It was an incredibly heady and light and beautiful night. When he came back yet again for the first of several encores, he literally skipped onstage, bounding with the lightness of step of a deer or a teenager. You and I lingered at our seats after, still soaking it all up. 

It was a magic night and if I could say something to him today, I think it might be this:  

"Thank you, Leonard. I suspect you have many people to greet today - perhaps altering your own lyrics to say "hello" instead of "so long" to your own great love Marianne - but when you have a moment, please give my angel a little kiss for me, won't you? See you both soon."

And thank you, my little sweetheart. You make everything better. And I love you forever with all my heart and soul.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

All Saints Sunday

So, November 2nd is All Souls Day, little sweetheart, and the day before, All Saints. November 2 was this last Wednesday and that's the night the little candlelight meditation is every week. The little service that inspired Electric Hymnal. I asked if they do anything special for All Souls and they said they include a special poem and remembrance prayer on Wednesday

They told me that they also have a special observance on Sunday. They call it All Saints Sunday, describing "saints" not as exclusively those beatified but as those beloveds who exemplified love and made a difference in who we have become. There is a special flower ceremony as well. And they asked me if I would like to be the guest liturgist/reader. 

So, I put on my suit and headed up there this morning. I read from Luke. And I offered a pink rose for you, my angel, as part of the flower ceremony. It was really beautiful.

On the way home I was passing that little rectory I've told you about. It's a different church - Sacred Heart - a largely Spanish congregation, and the little rectory is the house where the nuns live there on W51st between 9th and 10th Avenues. There's a little garden beside it with a statue of Mary. I always stop to say a prayer for you as I pass. And I've had brief words with one or another of the nuns over the years. Famously, three of them enthused to tell me last year when 7 11 was giving away free slurpees. And one time when I was walking away after saying a prayer for you, one saw and smiled and said "she hears you." 

I've been meaning for ages to knock on the door and give one of the sisters a copy of Electric Hymnal. Today, in my suit and actually having a copy in my little satchel, I finally did ring the bell, my hands full of groceries from D'Agostinos (I'm making chicken soup tonight). It took a while and I didn't know if anyone was at home but eventually one of the nuns opened the door. I told her my name was Michael and she invited me inside right away. Sister Catherine. She started to say something. Like she thought she already knew me. I didn't quite understand what she was saying. Not because she was speaking with an accent or anything. The congregation is largely Spanish but the nuns are all Caucasian. I found myself nodding involuntarily until I understood that she was asking wasn't I the nice man who had hosted their visiting guest Vincent de Torre (or something like that). And I said sorry no. And she said you don't know what I'm talking about do you? And we both started to laugh. And I said, I thought you were saying a blessing in Latin. And then she really roared with laughter. 

She was very nice. I told her about you, little sweetheart. And I told her how I say a prayer every time I pass. I told her that I go to church at West End and that they have a meditation service that inspired us. That you and I had a band and that we continue to make music for you. I told her that we'd made an album a few months ago inspired by the meditation service and that I had meant to stop by and give it to them for quite a while. I told her about the slurpee day. And she laughed again. 

She thanked me so much for the CD. And then she said, "this may sound funny, but I've got some rolls in the oven. May I give you some?" She said it was their Visitors Day, when the sisters have family and friends from all over, from home, from where they came from, come to see them. So, they were all baking and getting ready. She asked me to wait and she went back to the kitchen and then returned with a ziplock bag full of little dinner rolls. "They're still hot!" she said. Fresh from the oven. She thanked me again for the music and she said she hoped she'd see me again soon. And she said she would pray for you. And she said "God bless you". And I said "God bless you" too. 

God bless you, little sweetheart. My angel, my special saint, my true love, the other half of my soul. Love you forever.... 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Every Day A Treasure

Something made me think about this the other day and I wrote down a little note to myself, sweetheart, about the little drugstore up the street where we used to go. It was too far to walk so we would drive up the long hill past the UCSF hospital as the street narrowed from four lanes to two, veering away from the trolley line of the N Judah. Several intersections after that and then a right turn. And one more quick left turn into the tiny little unexpected parking lot there, only about half a dozen spots in total. We always seemed to pull into the same one. And it was a bit tricky backing up and turning around when we were ready to leave. We'd walk hand in hand into the little pharmacy and you'd pick up whatever prescription you'd had called in. It was a cozy little old place - a Walgreen's, I think - with lots of sundries filling aisles. We'd often get you a treat or two and maybe some gingersnaps for me. I remember sometimes we'd take a little walk a couple blocks north to a deli you liked because they had a special kind of soda you couldn't find anyplace else.

You know little sweetheart, I think I'm thinking about all this because however mundane it might seem, days like these were the most wonderful of my life because they were with you. I love being with you. Being with you doing anything was bathed in a kind of golden halo. I can still feel how special and extraordinary every day with you was. I can almost touch it. Those were the best days of my life. I was born just for them. I don't know why I'm still living, exactly, little sweetheart, and most times I really don't want to go on. But I know I have to wait. Soon enough, you'll come collect me, I hope. I believe with all my heart and pray with all my soul that you will and that we will be together again and forever very soon. Thank you for filling my life with light and love, my little sweetheart. I ache for you today and every day. And I remember. Come for me as soon as heaven will allow, won't you, my love? Yours forever...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

At the ready

A little note I found this morning as I'm gathering things and writing about you, little sweetheart. Thinking about the checklist of things I would help you remember and have at the ready for you before we'd head out for the day. "...tissues and chapstick and holding your hand.." Love you forever.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Little sweetheart, I had a bad day yesterday. I don't know how it happens but sometimes a day just unravels. I lose my way. I can't find the path back until I've closed my eyes and slept and woken and tried again. I think it's because I'm so lonely, my little sweetheart. I can easily be distracted without the True North of your presence to guide me. I say this often but it bears repeating because I need to be reminded and to heed the simple advice to just listen for you. Quiet myself and listen to you. To practice mindfulness, so that when I feel myself beginning to careen out of control, I recognize it and slow down and just unpack what's happening to me. To remember your love and your guidance and listen for you right that very moment. You always try to help me. I just need to be mindful. Be with me today, won't you, my love? I need you. More than ever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Little sweetheart, I've been telling myself that if I just quiet my mind and listen for you, I will hear. And it's not even limited to auditory senses. Listening for you can also be finding you by seeing signs of your reaching out for me or even the scent of something suddenly, unexpectedly in the air. Some things that seem to bring your near me are birdsong, sweet unexpected aromas, numbers appearing on devices or clocks.

This morning I was sending an email - it was another one for the Skylanding project, this time to the Imagine Peace Tower in England. I clicked on the link and it opened up Apple Mail on my laptop. I've mostly been using mail from my browser not from the app because it takes a good while to load otherwise. I let it do its thing and went about other tasks.

When I came back to it, instead of opening on the most recent batch of emails in my inbox, it landed on an email from you from from August 28, 2009. There was no text, but wonderfully 11 photos as attachments and your subject line which reads "picks from my most recent visit". There's an entire series of the two of us  - including the one below - and several of you on your own.

What a miraculous thing to begin the day with. Thank you for finding me, my angel. I will do my best to honor and conjure and listen for you today and every day until you come collect me and take me with you to be together again and for all eternity in The Forever. With all my love...

PS: Also, little sweetheart, I like this photo. Even though it looks like I'm sad, I'm not! I'm just holding on to you so gratefully because you are so precious to me. The first few moments in The Forever with you will be like this for sure - I won't want to let go. I don't know how time works there. It might be a couple of centuries of my squeezing you tight to me before I can loosen my grip and fly everywhere you want to take me...

Monday, October 24, 2016


Little sweetheart, Yoko Ono has an installation in the UK and another in Chicago asking for people to write and send their one special wish. It can be for the themselves, for the planet or for someone precious to them. Mine is for you and I to be together again and for all eternity in The Forever. Here's a photo of my prayerful wish going live. With love.

Friday, October 21, 2016

On My Best Days...

Every morning I wake up longing for you. Aching for you. I say our prayer and I caress your things on the pillow next to me- your pillow, your side of the bed undisturbedly made up just the way you like because maybe somehow all magic you will return. Every morning it’s terribly hard to face another day. Sometimes attempts to rise are more successful than others. Some days I can’t move from bed at all, I have to cry myself back to sleep and try again in a few hours. Other days I make myself go on. But all days are hard. And what I wanted to say is that on the best of them - and I need to remember this - I strive to honor and conjure and listen for you. On my best days I get things done. I tell your story which is also my own. It is ours. I find some well of strength and I try to find you. For that is all I want. That is all I ask prayerfully of God - just to let me be with you again and forever.

Monday, October 17, 2016

All Roads Lead

Little sweetheart, it's late. I'm watching West Wing and trying not to eat an entire box of gingersnaps. Every thing is about you, little sweetheart. All roads lead there... 

I remember that before I came to SF to do the play and meeting you, I also liked cookies. I didn't have a sweet tooth in all the years I was drinking but I was sober now and I liked Chips Ahoy. They were my go-to. But for some reason when I was living in that little basement back apartment in Bernal Heights where they put me up during the play, I started eating gingersnaps. My grandpa liked them, I remember. I would come home to that place after rehearsal and just be alone. There was a Blockbuster Video a little ways away and I bought a few DVDs marked down as 4 for $20. I'd watch them on my laptop and snack on gingersnaps and sometimes text people I knew asking them to come see the play. They were all out of town. Either in LA or back in NYC. I was lonely. No one would come over. But you did. 

And you changed my life. You were there. You made your way in. I didn't have to ask. 

And I'm still feeling every wave of what you set in motion. Your pictures and things surround me. You are in my first thoughts as I wake and my last as I lay down to sleep. You're not here but in a way - ways I can't entirely describe - you very much are. I need you. You're everything.

Love you forever. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tonight I'm thinking...

Little sweetheart, it was six years ago we went on our great trip to Ireland. I'm thinking of that tonight. It was so good to be there with you. When we first met, you were so interested to know that I had been there so many times. And you were so excited and wanted me to take you too. I'm so very very glad we did that. I almost didn't take my iPhone with me - I had a cheap little UK phone I always activated as soon as I got to London and that's what I used to text and make calls while there, but I brought the iPhone anyway and I'm glad I did because I used it to take pictures. And we must've taken at least 300 of them. I have so many wonderful pictures of you in Ireland, little sweetheart, and a good many too of us together. In not a few of them, you're wearing that big black sunhat of yours. I have it here. Your mom gave it to me. A couple of birthdays ago, she sent me a big box with a couple of those lovely monogrammed Serafin bath towels and a few other things and that pretty hat of yours. She attached a beautiful pin to it. The pin is a seahorse- one of your favorites- and she said in the thoughtful letter she included, that pinning that seahorse to the hat was something she thought you might do yourself. As you would say as "one of your tricks". That lovely hat sleeps next to me, little sweetheart. It rests along with a purple shirt of yours on the pillows -your pillows - beside me. I fall asleep every night and wake up every morning with it beside me. And I'm thinking of that right now before I go to sleep now. I'm thinking that and saying to you as I often do - because I talk to you all the time, I'm sure you can hear me - I love being with you. I love being with you, Summer. I love you with all my heart and soul. Come collect me soon, maybe even in my sleep tonight, won't you? I love being with you. Let it be forever.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dream Travels

Little sweetheart, you were in my dreams last night! I don't remember all of it but we were together and performing with the band. It was a new work and you were singing. It had a kind of Christmas feeling to it and was not unlike this idea - incorporating spoken word and visual arts - of an installation piece like we have for Of Love and Loss and Dream Together.

I remember parts of the dream only sketchily. You and I walking around together in a house or a something like a venue and outside around it, too. And you (and me also) feeling a bit nervous and concentrated. Very much in it together. What a wonderful electric feeling! Entirely connected and shared.

I remember a little bit about performing. You in front to the side of me on mic, singing and speaking. Me alongside on guitar and also singing and leading the band. The flash of lights and film projection. The air thick and trembling with amplified sound, sonics. The intimate setting. A seated audience on folding chairs. I wish I could remember the piece itself! But being with you there is an enormous blessing just on its own. I'm so grateful.

The part I remember most and best - as so often happens - is what we were doing in the dream just before I woke...

We'd finished playing but were still standing in front of everyone, sort of answering and asking questions in a kind of dialogue with those gathered. There was a back and forth between me and someone seated there about some element of the piece. About how we experienced it performing. And - this is the part that is so vivid - you suddenly piped up, still on mic, your voice filling the room to say "it felt the same way tonight as when we were in St. Louis".

I loved that and am still thinking about it this morning. Wherever we were, seemingly we were on tour, because we'd been to St. Louis to do it too. We were traveling. Together. I love that.

And I love you, my little sweetheart. With all my heart and soul I do. Forever.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Every morning as I wake, every night before I go to sleep and every moment in between, you are in my thoughts, my little sweetheart. Remember what I said the other day? About playing one of the new songs and I sank to the floor weeping and just said that every day I still imagine somehow you will come back? I'm still waiting for you to. I feel your presence and our lost life together like a phantom limb and I ache for you deep inside my being. I heard this song last night and wept- not only because of its tenderness or its longing or its lyrics which so match my soul's wish to flee my body and fly to you wherever you are - but because I know that had you heard it first, you would have bought it and sent it to me in an email. Your love, my little sweetheart, was and is always like that - boundless, unabashed, courageous, without caution, never playing it cool, brighter than the sun, and it saved me. I know you must be near. Some unknown sense within me can almost touch you and take your hand. Please let it be so. I will follow. With all my love forever...

Sunday, October 2, 2016

With You

Little sweetheart, someone I know wrote me a very sweet email last night, quite moved by what I've told her about you. I wrote back to thank her this morning and here's a little of what I said....

"Summer is in my every thought - in my prayers every morning as I wake and every night as I fall asleep. In my waking hours I do my best to honor and conjure her. My writing is of and for her and every album is too. I love talking about Summer, telling others of the miracle girl who filled my life with light and love. What remains of my life I hope to devote to her and I live in faith that I will be at her side again and forever in the blink of an eye. Summer is so much more than I can begin to say. She is (as she liked to say) my partner. My soul mate, my best friend. The love of my life. Summer wanted to raise a child with me. She couldn't carry a baby to term because she'd had a double organ transplant and was on amino suppressants (to keep her body from rejecting them) but she wanted to find a surrogate to carry one into the world for the two of us to parent. No one ever brought that up with me but Summer did. When I see children now, I so often see Summer in them and my eyes fill with tears, my heart fills with love and I know she is near me."

It's true, my love, that I will not know the joy of raising a child with you in this life, but who knows what is on The Other Side? Who knows? You do. You know and wait for me there. You know and will show me. I can hardly wait for that day, little sweetheart. But until then please be near me and help me do my best, won't you? Love you forever.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Word Before Bed

There's so many things I want to tell you, little sweetheart and I'm just about to go to bed. So, I'll tell you lots more tomorrow but one of the things was that I was remembering today one time when we were at the house in Davis you made some cookies. Usually baking was a big adventure there, a glorious one, but this time it was altogether stealthy. I didn't even know you'd mixed up the batter or had put them in the oven. You simply came out of the kitchen with a big plate of them, saying you didn't think they turned out very good. But of course they were! And as always it was just magic being there with you. Oh, my sweetheart. Earlier this week I was in a session with Jason. I can't remember which of the new songs we were playing but I had to sit down after, I was so moved. I looked up at Jason and said that every day I still somehow think you'll be here, that somehow you'll come back. I cried and cried. But in a way, you are here, aren't you, my love? In so many ways I know you try to let me know that. And I pray to be with you soon and forever. You're my everything, Summer. And I love you with all my heart and soul.

Monday, September 19, 2016

About Today...

Little sweetheart, today is the 10th anniversary of the passing of your beloved big brother Jesse. I never got to know him because his shocking, inexplicable passing came the year before I met you. But I know how very very dear he was to you and how he touched everyone's life who he did meet so profoundly. Three things just off the top of my head that I am thinking about today regarding him are these stories that you yourself told me.

1) His prominently displaying a picture of you in his college dorm room freshman year and proudly telling anyone who asked that that was his baby sister (to great swooning among the coed's, I'm given to understand).
2) You and your mom attending one of his oral arguments at trial and he so comfortable with his summation that at one point he was leaning causally on the bench, possibly to the judge's slight annoyance.
3) That before he proposed to Michelle, he first told you and in so doing gave you a ring also...

Like I said, these are just the three that first come to mind. From the moment you began to share yourself with me (luckiest boy ever), you spoke with adoration and admiration for your beloved Jesse and for your mom and dad. I know the two of you are right over a shoulder, just around a corner. And that We'll All Will Be Together soon and forever.

I had a wonderful dream a little while ago that you and Jesse were in the kitchen at your parents house. I rushed to you the moment I saw you and collected you in my arms. Jesse, who I'd only just met, started easing me a little, but then saw how frightened I was to let go of you and then you and he and your mom all gently assured me that it was okay - no one was ever going away ever again.

I know you two are together today and looking in, closer than I can imagine. How I long to fly to you! With all my love....

Friday, September 16, 2016

In That Place You Will Take Me

There is a place, my little sweetheart, in the well of my chest, that is unlike any other. However the center of thought may be the brain or the governance of bloodflow the heart, this special place is the center of existence. If there is a portal between this world and the next - and I both firmly believe and fervently pray that there is - this is its gateway, its nexus, its physical manifestation. The shock of love sparks there, its tremors felt most keenly. The ache of loss resides most devastatingly there. I didn’t need illustrations to tell me this but I remember seeing one once. A diagram from some tract showing the soul leaving the body, its mystical vapor rising from exactly that place. When you held me in your arms, my little sweetheart, and I would weep with inarticulate joy to have been found by you, you would gently stroke that exact place, that well of being in my chest and quietly call me your treasure. Over and over you would say it to calm me: “my treasure, my treasure, my treasure…” . For months after your tragic passing I kept a knife beside my bed. I imagined constructing a vice with blocks of wood to hold it in place so that I might impale myself on its blade right at that very place where you consoled me and now I ached and wished to drain the life from myself to end the pain and hope my soul to exit its cage and fly to you. One of your dearest childhood friends was still in touch with me in those days - most all have fled, she’s not to be singled out, she’s not alone, that distinction falls to me ... - and knowing not specifically of this but in tune enough to suspect I might take my own life, told me that if I did so I “would never find” you. Those words, that thought stopped me in my tracks. I asked her soon after if her thoughts of this came rooted in religious belief. And they didn’t. She couldn’t really articulate anything of the kind. But even unmoored from faith, the thought took hold with me and strengthened, illuminated my own. I mustn’t take my life, I must let you come to take it for me, and to take me with you. Even as I type these words, I feel that stirring in my chest, in that place where you soothed me. I know when I do fly to you it will be from that departure point. And when I call to you it is from there most deeply too. You visit me through its open door, a door you yourself pried and propped open with the boundless great gift of your love. Please linger there, stay with me a while today, won’t you, my little sweetheart? Please. Please, don’t go too far away…

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Sweetheart Sent A Butterfly For Me Today

Little sweetheart, I woke up this morning and have been going all day. About 45 minutes ago, I found that I needed to lie down and close my eyes for a few minutes. You love your naps, too, I know and that's another reason why I like to take one - you taught me! I was curled up next to your pillow holding on to the sleeve of your purple blouse with two fingers and listening to Radio 3 softly in the background, when I remembered something. I quickly grabbed my phone from the bedside and wrote it down: My sweetheart sent a butterfly for me today...

I was near the end of my run along The Hudson in the early afternoon, little sweetheart, when a pretty monarch butterfly suddenly swooped down and right across my path near my face. Then she kept right on flying just in front of me, leading and encouraging me on. I never see butterflies so close to the river as where I was just then. I think I may have been thinking some dark thoughts - this is near the spot where I had that terrible fall last year and cut up my face so bad, my plastic running glasses breaking at the bridge and tearing open flesh as they scrapped down my nose. I'm extra careful near there now.

But whatever was occupying my thoughts vanished when that pretty butterfly came and visited me. That's never happened before. And I know you were with me. I know you try to let me know in every way that you can that you are. I know I must often miss these important signs. But you certainly got my attention today!

Thank you, my darling. I love you with all my heart and soul and pray to be with you soon and forever. Thank you for sending the butterfly to guide and cheer me today. You are my miracle. You are my sweet angel. My soulmate and True Love and best friend. Like I always used to say even if you were just going into the next room to fetch something or shifting merely inches to the other side of the bed - don't go too far away.

With all my love forever...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

All Of Them

Little sweetheart, your mom gets a catalog from this company called The Victorian Trading Co. They have such lovely things - vintage prints and pretty dishware and homeware and lamps... all kinds of things. I got on their mailing list too after getting a thing or two for your mom, myself. There are so often times when I see a print - all of Waterhouse's work comes to mind - that looks uncannily like you. Indeed, I devoted most of a Tumblr page to that very thing for years.

I remember your mom telling you after seeing a particular photograph of Mary Pickford that she thought she bore a striking resemblance and that you replied with a shrug, "I look like all of them" (Silent Film actresses of that era). I also remember your great friend and ACT mentor Craig Slaight saying that as a child, your mom dressed you in beautiful Victorian dresses and that you looked so magical (and also that you were so terribly serious and seemed to look around at your classmates wondering what all these children were doing here).

I save each Victorian Trading Company catalog that comes in the mail. I have a stack of them here near my desk. Invariably, the cover image - usually a vintage illustration or painting -  looks remarkable like you. But I'm also on their email list. This morning they sent me something and it featured contemporary models in vintage style and modern dress clothing they have on sale. One image, again, looked so like you - a redhead (darkish red) with big brimmed hat like those you often sport perched on her head. She's turned slightly away but her features shockingly resemble yours. I saved it. It's below.

I'm meeting with Evan Yionoulis in an hour or two to see an installation piece at The Park Avenue Armory. It's meant to be about loss and mourning. Evan's at Yale and working with us on our performance art installation adaptation of Of Love and Loss.

Everywhere I turn you are on my mind. I long for your presence and guidance. Every day I hope to better honor and tell others of you. Every day I hope to wake to you taking me home with you on your angelic wings and teaching me everything I need to know about The Forever. Please be with me today, little sweetheart. And take me to you as soon as heaven will allow. With all my love...

Friday, September 9, 2016

I Know

Little sweetheart, I woke this morning from a dream with you. Few things these days make me happier than that. Even if I only sketchily remember the details, just knowing you have touched, visiting me in slumbers makes my heart soar. I hold on to the wonderful feeling all day. It gives me encouragement that I may be doing things right. Thank you, my sweetheart.

As I say, I don't remember with much detail what we were doing. I think we might have been grocery shopping and I remember that you were upset or worried about something. Nothing of terrible consequence, just some minor set back. And I was able to help figure things out and put your mind at ease. The dream had a sense of normality to it, a sense of our life together. The wonderful everyday that I remember so lovingly and gratefully and long for so intensely I can nearly touch it. I don't remember the details of the dream much more than that but you were with me and for that I am grateful today.

The last thing about this I'd like to add and tell you about, little sweetheart, is that my iPad was playing music softly from beside my place in our bed. I often go to sleep with the SOMA-FM app on, tuned into their ambient station, "Drone Zone". When I woke up, I said our prayer, little sweetheart, as I always do and then kissed your things laid out on your pillow on your side of the bed and said "good morning, little sweetheart" as I also always do. When I turned back to my side to get up, I heard a lovely little ambient piece playing there. I picked up the iPad to look at the title. It was called "I Know She's In There". Perfectly right. I know very well that you are.  With all my love forever...

Monday, September 5, 2016

In That Moment

Little sweetheart, I want to tell you a little about my great grandma. I was thinking of her last night. Her name was Pearl. She was my mom's dad's mom. The mother of my namesake, Louis or "Louie" who I've often told you would be a real kindred spirit of yours and love you almost as much as I.

Pearl was a very spirited and independent woman. Her story is kind of amazing and I think you'd really love her, too. She was married to a man before she married her second husband. And that's what I want to tell you about.

She was married when she was 19 to a man named Hiriam. He was older, in his 40's. They found each other and fell deeply in love. They both kind of left behind the lives they'd known before just to be with each other. She had my grandfather with him - Louie's first name is actually Hiriam. Louis is his middle name. He started going by Lou or Louie as a kid and it stuck but he was named for Hiriam.

Tragically, not long after my grandpa was born Hiriam died suddenly. And terribly, cruelly his family took him away. They wouldn't even let Pearl go to the funeral. In her grief she was so alone, my little sweetheart. She'd run away to be with him and when he died she was alone with a baby and nowhere to go and only 19. It was a very moralist era and Pearl had to find a way to go on and take care of little Hiriam Louis. She had to find and marry someone else and she did. She found another man who was kind, a little odd as I remember, but kind to her and that was what mattered. He came to the marriage with two kids of his own. Pearl raised them all as a family and took care of them. Incredibly, I can't remember his first name. He was still alive when I was a little boy. He died when I was about 7, I think. But Pearl lived until I was a teenager.

She was a tough old cookie. Like I said, I think you'd really like her. My grandpa ran a hotel on Lake Eire when I was a kid and the whole family would go down there during the season - like June through August, like Memorial Day to Labor Day (which is today and maybe why I'm thinking of it) - and kind of man the ship. Louie was an amazing baker and would run the kitchen and cafeteria. My mom and grandma would pitch in. Even I "worked" in the salad room (like away from all the knives or anything where a little boy might get hurt). And Pearl was always at Reception. She was kind of like the concierge.

She got around really well and was in terrific health living on her own until she fell one winter on some icy steps clearing her back porch and broke a kneecap. I remember her funeral. It was the first one I ever went to. I wasn't there when she passed away but I remember hearing about it. In her last hours she called out to Hiriam, to her first husband, to her true love. She never forgot him.

And I've never forgotten that story. It was my mom who told it to me. Little sweetheart, I think in that moment Pearl saw Hiriam, saw her true love and that he took her with him and they were together again and forever. I think it was one of those moments where we, only mortal, have a half-glimpse witness of the eternal and see or maybe more in this case hear how close The Forever is as someone is called from this realm into the next.

I love the idea that Pearl's true love appeared to her and took her home with him in those moments. And, little sweetheart, so desperately sad and lonely for you today, I pray that you will come for me in the same way, as soon as Heaven will allow. I believe and pray for exactly that. Please help strengthen my faith, help me be kind and good and take me to you soon, won't you my love? Until that day! Until that day...

Friday, August 26, 2016

We Must Be Kind

Little sweetheart, I was watching a documentary the other night on Netflix. It's about the 60's and an entire segment of it was about JFK. There was an enormous amount of footage I had never seen before and one sequence has stayed with me now for days. It's news reports from the streets on New York as people listen to car and portable radios, gathered around on the sidewalk trying to hear news after word has come out the President has been wounded in Dallas.

There's a very kind, shy and altogether lovely older woman there among them who the reporter approaches. She's listening with such quiet care and worry, my little sweetheart, and the reporter asks her what she thinks. She says something very quietly, terribly concerned and then, full of love, unguardedly, unexpectedly, exclaims "we have the same birthday!" And then smiling through her fears, "I'm just crazy about him."

Moments later in the film, after they've shown the famous sequence when Cronkite confirms the President's passing, they cut back to the street scene where the same news is coming over the car radio. That same crowd is gathered around and that nice old lady is close by too. At that moment as the news can be heard, there is a collective gasp, and the poor lady reels backward, literally jumping, as though she's been struck. She shrinks back into the thick of the crowd on the sidewalk, surrounded yet all alone, so very alone, and weeps.

My little sweetheart, people are good. People are so very lovely and kind and excited in wonderful guileless ways about things that touch their lives. And we are all so terribly terribly fragile. You taught me so much, my darling. And this is one of those things. We must be kind. In every way we can, with every chance we get, we must be kind to one another. We're all hurting. And we simply must be kind. And when we do show kindness, our hearts are one - mine flies to you, feels your touch and I know I will be with you forever because in that instant I am.

That nice lady, so very hurt, broken with sorrow, inconsolable -my heart goes out to her too in this moment captured before we were even born. I think it's meant to. Maybe she's even passing you by as I write this. Maybe wherever we go we feel it when someone, even someone we've never known, thinks of and feels for us. May it be so. May I love the way you taught me to, the way you taught and grew my heart. May we love one another. Love has no limits. It is boundless. May I act in love. I know it redounds to and reaches you.

Give that lovely woman a hug for me, little sweetheart. Tell her that your sweetheart, Michael, was just telling you about her. That he's so sorry. And that it's a little bit late - or maybe not because what is time? I know you know now. Maybe it's all going on all the time - but that he sends all the comfort and understanding and love in the world to her and all through you. Because you taught me, didn't you, little sweetheart? You showed me love. Until that day. Until that day! With love forever...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eleven Eleven

Little sweetheart, I'm not sure when, but a little while ago I read something about how when we begin to notice clocks at the hour of 11:11am or 11:11pm, we should pay attention because there is a belief that these are occasions when our angels are trying to tell us something. Well, it's been happening to me a lot! Maybe it means you are finding yet another way to make me know you are with me! I hope so! Here's what I read about it:

"11:11 means your angels are reaching out with love, guidance and frequency… With awareness, you can begin to feel and experience their love, and presence. 11:11 is often said to be a doorway between realms, and really there is some truth to this. The spiritual realms are always all around us… But when you see 11:11 it often signifies that your Guides and Angels are trying to contact you. When you see 11:11 it’s a sign and a call to directly connect with the light and love of the Divine and angels that you are One with. Take a deep breath, quiet your mind, and enter inside to tune into the messages your guides and angels have for you when they whisper in your ear to look up at the clock… right at 11:11."

I love the idea! And, like I said, it's been happening more and more. I don't always get to it fast enough, but more than a few times when I've seen eleven eleven come up on my phone - like suddenly touching and waking it and finding... there you are! - I've quickly taken a screenshot. This picture below is a little collage of just a few of the more recent times, the more recent celestial visitations... from you!

Thank you, my little sweetheart. I'll do my best to quiet myself and listen for your wisdom. Thank you for finding me! I'm so grateful! And please please take me with you as soon as Heaven will allow, won't you? Love you forever!

Monday, August 22, 2016


Little sweetheart, I'm watching one of our stories, as we used to do together here on the couch curled up in each others arms. You would put your feet across my lap and I would massage them, remember my little sweetheart? You told how important it was to curl up with your partner- me - at the end of the day and watch a story together. I was so proud to be called yours. I still am. Tonight, as always now, I am alone. There's a romantic scene, a lovely one, on a plane, the lovers kiss and I think of you. I haven't thought of how that feels in a long time but it comes back immediately. What a miracle just to kiss you, my little sweetheart. What a miracle to be with and be loved by you. Didn't I often say as much? That you were my miracle? You are. You always will be. Oh, my little sweetheart, what a joyous miracle it was to be with you! May I be returned to you soon. Tonight. By morning. Come for me as soon as heaven will allow. I love and miss you. Achingly. Oh, my little sweetheart! Oh, my love...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Morning Message

When I woke a morning or two ago, little sweetheart, the first lines of this were in my head. I wrote them down and then the rest last night. You gave it to me, I know:

Sweetheart, come, it's me.
Come now, sweetheart.
Come with me.
Where are we going?
Don't worry, you'll see.
Into The Forever.
I'll show you
We'll be
Together and happy
Just come now with me.
Don't worry, I'll show you.
Don't worry, you'll see.
Come now, my sweetheart.
Come now, it's me. 

Also... this morning I have our song "She Hears You Calling" running through my head. You're doing your best to help me, little sweetheart, I know. May I do my best for you in all things. Please be with and take me to you as soon as heaven will allow...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Don't Panic, pt. 2

One of my favorite memories of your first visit here, little sweetheart, is how when we woke up late the day you had to fly back - because my alarm didn’t go off - that you didn’t panic, but calmly gathered your things in record time while I agitatedly called quickly for car service (instead of our plan to take the Air Train). You were smiling and calm when I was afraid you would be so mad and blaming me. I have a lot of broken places inside, my little sweetheart. Even more now than you can imagine because I long for you so. I had so many broken places then because people weren’t always very nice to me, little sweetheart. And I think I was often tensing up expecting to be berated or belittled or told that I was wrong. But you were fine, so fine that morning, my darling. You didn’t let something unexpected ruin the end of our first glorious full week together alone here in New York. And soon the driver called up, we went downstairs, climbed in back and cuddled all the way to JFK, where, as would always be the case, I cried my eyes out at your leaving, even though I knew I’d be seeing you in three weeks time (in London!).

There were plenty of times when either of us could meltdown, could get upset over something less than earth shaking. There were plenty of times when you might throw yourself dramatically face first onto a bed full of pillows crying in frustration. And I would always do my best to talk us through it, find a solution, comfort you, fix it. That face first pillow plant full body flop was such a signature move of yours, I can recall its practition over numerous beds in numerous different cities across separate timezones.

The last one I remember was when you opened your MacBook Air and the lid literally came off in your hand. As I tried to sooth you immediately post pillow plant, you cried out “I can’t have sex for three hours right now! That won’t help!” I still remember us laughing later about that now. At the time and after some time and calm talking, I got us on the phone with the Apple Store and we got an appointment and drove down there where they looked it over, told you they could fix it overnight and that we wouldn’t have to pay. You kept asking, like several times, how much it was going to cost. Finally the Apple guy turned to me, smiling, pleasantly. “Will you please tell her to take yes for an answer?” he said. It’s free, I told you, little sweetheart. You’re still under your three-year Apple Care Plan. “Oh, it’s free?” Yes, sweetheart. “Who paid for that?”. I don’t know, sweetheart, maybe your dad when he gave it to you? But it’s free. Problem finally solved, we walked around the rest of the shopping center. You saw some socks - of all things! - that you thought were cute, so I quickly bought them for you before you could say no. Then, we looked for a nice place to have dinner.

We both could be emotional. Ha! That is certainly the understatement of the nascent century. I myself am entirely prone to hysterics. I can feel you nodding emphatically in agreement from here, little sweetheart.  You and I could unquestionably get derailed by something entirely marginal and not be able to unwind ourselves for some time or without the diligent, calming help of one another, but you taught me so much. You still do. And, unlike anyone I have ever known, whenever things did get really bad, whenever it really counted, you could always be counted on. You never let me down when I really needed you or even when I desperately needed but didn’t even know or could articulate or even ask for what was required. Every time there was real adversity you were there instantly, expertly, selflessly, totally and without judgement. With love and care and support and unbending, unending presence. You never fail me. God, how I love you, my little sweetheart. And I always will.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Little sweetheart, I'm looking at one of your first cards to me. It's in a frame over my desk. It came with a gorgeous coffee table art book and you sent it to me on my birthday, just months after we first met, just after I'd come back to New York, just before your first visit here.

I remember that we talked increasingly and almost every day on the phone in those first few weeks after the play had closed in San Francisco and I had returned to NYC. My birthday was just less than a month after that. And soon after, you called to tell me that you were thinking of coming to visit. You wondered if you should just come for a weekend or a whole week. I told you that you should definitely come for the whole week because if you didn't, afterwards, we'd be sad.

You did come, of course, and it was magic. We really were quite new to each other still. They say that new couples are tested when they first travel together. This was far more intimate than that. The two of us bumping about here together in my little apartment for a week. But it was perfect and we were perfectly compatible and comfortable with each other immediately. It was extraordinary and it confirmed every feeling we had for each other. Later, after you returned to San Francisco - and not before we immediately made another plan of when to see each other next (in London at the end of the month) - you emailed to say you were "sorry to have left the place in such a tip" (a mess) and that I shouldn't think that you "hadn't seen (me) walking around behind and cleaning up after (you)." I wrote back to tell you the truth - I wasn't concerned about any mess or cleaning up, I was bewitched and simply couldn't stop following you around from room to room, so in love and overjoyed to have you here.

In the card that I'm looking at, this card you sent me with the gift for my birthday just a few weeks before you arrived and stayed here with me for the first time, you write so lovingly and charmingly, telling me about finding the book at the great little store in The Mission - Needles & Pens - where I'd taken you (and would again many times) and that you also wanted to include some gingersnaps from the bakery in your neighborhood (where we also would go together many times) but that you were worried they'd be "smashed to skitter with the heavy book and all...".

It's a beautiful note, little sweetheart, and noteworthy for being so early in our time together, that - like your calling to say you've impulsively decided to come visit but are making sure that's alright -  it still has the slightest hint of “if-that’s-okay” politeness about the fringes of our mutual head-over-heels falling in love. You say in the note that you’re hoping I don’t already have this book but that if I do, then I “better tell you & don’t be all nice and not mention it… OK?”.

Little sweetheart, no one has ever been as blessed as I to have been found and loved by you. As I sit here this morning wanting so much to write something down for you and so very mindful that yesterday I was not at my best, regretting it and praying that I may be better, do better, be worthy of the great gift that is you, I look at this treasure from our first days together and the words begin to come, the thoughts begin to appear, the love in my heart begins to swell.

I know I must do better and that I can. I vow that I will. I vow to quiet myself and take today one breath at a time with gratitude for you. And a prayer that I may be worthy, that you will let me call to you and hear and help and guide me. I will do better, my little sweetheart. I promise. Please, please be with me. With all my love forever…