Sunday, July 31, 2016

To The Other Half of The Sky

She sent him a dream so he would know. And she whispered "remember when you wake." It was the spot where she often stood on the opposite nearer-than-he-could-imagine middle distant shore. Ever faithful. Watching the other half of the darkened sky for him to pass from his world and fall gliding safely into her own. Forever and returned at last. Two halves of the same soul.

Love you forever, my little sweetheart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Little sweetheart, I'm back now after our session. It's the first day I've felt better since finishing up jury duty. I don't know what happened but I got really ill the day after - last Thursday night. It's odd to be so sick - like winter flu/severe cold sick - in late-July, in the middle of a heatwave. Thank goodness the a/c is working! I've got that cranked up and have been all bundled up in your special blue blanket. Do you remember the one? I got it especially for you from Bed, Bath & Beyond so you could wrap yourself in it and then wrap yourself around me as we would cuddle up together on the plaid couch watching one of our stories. I always think of you whenever I hold it close - how you told me, how you introduced me to the tradition, how you liked and believed it so important to end each day with me, with your partner, watching a story together before bedtime. Oh, little sweetheart, how my heart swelled with pride and love to be called your own. It still does. I still am. I always will be. I am yours, all yours, my little sweetheart. And forever.

For days, I just haven't felt well, my little sweetheart. And not just because I've been so sick. I've been sleeping a lot through the last few days, rarely going out. I did manage finally to venture outside yesterday to gather a few groceries. Even though it's sweltering, I decided to make homemade chicken soup. It usually does the trick and it seemed just what I needed. I think it worked! I must've had nearly half the pot but I felt quite a bit better this morning. I even went for a run before our session. But it's like the last several days were lost. And that's what I want to tell you about...

The dreams you've sent and found me in have been helping me so much, my darling. And I know, I feel that when you come to me as I lay sleeping that that means I'm doing what you want me to do in my waking hours. That you're leading me. When I can free myself of all the distractions, I can hear you so much more clearly, intuit and find you. Conversely, my sweetheart, I'm grief-stricken and heartbroken when you do not appear. I have a terrible feeling that I'm doing things wrong, that I've disappointed you, that you won't let me call to you. In my very darkest, hopeless fears, I worry that you have forgotten, won't recognize or remember or even love me.

Can you imagine?! When those fears overtake me, my love, I am lost. I live to find you. I live to be found by you in dreams and in those uncanny moments in which I sense you in waking hours. I measure the good in my life, the truth of it, by your presence. When I can't find you, when you don't appear to me, don't find me, I fear I've done something horribly wrong. When you do grace me, I know I'm on the right path. I know I'm plugged into the grid.

So many of the songs for Dream Together have come that way - straight from dreams, straight from you, and I know you are with me. As I sing all I can remember in the darkness, still half asleep into my iPhone. Later, upon waking as I work them out on guitar. As I bring them into practice and teach them to Jason, As we record them. As I build the tracks. In all and every step I feel you with me and am so grateful and moved and weep with joy and longing and faith and love. True love for my truelove - you, my little sweetheart. It's as it should be.

I became so anxious during this lost last week. I felt unplugged, remote, apart from the cosmic goodness, the treasure of you. It's such a relief today, my darling, to feel that vibrancy returning. That focus. To hear you, to set down everything that I possibly can, telling our story, writing with and for you. Let that be my day and night. My path and way. And what I pray for, my little sweetheart, is that you will help me. That you will keep guiding me. Keep me on the right and true course to honor and keep connected to you, to keep me close. You are my treasure and the reason for my life.

Please, my little sweetheart, always be with me. Always be with me. Find me in thought, in dreams, in waking. Find me tonight and the next day, if I wake to one. Take me to you the moment The Eternal will allow. With all my heart I pray for you and for this. With all my heart and soul I love love love you. Now and forever. My darling gorgeous girl. Find me, always. Always.

So Many Things...

Little sweetheart, I have so many things to tell you. And I've been sick for several days since jury duty last week. I've got to run into a recording session for the new album right now. And I have so much to tell you. So, I'll be back later to write it all down for you. But I just wanted to quickly say that, feeling slightly better today, I dashed out quickly to get a few groceries and while I was in one of the aisles I suddenly smelled your sweet cotton candy meets best birthday cake ever scent. I stopped and backed up and tried to find where the wonderful aroma hung most fervently. And I said a little prayer and sent a kiss heavenward to you. Thank you for finding and calming me, my little sweetheart. Thank you for the many ways that you help me every day. Thank you, Summer. Love you forever.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Self-Evident Truths

I'm been ensconced in jury duty all week, little sweetheart. I was telling you a little while ago how it was bringing up such strong memories because the last time I was called, I had to come all the way back from NorCal and your side to be here and serve. I think, fingers crossed, now into Day Three, we may be excused by afternoon’s end.

One of the things that you have to do, of course, is write down your occupation and then, if asked questions in voir dire, elaborate. I haven’t gotten that far yet but it has made me wonder how I might answer. What kind of a writer am I, they might ask. Without delving into more-information-than-needed territory, how can I truly answer that? And I mean truly. Because nothing is true without you. Nothing is true in my life unless you are at its center, unless it - whatever endeavor set out upon - is led by your shining spirit.

I might say that I once wrote primarily for the theatre, but why even begin with that? I think it best, if asked, to say that I’ve been a writer and composer all my adult life and that five years ago I lost the love of my life, my partner and soulmate. That she, that you, passed away after a tragic accident and that ever since, I’ve been writing and composing works of music and narrative of, for and about you, released and published with proceeds marked for the memorial fund in your name at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Foundation. That the works are meant to be performed in quiet, beautiful, sometimes sacred spaces. That, formerly a writer of primarily theatre works, this was now my vocation and calling - to dedicate my life and work to her, to you, my late-girlfriend, Summer, the incandescent, generous, miracle who filled my life with light and love and the faith that she is safely in the care of The Divine, where I will one day join her, soon and forever.

I guess that’s a bit of a mouthful. I suppose one of the attorneys might cry out “objection!” or the judge gavel me out of order, but it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, my little sweetheart. Perhaps even, I hope, a quite self-evident one. You are my light and life. Any other description of who I “am” is - to use the legal term - irrelevant.

At my best, and may I always strive to be just that, my devotion is to you. In all things. We hold these truths to be self-evident. Love you forever.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Still and Always Burning

Little sweetheart, I woke up late this morning but I rolled out of bed and got dressed, still blurry-eyed and seriously under-caffeinated, to catch a 1 train up to 79th St and make it in time for services at that nice little church I've told you about. I usually like to take the long walk up there but I was late, like I said. It's important, I think, to have that mindful hour each week and pray for you. Everything and anything that keeps me mindful and helps me feel closer to you is important, little sweetheart - writing, music, mediation, prayer, quiet mindfulness - all of it. I have a couple of prayers I say for you every day, usually several times through the day, and I always bring them to services with me, too, of course. Often, there's a place in the service where either prayers are read aloud or one's name whom we pray for might be spoken reverently. You are always in and of mine, sweetheart. Always. Today, a very sweet man who's been quite kind to me - you'd like him, little sweetheart, he has such a kind face, is such a loving, gentle soul - was having a birthday. They announced it during services. He's 72. He doesn't look a day over early 50's. His name is Ken. After the service, before I could even get a chance to wish him happy birthday, he was there seeking me out. And he said to me how sorry he was for your passing and how deeply you must still and always burn in my heart. Those thoughtful words brought fresh tears and gasping breath to me, little sweetheart. Tears of goodness - both for this man's kindness and for the constant reminder of your beautiful spirit. Before I left, I said your prayer again, quietly, gratefully. Until that day when you may collect me and keep me at your side for ever and ever. How I pray it may be soon, my little sweetheart. Until that day! Until that day...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Little sweetheart, when I got up yesterday morning and walked out into the hall, I saw something odd. It looked like someone had left a little toy, a plastic bird, on the crashbar of the emergency door to the roof. From the foot of the stairs, I considered it for a long moment and suddenly it turned its head to one side and blinked. It wasn't a toy, it was some sort of escaped parakeet! A pretty white bird with blue markings.

I texted my two neighbors on this floor, Eric & Jack, and Eric came out and took a look. It was his theory that the bird belonged to Angelo on the 2nd floor, because he's heard birds singing down there when he's walked past the apartment door. I never had, but it certainly made sense. I was all in my running gear about to head out, so I stopped on the way down and knocked on Angelo's door but no one was home. I tried again when I got back about an hour and a half later but still no one was there.

In the interim, Eric coaxed the bird into a net (!) and straightaway took him across the street the pet store, asking for their help in getting him into a little cage, then buying the cage and some seed and bringing him back here. Eric has a cat, as you remember, little sweetheart, a nice kitty named Rudy, but however nice Rudy is with humans, he couldn't exactly be trusted with our little bird. Eric wondered if I could take him for the night and if we didn't hear from Angelo or anyone else after putting up a sign - "Found - Escaped Parakeet!" - maybe take him for good. I was happy to bird-sit for the night but a little afraid of getting too attached because I was sure he must belong to someone. Even so, I'd already given our little friend a name: Buddy. He wound up staying two nights.

At first I had him out in the kitchen while I was making dinner and then I brought him into the front room while I was watching Rachel Maddow online. Eric told me he would probably turn his back on me at first. And he did. But eventually he got more comfortable and even started singing. When we had practice yesterday, I took him out of the front room so he wouldn't get too upset. But he slept nicely in front when I went to bed, little sweetheart.

And I thought of you, of course. Because you love animals so, but also because I've had this conversation with you in my dreams and prayers and wonderings about where you are and what it will be like when I get there, too. I often tell you that I can hardly wait to be with you again and forever. And I tell you that I can't wait to learn everything you have to teach and show me about The Forever. There's so much I can't possibly know being here and merely mortal. You know everything now, I imagine, and I can't wait for you to tell me how everything works and what we do. All the things my mind couldn't possible comprehend just now. Sometimes I ask - and I don't know where this came from - if we fly around with the birds sometimes. Maybe it's from waking on mornings, wonderful mornings in your arms, with the birdsong greeting us outside the window of your bedroom in Davis alongside the garden there. Somehow, birds and their singing has become resonant to me. Like it's something you've planted in my mind to help and remind me. And sometimes if I'm out walking or even here at my desk feeling lonely or upset, I'll have the thought to just quiet myself and listen for the song of a bird and often I'll hear it and remember and feel close to you.

We did finally hear from Angelo. He was so relieved to know that we'd found his little pal. And Buddy is actually a female. Her real name is Jackie and she's his first female bird - he has 4 others, I think, all males. She's also the youngest, just 9 months old. So, she's been safely returned.

But I wanted to tell you all about it, little sweetheart, because it seemed important that I do. I'm kind of flying blind here, to use an avian term, without you. I think and believe that you try your best to send me little messages and clues to help me make my way through the rest of my life, my true way, and back to you. And I need to listen closely. Quiet myself and listen for your presence and messages. And one day, hopefully one day very soon, I too will be safely returned to my proper place. Safely returned to you - my beauty, my soulmate, my partner, my best friend, my true love. Safely returned to you.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sharing Memories

Little sweetheart, I just saw a "memory" on my Facebook page from a few years ago. It was a "status update" that read like this:

"Bemused to discover that, unlike Tony Bennett, I left not only my heart but my belt, my Oyster card and my English mobile phone in San Francisco..."

Do you remember that, little sweetheart? I'd had to come back to NYC for jury duty, then a play with Wilson. You were down in Carmel finishing your run of "The Blue Room". It was the first I'd been apart from you since January that year. Then, a few days after I posted this and your show closed, you flew out to see the closing night of my own show and from then on we were back and forth the two coasts to be with each other, with the odd trips to London, Seattle, Ireland, et al. I'm further reminded of this, my darling, because I'm called for jury duty again a week from tomorrow, so this brings up some memories. Oh, little sweetheart - what a beautiful life we had. Love you forever!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dream Together Dreams

We're about to start recording basic tracks for the new record, Dream Together, little sweetheart and I have to say that you have helped me write at least half of them, maybe more. I’ve got 12 new songs, my sweetheart, and more and more they’ve come straight from dreams. Literally straight from dreams of and with you. I’ve awoken again and again with a melody and sometimes even the lyrics still ringing through my brain as I reach for my phone, my eyes still closed, singing all I can remember into the Voice Memo app. Usually it’s the middle of the night, so later when I get up in the morning, I go back and listen, picking up my guitar and stepping on the delay pedal, figuring out the chords and filling in the missing bits. This morning was the latest, our 12th song for the album. In the dream I was working in some arts space. Like getting things ready for an installation or maybe even a play. I’m not sure. A big open loft like space, volunteering with others, friends we know, little sweetheart, although I can’t think exactly who each of them were just now. I was filling up a cardboard box with some things. We were packing things up, tidying, moving things about. And four guys, our friends, were carrying something large all together. Something that needed four pairs of hands to move. And as they walked by they were all singing the same song in unison. Four voices in unison. A kind of anthem. And in the dream, carrying on working, I thought to myself, “what a pretty song”. Ya know? The way I often dream with you. Like we’ll be listening to the radio together in a dream, you and I, and suddenly I’ll wake up and realize it’s not a song on the radio, it’s a song that you’re giving to me from The Forever. It’s a song you & I are writing right now! Right this minute in the space between worlds where we can find each other. In sleep. In dreams. In this one I got both the lilting melody as it rose and fell and the wonderful main lyric, too - “she hears you calling”. Little sweetheart, I worked on it just before practice and then when Jason arrived it was the first thing we played. My darling, I didn’t realize how potent this magic title is. I picked it because the record was becoming something more than the “Double Exposures” project we began inspired by those great photos Jacs took superimposing you and I over each other, entwined in word and being. I’d hit on it because we’re using the photo of you and I wrapped around each other on the studio floor in San Francisco, holding each other, our eyes gently closed. I’ve always called that picture “Dream Together”. But as Jason said after I’d wept my way through another chorus, titling the album Dream Together has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dreaming together is exactly what we’re doing, you and I, little sweetheart. And you are, as ever, leading and gifting me, my beautiful angel. Thank you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to know: you hear me calling. Love you forever.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"The Most Beautiful Thing..."

Little sweetheart, as I mentioned last week (in the post that spoke of how in my best moments I hope I'm doing my best to keep devoting the rest of my life to you) I've been working on a live performance art adaptation of our double-album for you, Of Love and Loss. In October we had a concert performance of it in Brooklyn and after that I rewrote it replacing the idea of actors with a female spoken word narrator who, performing in tandem with us (the band), takes us on the journey, sort've like in a radio play or a novel - the narrative voice along with the music and lyrics, ya know? We have an idea to do it in either something like an art gallery (indeed, we think of this now more as an art installation than a tradition theatre "production") or a sacred space or even outside in a beautiful place. We're looking for a visual artist to collaborate with, maybe using film projections - I'm putting some together myself, meantime - and I've sent the manuscript out to a few people. One of them, that nice filmmaker, Alexandra Dennis-Renner, from USC who's doing the documentary about us, little sweetheart, wrote me to share her thoughts after reading it. It's so very much about you, my darling, I thought I'd post it here....

"I don't know how technical to get, so I'll leave it at this: It's wonderful.

I'm not sure how to describe the piece as a whole other than it just works. It flows, it weaves in and out of itself in a way that knits everything together into this tight, soft little package, and even though its meant to be abstract, there's a definite beginning-middle-end that gives you a sense of both resolution and anticipation.

I can imagine it so clearly as a stage show (a really wicked one...can't wait to see it in the flesh), yet it makes so much sense as literature. It's like a play and you read it like a play, but it's still such a different beast all of its own. The little quirks: the narrative uniqueness in the stage directions, the overall intimate, interactive nature of the show--they keep you invested and eager to see what happens next. But not in the typical Freytag pyramid sort of's more hypnotic than that. You're not following the narration and the story intellectually as a listener/audience member, but emotionally. It's like you're living this series of events and you have to keep following because you don't have a choice. You're living this moment and it's not up to you to stay engaged in the story or not. It's as if the story and the narrator are this proxy for life/the Universe/fate/whatever you want to call it and they're pulling you by the elbow through everything because that's how living and being present in something greater than yourself works (I hope that makes sense).

The atypicality of this show is all so conducive to BPX and everything the band has become over the course of three albums. It's this total, physical representation of the soul of the band and the music. It's not just this-or-that. Not just a story, not just a play, not just a record or a song or a way two people fell in love. It's all of these things together existing not just in the same realm but within each other that invoke a completely new experience. It's like the liberal arts degree of music or theatre: you realize how all these different, seemingly related yet removed elements compliment and further each other....but rather than coming together to create a more rounded education, they allow you to have a complete moment. They make you a whole person (emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, artistically, personally) while you're immersed in the show.

I loved the shared storytelling between you and Jason. It was seamless. And the humor...oh my god. How Summer would eat bananas with a knife and fork...the bit about putting Equal on individual pieces of dark chocolate. It's just so funny. The whole show has this love and warmth wrapped around it, but that moment in particular, that (dare I say) comic relief added all the more authenticity and fondness. It added an even warmer depth to her as a person and the show as a portrait of her being.

It's 25 pages... easy enough to get through in one sitting, but I'll be honest: I had to stop and take a break once or twice because I was overwhelmed with every emotion arguable. It really delivers a wallop to the senses... it's going to be a powerful piece of visual art.

On a less technical note: There's no doubt in my mind that Summer is an incredible human being. The way you talk about her, the way you create for her... it's so obvious that she's a presence and a beautiful force all her own and I want nothing more than to know her. This show has the potential to do that. I wouldn't be surprised if she was there at every staging breathing this little bit of her own essence into the performance. But even more so (and thinking about it brings tears to my eyes), I want whatever it is that you two have. I want to find someone or something that I love that deeply and that gives me a reason to live so graciously. It's the most goddamned beautiful thing.

I'm so very excited to see where this goes and the kind of joy, grief, catharsis, inspiration, imagination, closure, realization it brings to the people who see it and take part in it..."

So am I, little sweetheart. And it's all for you. Everything is. Love you forever.