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.