Friday, June 30, 2017

This Morning's Reminders

Little sweetheart, sometimes I make little treats - cupcakes or brownies or cookies- and take almost all of them over to the little rectory at Sacred Heart for the nuns there.

It’s been awhile. I think the last time I did was on Valentines Day when I suddenly got the idea to make heart-shaped sugar cookies and see if I could figure out how to make pink frosting. I did and it went so well I made a second batch.

Anyway, I’d been thinking to myself that I would make some chocolate cupcakes and take them over but it’s been so hot here the thought of turning on the oven didn’t exactly appeal. Still, I had all the ingredients laid out to remind me. And then on my way back from my run, I saw two of the nuns over by the river. I told them I was going to bring some cupcakes by and I told them about you, of course, and showed them my tattoos in your handwriting. They both said they would pray for you.

This morning, I’m not sure why, I woke up quite early. So, I went ahead and made a dozen. I put them almost straight from the oven into the fridge still in the cupcake tray, so that they would cool fast and I could frost them. I made buttercream vanilla frosting and topped them and packed them up in tupperware and took them over on my way to the river for this morning’s run.

Baking always makes think of you, little sweetheart, because it’s something you liked to do and your doing it made me take it up - I love cooking for you! All the stuff I have for baking and cooking are things that you picked out when we went shopping together. Remember?

One night you wanted to make cupcakes but I didn’t really have anything here yet. You looked around and spotted a big metal bowl I had squirreled away about as far out of reach as could be. It was all the way up on the top of one of the shelves near the ceiling, probably covered in dust, but your keen little eye hit upon it and you pointed. “What about that?”, you said. Then we made a list and went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got measuring spoons and a measuring cup and cake and cupcake tins and a rolling pin and a hand mixer - all kinds of stuff that I have and use all the time, now! Thank god for you! Literally. And always.

I always think of you when I bake and I love cooking for your folks when I see them because it reminds me how wonderful it was to make things for you. And also, when I do little things out of kindness, like bring cupcakes to the sweet little nuns at Sacred Heart, I know you are with me. You are the kindest, most thoughtful person I’ve ever known. And I long to do things that make you proud of me. I long to do things that make me feel close to you.

And I long for the day, soon I hope, when I may be returned to you. Please come and collect me, little sweetheart, the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pinhole Gateway to The Forever

Little sweetheart, sometimes a little something will come up on Facebook as a "memory" - something that I posted there a while back. Today I saw one about a dream I had. It was this:

Dreamt last night of a pinhole opening between consciousness and the other world that, if all relaxed but laser-focused concentration is employed, would bring me to Summer, where she waits with secret knowledge, her sweet little open arms- delighted, relieved, in her blue "Anchor" t-shirt, in a rush to show and tell me everything, impatient- and all eternity.

Little sweetheart, may it please be so. Please be near me and guide me to you. Please help me focus on what's good and true and kind and of open, pure heart. I know my eyes will open and I will be able to pass through even the eye of a needle to be with you, if I just love you with all my heart and soul.

(p/c) The Spirit of the Rainbow, 1912-19 by Henry Mosler (American, 1841–1920)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Just Like Me

Little sweetheart, it's so very lonely here without you. Some days, sometimes, often, I don't know what to do with myself at all. I try to busy myself with work and, perhaps too much, distractions. But sometimes I simply ache and cannot find my way. I know in these moments it's important that I listen for you the most intently.

The weekends are often among the hardest. It all seems so lonely here. If I stay at home I get a little stir crazy but if I go out I somehow feel even more alone. It may well stem from the earliest of days after your passing when I rented a car and thought to drive down the coast, stopping in Carmel - a place that was holy to us, full of wonderful memories. But when I got there, its magic was gone and I felt cripplingly alone. Every place was changed in your absence. I walked the pretty streets in tears and I couldn't even go to the ocean - I hid behind a tree and wept. I fell to the floor in the little hotel room I booked - one I'm almost positive was the same one you and I had stayed in together once before - and cried and cried. I got a friend on the phone and she told me to get out of there. Just turn in the key, get in the car and drive back north.

That spooked me from all further travel. Indeed, maybe spooked me from doing much of anything. It all seemed so terribly sad and lonely to go anywhere without you. It remains so to this day.

But one thing I have been trying to do a little is at least make myself go for a walk on Saturday or Sunday. I have a membership at The Met. I hardly ever go unless someone is visiting from out of town or at Christmas when they have the big tree in the Gothic Hall. Remember how you and I used to go and I would take you to all my favorite rooms? Well, I've been trying to stop in there the last couple of weekends. It's a nice long walk up to and through the park. And on Saturdays they're open till nearly 9pm.

I went today, little sweetheart, and I looked at all the works - the paintings and sculptures and artifacts and period rooms - we like. Courbet's "Woman in the Waves", Jan Steen's "Merry Company on a Terrace", the huge Pollock's and Rothko's and the Delvaux and Balthus in the Modern section. The French rooms (the English ones are closed for renovation). The Panorama was closed both days but the Frank Lloyd Wright room and the McMead Stair Hall were open. And I went all the way over to the back of the museum to see that little ceramic ring flask that's so beautiful and amazing before I settled into the wonderful room there in the very rear with the red velvet walls and the blue love seat that you're allowed to rest on and take in the two big El Greco's and two large Rembrandts looming above.

I especially love these two El Greco's - the one of a satin robed Saint Jerome and the one of Christ at Gethsemane, carrying his cross, his eyes heavenward and tear-filled. I've both been here curled up with you and been here alone looking up at his watery eyes feeling my own sorrow well up in my chest and my tears come, so desperate for your company, for you - the other half of my soul.

As I sat there today in a quiet moment that found me alone in the room after a few people had passed through, I saw a young couple approaching. They were Italian, I think, or maybe Spanish. European. They looked nice. He had a very kind face. I thought for a long time after that he reminded me of someone. Either someone that I actually know or someone from a film or something I'd seen. I finally figured out that he reminded me of Mathieu Kassovitz - the boyfriend in "Amelie". They were speaking in their own language, of course, but when I addressed him, he immediately picked up in English.

I got up and said, "I think you guys should sit down here together and look at these two El Greco's." He smiled and said, "you think we should sit here?". I said, "yes, it's a beautiful room." And as I walked away they settled in together, having the room to themselves.

Somehow I felt that you were with me right after that, my little sweetheart, and I spoke to you. "Let's get out of here, right, little sweetheart?". I left, crossing back out through the Gothic Hall and on downstairs by way of the side entrance and started walking home through the park at 79th Street.

As I walked on the path there just before getting to the Great Lawn, I saw something - a helium balloon. It was tied to a park bench with no one around it. It was a mylar balloon, the kind you get for a birthday or some other occasion. It said "I Miss You". And there it was all on its own, just like me, doing a little dance in the breeze.

One could think of it as a terribly sad sight but in this context I saw it more as a sign. A sign of you telling me you know how sad and lonely I am and that you miss me too but that you are here. You are far closer than I can imagine. And I just need to remember that, look and listen for you, and keep the faith. Thank you, little sweetheart. Thank you, my darling girl. Love you forever.

Wake and Sleep

Little sweetheart, when I lay down for a nap or sometimes when I wake but think to close my eyes just for a few more minutes, I often say something to you that I don't think I've ever actually written down.

I keep your side of the bed made - I don't turn down the covers - and your famous black hat is there floating on your pillow with a couple of other little things of yours, clothing, aside it. I'll often hold on to a corner of your blouse or gently smooth the top of your hat where a little seahorse brooch is pinned and talk to you quietly. I'll always tell you how very much I love and miss you and that I don't want anything more than just to be with you wherever you are and forever. I'll tell you that I just don't like it here at all without you and that all I want is just to be with you. I'll ask you to please take me to you as soon as possible.

Indeed, someone asked me last night what I'd most like to do if I could do anything and I had to remind them that life isn't like that for me anymore. Whatever there may be left of my life, I'm just trying my best to honor and listen for you but that what I want more than anything is just to pass through death so I can go with you, be where you are.

All of us on this side, all of we merely mortal, can only talk about things with the words we have. Not knowing what you know, little sweetheart, that is all I can do - talk about Heaven or The Forever without really knowing and just using the poetry and vocabulary that I do have.

So, what I'll often say as I lay down to take a nap or close my eyes for a little longer is how much I long to wake with you where you are. I remember how very much you like to sleep and how very proud I was that you always told me how you slept the best and most soundly when you were curled up with me.

I'll often say to you as I lay down now that I wonder if we take naps in heaven and how nice that would be to nap there with you. Or if you're terribly busy sometimes in The Forever and need to go off on your own, maybe I can take a little nap right there where we are and just wait until you finish all your celestial to-do list and then be all ready to help you with anything you need when you get back.

I'll often say that I don't know how it works in heaven or what we do there. I don't know if we take naps or if we maybe fly around with the birds (I like listening to birds sing their little songs now, sweetheart - I have a feeling often that you send me messages that way, to calm me down and to remind me to be kind, to be a good boy). How I look forward to you telling me everything and how everything works there! And I also often say that I hope I can do things that make you happy because I'm never happier than when I can do things to help you and do things that make you happy and hear you tell me that I'm "so good to (you)".

I'll often say that. That I'd love just to help you if you need anything done in Heaven. Maybe I can be your helper, little sweetheart. Maybe if you've lots of things to do I can help with them and then if we take naps in Heaven, the two of us can lay down together after we get through all the little things you need to get done.

When I think of what I want if it could be anything, this it what I think of, little sweetheart - just to be with you everywhere you go and to help. And if you need to go off on your own for a little while, just to wait patiently for you or maybe do something to help you while you're away. Just so long as I can be with you always and to help and make you happy. That's all I want in the whole world, little sweetheart.

Please help do that, won't you? Please help and guide me and take me to you just soon as Heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Secret Dream

Little sweetheart, I had a dream last night/this morning part of which is a recurring one.

Also, it was one of those dreams where when you’re with someone, the person is really almost two different people in the same person. That happened twice in the dream. In the beginning of what I remember, I was in a car with some combination of JFK and your brother Jesse. I'd just come from having talked with your dad who was excited and overjoyed about a trip we were, all of us together, about to go on with Jesse, himself.

Back in the car, I’m with Jesse/JFK. And he’s telling me some secret something that he’s also written down in its entirety in a sealed letter he gives to me. After he tells me, we’re sitting at a traffic light. He says bye for now and gets out.

When the light changes, I’m in the drivers seat (I think I may have been the entire time but I’m not sure) but it’s pushed all the way up and I can’t see or feel what I’m doing. This is the part of the dream I now recognize as recurrent - behind the wheel of a car I don’t know how or cannot control, having forgotten how to drive or simply impaired in trying to do so. But I try anyway - take a leap of faith and somehow get things straightened out, maneuvering through the danger and traffic. I get there.

“There” turns out to be someplace beautiful, ceremonial, official - The White House? - where I try it give the letter to someone, again a combination of persons in one person. Something like both Jackie Kennedy and your mom. She’s a little more like your mom than Jackie but still… She’s wary about taking the letter. It’s for me, she says. But you - in the very best part of the dream that I can still feel the most vividly and the most tactilely, the feeling lingers - you are there behind me with your hands on my shoulders, pushed up close, your body against mine, your cheek to my my cheek, your breath in my ear, encouraging me.

I tell your mom/Jackie what’s in the letter. You are urging me on. It is important and resonant to us all. We all need to know the letter’s contents. It’s for each and all of us. A secret we need to know and hold dear. It’s good news and explains everything.

Naturally - much like the Arthur Miller dream where he put his arm around me and told me he had three things to tell me about playwrighting - when I woke, I couldn’t remember the message, the content.

But, perhaps that’s not important. What is, I think, was how happy your dad was. I think he already knew. And that you were there so palpably that I can still feel your hands on my shoulder. I know exactly what your touch feels like and this was it.

It’s the best dream I’ve had in ages, solely for that. Thank you, little sweetheart. Always be with me. I suspect you already are. Closer than I can imagine.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

In The Park

Little sweetheart, I’m trying to get out the house a little bit more. It’s hard sometimes because I miss you so very much and going places on my own feels so lonely, But I try my best to quiet myself and listen for you.

This weekend was the last for the first of the two Shakespeare plays in the park.

The last time I went to one was with you. I remember that I got up early, gave you a little kiss because you were still asleep - what a wonderful thing that was to wake with you at my side! How I long for the day when it may be again! - and went up to the Delacourt to wait on line for tickets. It was for a Greek play, actually - The Bacchae - and I remember you actually weren’t too crazy about it. Ha! I found myself, foolishly, defending it but we talked through things like always and both came to realize that I just wanted you to like it because I wanted to enjoy things together. And I came to realize that just being together - even sitting through something not too great - was in itself a treasure. The content or activity doesn’t matter. It just being with you. Sharing everything - even lame things, ha! - is the beauty part. Everything else is marginalia.

Anyway, I decided to go up and see if I could hear the play. I knew I wouldn’t get in because it’s sold out. It’s kind of a modern dress political staging of Julius Caesar and it’s been getting a lot of attention and protests because it’s taking on the horrible current administration. There were quite a few more police around the periphery than usual. I climbed up to Belvedere Castle which is on a hill behind the stage, Sometimes you can see the plays from there - from behind - but the backdrops were too high and you couldn’t really get a view.

So, I went back around front and listened via the monitors. That’s an interesting way to take in the play, too, not only because you can really concentrate on the language but also because actors make entrances sometimes through the audience, so this spot is like a crossover where they have to come around from an wait. At one point after the assassination scene, Brutus, bloodied up to his elbows came rushing around a corner with a bunch of other actors about to make one of those through-audience-entrances.

It was all pretty interesting and lively. They had to take a couple of protestors away and again, they came right past me. You could hear when they’d disrupted the show - the audience started booing and the stage manager came over the “god mic” telling the actors to hold. I think you would’ve loved this all. In a way, it was better than actually being inside the theater. It was a real backstage kind of experience.

Quite near the end, your dad texted me. It’s Father’s Day, of course, and he as just getting home from a case at the hospital. I’d sent him a chocolate cake and he was just digging into a piece of it. The play was almost over, so I walk away a little distance, put on my headphones and called him to say Happy Father’s Day and tell him all about this.

It all made me feel so close to you, little sweetheart. And that’s the most important thing. Always. I love you so very much and feel you near me tonight. Thank you, my darling. Please take me to you as soon as heaven allows, won;t you? With all my love forever.

Fathers Day (2017)

Thinking of my dad today, little sweetheart, who has now been gone longer than I had him and also thinking of you (always) because you wanted to raise a child with me and make me a daddy myself. I'll never know that now but maybe things will be different when I may finally fly to you. Whatever it may be like in The Forever, as long as I am with you again and always, I know I'll finally feel that I'm where I belong again. With all my love, my darling girl.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This Is Our Music

Little sweetheart, I was thinking today that over the years and these six albums, nine different musicians have passed through the ranks of our little band in collaboration with you and I.

You've taught me so much, my darling, about being a better person, having a bigger, more generous heart, so I know the thing to do is to say those who've come and gone, even if their departure was baffling or mean-spirited or completely flaky and evaporative, is simply to wish them well and move on.

This band that you and I founded (as you famously found me), will go on with faith and conviction and every note and lyric will be grounded in the truth and power and overwhelming grace of your love, your amazing, brilliantine love, that saved and shaped and shapes me still. Every note and lyric will remain of, for and about you - your great leonine heart, your pure angelic soul. May another nine, we've yet to meet but may be destined to, pass through our ranks as well on this journey.

Even as I type this, little sweetheart, I've come from visiting a couple of our old compadres, there at this group's inception, who may imminently return. But no matter who may join us - you are at its core.

This is my life's work, to summon and honor you. Nothing can ever change that or deter me, my little sweetheart. Not until the glorious moment when you finally call me to you and I may join you again and forever in The Forever. With all my love, always. Always.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Found Flowers and Angels

Little sweetheart, I've had the strangest day.

My friend Lee was visiting from Boston. She was driving down to go to reading at Judson near NYU but stopping here to meet up for a few hours before. She arrived later than expected and we didn't have loads of time but she wanted to go for a walk and have something to eat after, so I took her up to that sweet little diner that you and I like so much way up on Broadway.

We had a nice walk and nice chat and a nice lunch. I gave her a CD-R - a rough mix demo of the new "incidentals" for the live Of Love and Loss (she runs a little theatre company in Cambridge, so it's possible we might perform it up there). After, she handed me a chicklet, a little piece of gum. I bit down and I immediately heard something crack. I felt with my tongue and spit out a tiny piece of tooth! Oh. My. God. I wasn't bleeding or in pain, so that was good, but it shook me up a little! I wrapped it in a bit of plastic and an extra handkerchief I had in my bag and stashed it back in the bag itself next to my notebook.

We were running a bit late for her reading and she wasn't sure how to get there, so I took her myself on the subway and then walked her over there from the train. After, I tried to get the dentist on the phone. It's Sunday, so the machine picked up but it also had an emergency number. I dialed it and the dentist who shares office space with my own answered and set up an appointment for me first thing Tuesday morning. Gah.

I was right down near the place where I often meet Elaine, my literary agent, so I texted to see if she was around. She texted right back to say she was about to walk her dog and that she'd meet me by the edge of the park across from Judson in five minutes. I've been with Elaine for just a little bit before I met you, little sweetheart, and she remembers how rich you made my life, how very happy. She's been so supportive and kind over the years and was among the first to ask if there was a way to meld my music for you with my writing. She also, tragically, just lost her husband a few months ago. I've only seen her a couple of times since then, so I'm glad we had a chance to meet up. She has a new puppy, just 16 weeks old. Her name is Fiona, and she reminds me very much of Gidget, the little cocker your Mom and I got your Dad for Christmas the year you passed.

As we sat down there was a little rose that had been cut but was still thorny and stalky and in full bloom right on the bench where we were about to sit. I gave Elaine Dream Together - it's been that long since I've seen her - and told her about the incidentals for Of Love. She's going to London on Friday, so she'll talk to Meg, my agent over there, as well.

When we parted, I felt better, I think we both did, and I took the little rose with me, careful to carry it by the stem with my handkerchief over the sharp needles of the thorns.

As I walked across to the West Side to catch the bus, I came across another flower. A pretty pink one. It was lying on the sidewalk near the little church and garden and thrift store there on Hudson Street. I gathered it up with the rose and carried them both carefully with me to the bus stop, then on the bus itself, then all the way home and finally put them both in a little jam jar I filled with water.

It all made me feel so close to you, my little sweetheart. A little sad, too, because I miss you so and it reminded me of how I'd always prepare a dozen roses for your arrival, arranging them in a vase and setting them on the red table where you'd organize all your treasures and do your make up and conduct official Summer operations here in our apartment. Where we'd eat together side by side. I never dine there anymore, it's too lonely without you. But I keep all your things and light a constant candle there for you.

I loved that I found these flowers today and that I brought them safely home. I love having thoughts and signs of you near. Please be with me today and always, won't you, my darling? And take me to the very moment that heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

About Kindness

Little sweetheart, thank god for you! Thank god for your teaching me so many things about kindness. No one I have ever known is as generous of spirit as you, my love. I'm so grateful for you. And I'm so grateful that you help me through these terrible days when I miss you so by visiting me when I myself act in kindness. I can feel you with me in those moments. It happened several times today, little sweetheart.

On my run, I came across a young woman who was trying to find her way to the pier from within Riverside Park. It's not easy to find if you don't know where to go down. She had a toddler in tow and was also pushing a stroller. She was new to West Side and wanted to show her little boy the river.  Her name was Jasmine. I explained how to get to the path and also told her about the free events they have up here - movies and concerts and activities - all family friendly. She was very encouraged and the whole time I could feel you with me.

You swell up in my heart when I help people, sweetheart. You're the best person I've ever known and I long to do as you would have me do, to be a better person myself.

Later, I saw the woman I may have told you about from HCC. They're an non-profit that has been helping low income tenants here in Hell's Kitchen for 30 years. She's one of their long-time volunteers. She was very worried about her brother who's far away and in trouble. I talked to her for a long time. She knows about you, of course (I love telling people about you, my treasure!), and I think when people do they tend to approach me with the things that hurt and trouble their hearts. It's you they can sense within and about me. It's your beautiful spirit that draws them toward me with a hope for love and understanding. And I'm so grateful to be any kind of conduit for you, my gorgeous girl. How I long to be with you! And encounters like this help me feel your divine presence.

Finally, just an hour or so ago, I was up at that sweet little church I've told you about. Wednesday nights are when they have their candlelight meditation service. It's often led by the young woman I've told you about who first welcomed me when I happened upon it a few years ago. She seemed a bit unsettled tonight, little sweetheart. She excused herself shortly after it began and when she returned around the midpoint of the service, she didn't resume sitting in her usual place near the front but stayed at the back, just a row or two in front of me, sitting by the cantor and kind of falling into her arms.

Afterward, I moved into the row directly behind her and spoke quietly to her asking if she was okay. It was something personal that was upsetting her, so I won't go into it but I did my best to listen and comfort her. "Everybody loves you", I told her. And it's true - she's very kind and sweet and I think you two would be friends, little sweetheart. She often tells me that she prays for you. I think she heard that - me telling her that she is loved - and felt a little better. And it had just been her birthday the day before, so I gave her a copy of Dream Together. She'd told me she'd listened to it online and gotten very emotional just hearing the guitars on "She Hears You Calling" - one of the songs you gave me in a dream, my darling.

All these things seem connected, my love. And they are because the connection, indeed the nexus, is you. May I do as you teach and guide me, my love. And may I be returned to you soon and forever. With all my love.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Prayer For Our Friend

Little sweetheart, this probably isn't the place to get into it or even name the person but something very disturbing is happening to a dear friend of us both. The person is simply not at all in their right mind. They have been manic and violent and just awful. They’ve done and said terrible things to the people closest to them including their parents and even me. I’m worried and not a little frightened. I’m saying prayers for our friend and I know you will hear them and try to help too. Please be with me in these hours, won’t you my love? You are my Light. You make all things right. Please be with me as I pray for our friend. With all my love forever.