Wednesday, October 3, 2018

First Night Back

Little sweetheart, tonight was the first night of the new season of Taize - that little candlelight mediation service held on Wednesdays up at that sweet old little church I told you about on the Upper West Side. They take the months of July, August and September off.

I’ve been working on my recovery from the injuries after getting hit by the car in April, so it was very nice to be there, sitting quietly in the back, singing soft harmonies to the chants, coming forward in the near-darkness to light a candle for you and say our prayer, repeating it yet again once back at my seat before falling into silent contemplation.

Please be near me today, little sweetheart. Help and guide me. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Shower Curtain Girl

Little sweetheart, I have a series of beautiful photos of you in the soft daylight streaming through the bathroom in your apartment in the Inner Sunset. You took them in front of the shower curtain there, a montage of images of old Hollywood movie stars. My favorite of these photos is enlarged to poster size, framed and hanging in our bedroom.

But it also reminds of another wonderful memory of you.

Sometimes after you’d closed the door and I’d hear the water running as you were washing your hair or something, I’d hear you call out my name (it brings me to tears just to think of that sound - my name on your lips - is there anything, any sound more blessed?). You’d forgotten something. Maybe you needed a new bottle of conditioner or something and you’d ask me to retrieve it from the hallway closet (even as I type this I can remember perfectly the smell, the smell inside that little linen closet of yours).

I’d find whatever it was that you needed and bring it to you, standing under the cascading stream of hot water. You’d peak around the show curtain, your sweet beautiful smiling face and I’d lean in to kiss you, your hair wet, your skin warm and aglow from the heat.

What a wonderful memory, my little sweetheart. I’m so blessed to have it so very close to me, so close that I can nearly touch evert sensation, nearly touch our life, nearly touch you.

Thank you, my little sweetheart, for finding me. Please let me know that you are near me today and every day. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Carrying the Torch

Little sweetheart, I was thinking of something the other day, a very dark time in those first months after your tragic passing.

There was an old Todd Rundgren song from his double-album Something/Anything. I’d known the record well for years and used to listen to it a lot once winter when I was living in basement in DC. It had been in heavy rotation then.

One track, a very mournful, sad tune filled with longing and regret came to mind here one day, in a new far darker light. A track called Torch Song. It builds and builds to a climax of grief expressed in the words “somewhere in the back of mind it’s there/and every day it finds me and reminds me.”

I sat here at my desk that day, little sweetheart, playing it over and over and just weeping, wailing, keening, shaking with grief. Some might say I was nearly torturing myself but it’s so hard to unwrap everything.

Sometimes the pain, I think, is hard to let go of because there’s a feeling that even inside the pain itself there is something of your essence, of your presence and I would rather die than to ever let go of that, let go of you.

I think you try to teach and comfort me and guide me, though. To know that you are near and that the pain is not you, the memory is, but maybe not the ache exactly. Please help me to know, little sweetheart. And to do good in all things as you would have me. I love you with all my heart and soul. Forever. Forever. 


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Forgetting Any Other Home But You

Little sweetheart, I was doing my home care yesterday - the physical therapy exercises I have been given to do here on days between sessions, to rehabilitate my shoulder post-surgery - and in the middle of them I thought of something and quickly wrote down a note to remind myself: “talking about and reciting ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with Summer”.

Acting and the theatre seem so far away from me now, little sweetheart, so unimportant in light of the light that you are, that guides and blesses my life. But I remember so clearly talking with you about the play and reading it to one another over the phone in the first days when I was here in New York and you in San Francisco and longing for you so (as I do now).

How impatient we both were to be in one another’s arms again and how the phone had to do for the moment, however inadequate. I’d sit for hours either in the kitchen floor with the old landline or laying on the plaid couch in the front room with my bottom of the line Nokia (the free phone they’d give you for signing up) balanced on my ear talking to you for hours every night, usually three hours at the least.

In one of those early epics calls between you being here and my being there or both of us being somewhere else together, we began speaking lines of the play’s dialogue to each other from memory. I’d played Romeo in school and you’d done a proper production of it at a company in Oregon shortly after you’d graduated from Oxford.

The lines that came to mind last night “letting me forget any other home than this” (“home” meaning you) flooded forward and I remembered the ache and wonder of speaking them to you and hearing you reply as we poured them out to one another until you reached a passage and said that we needed to stop there because the next lines were something you could only say when I was within your reach and you gazing intently into my eyes, your voice an impassioned whisper of truth and love.

How I long for you my little sweetheart! How blessed I am to have ever been found by you! Please don’t go too far away. Please let me know that you are near and hear me. And please take me to you soon and forever, the very moment that heaven will allow. With all my love.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Reason We're Here

Little sweetheart, I’m working hard on the new album and my physical therapy too, as I’ve told you, and finally at the end of the day, sometime around 9pm or so, I’ll watch an hour or two of something (often The West Wing because it brings you close in my memory and comforts me) before I say my prayers for you and us and finally go to bed.

I was watching last night when something made me decide to look at something else, something new, a kind of talk show on Netflix. It was amusing and king of mindless but then Drew Barrymore came on and I was more interested because she always makes me think of you.

In part, I think it’s because you had that picture of her in fairy wings clipped from a magazine as part of the collage you’d made and hung in your bedroom in Davis while in high school. It had all your heroes and referenced your friends and family and dreams of life. When I finished the band’s first album for you, Of Love and Loss, I made a collage myself filled with photos and memorabilia, your pictures and words and you and I together. We took it to the roof and snapped high res photos of it so it could be reproduced as a poster included within the folds of the double-CD. And the collage itself - filling an entire large cork board - graces the red table room always, the center of the shrine as you are the center of my life.

But anyway… Drew Barrymore.

Like a lot of things, I never had given her much thought until you brought her to my mind. And then I saw how her kindness and genuineness reminded me so very much of you. On this show there were several instances that brought that and you to mind but maybe above all was an exchange where she said what a blessing it is to have interactions with each other, if even only in a moment at the grocery store when you look into another person’s eyes and speak to one another. To have that opportunity to share kindness and lift each other up.

I think more than anything, little sweetheart, this is the most important thing I learned from you - how you told me that you knew why you were on earth and that it was simply to love, to share your love with others.

What a treasure, what a blessing you are, little sweetheart. And how I long and aspire to do as you would have me and to be more and more like you each day. Please help and guide me, my little sweetheart. I love you with all my heart and soul. And I’m listening. Always. Always.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Light Eternal

Little sweetheart, yesterday as I was writing about you, writing about our first trip to London together, I suddenly smelled wax and a faint puff of smoke and I knew that the candle before your picture, two rooms away, had just burned out and you were telling me it was time to go light a new one.

I love how thoroughly I felt your presence in that moment and others - memory flooding forward with thoughts of you and all senses doubtless heightened because of that, perception deepening.

Please let me know you’re near, my little sweetheart. Please don’t go too far away. And please take me to you the moment heaven will allow.

With all my love forever.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The More That Simply Is

Little sweetheart, it’s four months since getting hit by the car and I only just today thought of something...

Both events - getting hit and two weeks later having the pulmonary embolism - happened on a Tuesday. And the latter, when my heart stopped for ten minutes was Tuesday May 8th, so very like the tragic accident that took you from me, which happened on Tuesday March 8th.

Numbers sometimes surround me in strange ways, little sweetheart. Some numbers will just very insistently come into my head. Often the angel numbers - eleven eleven - will appear as I glance at a clock. Or sometimes I’ll wonder what time it is while out walking, say the time out loud, then walk past a parking meter to find that is the exact time precisely.

Numbers and birdsong and glancing celestial light striking objects. A watch, long stopped, that begins suddenly ticking again, awakened. Dreams where you appear to me. All these things continue to confirm and comfort me with the knowledge that there is so much just beyond my grasp or sight or apprehension that nonetheless is. And I know I’ll be with you again soon and forever.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

In Every Way

Often, little sweetheart and I tell others (and even more often tell myself, indeed pray) that I long to be more like you. To be as brave and kind and wise and generous and just to be the man you wanted and were helping me to become - and still are helping me become!

How could I know that in so many other ways I would also become more like you. Doing things you had to but weren’t exactly crazy about. Three weeks in the hospital was not my idea of trying to be more like you but it happened and helped me understand things yet deeper.

Because of the pulmonary event, little sweetheart, I have to take a medication for six months (I’ve got two months left). Twice a day I have to take this little pill. Sometimes I would take it but couldn’t quite remember if I had. I’d carefully empty the bottle and count the pills to see if there was an odd or even number of them left to confirm.

On my phone I’ve set up an alarm. It goes off an hour before and again at the five minute mark - 9:55 (I have to take the pill twice a day, at 10am and 10 pm) - before it’s time.

And it was only yesterday that I thought how that’s, of course, something that you had to do twice a day. That I even have your big weekly pill box with all the compartments sorted by day to remind you and that you traveled with and finally left in London on our last trip there but I made sure to bring home with me.

Again, the note to self - “Take Pill!” - is me being like you. I’ve a piece of paper that says “take pill” on one side and “took pill” on the other and I flip it over to remind me and confirm.

In every way, even these prosaic ones, I guess, I seek and find myself to be more and more like you, my true love, my best friend, my little sweetheart.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Look To You

I’m doing my best to do my best, little sweetheart. I have physical therapy for my shoulder every other day and am also working on the new Bipolar Explorer album and a second one with Sylvia for the new project, Native Tongue. She’s just gone back to France after a long visit and I’m trying to get even more things done in her absence.

Around 9pm or so, I finally have some dinner. By 11pm going on midnight, I’m pretty exhausted and ready for bed. How different than when you are with me! You love staying up late! I think the injuries and recovery really tire me out, little sweetheart. And I want so to keep making progress with all of our work.

Anyway, I do finally take an hour or two to just unwind and watch something on my laptop - like you would say, “watching a story at the end of the day” adding “with my partner” and making my heart swell with pride and love to be called your own.

These last few nights I’ve put on The West Wing. I think it’s often my go-to, a kind of comfort in it and a reminder always of you, little sweetheart, because it was you that so lovingly brought me the first four seasons of the series on DVD from your home in Davis for me to watch and to think of you when we were apart.

Your mom once told me how proud you were to have been the one to have turned me on to the series yourself. And how proud I am of you, little sweetheart, for everything you that you do and are and so thoroughly exemplify. Someone once remarked about how I express so many things, feelings about you - love and gratitude, of course, but also, quite markedly, admiration. Your not only my soulmate, my true love, my little sweetheart, you’re also my conscious, my guide, my teacher. I long to do as you would have me do, as you yourself would do in any given circumstance.

In so many things, perhaps in all things, indeed, my little sweetheart, I look to you. With all my love forever. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Backwards Glance... forward!

I’m always so grateful to be visited by you in dreams, little sweetheart. I took too long the other day after waking to write down what I remembered. Darn it all! But I do have some memory of one last night.

It’s a bit blurry and short on details but what I do remember is that I was with you in someone’s car. They were driving and you were in the passenger seat with my right behind you in the back one. They had a lot of things to ask you and since they were giving us both a ride you were very conscientious to answer them but you did keep stealing glances back at me to let me know you were with me.

It reminded me of that time we were at a play together with Chris and Sheri and you came at the last minute but could only get a seat not with the three of us but several rows behind. All through the play I kept turning around with my back to the stage and my eyes reaching out to you with such longing! And you returned my desperate gaze with the kindest look in your own eyes as if to say, “I know, I know but just watch the play right now and we’ll be together as soon as it’s over, in no time at all, just the blink of an eye.” 

May that be so, my little sweetheart. May I be with you soon, again and forever, in just the blink of an eye. How very much I long for you, my True Love. My Angel.
 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Days Remembered

I’ve been so occupied these last weeks, little sweetheart, with the new album (weighing in at 23 tracks, it’s quite a handful of work) that I haven’t been able to keep as diligent as I’d like in banging out our first memoir but when I resume, which I hope to do by the end of the month, I’ll be nearly at the point of recounting out first trip to London together. And it’s actually the 10th anniversary of those very days, so so much of it is flooding back in the memory.

You’d just been here in NYC for a week and we knew we’d have England together in the months ahead because you needed to attend a friend’s wedding and I was going for several weeks to work on one of my plays with Wilson. I was staying in Kentish Town with Kris and Joy and missing you terribly. You’d drive up to the house in Davis just to be able to get on a landline and call me, eight hours behind, from California, to talk each day. When we weren’t on the phone, you were sending me epic emails, every single one of them treasured and saved. I’m looking over them even now, my angel.

When you finally arrived, I saw you coming down the stairs to the basement flat. You’d cut your hair! Just the front, cut it into bangs or a “fringe” as you liked to say. I’d asked Joy if it was okay for you to stay with us and she of course said yes. She loved you right away too. You and Kris were sort of an odd pairing - the two of you are so different! - but it didn’t matter. You were here, we were together.

You knew London, you’d lived there after finishing your degree at Oxford, but I still liked taking you to all my favorite places. We wandered The Heath and took the Tube down to The Embankment. Walked across the bridge together. Lingered on The South Bank. Saw Shakespeare at The Globe. Had a 99 from a stand near The Thames. Got tickets for The National Theatre and later Donmar Warehouse. Bought groceries at Tesco and made a delicious crumble once we got home. Got locked out of the bedroom one night when no one was home to help us and you picked the lock expertly with a hairpin. Cuddled and made plans and belatedly discovered a Cure song as it blared out of the boombox on Fortess Road “Friday, I’m in Love”, which became our anthem.

One night on the walk back to The Northern Line, looking out at the city spread before us, doing everything I’d longed to share with someone special, forever lonely but with you finally squeezing my hand healing every wound, every slight, I began to weep. “Don’t cry, don’t be sad yet or miss me - I’m right here!”, you said, knowing my heart, my way instantly and better than I myself.

These days are still so fresh in my mind, my little sweetheart. And I thank God for you and know that you are near, nearer than I can imagine. And that we will be together again and forever. Indeed, we already are. I just need to pass - when it is my time, not yet, you’ve already turned me back to wait - to know it. With all my love. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

How Many Songs Are There?

Little sweetheart, our dear dear Sylvia is here from France working on the two new albums with me, keeping me company and helping with everything so very much. She was very moved from the very beginning to hear your story and our own and of my boundless devotion to you. And she is very kind, little sweetheart, and caring.

The other morning as I was making us some breakfast I had WFMU on in the background and Jeffery Davison played “Where Does The Time Go”, which brought me to a complete stop, as I stood there weeping, remembering how you loved that song and how you first played it for me in your room in Boston. I told Sylvia all about it between sobs and she hugged me.

Then this afternoon as I was doing my home physical therapy exercises for my shoulder post-surgery, again with the radio in the background and Sylvia in the next room, I began to cry and cry. She heard me and rushed into the room. “Is it the music”, she asked, ever so kindly. With tears streaming down my face, I nodded. And then, cautiously but with the gentlest kind of concern, she asked, so sweetly “how many songs are there?”

It was at once lovely, thoughtful and not a little hilarious. It’s something you would do, little sweetheart. And were you to hear it asked in that very moment (as I suspect you did) would probably make you smile, even giggle, cheering right up and give her a hug yourself for being so thoughtful, worried and probably not a little overwhelmed.

Honestly, there are a lot of songs. And countless moments, as I move through what remains of my life, when I am seized with thoughts of you, little sweetheart, and overwhelmed myself with so many emotions - of longing, of love, of affection, of gratitude.

Please help and guide me in these times and all times, won’t you, little sweetheart? And know I love you with all my heart and soul forever.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

August 16th

Today is August 16th, little sweetheart - your mom’s birthday.

I got a few little things together from the gift and card shop, Delphinium, on W47th Street that we like so much, wrapped them up and sent them her way.

I’ve also discovered a nice service online that delivers birthday cakes. I often get one for your Dad on Father’s Day or his own birthday and your mom really likes their Vanilla Bean one, so I sent that along as well. I like being there on the day, of course - I made her a lemon cake with buttercream frosting a few years ago when I was visiting - but I can’t fly right now after the pulmonary embolism. Hopefully I can go at Christmas.

One of the things I like most about visiting your mom and dad, little sweetheart, is cooking for them, because it’s something I so loved doing for you. Lots of your little treats and special things are still right here on the red table or inside the top shelf of the fridge.

I know we’ll be together again and forever, little sweetheart. And I don’t know how things work after we die but I hope and suspect there will be a way for me to make nice things for you somehow. Maybe time turns out to be not linear at all and we can just alight and linger anywhere - the kitchen in Davis, say, where I can cook and bake for you and we can cuddle on the sofa afterward and watch a story together before bedtime.

I’m thinking of you always, my gorgeous girl, my bright angel, and sending love forever.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Haircut 100

Little sweetheart, I need a haircut! It’s been ages. Two years! I know!

I actually had planned to get one right after Christmas. I was at your parents house in your beautiful room sitting on your bed when I emailed the girl who’s been cutting my hair for the last bunch of years. She wrote back right away and said, yes, she could do me as soon as I got back to New York, just call Seagull (the salon where she works) to schedule it. So, a few days after New Year’s, when got home, I did. And they said she was on indefinite leave. That she was on a trip around the world rock climbing. Seriously. I follow her on Instagram and, there she was, hanging from a boulder with green hair, somewhere in Texas.

But I’m so fussy and loyal, I wanted to wait until she got back. I thought I might finally suck it up and try to find someone else around my birthday in April but then, of course, I got plowed over by some guy driving his car and wound up nearly dead in the hospital.

Thankfully, my angels - you foremost and guiding them, your earthly and celestial charges - intervened and now, four months later, I ambled down to the West Village (it’s been so long Seagull had actually moved - from their old storefront on W10th Street to a place twice as big on the second floor of a building tucked away on W4th) with Sylvia in tow to get shorn by someone new. Everyone was really nice. The receptionist remembered me and our new guy, Topher, knew all about pulmonary embolisms and even the medication I’m on. He and his wife also really like cooking, so we had a lot to talk about.

As I sat there and Sylvia snapped pics on her phone and sent them to your mom (who was relived - one of the occupational therapists at the hospital had fashioned my hair into a man bun atop my head and even your mom, ever polite, had to exclaim that it looked awful), I couldn’t help but think of you and the first time I was shorn at your own behest.

You’d directed me to Lee’s, just down the street from your apartment in the Inner Sunset, insisting that I’d look so much better with shorter hair and a good deal less “like a crazy old man”. I was a bit startled in the stylist’s chair that day, reaching to the back of my head to discover how short it was but when I got home to you, you embraced me instantly saying “I love it” and making everything better, as you always always did and still do.

So, two years (or is it nearly three now?!) on, I’m finally back to a neater look. You, Sylvia and your mom cam all breathe a sigh of relief, I think. I’ll join you. Girls, the best ones, are always right, after all. Isn’t that so, little sweetheart?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Days Ahead

Little sweetheart, our dear dear Sylvia arrived from France on August 3rd and we’ve been at work both on a new project, Native Tongue, and the eighth Bipolar Explorer album, Til Morning is Nigh: A Dream of A Christmas. Sylvia is doing spoken word with us on the BPX album. I give her the passages to read, she translates them into French (we’re using the most archaic translations so that they have a more poetic and timeless feeling) and she speaks them over the guitars.

I know you’d love how this album is coming together and unfolding. I’m sure of it. I can feel your presence with us and even more so when your spoken words and soaring vocals fill the room blasting over the monitors and I piece things together.

In these days ahead I’ll be working on that very thing - bringing in your voice to join and guide our efforts yet further, providing the soul and conscience of this new work. We both feel you around us as we diligently do our best to make you proud. And not for the first time I must tell you, my little sweetheart, I need you more than ever. With all my love.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Angel Frequency

I’m at work on the new album, little sweetheart. Basic tracks - for 23 songs - are completed and I’m recording bass, percussion, backing vocals and other parts now.

One of the new tracks I’m most excited about has you, of course, at its center. A sound college of your spoken word envelopes the piece and dancing around and underneath are loops of found sound and low droning vocals and… our first use of synth on a track.

When I first got home from the hospital, I wasn’t at all sure I’d be able to play guitar or bass for some time. Ortho initially told me August and this was in May. I did find a way to play while seated even with such limited range of motion in my broken shoulder but I got a couple of new instruments I thought I might be able to play and compose with with just one hand if need be. One of them was a keyboard. I thought it would be just an inexpensive little practice one but it turned out to be really good. It reminds me of the Privia you started writing on our last Christmas together. But what’s best about it is that it has a couple hundred different settings and among them are some very good sounding organ and synth ones. They have infinite sustain and even start folding back, resonating overtones to the brink of feedback if you keep them going.

I’ve been listening almost non-stop to ambient music this year, little sweetheart, especially that Austin duo we like Stars of the Lid. The new track is called “Angel Frequency” and it invokes both the celestial presence that I find visiting me when I feel or sense you near, as well as the experience I had in those ten minutes when my heart stopped in the hospital. This track feels like the very centerpiece of the new album and a signal as to where the band, with your ethereal guidance, is headed.

I’m so heartened and excited by the prospect, little sweetheart. Please remain near me, won’t you? Don’t go too far away. I’m listening carefully. With all my love forever.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Shh...

It's the last day of the month, little sweetheart and I think I have basic tracks for the entire new album. There's spoken word with underscoring as well as the songs themselves so it's quite a few tracks, 23 in all. I'm doing my PT and working on this and as well as the book, just trying to make sure I do at least a little of everything every day.

I'm worried about so many things, little sweetheart. My heel is starting to hurt again and I really can't bear the thought of yet one more injury to have to work through on top of everything else. But I guess I just need to do the best I can and hope for the best too and try to quiet myself and listen for you.

I'm going to say some quiet prayers to that very point and go to bed now. I love you and need your help as I always do. Please be near me. My angel. The other half of my soul.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Trials, Memory, Gratitude.

The days are long here at the moment, little sweetheart, and also, somehow, not long enough.

Every morning I wake up and say prayers and before I've even made coffee, begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by how much there is to do. A lot of it has to do with my recovery from being run over by car three months ago, breaking bones, gouging my legs, collapsing days later after a pulmonary embolism, my heart stopping for ten minutes. I haven't really taken in all that I've been through, honestly, so maybe it's not surprising I get this feeling... that's it's all too much, that I don't have much time.

I'm trying, tho', little sweetheart. I'm doing physical therapy three times a week and doing all the exercises they give me like homework on the other days right here, three times a day. I'm working on our book and the next album and another with dear Sylvia, the earthly angel who has done so much to help and comfort me. Even on hard days, I try to get a little something done just to keep the flame going.

It feels like a lot and it sometimes brings me down.

At night, around 8 or 9pm, after dinner and before bed (I go to sleep much earlier these days, little sweetheart, often before midnight, usually a little after 11pm), I watch something - a baseball game or a show - like we used to. Remember? "Watching a story at the end of the day with your partner." That's what you used to say to me. And my heart swelled with pride to be called yours.

Lately, I've been watching The West Wing and it always makes me think of you because it was you who first lent me your own copy of the series on DVD. You told me that it made you so proud to have been able to give that to me, to show me that world yourself, and your mom told me that's exactly what you told her.

There's a lot of noise in the world just now, little sweetheart. And personally things are hard. Thank god for your parents and our dear Sylvia! But sometimes it feels very very hard indeed. These quiet moments before bed somehow help me. I need to know you're near. And when I most do, you still find ways to find me.

Thank you, my little sweetheart. However hard things get, you remind me - I've much to be grateful for. Please don't go too far away. Love you forever.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Places Both Temporal and Eternal

Little sweetheart, there was an article online this morning about the last Blockbuster closing in Alaska. They say sometimes things take 10 years to get there, so this may explain why they held out so long. People were very sad to see it go.

And it mostly reminded me of the one in Davis where you and I used to go.

Often it would take a long time to make a decision but I loved the tradition of going there with you and bringing a DVD or two back to the beautiful house, making dinner and later settling in on the big sofa, cuddling and watching together. Or as you used used to say "watching a story at night with your partner." My heart always swelled with pride to be called yours. As it swells with love now thinking of you and the Eden that were the long, delicious, leisurely days we'd spend together in that lovely place.

I know there's another one, a beautiful new place that my mortal eyes cannot yet see but that is there and where I will again be at your side where I belong, this time forever. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Monday, July 16, 2018

White Courtesy Telephone

Little sweetheart, I had a wonderful visit from you in a dream this morning just before I woke up. You were here with me in New York but it's also like we were in a different time, maybe 50 years ago. We were, I think, in the lobby of a hotel. It was big but comfy, almost like the living room of your parents house. We were very much at home, just lounging around, making plans for the day, when you were called to the telephone at the front desk - one of those things where they page you, ya know, "Miss Summer Serafin, call for you at the front desk, please."

I actually already knew what it was. Your parents were here too, in the same hotel, I think, and they had a surprise for you. Either your mom alone or maybe both your mom and your dad had met someone and told them about you and made a special appointment for you on your visit here. You were going to meet Oscar Hammerstein. I don't remember if Richard Rodgers was also going to be there but they wanted you to come by their studios and sing. There was a list of 30 of their songs and they wanted to work through each one with you. It was just with them. Old Oscar was going to play the piano himself. You just had to call the number and let them know you were coming by.

Your dad was on the phone with the news and the number for you to call. I knew about it already and was so excited for you.

Isn't that a wonderful and altogether unusual dream, little sweetheart? Being together in the 60's as we are in the early 2000's, everything around us a bit different but we as we are?

You were so very typically yourself taking the call too, excited but immediately focused, ready to go to work.

It's such a comfort and a blessing when you visit me like this, little sweetheart. I'm so grateful. I wonder what other messages are packed inside this vision. Lead me to them, won't you, my little sweetheart? As in all things. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Friday, July 13, 2018

To Hear The Angels Sing

Little sweetheart, I'm working on getting better, healing after the accident. I'm going to physical therapy three days a week and doing all my exercises at home on the off days.

It's still pretty hard and there are lots of things I can't do but I am trying as best I can to work on the new album. It's called Til Morning Is Nigh: A Dream Of Christmas and it has both spoken word (in English and French) underscored by ambient guitars and Christmas songs re-arranged and performed in our signature dreampop style.

You'll be on it, of course, and one song I was working on this week especially made me think of you and exactly where we should hear your voice swell and soar. It's during the repeated phrase "to hear the angels sing".

We're mostly still in the basic tracks phase of recording, laying down the initial guitar with a reference or guide vocal, but just singing that phrase as I played made my eyes well with tears and I could feel them coursing down my cheeks as I continued.

I was watching something last night before bed, little sweetheart, I can't remember what, and there was a scene where someone began to cry remembering a beloved and the person they were with said that it was a blessing because that keeps our angels close to us, it lets us know that they, that you, are near.

I love you with all my heat and soul, my gorgeous girl. Please don't go too far away. I'll quiet myself to listen for your celestial voice, your every whispered word. With all my love forever...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Visited!

Little sweetheart, I had my first dream last night where you came to me in the hospital. God knows (literally) that is the last place I want to be again let alone dream about but it was also in that kind of dreamlike way where a place is both like a place you know and completely different at the same time. It was, in a way, more like being home and more like you coming to take me home, too.

You were very concerned and concentrated on making sure i was taking the medication they'd prescribed me. And I ... was overjoyed at the sight of you.

Sometimes in dreams, you and I are as once we were, as we were before all that's befallen, and fine. Other times, in dreams that can sometimes be darker even in the light of your presence, the terrible thing has occurred but you're either still here or returned.

In this dream, somehow, you had never gone but were simply 'laying low', having wanted to get away from all the things that were confounding your life and just quietly regroup. You were here now both out of concern for me and also to let me in on your secret, sorry that you hadn't been able to before but knowing that wherever I was would be the first place they'd come looking. So, like a relocated witness under Federal protection, you'd had to keep up the fiction even with me.

But you were here now, in my arms and altogether real and whatever happened before was past, the future ours and forever.

I'm not sure exactly what the dream may foretell but it seems altogether hopeful, uncannily current and, as ever, comes as a relief and blessing - because whenever you alight in my sleep, my treasure, I am again and finally whole. How grateful I am!

With all my love forever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Let It Be So

Little sweetheart, today is the 4th of July. I'm mostly busy trying to get back to some of the projects that have been on hold for the last two months since the incident.

Two big music things - the side project I told you about with dear Sylvia (we call the band Native Tongue and the album title is Interiors) and the new Bipolar Explorer record (which, of course, you will be on), which we hope to release in time for Christmas. My arm is still very limited in range of motion but I've found that I can play guitar if seated and not flying from one end of the fretboard to the other. I'm trying to make up for lost time, get back on something closer to schedule.

But mostly what I'm thinking of today, unsurprisingly, most wonderfully, is you. We certainly had a memorable 4th of July a few years ago, didn't we little sweetheart?

It had only been a little over a month since my mom had passed away. I got the news in the middle of the night in an email, of all things. I was in London, alone, and it woke me up. You were the first person I got on the phone after I woke up Kris and Joy in Wales to find out how to dial internationally from their landline (I was staying at their flat while they were gone for the weekend). You took care of me, took care of everything. Got me on a plane. Flew yourself across the country to meet me, waiting in the airport all night to meet my plane. Stayed with me that whole week - coaxing the cats out of hiding, still traumatized from my mom's fall, helped plan the service and select the flowers, found mom's music to play, listened as I read you the eulogy moments after I typed it on her computer. You stayed and helped me, comforted me, stood me up and supported me in the crush of grief that whole week when I buried my mother.

Soon, you were here in NYC with me. And after that you brought me to you and with your family on a vacation that 4th of July weekend on the Oregon Coast.

Your dad rented a lovely house for the weekend that your brother nearly burnt down (a pretty wild exaggeration but it seemed like it at the time!) when the fireworks show went awry, we had a lovely boat ride down the River Rouge, visited a crazy "Prehistoric Village" where there old timey sculptures of dinosaurs (I have a picture of you kissing one) and famously went dune buggy riding.

You were excited to take the wheel, even as the proprietors warmed us "no matter what you, do not drive near the coast on the wet sand". So, naturally, as everyone else tackled the huge mountains of sand, you sped the two of us away right to the edge of the crashing waves and along the wet sand because it was fun! I have the most wonderful video of you on my phone, I'll try to post it on here.

We're speeding away, the engine roaring, a seagull or two taking startled flight off your path, as the waves roll in around us, the sky brilliant and you, helmeted and face wrapped in a scarf like some daredevil bandita. At one point you finally pull it a little ways away, revealing your beautiful, smiling, angelic face and wave to camera. I linger on you as you return your gaze to the path you're blazing ahead, before you turn to me with that loving look of yours acknowledging my utter devotion, my longing for you even as you are only an arm's length away and smiling as if to say "I know, but we're busy right now, I'll hold and kiss you in just a minute, when we're done and forever." 

Let that be so, my little sweetheart, my love. Let it be so and forever.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Closer

Little sweetheart, in the weeks I've been home from the hospital I've only gradually begun to settle in and actually see and remember and lay hands on things as they are.

Part of that is due to some of the endless clutter of this place being shifted a little - by dear dear Sylvia, the earthly angel who has done so much to help me - to clear a path as I, very hobbled at first, in a sling with each leg connected by hoses to a small machine, tried to shuffle about in here.

And partly I think I'm just awakening a bit from the fog of trauma and struggle and can actually take things in, resume, however altered.

A little while ago within these pages, little sweetheart, I mentioned that there were some things I had been thinking and writing about before the incident that I meant both for posting here and for continuing work on our memoir.

Often, as you know, my beloved, I write little things down on scraps of paper. Some are reminders or the shorthand scribble of an idea to develop and expand upon and others are almost mantras - something instantly resonant, seemingly transmitted from the ether and eternity to me in a celestial whisper that I hurriedly scrawl into remembrance and tape to the wall.

It's one of the former kind, a sort of note-to-self for further expounding, that I found while looking for something else on my desk this morning, little sweetheart.

It says "'Where Does the Time Go" awakens me from my nap".

Reading it takes me instantly to the moment I wrote it, pre-incident.

In the late afternoon of an April day before all this, I had laid down to close my eyes for a few minutes, with WFMU on softly in the background. And as I stirred, I heard that song, that wistful lyric and haunting melody, first known to me when you sang it angelically in your room in Boston the weekend I came up while you were working there on your birthday.

In that moment, I caught you gratefully in my arms.

In this one, immortalized by the handwritten note to self, I instantly felt the closeness I did in that moment - knowing that there's more than we can imagine, more than mere coincidence, if only we quiet ourselves and let in the extra sensory, the feelings and thoughts and messages, the sounds and sights (and even the olfactory ones - I more than once have suddenly been aware of your scent filling the air when no one else is around, haven't I, little sweetheart?!) that are there to bolster our faith and let us know, let me know, my beloved is ever with me.

Please help me, my little sweetheart, to find my way again, to find my way anew, as I work to overcome all that's befallen. Please help me with gratitude and love to honor you and know the true way. You're closer than I could ever imagine. Please don't go too far away.

With all my love forever. 






Saturday, June 30, 2018

Just Remembered...

Little sweetheart, remember I was telling you about your childhood friend Liz who has been in touch and sent me those wonderful drawings with stories about you from primary school? Well, I was just thinking about a story from the same era, when you were a little girl, that your mom told me.

She said one day your elementary class went on a school trip to a farm and that you were very excited to meet and see all the animals. But when you came home you were a little miffed about the pigs.

Apparently, when you fed them they rather boisterously came charging and proceeded to gobble up everything in sight with great speed. "Well", you said, with some distaste, "I can certainly see why they call them pigs!".

I love this story to the point of madness. Honestly, has there ever been anyone remotely like you? I think not! God, how I love you!

Thinking of you on this hot June night with affection and gratitude. And love forever.

First and Last (for now)

Little sweetheart, I was finally able to get back to that nice candlelight meditation service I've told you about. It's on Wednesday nights and I was going to go on my birthday but, of course, I was in the hospital. That was two months ago.

It had been ages and because they take July - September off, this was going to be the last one until the first week in October. I'm glad I went! It's about as far as I've walked since the accident - about 60 blocks round trip. It was really good to see some of the folks there, they're very nice, and to say quiet prayers and sing the chant-like devotional songs and to come forward to light a candle for you and to sit in the silence and the near dark during the centerpiece meditation of the service. Some sweet little birds were singing outside and if I hadn't already, I was quite certain then that you were near.

Part of the service includes readings, both secular and sacred. There's often a poem. They asked me to read Wednesday night's. It was called "Popovers" - again bringing you leaping to mind, as your special Summer Popovers recipe is right on the front of our fridge at home. It's a beautiful poem about love and dear ones and struggles and our desire to hold on to the precious things and... food! It's by Pam McAllister and is here:

What luxury, on this visit,
to hear rain falling in the woods,
then awaken to popovers,
like so many golden suns, spilling over
a birch-wood basket.

Our talk, too, spilling over and golden,
rises from a night of dreams and a universe
of books and memories, new ideas and old connections.
Here! we say, offering up a page of promise.

Listen! the morning air is filled with our reflections
as colorful and textured as the plate we pass
laden with melon wedges and strawberries
and unbelievable raspberries. We pose for pictures,
yearning to hold on to this moment, this abundance.

Outside, the air shimmers
and the only thing we know for sure
is that there are trials ahead for each of us
and for our world, our delicate, precious planet.
But at this table we have held each other’s hands,
offered thanks for all of creation,
and eaten our golden popovers
with butter and jam.


At the end, they welcomed me back and a few people came up to say hi. More than one, knowing that I had briefly left this life, said they were certain it was you, little sweetheart, who wanted me to finish just a few more things here before I join you.

I pray with all my heart to do as you would have me, to make you proud and, when the time is the time, to fly to your side again and forever. I'm filled with gratitude and love tonight, little sweetheart. Thank you. With all my love forever. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Be True

Little sweetheart, I'm focusing on doing my best to get healthy and get back to our work and I think I really haven't quite yet taken in all that's happened, all that's happened to me, in these last weeks. Maybe it's too much to process just yet and maybe, as sometimes is the case in these situations, it's far more palpable to those closest to us than it is to ourselves, because they witnessed it and even though it happened to us, we were unconscious for all or parts of the events and may only have scattered memory of it all.

I suppose the enormity of it will eventually trigger my emotions and maybe I should be bracing myself for that. I'm only now really hearing about the second event, only now understanding that I left this life for over ten minutes when my heart stopped. What I do remember is that my mind was working, that I was still trying to communicate almost telepathically with those around me, earthbound, and that in those moments I felt as if they were understanding and responding.

One of the things that most bothered me after I was conscious was that I didn't simply soar to your side, but soon, and even now, I think that it wasn't quite time for that yet, that you yourself may well have had a hand in shepherding me back, keeping me in my earthly orbit for a bit longer, knowing better than I do myself that there are things I'm meant to complete here first.

I pray, little sweetheart, to know them and to dedicate myself ever more fervently to honor you and live up to the shining example of your loving kindness and character. In a word, (or two) to Be True.

And in the phrase that you shared with me and that, even after your tragic passing, your mom invoked and reminded me - because you and the great gift of your love are eternal and ever always present - don't waste the miracle.

I must be mindful, more than ever. I love you with all my heart and soul. In another of your oft repeated vows to me - Always.

With love forever.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Friends New and Old

Little sweetheart, while I was in the hospital, I got an email from an old friend of yours who went to primary school with you. She remembered you so fondly from childhood and wondered what you were up to, and just about the time of my accident, went looking for news of you online. She didn't know about the tragic events of 2011 and that you had passed on, my angel. But she found this page and left a comment and she found the band and wrote us at that email.

We've been in touch a bit since then and she shared some her memories - beautiful, funny, intensely moving - of you and your shared childhood at The Waldorf School. She remembered your wonderful parents, too, of course, and when I mentioned all this to them, they remembered her too.

Her name is Liz Mihalov and after writing me some incredibly beautiful accounts of your times together she drew some more - a kind of series of Summer cartoons, in a way - and sent them to me in the mail. The originals, no less. It was very very kind.

I scanned them all so that I could share them with your folks and also so Liz herself would have copies and she said it was okay for me to post one or two of then here.

So, here's one of my favorites now.

I'm so filled with love for you, my little sweetheart, and so very grateful for the kindness of new and old friends. With all my love forever.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Words and Music

One of the things I meant to post on April 25 - my birthday and the anniversary of your memorial - was this track from the new album Sometimes in Dreams.

It obviously is inspired by what I wrote and spoke for you that day in 2011. It includes much of what I said that night and goes deeper with new writing and thoughts and musical underscoring, as has become the way of us. I love you my angel.

I have a thousand thousand things to say...

The Choral Text Passage 


(from Bipolar Explorer's double-album, Sometimes in Dreams - c/p Serafin-Wells, Thirteen November Music ASCAP and Slugg Records)

Continued...

Little sweetheart, these last eight weeks have been hard. It's exactly eight weeks ago today that, a day before my birthday, I was hit by a car. There have been so many struggles and challenges in the days and weeks since then and I guess you could even say that for not a little while I was almost if not actually dead, because my heart stopped for 10 minutes.

But I'm still here, struggling a bit but grateful, especially to be home with the love of your wonderful parents - and the earthly angel, Sylvia, who very much saved my life along with your dad who was on the phone with her when I collapsed - grateful to be home with your pictures and things around me, grateful for you and your mom and dad and dear Sylvia.

And I want, as best I can, to resume these writings and our music and all our projects dedicated to love and your memory and example, as well as new blessings that I know you have visited upon me, upon us, with celestial guidance.

I may begin with a few things that I had already written down and meant to say and post just before the events and I'll continue as best I can while keeping up my recovery.

I love you with all my heart and soul. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Works in Progress

Little sweetheart, I'm home but still struggling a bit with my recovery. I'm sad to not be writing more but will endeavor to do so as my health improves. At a follow up appointment the other day, the doctor told me that during the incident my heart stopped for ten minutes. It's something of a miracle that I am still here. As you are a miracle yourself and my earthly angels- your mom and our dear dear new one, the wonderful Sylvia - are as well. I've been listening to our cover of the traditional Scottish folk song, "Wild Mountain Thyme", which we re-titled from its chorus,"We'll All Go Together". I know that is true and that we will all be there one day, but I also know you and these earthly beloveds have need for me here just now. And I will do my best to get better and with love and kindness do what is set forth for me. With love forever and to be continued....

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Celestial Intervention

Little sweetheart, I've gone quiet on the blog here because I was in hospital for the last few weeks after an accident I won't get into. Suffice to say that I know you were looking out for me and protecting me from events that could have proved fatal.

You have always filled me with gratitude and a sense of purpose. I remain connected to you spiritually and with all my heart and soul and simultaneously understand that I am to live gratefully to the fullest, with love for others and work to do.

These set backs of injuries only strengthen my resolve to live fully, joyfully, honoring your great spirit, the great gift of our shared love and the important work of honoring and remembering you. I know more than ever you are at my side, keeping me strong and focused. I love and heed your every whispered word.

We go on. With all my love...  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Morning Light

Little sweetheart, I had the most wonderful blessing of your presence this morning and into last night. You came to me in dreams. We were together in the lobby of a lovely old hotel. The weather was glorious as we walked through the doors together - mild and fine but not too warm, not too blindingly sunny, just the way you most like it.

And when we walked out of the day into the cozy, charming lobby there, so familiar and inviting, everyone seemed to know us, smiling and friendly and welcoming us back. The concierge called us by name and politely handed us our keys, delighted that we had returned and proud to tell us that they had prepared our favorite room just for we two.

As we walked upstairs together, I held you in my arms and I can still feel your body, which fits so perfectly into the curvature of my own, even now as I type this, even as I woke.

Indeed, little sweetheart, your signature sweet scent has mysteriously been in the air the last several days somehow, often in the hall late at night when I go out there. I know you are near. And I’m grateful and want more than anything to be taken, returned to your side, soon and forever. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In Sound

I was listening to Irene Trudel’s show on WFMU last night, little sweetheart. She’s been playing tracks from the new album, Sometimes in Dreams. Last week she ended her first set with two tracks in a row, “As Day Turned to Beautiful Night” and “Lost Life”.

This week, we weren’t on but she ended her show a different way and that’s what wanted to tell you about.

Her last song of the night was “Racing Like a Pro” by The National from their album “Boxer”. It was one of the first songs of theirs you played for me, remember, little sweetheart? We’d kind of just discovered them. When we had gone to Seattle for that reading of Seven Pages Unsigned and we wandered into the great record store there near the Seattle Center, Easy Street Records, We went on a kind of spree. I got you a long sleeve thermal tee - a small in black with their eagle logo on the front (it’s here in the red table now with lots of your things). And we found an new EP by Bon Ivor and the first DCfC album and a double-album of various artists produced by the two of the guys from the National called “Dark Is the Night”.

A few months later when you were working in Carmel and I was back in New York you discovered “Boxer” and started emailing me mp3’s of some of the songs, “Racing Like a Pro” among them.
I was in the kitchen last night when I heard the song come on. I didn’t have it turned up very loud and I was a bit distracted but I recognized his voice voice immediately. I wondered if it was a new album. But then I heard the line “I’m dumbstruck, baby” and a thousand memories started flooding in.

There’s never a moment when you are not on my mind, when I don't ache with longing for you, little sweetheart. And every memory is locked inside me, flows through my veins thicker than the blood itself coursing there.

But even so, sometimes things - a song, a sound (a distant train whistle like we’d hear together in your bed in Davis), a smell (the scent of your cotton candy perfume) a picture of you that I haven’t seen in a while - sometimes things like this will floor me, little sweetheart. I hope they always do and suspect they always will.

You are my once in a lifetime. You are my everything. How I long to be again at your side! May that day come soon. Very soon, indeed. Until then, please find me in dreams and thoughts and take me to you the moment heaven will allow.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Illness Epiphanies

It’s April here, little sweetheart, but winter won’t loosen its grip and I’ve been terribly ill for the last several days. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been posting a bit lighter here but I have been writing to you elsewhere as I’ve been making sure to do a little work on the memoir each day. While I’ve been doing that I had occasion to read a few of your early emails to me and in one of them you describe yourself as being “grumpy as a badger”. That’s how I am right now about being sick and the prolonged winter, as well!

But in addition to being rather grumpy and impatient with being sick, little sweetheart, there’s something about it that makes one a bit contemplative. You can’t do much else but rest and force liquids, so you wind up thinking and half-dreaming, as well. I love writing to you, my little sweetheart, because the more I do, the more I think of and remember all the there things I want to tell you, It keeps things present for me, you know? And that’s something else I want to tell you.

When I was a little boy I was very sick for quite a long time one year. I missed almost half the school year with double-pneumonia. Did I ever tell you this? I’m sure I must have. I was quarantined and left alone at home for several months every day. I think in some way it may have shaped me a little. None of it is as dire or life-threatening as all the things you went through, little sweetheart, with your diabetes all through childhood and the surgeries and recovery years later, just a year before we met, but I feel as though I understood in a deeper way when you told me stories of your struggles and the long hours you had to spend in bed not able to do much of anything but just exhausted and trying as hard as you could to get well.

You’re simply the most courageous person I’ve ever known, little sweetheart. My miracle girl. Remember? I haven’t told you that in a while. You are my miracle. It bears repeating. And I think there’s something to this - the way you “found” me, as you like to say. There’s something of solitude inside each of us that called out to one another. That understood and sought one another. And that is a miracle, too, in its own right.

Please keep finding me, my little sweetheart. Please find me in thoughts and dreams and signs and help and guide me. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 1

It's Easter Sunday, little sweetheart, and, as ever, my thoughts are of you.

There's a lovely floral display each year at Easter at that little church up on West End Avenue I've told you about. You can put a few dollars into a little envelope and write the person's name you'd like to have flowers for in tribute, so I always have some for you. The envelopes usually say "Flower Offering" but one year at Easter they had instead a quote from Revelations: "I'm alive forever and always". 

I saved an extra one of those, little sweetheart, and I have it between two pictures of you on the bookshelf.

I'm saying grateful prayers for you, little sweetheart, that you came into my life and saved me with the great gift of your love. I know you are closer than I can imagine - alive forever and always - and that I simply must have faith, listen carefully for your guidance and know that I will be with you again, soon and forever. With all my love...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Words and Thoughts and Guidance

Little sweetheart, tonight is Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. It's the night of the Last Supper and the contemplation of Gethsemane.

I went to services again tonight and so much of what was said and transpired made me think of you and long for you and want to speak to you quietly, a bit like I'm doing now, I suppose, by writing this.

Sometimes when things are especially resonant, I'll circle them in the bulletin where they are printed and appear or if it's something that's spoken, I'll write it down in my own hand there.

Tonight, early in the service, during the Prayer of Confession, there was a passage that struck and stung me. It was talking about the Disciples but I took it deeper into my own heart. It read: that they "loved and followed you but they had also failed you."

Sometimes, when I think of things, moments where we argued or I was upset or mad, I am so overcome with remorse, little sweetheart. We only had so little time together and it absolutely crushes me to think I ever spent any of it quarreling or moody. It brings me to bitter tears to think of any moment in which I may have hurt your feelings. I know it's human - I know we both hurt each other's feelings from time to time and that we both are terribly emotional - that's a wonderful thing to share because we didn't frighten one another with our intensity. But still I regret it so very deeply and pray that you forgive and still love me as I do you with all my heart and soul.

Later on something else touched on that very theme. Something about praying to soften our hearts and being quick to forgive. Again, I feel that about myself. You are very kind and quick to forgive, my little sweetheart. And it was something that you were teaching and still are teaching me. 

After the homily and just before communion, there was a hymn, another I remember from last year. It's called Go To Dark Gethsemane. What struck me about it last year and again tonight is that next to the hymn itself, where the composer is usually listed, in big capital letters it says: REDHEAD. Isn't that amazing, my little gingersnap? The composer is actually someone with that last name - Redhead. It seemed that you were especially close in that moment.

Then, near the end, during the benediction, the pastor, the associate one, the young woman, Jes, I've told you about, was reading something from scripture in closing. "Do not be far away", she said.

My heart leapt because that's something I would always say to you, isn't it, little sweetheart? Even if you were only going into the next room or even just shifting your weight a little next to me in bed - "don't go too far away", I would always say to you.

And then, Jes, continued. "Oh, my help, please come quickly."

I needed to write these two things down and I began to do just that, but part of the Holy Thursday service is the slow outing of lights and by the time I began, the last of them were outed and we were in darkness, as we are to leave silently so. But I had my pen in hand and just kept writing even though I couldn't see. And that in itself is rather apt, don't you think, my little sweetheart?

You can see all now, all that there is. But I must wait, seeing now, as we say, through a glass darkly.

In this mortal life I must wait in darkness and just have faith that you are near and waiting for the moment you may take me to you. I must listen closely and heed your words of guidance. Even as I say and write not seeing, "don't go too far away, oh my help, my little sweetheart, please come quickly."

I love you my dear one, my true one, my only one. I love you forever. With all my heart and soul I do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Reading Tonight

It's Holy Week, little sweetheart, and I'm attending a few of the services at that little church I've told you about. Tonight, being Wednesday, is the night there's usually a candlelight meditation service and there was one. A kind of specifically-themed one.

Many of the readings (both scared and secular) and prayers were in the Easter vein - sort of presaging Good Friday.

They asked me to read one of the poems. Christpower by John Shelby Spong. I remember it from last year. I'd actually saved it, as it was printed in the bulletin, and taped it to the wall in the kitchen.

There's an excerpt from it I'd like to share you with you, my little sweetheart. It's here:

"... If we die, shall we live again?
Does that which is my most true self
Transcend the reality of death?

Love transcends death,
And if love does,
So also does life;
For life -
Real life -
Is always the child of love.

If love has entered a person's life,
Touched his being,
Lifted her beyond her limits,
Given him a glimpse of life's deepest meaning,
Nothing
Can separate her from its transforming power;
And
Life lived in this power
Does live again and will live again.

Death
Will only be a barrier that
Can be pressed and
Overcome. "

I can't know the hour or the means, little sweetheart, but I have faith that you are and have always been. And that I will be with you again and forever.

Until that day, please be close and help and guide me. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sights & Signs

Just on the way back from my run, little sweetheart and I stopped, as ever, in front of the little shrine in the garden of the rectory at Sacred Heart to say our prayer. As I did, and as there often is, there were sweet little birds fluttering overhead, some alighting on branches, others enjoying the little birdbath there and singing their glorious little songs. One in particular was taking a prolonged dip as I spoke our prayer and as I finished he was splashing, fully-soaked, quite happily, his little wings stirring up quite a watery uproar.

As I turned, I suddenly smelled your signature sweet scent - like cotton candy or the best birthday cake anyone ever made for you. And there was not a person in sight. It only lasted a moment but I knew you were there.

Just as I watch for the angel numbers 11:11 to appear and as they did this morning, I know you are letting me know, as best you can, to do my very best and to have faith that you are both nearer than I can imagine and will take me to you so very soon and forever.

Thank you, my angel, my True Love, my soulmate, my little sweetheart. I love you with all my heart and soul.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time Bindings

Little sweetheart, yesterday, your dad sent me some pictures taken at The Angel. Often, when lingering there to talk to you and say quiet prayers, some wildlife will amble up or saunter by. Sometimes there are wild turkeys. That's what the pictures were. Your dad sent a couple to me. There were several of them, their feathers spread wide like the paper display on a Thanksgiving table. They're a bit crazy. Once when I was there with a rental car, one of them caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection in a hub cap and started attacking it with his beak. Later, as I was driving away he chased after the car. Crazy!

Some of my favorite animals there, though, are the long eared jack rabbits that will hop up and past. And an owl who often begins hooting around dusk.

When I'm there in the late afternoon, I can't ever bring myself to leave until after dusk- I like staying and talking and being there - where I know your angelic spirit is not tethered but simply alights to greet and comfort and guide me. After it gets dark, I go back to the Nugget Market and get a candle or two and go back to light them and say goodnight. Whenever I visit, I always stop at The Nugget -just like you and I always did whenever you brought me to Davis, first stop Nugget, then to the house (or maybe Blockbuster to get a video for the night).

Now, when I go, I get flowers, roses if they have them. And when I bring them to The Angel for you, I save the rubber band that binds them and wrap it around my wrist. When they break or I only have one left, I know it's past time to get back to California.

Please be with my today, little sweetheart. Please help and guide me. And please take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever. 


Monday, March 19, 2018

A Better Anniversary...

Of all the bitter days of March, little sweetheart, now remembered for the tragic events of 2011, it's so much more lovely to remember an earlier, happier one.

Today, March 19, is the day that you & I recognized as our anniversary as a couple, remember? And today is actually the tenth anniversary.

So, happy anniversary, my gorgeous girl, my beautiful angel. I love you with all my heart and soul. Forever yours.



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Forever... (and Dream 3 video)

On this day in 2011, little sweetheart, you crossed over to The Forever, where I so long to join you. Tonight I assembled this video in honor and memory and faith - we'll be together again, soon and forever. Love you with all my heart and soul.




Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Soul Mate

Little sweetheart, I saw a wonderful painting this morning by a Czech artist, Max Svabinsky - one of the country's most prominent. It's called "The Soul Mate" and was painted in 1896. He lived until 1963! It reminds me so of how I long for and need you - my own soulmate - and hope to fly to you soon. With all my love forever.



My Light

Little sweetheart, last night I headed up to that little church I've told you about where on most Wednesday nights they hold a candlelight meditation with music and reflection.

I've gotten to know some of the people there and one or two were aware that these are the ten days that marked the time between your accident and tragic passing.

One of those dear ladies lost her own husband three years ago, that anniversary being just last month. She gave me a beautiful little book last night written by a man who lost his child and set down his thoughts about grief and mourning. It's written almost like a book of thoughtful poems and I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

Afterwards, one of the ministers, the first one I got to know a little, the associate pastor, a young gay woman with lots of tattoos (I think you'd like her, little sweetheart), came over to talk and pray with me. It's still very cold here, little sweetheart. It's mid-March but winter is hanging on, the wind blowing icily from the west off the river. And the old church is rather drafty, especially where I always seem to insist on sitting - in the back, near the side door leading out to West End Avenue.

Anyway, even inside, I was wrapped up in the beautiful blue and grey scarf you knitted and gave to me our very Christmas together. I don't wear it often enough. I'm always afraid it might get lost and you know how I can be so fussy about "saving" things. Instead of putting something lovely that holds such meaning to me to actual use, I tend to place it somewhere in the apartment where my eye will fall upon it in holy remembrance, setting it in a place of honor.

But sometimes I remember and hear your voice on a cold day, gently encouraging me: "you know, Michael, it's quite chilly out, today would be a good day to wear your scarf". So, I made a point of doing that. It's warm and lovely and long and I can wrap it several times around my neck and still have lots to also blanket my chest so that it blouses out almost like a robin's. It's really perfect - it's like I'm in your arms, as if you are embracing me. And I'm so proud to tell anyone who will listen that you made it for me! I told Barbara (the lady who gave me the book) and I told Jes (that young pastor) before she took my hand in prayer for you, that you are safely in God's care and that you may be near to help and guide me until I may be with you again and forever. 

Part of the service includes a handful of readings, both secular and sacred, and one of them last night was a poem, a poem I know and that we recorded with ambient guitar underscoring for Electric Hymnal. It's a poem by Charlotte Mew called "May 1915". Like so many things, it makes my thoughts fly toward and of you. It's in full, below.

Please be with me today, little sweetheart. Help me do the right thing. And please take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Your Michael.

May 1915 by Charlotte Mew

Let us remember
Spring will come again
To the scorched, blackened woods
Where the wounded trees
Wait
With their old wise patience
For the heavenly rain
Sure of the sky:
Sure of the sea to send its healing breeze
Sure of the sun.
And even to these
Surely the Spring,
When God shall please,
Will come again
Like a divine surprise
To those who sit today
With their great Dead,
Hands in their hands,
Eyes in their eyes,
At one with love,
At one with Grief:
Blind to the scattered things
And changing skies. 


Monday, March 12, 2018

Woken

Little sweetheart, I've been listening to a new show on WFMU. It's on late at night, the overnight 3-6 Wednesday into Thursday, so I'm usually not awake when it's on and only listen back later on the station's archive. It's Olivia's show and very interesting not only for tracks she selects - a mixture of drone and experimental and pop and spoken word - but for the live sound collages she's mixes live on air. I started listening a few weeks ago.

Anyway, today I was really tired and sad and lay down for a nap. I had an earlier show of hers on and a song woke me. It was Fairport Convention's version of "Who Knows Where the Time Goes".

Little sweetheart, I remember you singing a bit of it when you & I were together in your room in Boston and it always makes me think of you. But honestly I'd never really heard it in its entirety - like heard the words. It made me cry and long for you. And also made me feel that you were near.

Please help and guide me, little sweetheart. And take me to you as soon as heaven will allow. There are so many things only you know and can help me with. I know you try as best you can to reach me. And I feel that hearing this today was another one of them.

Quietly napping, you woke me so that with no else to distract me I might know what you wanted to say and keep it safely in my heart.

I love you, my gorgeous angel. Forever.

Across the morning sky,
All the birds are leaving,
Ah, how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire,
We'll still be dreaming.
I do not count the time
Who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad deserted shore,
Your fickle friends are leaving,
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go,
But I will still be here,
I have no thought of leaving.
I do not count the time
Who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
And I'm not alone,
While my love is near me,
And I know, it will be so, till it's time to go,
So come the storms of winter,
And then the birds in spring again.
I do not fear the time
Who knows how my love grows?
Who knows where the time goes?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The True Way

Seven years ago, little sweetheart, I woke with you for the last time. You were curled up in my arms with your little feet around my ankles, your hot water bottle pushed off the side of the bed to the floor, warm enough now in an embrace. You kissed me and we lingered together for an hour.

A beautiful day, warm and glistening and filled with love and promise and adventures together, that ended in tragedy and left me forever broken.

I look for you everywhere and seize upon anything that might be a sign, a trace of you trying your best to comfort and guide me.

This morning, after saying our prayer and stroking the things that lay upon your pillow, talking to you softly, after texting your parents and just sitting inconsolable on the bed in tears, I rose and walked to the kitchen to make coffee and begin the day, however sadly, however lost. There upon the counter was an inexplicable ring of condensation. A circle of tiny water dots like a speech bubble in an illustration waiting to be filled in with some message. At its outer edge the sun glanced off the surface in a kind of arrow, as if to indicate directions.

I can't know the day. I can't know the hour. I can't even know why I remain. But I must listen quietly and simply have faith that someday, some hour, sometime (and may it be soon), I will be returned to you.

I've a picture of us, a selfie before people called them that, of you and I, our faces pressed together, your lips upon my cheek, standing within a stone circle at the edge of the world - the end of the Sheep's Head peninsula out beyond the lighthouse on our trip to Ireland.

Moments after it was snapped and we began trekking back to the village, we got lost, taking a wrong turn and losing the path. It was becoming dusk and I got worried. I ran ahead looking for a fork that would return us before it got dark and we were truly lost. You cried out, because I was walking too fast for you, and I turned. When I did I saw a sign - only visible from this direction, only able to be perceived because I was turned away from the rogue path, only visible because I was turned to face you - an arrow that showed me, showed us the way. The True Way.

And that way is you, my little sweetheart.

In all things, how you have saved and changed and guided me, from the day I met you to this very moment when I can't touch or see you, when I ache to do so, still you find a way to help me find the way. Ever grateful, I love you forever. And trust my soul, which is best equipped to hear you, which is itself half of your own, to perceive your guiding presence and lead me home. For home is you.

With all my love forever. Forever, Summer. Forever, my little sweetheart. Forever. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

From Portugal

Little sweetheart, those same nice folks from France who are helping us over there came across a review of Dream Together that we hadn't seen before. It's from Portugal and was published in WAV Magazine just over a year ago! I don't know how we missed it but it's very nice. I'm trying to contact them.

The link to it is here: DREAM TOGETHER review - WAV Magazine (Portugal). 

I'm leaving the translation here below and my favorite parts, of course, are all the parts about you, especially this:

"...The will of a life of two lovers to be forever remembered, Summer Serafin continues to be the inspiration and motive for each newly addictive Bipolar Explorer album..."


Here it is in full, translated:

WAV magazine (Portugal)
Diogo Rocha
March 1, 2017


The year 2016 did not leave good memories to very many people! There are those who say that the best thing that happened in 2016 was that 2017 started. And I'm glad it did. On the first day of the new year, New York's Bipolar Explorer band presented their new album as a late Christmas present. Dream Together is the sixth long-length work of this post-rock group (dreampop, shoegaze, slowcore, minimalist indie or whatever one might want to call it) consisting of Summer Serafin and Michael Serafin-Wells.

After the much acclaimed Of Love and Loss (2013) and Angels (2015), Dream Together is a record that is great to behold in that cold winter, wrapped in blankets, surrounded by heaters and a freshly ground cup of Arabica coffee. For an hour, Bipolar Explorer bring back those characteristic sonics to which their fans are accustomed- loops swirling, guitars stirring feelings, infinitely nostalgic melodies and a voice looking for something that does not belong to this world. The result of this equation is a return to a time to which there is no certainty that one has belonged, but that is quite familiar to us.

The door of this return is opened by "Thirteen", a melody that prepares us to receive the melancholy and to understand that love does not always have a happy ending. This perception is heard painfully in "Not Alone", “With no arms to hold me / Let your spirit enfold me / I'm not alone”. But soon in "Dream 3", is clear the will of a life of two lovers to be forever remembered, "The precious spell and time will tell / The world the tale / How I'm in love".

Although passed from this life after a tragic accident, Summer Serafin continues to be the inspiration and motive for each newly addictive Bipolar Explorer album. In "Listen", Michael Serafin-Wells declares all his intentions, "Rest now / In the garden of ours /And I’ll be along / To reverse every wrong / In just a little while / I'll meet you there”. 

And do not forget that Summer's longing will only grow, always supported by the love that still nourishes her - “So deep inside my heart / Where you’ll remain and always burn / The most beautiful spirit /Ascension! / The miracle made true / Blessed, precious treasure / I need you more than ever ", is cried in “To The Other Half Of The Sky ".

With instrumental pauses that make us hold our breath and delve deeper into nostalgia, "Fireflies" and "Along These Lines" enrich this volume and testament of love.

Instrumentally, Dream Together does not present itself in a significantly different way than those works preceded by the band. In fact, everything we hear on this new album is already within the sonic signature of these New Yorkers. The highlight here is the emotional punch we are offered. Punching and kicking we are tackled throughout the album. Whenever a new track starts, it is as if we rise from the ground simply to fall again and only at the end do we realize the hematomas and hemorrhages all over the body. It's only when it's over that, with puffy eyes and a tight heart, we lower the lid of the computer, put down the cup of coffee and let out a breath of relief: oh my god!




Friday, March 2, 2018

The Reason, My Conscience, You

Little sweetheart, colleagues in France are helping the band up our profile a little bit. A pair of them are also Wikipedia editors/contributors and last night they published a page for the band.

It's here: Bipolar Explorer Wikipedia page

I sent it to your dad right away because he loves Wikipedia. Remember how you told me in your first Christmas letter to me that he would be "reading aloud shocking statistics about religion or politics"?

Anyway, it was very nice of our new French friends to get everything together and approved and published on the site and my favorite part is that it includes what I said to Indiemusic about you being the heart and conscience of the band, my work and life. It's this:  

"All of this is entirely for her. I often say that our music, each album, is of, for and about her. It’s my way of telling people about her and talking to her myself. That’s the “for’ and “about” parts of the equation. And Summer remains an integral part of the band - not only as its inspiration but, because I have lots of her isolated vocals from other recording sessions - as her voice, both spoken and singing, graces each record. I’ll write songs and fly in her voice. Summer isn’t the main reason BPX goes on, she’s the only reason. She is the reason. And I think I can trust that I’m doing things for the right reason if I always know the reason for it is her. Not out of any ambition other than to honor and conjure her. She’s my conscience. "

Mixed

Little sweetheart, sometimes I don't tell you about things that upset and worry me. At least not here. Sometimes when I lay in bed talking to you, I will. I actually feel much better when I do or after I do, so maybe it's not altogether a terrible idea to say something here and now.

There was such a mix of good and bad things yesterday, little sweetheart, that I'm confused and, as always, need your help. A wonderful thing happened in the afternoon and a rather disturbing thing last night.

The weather keeps fluctuating wildly from the arctic and miserable to the warm and lovely. Yesterday was the latter. I had a lot of work to do in the morning and early afternoon but I already knew the forecast and that the nice weather was going to turn overnight, so I was determined to get in a run before it got too late. I've been laid up a couple of times for extended periods last month with the flu and then a severe cold, so I haven't been running as much as I'd like. It was a bit overcast but unseasonably warm, so I set out along the river. I like coming across birds during my run. I always think of you when I hear their sweet little songs and usually say "hey, guys" to them as I pass. On my way back along the bit of boardwalk that runs very close to the water's edge and ultimately connects to points of the shared pedestrian and bike path, I came to a clearing. No one was around. No trace of a single person passing by. But in that moment I got the strongest sense of your presence because your scent - that sweet smell of you that is like cotton candy or birthday cake - came flooding forward. I'll sometimes get a whiff of it like this, turning onto an empty aisle in the grocery store or passing a stretch of sidewalk. Sometimes someone may be passing, so it's possible they share a soap or shampoo or fragrance similar, but other times like this, there isn't anyone remotely nearby and all I can think is that somehow you are. You're making your presence known to comfort and encourage and guide me. It fills me with love and gratitude and joy. It made my whole day so much lighter. So much so that I hate to even mention the darker thing that happened later that night.

I love when you come to me in dreams, little sweetheart. I pray for your visits and am so heartened by them. But sometimes disturbing things happen. Often you comfort me or things are simply as they were and I am grateful and relieved and returned to your side where I belong. But other times, you don't seem to know me or remember and it fills me with anxiety and fear.

This was one of those kind of dreams but even worse. You were simply indifferent. I felt crushed and so alone. And I wondered if I was doing something in my waking hours that had upset you, that was wrong, that you were angry with me.

Please help and guide me, my darling girl. Please forgive me when I do wrong and point me back in the right direction. Please don't give up on me. I need you so. Help me and please remember and love me. I need you. I hope you can hear me. I know you can. Just help me to know the right way forward so that I honor and do as you will. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Please come again and let me know your mind and wishes. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever... xM

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mighty Forces

Little sweetheart, it's been a funny month. I've felt so fragile - ill for parts of it and anxious about things during other days.

These weeks and those few ahead are always so loaded for me because of the bitter anniversaries they bring around the terrible tragedy of your passing. Our last days, which I couldn't possibly have known for being such at the time but feel somehow in retrospect full of ominous signs. I remember even resisting saying "the last day" the very first time I began to utter it, still in the hospital praying for your recovery. And as March approaches I feel all this so keenly yet again.

Help me to keep focused on the things you have planned for me, little sweetheart. Please help me honor and listen for you. Please help me hold your memory and sense your guiding presence because I know you will lead me, as you always have from the moment you found me, the way I'm meant to be going - our way. Together.

Reach for me, my darling girl. I will follow.

With all my love... xM

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

74f

Little sweetheart, it's incredibly, unseasonably warm today. It's late February and it's in the 70's! 78 here in the city was the high today. Right now it's still 74f. A few days ago we had snow. A few from now it's going to be in the 30's.

But today, it's like June. And I did something that made me think of you and make me wish we had done it together. I went out to Coney Island.

Everything's closed out there because, well, because it's the middle of the winter. The amusement park and all the stalls and little shops on the boardwalk are closed. And so are the beaches or at least the waters - you're not supposed to go swimming and there are no lifeguards present. But it was sunny and warm and more than a few people were out. I strolled along the boardwalk and then remembered how you would tell me to make sure I had sunscreen on, so I sat on a bench and applied a bit and then put my hat back on and just watched people walking by for quite a while.

Later, I went down to the water and walked along the shore on the sand and eventually up and out the end of one of the piers. I tried to think of the last time I was out there and I think it must've been 20 years ago. You were probably still in high school!

I really wish we could have a day like this together, little sweetheart. Maybe take a little lunch with us and have a picnic. I remember you telling me that you had a hamper for just such an outing.

I don't know what time is, my darling, my gorgeous girl, but I suspect that you know much more about it and how it works. I hope and pray that it is so much more elastic and accessible once we're on the other side. Once I'm returned to you. Maybe then we can do all kinds of things. All the things we talked about and planned and even more.

I pray for that every day - to be returned to you, my little sweetheart, And to have all the time in the world so we never have to worry again. We'll always be together. Always. How I long for that day. With all my love forever... xM

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fever Dreams

Little sweetheart, I'm sick again! Gah! Not as bad as a week or so ago when I could barely stand to lay down because my stomach hurt so bad, but just a really severe cold. The kind where I actually lose my voice. That almost never happens.

But the reason I'm telling you isn't to complain or commiserate. It's because I've been able to do almost nothing but sleep (which is good) and I've had the most deep kind of sleeping and dreams. The kind of sleep I used to have with you by my side.

I think that's something we both enjoyed, kind of cured in each other. I was always so proud to hear you tell me that you never slept better than when we were side by side wrapped around each other. That often you had great difficulty sleeping but not when we were together.

What I'm thinking of in these last days is how exhausted and soundly I have been out. Like for the entire day and again all night. It reminds me of how you and I would fall asleep in your bed with the windows open and the curtains billowing in the light warm breeze, wrapped around each other and just passed out! Gone. Only to wake finally, groggily, deliciously together. Looking at each other through blurry eyes to say "wow... we were really out!" I love that.

And I can't think of that feeling without thinking of you and the joy, the light and love you brought into my life.

Even sick like this, it's a gift because this kind f sleep - I'm not sure I've had since I was with you last - reminds me of the gift that you. How much I love and long for you.

And sleep is also where I always so often hope to find you. Find me, won''t you my darling? And take me to you again this time forever.

With all my love... xM