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,
Can separate her from its transforming power;
Life lived in this power
Does live again and will live again.

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
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


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. "


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