Monday, October 29, 2018

At The Shrine

On our last day in Ireland, little sweetheart, we drove back down the coast to Cork. En route we stopped at this beautiful little place, it's actually a National Park and Landmark - Gougane Barra.

The source of river Lee begins there and there is a forest in its surroundings. St Finbar was said to have set up a monastery there in the 6th century. And there are wonderful caves and a beautiful church there, as well.

I remembering setting off that day and Kris mentioning the stop but you didn't quite know what it was. You were slightly annoyed, you told me later, because you thought he was just going to a bank or something!

I don't know how that got mis-communicated but the moment you saw the place, you were enchanted. There is also a beautiful little hotel there and you very much wanted to return - just you and I. It's also a popular wedding spot and I very much wished that one day it would be our own, my little sweetheart, my love.

Inside the shrine, I'm not too sure they're keen on people taking pictures, but I had just lit a candle for you and as you stood there, I couldn't resist.

It's a very resonant and treasured image for me now. My treasure at the shrine. On our last day in Ireland.

That we know of yet... because time is not what we think it is, is it, little sweetheart? And when I finally join you I'll know that, won't I? We can go anywhere and be there and other places too together and forever.

Thank you, my little sweetheart. Please be close to me today. I need you always.

Friday, October 26, 2018

You Are Everything

All the way out at the end of the Sheep's Head and a bit exhausted at the end of a long day of exploring, little sweetheart, we rested for a minute and made plans to go to The Snug in Bantry for dinner.

As we sat there at a little picnic table, the sun began to set. And I stepped away to take this rather breathtaking picture of you with the sky and sea and landscape beyond but somehow also a part of you.

I understand that so much better now, my little sweetheart. You are a part of everything and all around, me always. You are more a part of everything, indeed - you are everything. Love you forever.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Mermaid Landing

One day on an epic walk, little sweetheart, we found ourselves all the way down by Bantry Bay.

Coming to the water's edge, you saw a flight of stone stairs that led to a little kind of dock. All in black with your pretty red hair down, flowing and luminous, you stood there for a moment and I snapped this picture. Like a landing spot for mermaids.

I think this was one of your favorites. Mine, too, little sweetheart. Mine, too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Clear Eyed and Grateful

On our walk led by our little Jack Russell pup, we stopped and looked all around, little sweetheart, at the lush green surroundings, in the cool autumn air. I was so grateful to be there with you. So grateful for you. I will always be.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


That same day, little sweetheart, on our hike to the lighthouse, we came across a stone circle. They’re really rather holy places. We stepped within and stood inside it and held each other close.

Once we got all the way out to the lighthouse itself, you stepped over the landing and sat on a big rock there looking out at the surf and sky that stretched as far as one could see. You called me to you and gathered me in your arms. And you took these two pictures, little sweetheart, with our heads close to one another.

I’m posting them both because even though taken just moments apart, they show how in just an instant your spirit could overwhelm me with gratitude and love.

Find me again, won’t you? And keep me with you forever.

Looking Back

Kilcrohane is at the edge of the middle of three peninsulas at the top of County Cork on the western coast of Ireland, little sweetheart, and one day we decided to go for a walk all the way out to the very end, to the lighthouse.

It’s quite a long walk there and the trail is not very well marked. We actually got lost coming back and I got very panicked because it’s rugged out there and the sun was about to set. I kept running ahead a bit to see if I could find our way back and at one point I stopped to see how far back you were. When I did, I saw a sign, only facing that way, only visible from this angle, turned back to look at you, that pointed us to the middle path that led back to the main trail. Looking back for you is how we found the way home. Gah.

But all that later excitement aside, including that happy ending, we had a wonderful day climbing and taking in the sweeping vistas of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

When we got to the little lighthouse there was a short red railing all the way around with a sign that said “Danger, do not cross!”. So, of course, the first thing you did was to cross!

That’s where the first of these pictures was taken. There are two more I’ll get to in a minute. This one was also the picture we used for the back cover of Of Love and Loss.

My beauty, my treasure. Love you forever. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Miracles Alight

One night we drove in Bantry, which is sort of the biggest town nearby. There was a lovely little place we always liked to go called The Snug. The food was good and it had a very homey vibe. The tables were almost like big tree trunks and there were vintage signs hanging on the walls and a big fireplace. It was very comfy and cozy.

The only problem ever was that it was sometimes quite crowded but this night we were about the only people there. Kris & I always had sat at the bar because you couldn’t get a table. This night we had our pick of them.

You loved the place. Neither of us often had red meat but all their meat was local and organic and grass fed, so we often would actually have steak there. You wanted a burger. And they had something on the menu that was actually two burgers. So, as was often your wont, you eat one and saved the second for later.

We stayed for some time, enjoying ourselves and we stepped back into the night and looked out at the bridge over Bantry Bay, we could see that a dozen swans had alighted there. We stood there and watched them for a quite a while.

It was another magical night with you, my little sweetheart. Swans, butterflies, all manner of miracles come near when you are with me. With all my love forever.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

In The Village

Kilcrohane is just a little village,my sweetheart, mostly filled with farmers. It has one church and three pubs.

The third of them, The White House, was really not much more than what we’d think of as someone’s den here in the US. It had a short bar with taps and stools and a little pool table and was only open at the night when the owner came home from working in the fields. It was at the very edge of the village.

In the middle of town was the church and the other two pubs were to the front and back of it. The one to the front was as hotel bar nestled into the little lodge there. And the main pub was called Fitzpatrick’s after its longtime owner but known to everyone as Eileen’s, since she’d been the publican there for so many years.

Sadly, for us anyway, Eileen was gone that whole week we were there and never got to meet you, little sweetheart. But everybody else that did was very taken with you.

This is picture of you with everyone there at Eileen’s. We’d just come from visiting that nice old man, Johnny, at his house up the lane and had walked back settling in at one of the tables. Kris and Joy and Johnny all have a pint or half pint and you’re enjoying a hot chocolate with your feet up.

I think it’s a wonderful picture of you and it makes me so grateful that we made it there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Down By The Pier

Little sweetheart, I remember waking  up with you one morning there in our little room in the cottage and deciding to set out on a long walk heading toward the end of the peninsula.

We started out that way and once we were a good ways beyond the village turning instead toward Bantry Bay and the pier at Doneen. The surrounding area there is lush and green and there was also a curious and sightly dangerous blowhole that dropped to the water below, a protective fence around it.

A longer walk would take us to the cliffs and as we set out, that little Jack Russell pup came flying seemingly out of nowhere to run just a little ways ahead of us almost the rest of the day.

This picture of you and I is from all the way down by the water. How complete you made me, little sweetheart. The other half of my soul. Love you forever.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


Little sweetheart, here's another photo of you in that beautiful meadow just beyond the cottage from our first day in Ireland.

It's been on my mind because it's also going to be the first photo inside the gatefold of the new album, Til Morning Is Nigh. The inscription, the dedication reads:

"For Summer, with love forever. A thousand angels watch, bless and keep you."

Indeed, I know they do, as you do me, as you watch and keep me and all of us who love and miss you and strengthen our faith that we will be with you again, soon and forever.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Til Morning

Little sweetheart, the new album, our 8th, TIL MORNING IS NIGH, is approved for digital distribution and the CDs are in production. The official release is next month on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and a special preview and pre-sale of the album begins on your birthday, November 13th.

As ever, it is entirely of, for and about you. Your vocals, both sung and spoken, are at its center, and when one opens the gatefold there is a beautiful picture of you standing in a meadow in Ireland, with these words in dedication:

"For Summer, with love forever. A thousand divine angels watch, bless and keep you."

Indeed, my little sweetheart. Love you forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

At The Edge of The World

One of the days, little sweetheart, that we were in Ireland, we got in the rental car and Kris drove us all out to the end of the Beara peninsula.

We were staying in Kilcrohane which is at the end of the lower, actually middle, of the three peninsulas, the Sheep's Head. The Beara is a bit more wild and rugged geographically at at its very edge is a trolley that goes to tiny Dursey Island. It's the westernmost point in Europe.

There's a little signpost there, with signs pointing in various directions and telling you how many miles or kilometers away various places are from that spot. One is for New York (3000 some miles, with a little swimmer icon), another for Tir na nOg - Irish for "Land of Youth" and, of course, the title of the play that first brought us together, how we met.

I gave Kris my phone and he took several pictures of you and I there at that sign. This is one of them. It was one of our last days in the car. You much more preferred going places on foot even if it didn't take us as far afield.

Just seeing you so close at my side brings me such a sense of calm, of peacefulness. You're always near, aren't you, my little sweetheart? Nearer than I can imagine. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Together in the Meadow

In keeping with that idea I talked about, little sweetheart, to post a picture and tell a little story from our trip to Ireland, here's one from the very first day.

We had to get up awfully early in the morning - seems like it was around 4:30AM! - to go to Gatwick airport and fly to Cork. Then we got in a rental car and drove up the West Coast of Ireland until we got to the little village of Kilcrohane, where we were staying. By the time you and I got to our room, you flung yourself across the bed (I've got a picture of that too!) exhausted. Nap time! We lay down together for a little while before rallying, having a cup of tea in the nice little kitchen looking out at the bay.

Kilcrohane is at the end of Sheep's Head Peninsula, Bantry Bay on one side and the Atlantic opening up at its edge. We could see the bay in the near distance from the kitchen window, so we headed out on a walk, through the garden and out into a meadow beyond. That's where Joy snapped this picture of us.

You look so at home and I am, as ever, grateful to have you in my arms. With all my love forever...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

In Ireland

Little sweetheart, it was this week, eight years ago, that we went on our trip to Ireland together.

Although I hadn't been there since 2001, it was one of the first things you and I talked about when we met - my travels there and how very much you wanted to go with me sometime.

After my mom unexpectedly passed away in May of that same year, I knew even more than I had before that I needed to be with you as much as possible and that even though you were already so good at seizing the moment and doing things NOW, not waiting for some mythical "someday", that we needed to plan a trip there.

You were going to be in France in late September and I had to go to London around the same time, so we settled on October. We traveled with my friends Kris & Joy, who had been with me on my previous visits to the emerald isle, and we rented a little cottage in Kilcrohane, a small village at the end of the Sheep's Head Peninsula, a place we'd come to love all those years ago.

You and I went for long walks, one epic one all the way out to and around the lighthouse and another past Doneen pier when a little Jack Russell dog suddenly appeared and ran a few feet ahead of us, seemingly taking us on a tour, for nearly an hour.

I'm so grateful that I have so many wonderful pictures of you on that trip, almost 300, I think. Maybe I'll post a few of them here over the next few days, little sweetheart, and tell a little story.

I'm so very glad we had that trip together, just as you so wanted. It's hard not to feel the sadness begin to rise in my chest at the thought of how much you loved it and had spoken of new plans to return - there was a lovely old man there, Johnny, who had taken such a shine to you, and we had planned to return in the spring when it happened to be his birthday. So many of the village folks that got to meet you were taken with you and your mane of red hair ("where are all the redheads?", you asked one of the locals in the pub, I recall, and he said "they're all in Scotland, lass.").

This picture is one from that day when the little dog led us around the twists and turns of the path down to Doneen pier. May you lead me even now through my own arduous travels and bring me safely home again to your side in the Forever. With all my love...

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.