Monday, January 17, 2022

Bakery Dream

A wonderful dream of you this morning, little sweetheart, before waking! 

We were standing together at a counter in a bakery of some kind. You had only just arrived and I didn’t know I was going to see you, that you were here and well and with me again at last. I was overjoyed. You said so yourself telling me, as we stood there in line “You’re so excited,” you said, “I think you might start dancing!”. 

As we waited our turn, I was impatient to place our order and just get outside so we could be alone together. I told you that I had so many things to ask you and to tell you. For some reason, I’d brought along a box of little cakes that I had saved to give you. I may have had them for years, for ten years or longer, like since I’d last seen you. I asked the guy behind the counter if they had these same little cakes fresh and could we get new ones for you. 

While we waited you asked me if I just wanted to get a little snack or did I want to have a full meal. Before I could even answer you told me that you were really hungry and wanted a full meal yourself. You asked me kind of perfectly teasingly, “or do you just want to have a coffee?”, knowing and remembering how I was always drinking coffee at every hour of the day or night and never having enough water or eating properly. 

We were actually waiting for coffee because they were out but were brewing a fresh pot. Other people were in line behind us. We decided we’d get a little something now and take it to go while we went on a walk in the lovely weather outside but would also go out for a nice dinner soon thereafter. 

It was incredible to have this wonderful, happy dream of you, little sweetheart, just before I woke up today. I’m so very grateful. How very much I love you. Forever, Forever!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Other Room

Little sweetheart, I think I told you that one of the radio stations in France that we really like - CAMP Radio - and who have been playing us on several of their programs reached out, getting in touch through our Bandcamp page, to ask if we’d like to host and curate a show of our own on their station for broadcast. I said yes, of course! 

I was worried about over committing so I asked if we could have a one hour show, monthly, and they said that would be fine. It’s called Bipolar Explorer’s “The Other Room” and is, like I said, one hour, monthly, of experimental and dark ambient music, field recordings and “otherness”. The first episode was broadcast today and is now also archived on the station’s MixCloud page here. The next one is February 1. 

Although I probably won’t feature our own music on the show - focusing instead on other artists we love and admire - I did compose a little opening “theme” with guitar underscoring, spoken word from Sylvia in French, your vocals over the top and a quick message just saying “on behalf of Summer Serafin and Sylvia Solanas, this is Michael Serafin-Wells from Bipolar Explorer and this is The Other Room.”  

The little theme/intro is just about 40 seconds long and will open each show, your voice soaring throughout and the last thing we hear before the first track of each broadcast. 

As ever, you’re on the radio, little sweetheart! 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Best of 2021

Little sweetheart, we’ve been featured on a wonderful Year End program tonight. 

Resonance-FM (London)’s Fog Cast have been advocates of our work for the last couple of years. Deux Anges was among their Best Albums of the Year in 2020, and they devoted half an hour to Forests just before it came out on December 1. 

Tonight, Robin was doing his year end show and “Prayers Within a Cathedral of Trees” - the closing track from the new album - began the show’s last half hour. The show is up now in its entirety on MixCloud here

Listen, little sweetheart - you’re on the radio! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas Cards

Little sweetheart, we got the loveliest holiday card in the mail today! It's from our friend, your childhood primary schoolmate, Liz. 

She's an illustrator and in the past she's sent me some lovely drawings - almost like chapters of a graphic novel - of your mutual adventures as children, always with you as the heroine, of course! She loves you! And so do I! 

Here's a picture of the card with her drawing of us and her thoughtful greeting inside. 

Merry Christmas, little sweetheart!   

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Don't Open til December 25

It’s Christmas Day, little sweetheart. It’s a bit rainy and unseasonably warm outside. I’m making a little dinner later, I’ll roast a chicken. 

Even though it’s a bit too warm today to be wearing it, I have right here beside me your first Christmas gift to me - the lovely blue and grey scarf you knitted for me, working on it daily, all during the Boston run of Rock n Roll

The words you wrote you me that Christmas remain with me always, too - the card itself framed and hanging on the wall in the red table room, a copy or two of it hanging over my desk and magnet-ed to the inside front door, and its last lines tattooed in your handwriting on my right forearm. 

Also, here, below, let me repeat them. I think somehow, little sweetheart, you knew you would need to give me instructions on how to carry on, something to hold to my heart and know that you would always be with me even if we were separated by mortality and the physical world. You gave me that not just with these words below but every day, with the great gift of your love. I’m so forever grateful. 

Merry Christmas, little sweetheart.

My Dearest Michael,

I’ve been working on this in the green room and backstage since we came to Boston. I’d drape it around my neck to keep warm while knitting in the dark of the freezing wings. The cast is decisively in favor of the striped color combination.

It’s Christmas day, and I’m wearing my pajamas. I’m in my P.J.’s even if you’re reading this when the sun has set. Ryan is making another bourbon and coke even if you’re reading this as the sun rises. My Dad is reading aloud shocking statistics about religion or politics, my Mom is spraying perfume on the dog, and me...? I am missing you. Maybe one day we’ll spend Christmas together.

Coy says “You are where you’re meant to be”, and while I like that idea, I know, far too well, what it feels like to be in a world where everything feels wrong – where everything is wrong. You have also been to that place. And as the world spins on its own axis, people are lost in their own needs and trials. We falter blindly, and strive endlessly. But no matter where you are, whether you should be there or not, and no matter who is present... know that you are a treasure in your own right. If the chest is buried, the key is lost, or the map stolen, it doesn’t matter; it doesn’t change the fact that it’s inside you. I just see what’s there. You carry it with you. What’s hidden can always be found.

I love you.


Your Gingersnap,


Friday, December 24, 2021

Silent-ish Night

Little sweetheart, it’s Christmas Eve. I have such memories of this night of the year going all the way back to my childhood and forward to those with you and now muddling through on any own. 

I remember a choir concert I was in one year in high school, given at the local college. It was dark early, as it is this time of the season, and as I drove home I found and listened to a show of early music on public radio. I liked it so much I turned it on in my bedroom after I got home. My room was in the basement of the house and somehow it felt very much like I was on my own. Almost grown. 

A year or two later I was singing with another ensemble, one that performed Handel’s Messiah every Christmas Eve in the rotunda at the art museum. There was an incredible snowstorm going outside but our London friend, Kris, drove all the way down to see it and then I went with him after back up the snowy roads to where he was at Uni. 

All through my childhood my grandmother, my mom’s mom, would make these special Christmas Eve sandwiches. She had an old hand crank meat grinder, and she would grind fresh bologna and mix it with herbs and things to make this sandwich spread that she would spoon onto hamburg buns, open-faced, and then toast in the broiler. In later years, my mom found a deli that made something similar, so she didn’t have to go through the entire byzantine process - you couldn’t find fresh bologna in stores anymore, anyway, only the prepackaged luncheon meat slices. 

I haven’t had a culinary tradition like that since my mom passed away, little sweetheart, but tonight I made a Christmas Eve quiche. It was Sylvia’s idea and a good one! I sautéed red bell peppers in olive oil, steamed some broccoli and then added them with sharp cheddar, sour cream, heavy cream, flour and eggs, garnished with lemon pepper, and put it in the oven for a little less than an hour. I think you’d like it! 

My favorite memories of Christmas and Christmas Eve are with you, of course, little sweetheart. Coming home from the movies and settling into the living room around the Christmas tree where your mom has left a package for each of us with new pajamas and slippers. Changing into them and wearing them all through the night and all day on Christmas, itself. If we forgot something at the store, we wouldn’t even change out of them - just throw on a coat and drive over to whatever was open, usually for extra eggnog, right? 

It’s quiet here tonight, little sweetheart. I’m listening to BBC 4’s Christmas Eve broadcast and my thoughts are, as ever, of and with you. With all my love…

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Snow Swept

Little sweetheart, thinking today of that late December afternoon years ago when we looked outside to see it snowing lightly, quickly got dressed and headed up to the roof as the snowflakes dusted everything around us, the sun dipping to the horizon as we looked west. Love you forever.