Words Matter especially in the Music
The music on this site is of Tom's choosing. The tunes are love songs he especially favored and often sang to me. To immerse yourself in his true character, deepest passions, longings, needs, and soul, close your eyes, turn up the volume and feel him. Imagine Tom singing away, pouring out in song deeply sensitive parts of himself.....inviting me to understand his passion and to feel his enormous capacity for love. Take the time and be vulnerable even though it may stir emotions. Each song is material, painstakingly chosen. The lyrics, as much as the melody, were of the highest significance. They are one of the ways he spoke about his love, but beyond that, the lyrics speak to universal feelings and the tremendous depths of the composers' humanity to which Tom highly related. Many of the verses perfectly convey, in my opinion, the strength of character Tom so humbly embodied, which I so deeply loved and respected. He used melody and lyrics to speak many of his emotions; he shared his sentiments, celebrated, and honored our love. I am on a mission to share Tom's most beautiful elements, which he sometimes concealed from the world but over time freely shared with me. Music was a tremendous part of our life together and a universal communicator. We all associate certain songs with particular meaningful moments in our lives. The lyrics of some songs express our beliefs and our longings better than we could on our own. As I listen, I still feel Tom singing these songs to me. He loved to sing - albeit often off-tune. He knew music served to make moments, large and small, more meaningful and memorable as they always had for him growing up. Listening to his music he loved now that he is no longer with me is amazingly heartwarming and, at the same time, heartwrenching. It's ironic. Neither Tom nor I would ever have imagined the music we loved would become an integral part of a memoir that arises from his premature death.
Tom quietly almost furtively placed a high value on the meaning of words; this applied to cards, books, musings but especially musical lyrics and poetic verse. Tom would literally spend hours in music, card, and bookstores choosing what he thought was the perfect ballad or poem. His intense desire to express himself persuasively and with heartfelt intention was a predominant force in our life together. Tom also loved to read words and would often save quotes he found worthwhile or personally profound.
In the course of our relationship, Tom matured creatively. He was effortful in this growth and as he aged, he became increasingly insistent that his articulated expressions of affection were confirmable and authentic without being overly effusive. Tom engaged inordinate amounts of time on words. He regularly used musical artists, Hallmark writers and literary works to expound upon and convey to me, in the clearest, most loving terms, his deep sensitivity and loving affection. As a single man in Lewiston, Maine, he savored his cassette collection: contemporary folk artists, some 70’s standards and even some late 80's Celtic pop. In Cambridge, he discovered Tower Records, Borders and Walden Books and Strawberries. These were places that were rare in Maine. Establishments where he could sit down with a headset and listen before buying. So many times, as excited as a child, he returned to our home, insisting the songs he chose were the right songs for us to listen to. We had music collections for dinner, music for driving, music for the beach, music for easy listening and especially music for making love. He cultivated the music collections as if they were his originals compositions and the songs brought a sparkle to his eyes and tall pride to his posture. He would don the biggest, most handsome smile for a favorite song and then play the song over and over and over again, sometimes adding theatrics or dancing and other times just crooning along with the artist.
Tom could always put on a show that would bring a smile to your face and he did that with genuine joy and vitality. Look closely at the pictures on this site. He is never just standing still with his hands down by his side. He is mostly animated, posing and entertaining, hands and arms outstretched. He could always make me laugh and he came to know that when he sang to me, my heart would melt as well. This man was a quick study who could charm and soften my heart, as he aimed to pleased us both: he was a hunter, always in search of a rare artistic treasure, never realizing that to me in fact, he himself was just that treasure - a source of richness and wealth beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Early in our relationship Tom spent considerable time practicing and playing with his guitar. He chose the simple tunes of John Lennon, Kenny Loggins ( a favorite), Joe Cocker, Phil Collins and some other romantic but bad-boy types. He related to these artists in very personal ways. He read their biographies; he knew their themes and angst. He felt an affinity for their emotional expressions and their happiness and their fears. Tom concentrated his guitar learning efforts on their music.
Tom was also serious and contemplative over what he read. Finding a subject, a philosophy or an author where kinship was experienced transformed Tom into a true devotee. He would speak to concepts and quotes in whispers and aloud. He would take notes, memorize and share as he went along. He would jot things down on small pieces of paper, which he proceeded to leave all over our homes, in his pockets (that would end up in shreds in the washer) or sometimes he slipped them in his wallet. Tom valued words but was neither neat nor organized with them.
So I ask that as you enjoy this website slowly and thoroughly. Pay special attention to the music footnoted here, the words in the quotes he loved. I share with readers the very personal sentiments he expressed in just some of the cards he gave me over our 23 years together. Open your heart to his voice which still lives in our memories and on this site. Be as vulnerable and brave as he was and feel the powerful emotion as the music and the words guide your most fond memories of Tom. Visualize our journey, jump in the car with us, sing, play and walk along the beaches of our lives with us and as I do still in my heart every day. In the mirror of your mind, capture Tom's broad smile and bright eyes. What will evolve from that, beyond the tears, is the most heartwarming grin as you see him blasting the music in a powerful BMW, speeding down the long curves of a Vermont mountain road or across a Cape Cod highway, belting out songs with a passion that came from deep in his heart. The words mattered because he concluded they did. The words changed his course and his path because he understood the words could just as well have been his own. Click on the blue seagull buttons below to reveal the song lyrics.