Letters From Lockdown 35: Joanna Magill

Dear Piano, 

It’s not you, it’s me. 

I know you feel this shift within me. The heaviness extends through my fingertips and I am unable to fill you with the music that once flowed freely. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my soul in my fingers, and no one knows that better than you; you who has always provided me with joy and release in the midst of whatever tempest I am facing. 

I had traveled so far from you for so long, and the prospect of reunion sustained me. Thousands of miles away, I stretched out my fingers in anticipation of harmonic homecoming. But the second I sat before you, my longing joints became petrified. For you are staunch and immovable; strong and unchanging in your beauty. And I have become rotten to the core. The echoes of your voice remind me of the person I was and the husk I have become. 

The heaviness has followed me even when I’m alone with the one who understands and transcribes my messy thoughts, and this realization alone is enough to shatter me. Wrapped up in your ivory, I find it so much easier to forget myself. And to have the ghost of my broken mind follow me all the way to your melodic doorstep terrifies me. 

You have been so kind to me, ever since I was a child, and all I want to do is to make you sing in return. To make you smile and dance as I leap from octave to octave, reviving age-old voices and filling my home with your laughter. I can’t do that for you anymore and I’m sorry. Music has always been ignited by a spark deep inside my soul, but that has long since been extinguished. 

But I promise I will be better. I am filling my souls with new modulations and one day I will return to you in chromatic splendour. Heaviness still resides deep in my marrow, but I know that Vivaldi’s Spring will come once more. 

I can’t wait to make you sing again, 


Jo x


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