Prompted to Tell: Dark Magic
by Justine Hyland
This piece is by Justine Hyland, a student at Juiceboxartists writing workshops.The prompt was to list the contents of a room, a drawer, or a place.
Desks, bookcases, chairs, rugs, rug pads, and books upon books upon books — these are all the things I’ve moved since being shut in. I’ve developed a kind of Feng shui mania. Despite feeling strange, I’m more satisfied with how things flow in my house. I have my workspace where I need it to be — right next to where my daughter is doing her math and spelling then painting dragons in her down time. I also have my guitars, all cleaned, freshly strung, and arranged in strategic spots so I won’t be without music in any room. I wake up at 3 in the morning, panicked at nothing. I play “Tomorrow’s Such a Long Time” and “Landslide” on my classical guitar. It has a low, mellow tone and I sing softly so I don’t wake my daughter in her room downstairs. I’m still not quite ready to sleep, so I start learning “Rainy Day People.” Strumming the new patterns on the strings soothes me and I can finally sleep. The following morning, in my head, I go through lists of songs that I want to learn: Beatles “In My Life”, Paul Simon “Sounds of Silence” and “Cecilia.” Then folks song arrangements I want to do: “Black is the Color”, “Wildwood Flower”, and “Donna, Donna.” I’ve always had this refuge in music so it’s no wonder that I’m holding it more closely now. Sometimes the truth gets caught up in the chaotic inconsistencies of living. It’s up to us to make a little magic with measures, rhyme, and time. Each time I play and sing, I fell like someone in the wilderness striking flint to steel, making the fire of survival.
by Justine Hyland