John Baldessari, Beethoven's Trumpet (Tate Gallery)
John Baldessari, Beethoven’s Trumpet (Tate Gallery)

Can you hear me? I can’t hear you but I know you’re there. I know you’re hiding in a little warm corner somewhere in the dark.

Do you want to come out? Do you want to play? Do you want to talk?

It’s ok. You don’t have to. And I won’t bother you that long. I’m just curious, that’s all. I want to know what it’s like, to be you, right now, in there listening to me. I want my voice to sooth you. I want my voice to tingle nicely in your ears, perhaps bring all the thousand little pieces –broken pieces– that make up you come back together and make you feel whole. I know you’re spread all over the ground. I sense the shattered atmosphere in there. My echo breaks into a thousand different parts as soon as it reaches your little demolished self. And then it crawls slowly and separately, through every little piece, back to me.

I’ll leave your pieces alone. They’re yours and yours alone. You can put them together any which way you like. But I’m also here to tell you that I can give you more. A different color, maybe? Or a different shape and size. I know I have some that you don’t. You can have them if you want. I’m willing to give them up.

You’re going to be alright, my broken friend. You’ll put yourself back together. You’ll have lines of glue all over you. More than others, less than me. But these lines are magical. And you can fill them with anything you want, anything at all. They’ll be the texture of your new li…

Hello? Hello?…

It’s alright. It takes time. It takes dreaming. It takes breaking down and shattering in the darkness to end up naked, shapeless, to see, to feel, to delineate your entire self with the tip of your finger, piece by piece…

Hello? Can you hear me?…

I can hear you smiling. I can hear those tears swelling inside your eyes and giving birth outside. I can hear your doubts dancing around one single splinter of hope, like live fire saying, “hello, hello…” Until it dissipates and becomes nothing more than the sound of breathing, your breathing.

Hello?