Day of Silence
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Quick touch in to talk about how this discipline of getting healthy and losing weight has influenced and taught me to take better care of myself all around.
Yesterday I had a slightly sore throat but had spent the night before in loud bars talking while quite drunk so just assumed it was over-use. Nope. Early this morning, it hurt so much to swallow that doing so woke me from a deep sleep several times. Still hoped it was just dry throat since the furnace had been on for the first time in a week or so. Nope. Today, my throat is so swollen it hurts to swallow and my sinuses inflamed to the extent I can feel it when I inhale through my nose and I've had a bit of blood when I sneeze. Other than that, I feel really good actually, which is weird. And in the past I'd have known what I should do, but honestly, since I don't feel sick enough to stay-abed all day, I can honestly say I wouldn't have done so great with self discipline. Especially because what this kind of inflamation requires of a singer.
Yup, swollen and sore throats mean only one thing for a singer-- they are dangerous because the voice is already a delicate instrument, but in this state, permanent damage is easily done. Yes, permanent. Which means one thing...complete and utter SILENCE. No talking. No humming. No making little expressive sounds with your mimed actions to display the frustration or annoyance at not being understood. No answering the phone. NOTHING. We're talking monastery vows of silence.
I know some of you are saying, so what, that's not so bad. I'd read or go for a walk or listen to music. Bah! You don't understand, singers are by nature garrulous creatures; we singers believe "I can make noise, therefore I am!".
My voice teacher and the specialists he send me to have spent years trying to instill in me the motto-- "My voice was not made for talking. My voice was made for singing. " I had a doctor once tell me he'd put me on a TALKING DIET because it was atrocious how badly I was misusing my voice talking so darn much. I tried to argue but he shoved a scope or something down my throat and made me look at my vocal folds on a computer screen while he sternly told me I was wasting this precious gift so shut up already, girl! sigh.
Oh, didn't I tell you? Speaking is very wearing on the voice, even when it's healthy. Especially anything above a delicate, dulcet tone so quiet a mouse could outshout me. So I'm not supposed to talk on good days. But days like this, it's serious. And yet, in the past, I'd have slipped up, a lot. I'd have done it anyway, at least when I had to. Like when I had to yell at the dishes for piling up so fast or talk back at my computer or the cats. I don't need real people to talk to, I have a running dialog with myself going constantly or I'm testing out songs or jokes on the invisible audience in my head that goes everywhere with me. Oh lordy, did I just admit that in public. Ah well, it's true. I'm not going to live in shame any longer. :)
My best friend once teased me with this joke he heard that instantly reminded him of me:
How can you tell the difference between a star and a true diva?
When a star steps on stage, everyone instantly notices her....but a diva? A real diva takes the stage with her everywhere she goes!
Anyway, today I knew what I had to do. I had to remain silent at all costs. I have a voice class on Friday and I begin rehearsals next week for a Western Melodrama. And I"m getting my brand new outdoor capable mini Martin Cowboy V in the next few days so I can play some western-spoof songs in that melodrama. This girls needs her voice, baby!
And I did it. When I realized what I had to do this morning I swear I almost recoiled back under the covers, thinking I should just down a sleeping pill or two and stay unconscious. Then I thought, heck no! I will not hide from what needs to be done! I have fought inner demons the size of Godzilla and won. I've lost a full sized, grown human from my own body mass and I've accomplished much bigger mountains than this! Silence? For a day? Oh c'mon, Cassandra, you can do that!!
And I did. Well, except for one or two small slips where I caught myself humming unawares and nipped it quick. And the cats have been having a field day, well, not Banshee, the Russian Blue half siamese who literally talks as much as I do. No, I'm not kidding. And he sings. Really. Loves men with guitars, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, Banshee is sulking, he thinks I'm ignoring him to spite him. So he's talking even more to try to force me to respond. He's followed me around mewling and yowling all evening, and finally just withdrew in the corner whimpering sadly, looking at me with big, sad eyes, till he wore himself to sleep. But Tux, the smart dominant male who was the alpha feral before he fell in love with Chopin & me and moved in 3 years ago, Tux deduced about 2 hours the advantages of this strangely silent Mommy. Mommy wasn't saying NO, no matter how bad he misbehaved, no matter what rules he broke. Yes, she was doing some comical little foot stomping and making the NO face, with the snappy fingers, but she didn't SAY NO..so she must not really mean no. And lordy, isn't fun to make mommy dance the angry dance like that!! Look she's getting all purple and there's foam at the corners of her mouth, but I'll be darned, she didn't say NO TUX! when I started clawing the new suede loveseat or knocked the catnip plant off the windowsill to enjoy. GRrrrrrr..... needless to say his big furry butt got booted out to the yard about 3 hours ago. LOL.
Anyway, except for a few minor glitches and two phone calls I had to take, but explained very quickly that I would have to finish the business in a day or two and just could not speak now (oh that was sooo hard) I did it. I went a WHOLE DAY with no talking. Whew. And I got a lot done. I practiced, I worked on sight reading music, I composed a bit, I did research on getting my motorcycle license and did about 3 hours of cooking. I made a yummy, thick veggie porridge like soup that feels all warm and velvety on my poor throat. And coconut custard pudding and strawberry jello with small bits of frozen strawberries that will feel so soothing to slurp. So I made healthy comfort food to reward and take care of me in my hour of need. Which is what I've learned on this healthy journey. Self nurture is so much sweeter than emotional binge eating. And it's after effects linger on in a healthy, vibrant me.
So hopefully tomorrow I'll be better. Otherwise you can probably expect another verbose and silly blog post. Thank goodness my fingers don't have to take this vow of silence. And boy, for the first time ever, do I really appreciate TEXTING and Instant Messages..yee haw, there's a sanity saver! :)
Thanks as always for reading me!
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