I Lost My Voice

I lost my voice. A cold moved into my chest, and I lost my voice.

I wonder at the timing and the symbolism. Am I sad, overwhelmed? A bit confused as to what should be  my next steps? Yes, a bit.

Don’t be alarmed. We’ve all been there. It’s normal. I’m not afraid to share this, because I know it’s not unique. You all know what I’m talking about. You know, those times when you look around and you wonder, what am I doing every day? How am I spending my hours?

Sometimes I wonder, how do we not have these thoughts every single day? Forgive me if I sound cynical, but really, doesn’t everything seem so ridiculous when you stop and think about it? The financial worries, the petty annoyances, the grudges, the deeply held beliefs and opinions that propel us into heated arguments… What really matters at the end of the day?

Do you love yourself? Are you loved? Do you find meaning in your life? In your work? Your activities? Do you contribute in some way to the life of at least one other person? Do you appreciate the beauty in the world? Can you embrace the sadness that is on the tail end of every happiness? Can you fully appreciate the depth of your own spirit?

Sometimes my heart gets so full, I just begin to cry. Today it happened when I was driving in the car. I had just dropped my son off to spend the afternoon with a friend, and the song Harvest Moon by Neil Young came on the radio, and before I knew it, I was crying out loud. The sweetness of the melody and the lyrics just seemed to break open this melancholy that I didn’t realize had been building inside me, and it felt good to feel the tears come out of my head…

I have known deep love and sorrow and yearning and disappointment and great joy and contentment. I have recently entered a new phase of my life, and now I am knowing love again, in a different way.

While I embrace the exhilaration of the new, I am also connected to the turmoil of that which resides inside me – memories, anticipations, frustrations, fears, concerns… Those who know me well also know that I am relentlessly optimistic. If you read this blog regularly, you will see this pattern emerge in my writings. I won’t shy away from difficulty, but neither do I allow myself to drown in its power to overtake me. If I have to make things up, trust me, I will. I will live “as if” until “it is.”

So when I become ill, and my voice disappears, I know that my body is actually talking to me. It’s telling me, slow down, stay inside, stop talking so much, shut up for a minute and just listen.

I hear the droning of a thousand bees. I hear the dazzle of a million stars. I hear the regular pumping of my heart, and the blood, pounding in my ears. I hear the crying of a little child. I hear the splitting of my head as too many thoughts jockey for position near the front of the line. I hear the turning of the pages as another day slips by me.

And yes, I hear myself, crying, too. Sadness? Joy? Relief? Is there really a difference? I cannot tell you right now. My voice is resting…


Photo by Foxtongue

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6 Comments to “I Lost My Voice”

  1. Your tears are a seasoning for the laughter that has gone before, and comes after. I can’t imagine a proper joy without constructive contrasts.

  2. You have so much courage to share this with others. Thank you.
    Some days, I wonder…how did I get here? Can I just crawl up in ball and sleep until this passes.? No. It is because most of the days, I feel blessed for many reasons, then inspired.

    Professionally speaking, I was speaking to a third time business owner and I asked him if sudden panic is normal for a first time business owner–even though I have always been confident in my work performance. He replied–“it is over confidence and complacency that will kill you. Keep moving, you’re just fine.”
    Love you, Deb. xo

    • Your comment reminds me of something Ivor used to say to me whenever I was feeling frightened over a new project I was working on. He would say, “If you weren’t feeling scared, it wouldn’t be worth doing.”
      I’m pretty sure the things that are truly important to us always involve risk of failure… I agree with your friend, you’re just fine!

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