Loss and Gain

I’ve lost my voice. Not my speaking voice, upon which, in my life’s vocation, I continue to rely, but my singing voice.

Nurtured, from my earliest years, at my mother’s knee as she sat at the piano teaching me how to follow the rise and fall of musical notes on the page. Then to match my voice in pitch. Then to add words; listening to them take flight, feeling them take on new meaning down to my very bones. Then, my voice better at blending than standing out and above other voices, joining choirs.

Now, in my aging, I no longer can sing in a way that is pleasing to my ear (whether in or out of the shower!). I’ve lost my voice.

Nevertheless, as a life-long melophile, I rejoice that I can continue to listen to others who, in singing, wing their words to abide in the nest of my heart at greater speed and depth than can any (including my own) spoken tongue.

© 2022 PRA

5 thoughts on “Loss and Gain

  1. Dear Paul,

    Yet another way in which your path and mine intersect. Singing has always been one of the joys of my life, and, alas, like you, I can no longer deem any sound that proceeds from my vocal cords a “joyful noise.” Perhaps the ears of Love (as in “God’s ears”) could stretch that description to cover my croaking, but I wouldn’t want to test that possibility too strenuously. In my case, my hearing is matching my singing in its fading, so I also have a hard time enjoying the music of others, a truly troubling loss. I’m testing the limits of recent sound technology to try to claim some reprieve, but so far my searching is coming up short.

    Enjoy all the wonderful music of every kind that you can while you can, dear Paul. I suppose that advice ought to apply to all of the great gifts we once took for granted, thinking they would be ours forever. Savoring, enjoying, lavishing in all the things we love, I believe, must be our watchword for aging. Perhaps their loss will be the foundation for us to experience even deeper gratitude that we had them for most of our lives. And perhaps, in God’s deep and mysterious ways, we may live, even by dying, into their full and gracious abundance again in ways we can’t now imagine.

    Much love to you, my dear brother,

    Karen

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  2. You may have lost what you define as “your voice” but what I hear is a beautiful singing voice come from your body (and soul)!

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  3. My dear sister Jane, you are kind to me. I thank you and I treasure your encouragement and, more, you!

    My dear Karen, always, you strike my heart’s chord with a note of truthiness that I treasure. E’en more, your word — “…Savoring, enjoying, lavishing in all the things we love, I believe, must be our watchword for aging. Perhaps their loss will be the foundation for us to experience even deeper gratitude that we had them for most of our lives. And perhaps, in God’s deep and mysterious ways, we may live, even by dying, into their full and gracious abundance again in ways we can’t now imagine…” — as I’m wont to say (of the manifold things I’m wont to say), this’ll preach!

    And regarding our “great gifts we once took for granted, thinking they would be ours forever”, instantly, I am given to contemplate that frequently offered word of counsel for all of us who dwell in this temporal and spatial realm: Be and live in the moment. Whereas I trust this advice (and, at times, admonition, especially when I find myself focusing largely on the past and the future), it occurs to me that if and when I devote inordinate time seeking to be in the/each moment (which, as time passes, literally, is impossible), I can delude myself into thinking, feeling…believing that what I experience in the realm of my circumstances (especially, pleasurable) and within the realm of my being (i.e., talents, etc.) will last forever (or, at the least, which is at the most) as long I live. Not so, as you aver. Thus, there must be, I reason, a constantly sought balance between dwelling in the moment and, reflectively, on the past, and, expectantly, on the future. I must think more about this.

    Jane and Karen, love to you, each and both,
    Paul

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  4. Hi Paul,

    Karen and Jane had expressed so well much of what I was feeling when I read this post! I think you can sing with your entire soul with just your words. Maybe you’ll be “singing” in other ways… I don’t want to minimize your loss but I still see so much gain even from those of us who also loved your singing voice!
    As you say to me “carry on”!

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    1. My dearest Loretta, I will try to carry on. And I more than find a deep affinity with your encouragement to sing in other ways. Thank you.

      Love

      Like

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