Today’s bonus

I have longer and more complex postings in the works, documenting the recent disasters in my life and the delights of several kinds of recovery — see yesterday’s posting “Happy happy joy joy” — but this is about today’s bonus gift: after weeks of no speaking voice or just a hoarse croak, this morning I chanced to speak out loud to myself and realized that this was my full speaking voice, returned to me, and so I could probably sing again. I essayed the shapenote singer’s key-setting FA LA SO LA FA in full voice, and it was all there.

Happy weeping ensued. There’s a Palo Alto Sacred Harp singing tomorrow, 1-3 pm, and (after months away) I would be able to sing at home via Zoom.

Immediately, I pulled up the wonderful YouTube videos from the various Ireland Sacred Harp conventions, and sang my heart out at home for half an hour, doing each song twice, once singing the treble (high harmony part), which has been my specialty for many years; and then singing the tenor (melody line), which is what I started with back in Ohio many years ago. (Of course, when I sing at home via Zoom, nobody knows or cares what part I’m singing or how good I am at it.) This was practice in using the full range of my singing voice (I can’t go low enough for the bass line or high enough for the alto line as the women sing it).

It was also aerobic exercise, actually recommended as therapy by my doctors. Quite challenging aerobic exercise if I sing full-out. (Even more challenging if I do it standing up, but I’m not back to that yet.)

It was just fucking wonderful.



8 Responses to “Today’s bonus”

  1. Lise Menn Says:


  2. Robert Southwick Richmond Says:

    Wonderful indeed. People who aren’t harp singers (a.k.a. people we haven’t handed a book to yet) don’t know just how wonderful. Sing on!

  3. Max Vasilatos Says:

    i’ve thought one of the secret benefits of sickness is the incredible high of getting better… yowza

  4. arnold zwicky Says:

    Yes, though the idea seems self-contradictory. But in this case, as you know from your own experiences, “getting better” is merely return to the status ante quo, which can be objectively quite awful — but an awful that’s familiar and you have ways of working through and working around.

  5. Ellen Says:

    Oh, Arnold, I’m so happy for you!

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