The bridge to one of the solo songs in my repertoire, one which I may yet do for a song analysis, and which I practiced today with the fellow who will be accompanying me on guitar, is somewhat repetitive but its point is nonetheless clear:
“Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still. Be speechless.”
It is not an easy thing for me to be speechless, but a day spent singing, reading a bit (which somewhat rested my voice) and then spending almost the entire afternoon talking at my second Thanksgiving over in Happy Valley , which was quite an enjoyable experience does tend to be a bit hard on one’s voice. Of course, the unfortunate side effect of so much singing and then so much talking was that by the end of the night, my voice was just about shot. I hope there is at least some of it tomorrow morning, but we shall see. Otherwise, I will be speaking in a fierce whisper and trying to lip sync at choir practice. Fun times.
Although by and large this was a very excellent day, in some ways it was alarming and very grimly serious as well. The conversations I heard and was involved in, despite the state of my voice, were by and large quite dark. Even if company was enjoyable and pleasant, there was a dark undertone to much of what I heard, even though I was consciously (if sometimes unsuccessfully) trying to say less than usual to spare my longsuffering vocal chords. A sample of some of the conversation topics that were discussed today reads like a lot of grim stories: child abuse and homicidal rage towards the abuser, jealousy from spouses about friendships with the opposite sex, dialysis, cancer, divorce, autoimmune disease, allergies, hangovers, teasing, and disciplining wayward children. To be sure, there were plenty of light subjects discussed, but over and over again it seemed as if the mood of most people was somewhat serious. This is normally the case for me, as readers of my blog can certainly attest to, but I suppose it is true of others since I am likely seen as a safe person for the serious conversations of others.
It appears as if in order to get to know someone, more is needed than merely time spent knowing someone in aggregate, but there must also be a great deal of time spent in interpersonal conversation. Someone can very quickly move from stranger into acquaintance with some polite and superficial conversation and politeness, but to become a friend it is necessary to get beneath the surface and to see at least a glimpse of how someone really is, and to show a little bit of who we are. Being someone who cannot help in personal conversation but to show at least some of my analytical nature, my good-natured observation of others, my quirks and anxieties, and my interest in others, it is easy for others to get to see at least a glimpse of who I really am through getting to know me. Likewise, I cannot help but notice quirks, and appreciate others for them, as a result of getting to know them. At least it has been my experience that most opportunities for getting to know people involve hours of time and good food, and that is always something to appreciate and enjoy, even when the conversation gets a little heavy and one’s vocal chords force one at least somewhat to remain more speechless than usual.
 At the site of my most recent NTBMO: