Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring has sprung...squeak

It’s springtime and while it is one of my favorite times of the year, it is also the time of year in which trees, flowers, grass and other forms of flora spew forth copious amounts of pollen into the air in the hopes that it will land on the sticky end of a waiting stamen, thus ensuring the continuance of their particular plant species.  I don’t begrudge the plants the fulfillment of their desire to reproduce.  I love the beauty that flowers bring and the resulting berries and fruits that are often the result of the frenzy of spring fever, but like many others out there I suffer from the unpleasant side effects of this annual flower orgy...

I sneeze, sniffle and wheeze my way through mid-spring.  My eyes water and itch, nose drips and my lungs rebel.  These symptoms are generally dealt with via a daily dose of allergy medication.  However there is one rather annoying side effect that does not seem to be readily resolved by any over the counter solution.  
It begins mildly enough, I start to get a bit of roughness that can at first be described as sultry but it only takes a few days to go from Kathleen Turner to Selma Bouvier and before too long, if I’m not careful, I find myself barely able to squeak out a “Hello.”  Now you might find yourself thinking, “Spinster Jane, you live alone, you work at home, and you are studying for finals.   What does it matter if you lose your voice? Other than your cats who in the world do you have to talk to?”

If you are asking that question you must be new the world of Spinster Jane or during my little writing hiatus you’ve forgotten that my life is generally a busy, though well planned, whirlwind of activity.  I have lots and lots to do and all of it involves speaking in some form or another.   Dinner with a friend I’ve not seen in over a month, two days of working in the office at the end of this week and a full day of performances booked for Saturday.   And next week?  Next week is not really all that different.    

Losing my voice presents all sorts of difficulties.

I do all of the things I should do.  I sip soothing tea laced with honey.  I make sure that when I am on stage I project my voice from my belly instead of my throat.  I try not to talk, much.  I cease singing in the shower.  In the end though all I can really do is wait it out.  So I muddle through mid-May to early June sounding like I never did quite smoking nine years ago and debating whether or not to take up the guitar so I can start a seasonal career as a sultry voiced folk singer.

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