I’m speechless. And unfortunately not in a cute ‘Wow, I’m so surprised’ kind of way. Nope. I open my mouth and out croaks a sound which has the ability to terrify animals and make small children cry. I’m losing my voice. Again.
It’s amazing what happens when something you’ve so heavily relied upon, yet never really appreciated, is gone. You begin to realise how essential this previously underrated implement is to your daily living.
Or is it?
I am amazed at how the experience of loss often leads to unexpected creativity. I was 19 when I first lost my voice. Over a period of 12 months I would regularly be unable to speak for up to a week and was unable to sing for the entire duration of that time. Over that year the way I expressed myself musically dramatically altered. I evolved from an awkward sheet-reading pianist to someone who would sit at a piano for hours, just making stuff up.
As human beings we have an incredible ability to adapt in order to cope with the unexpected. I recently read that the visual cortex takes on the role of language in the brains of people who are blind from birth. Incredible.
The last time I lost my voice was Christmas 2009. Upset by the possibility of being unable to communicate over the festive period, I decided to employ the means of interpretive dance. My family got into the spirit of things (we’re crazy, remember?) and everything was going well until we managed to set fire to the table wreath during our candle-lit Christmas dinner. Go team.
So here’s my predicament. There are thirty people coming round for lunch in less than an hour. Interpretive dance is out of the question as I’ve already had one house burn to the ground (again, um… not my fault) and I don’t really fancy losing all of my material possessions today.
Maybe I should just punch them in the face before breaking out my zombie moves. At least that would get me out of having to dance like a demented hamster.