For about a year or so, I've been having problems with my voice.
Not big problems, just little problem, just enough to make me worry neutorically on occasion, as I am wont to do.
Mostly, I've had this off-and-on cough. When I'm coughing, people will say, "you sound awful!", and think I must be really sick. I don't have any other symptoms, though. I just cough sometimes. But then there are lots of times when I'm not coughing, and even when I am, I don't feel sick in any other way.
But I've noticed that there are times when I just don't have the singing-voice-power that I used to. I went to a funeral recently, and I just felt sort of squeaky and weak on all of the hymns. The older lady sitting in front of me said, "why didn't you sing out like you usually do?" So, I've been wondering.
Maybe I am just getting older and my range is getting lower. I hear that it happens.
Anyway, we have been singing Holden Evening Prayer during Advent. I have known this service for a long time, and even taught it to my internship congregation. I love to lead the singing. Last week, it was my turn to chant, but I was a little nervous because of the squeak in my voice.
I practiced in the afternoon. I drank plenty of water, and that tea that is supposed to be good for you. And when I started singing, I felt pretty good. But as I went on, I could tell that I was starting to get hoarse.
When I got to the litany, I just squeaked out the high note on the first petition. I felt sort of in despair, but I kept going, and I did get a couple of the high notes, but others I just squeaked on. At the end of the service, I left feeling a sort of lostness, wondering if I should just stop singing Holden, if those notes were just gone forever.
So here's the thing:
Some people have mentioned the squeak, and said that they could tell I was still fighting a cold last week.
But others have said that they thought my voice was exceptionally strong.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels....