In 1992, while still recovering from illness, Queen Elizabeth II gave the following speech:
She didn’t go into a lot of detail. She didn’t have to. The paparazzi had taken care of that for her. The sometimes unfortunate perspective of hindsight shows us that things got even worse for her and her family. Yet, one would never know it just to look at- or listen to- her. The only hint of anything amiss is her still-weak voice. She carried on because one does. With deference to my friend who never shoulds on others, you might oughtta give Her Majesty another listen before continuing.
<pause to (re)play video>
For several weeks Facebook(FB) has been showing me a montage of pictures that I posted throughout 2014 and offering me the opportunity to share it with my FB friends. They have even provided me with a header: “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” As an aside, I think that the gratitude statement to friends should also receive an exclamation mark. Here ya go: !
Among the items I would like to borrow from Her Majesty is the phrase annus horribilis to sum up 2014.
The “undiluted joy” in the pictures FB chose to include in this collection scarcely even begins to resemble my recollection of 2014. Not blaming FB here- with few exceptions, who posts “bad” pictures of themselves? I mean the really, genuinely ugly ones? I don’t. Once upon a time I shared a video of my young horse’s first dressage test. It was real, and parts of it were “real ugly.” For every person who laughed with me, there was another who laughed at me (and poor Başka).
There were also some FANTASTIC moments in that dressage test (I thought I had put the video here on this site, but I can’t find it now.) The point here is that I focused on the fantastic moments, including the fact that the judge gave us a do-over because she knew as well as I did that we could do better!
(There hasn’t been any Noise from me since May. WARNING: If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to adjust the volume on your device. Things may get a bit loud!)
Since last summer, I’ve carried on, but not quite with the Queen’s dignity, humor, or modulated tones. If explanation of my actions is required, I will provide one that has “some precedent in truth.”¹ If I catch on in time, I will also apologize for negative consequences that my choices may cause. Otherwise, just take my word for it that I really haven’t been doing much that is worth rehashing in the blogosphere. You may also rest assured that I will rehash those things which merit closer scrutiny.
I lost my voice for a while- in the figurative sense. I just didn’t feel like saying anything. Then I started to think about my silence. I thought about it for several months. I also tried, and failed, to ignore the silence. During that time, people started to wonder what I was up to. Lots of people had ideas about what I should or should not be doing. Very few had any idea of how or how not to do what they thought I should or should not do.
Some people (the ones who receive my eternal gratitude plus the exclamation mark) began to worry a bit. You see, I generally make a lot of noise, much of it joyful. I love to talk. I love to sing. When irritated or even slightly upset, noise- spoken or sung- is also how I get over the irritant and myself. When I’m quiet… well, I think you see where this is going. The Good Idea Fairy and I get together a lot. I also love to share my ideas with others, and I’m willing take the credit for brilliant successes as well as flaming failures. Sometimes there is only a match stick separating the two!
<pause to watch and listen to Queen Elizabeth again>
Auntie Mame, as portrayed by Rosalind Russell, had more fun that I would think possible losing husbands, lovers, and money. She also had a enviable knack for putting things right for those whom she loved as well as herself. Queen Elizabeth bowed to her subjects and now pays taxes on her income. She bowed her head as her daughter-in-law’s casket passed in front of her. She has lost her mother and a daughter.Precedents of truth and (or?) fiction not withstanding, both women withstood scrutiny while offering observations to others with a “touch of gentleness, good humor, and understanding” in order to guide the “engine of change”³ toward their preferred form of resolution and justice.
Issues of volume aside, the public voices of Queen Elizabeth II and Russell’s Auntie Mame are two of my favorite noises, although I would prefer the latter’s wardrobe.
That is all. For now.
Carry on. You never know who may be listening!
²Two irritants that I am unable to overcome: the absence of any means to indent my paragraphs on this web site as well as the failure to provide any instructions that make sense to me. I know it is possible because I’ve seen it done.
³Pay attention when the Queen speaks!