i'd been having problems with allergies, like everyone else in the metroplex, for about a week. then, at high Mass on Sunday, we were asked to sit in the front pew (two of our daughters were the "flower girls" for the Corpus Christi procession). i don't usually like to sit in the front pew at high Mass because it's right on top of the incense. don't get me wrong, i really like the incense, but i don't like being right there because sometimes it can irritate my throat. speaking of being irritated, i get irritated with people who bemoan incense in the Mass. this is not my intent. if i were truly allergic, i'd go to a Mass completely sans incense.
i started losing my voice Sunday afternoon, and considering the situation Sunday morning, i didn't think too much about it. by Monday morning my voice was coming and going; Monday afternoon it wasn't much more than a whisper; by last night i couldn't swallow without pain, so i have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. but, that's not the point.
why is it that when someone whispers, "the universal you" feels inclined to whisper, too?
it was a teaching tool taught to me by my second favorite teacher in the whole wide world. if the class ever gets too loud, whisper to them. they'll quiet down so they can hear you. it's like leaning in to hear a secret. i didn't believe her until i tried it on my hooligans, er my freshman english class. it worked. it worked every time.
if someone calls our home and i'm nursing the wee-est one, i'll answer the phone with a hushed hello? more often than not, the person on the other end will whisper is the baby sleeping? ...pause.... why am i whispering?
since i've been losing my voice, my children have been whispering to me. even the one year old. they shout their normal decibels all around the house, but they'll adopt a whisper when speaking directly to me. it's more than a respectful hush we tend to reserve for those who are ill. it's really rather sweet and i'm not complaining.
i still wonder we hush ourselves around a whisperer. maybe it's supposed to be a secret.