Gemma 'Coco' Dolenz  

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Silence - The Greatest Teacher

By cocodolenz, May 1 2017 05:06AM

So once again, my body has succumb to Bronchitis. It seems to be rather rappant these days, and I don't know why but every where I turn someone is coughing and it's lingering and they can't ge t rid of it. So I'm not alone in that. I suppose there is some underlying reason why so many people have breathing and lung issues, but I will leave that for the medical and scientific communities to figure out. I'm on the mend, but not completely out of the woods.

What comes up for me is my fear of losing my singing voice. Not necessarily my speaking voice, but my singing voice. I have lost my voice many times from similar ailments, and not being able to talk is not an issue. I learned a long time ago the beauty of being silent. The first time I lost my voice was back in the late 70's after being on the road and singing without monitors while standing in front of blaring guitar amps and trying to hear myself by feeling inner vibrations to make sure I was on pitch. And altho I sang on key, my vocal chords finally said 'enough' and went on strike. I left the tour and came home. I visited a well known vocal doctor in the Bay Area who basically said " Don't talk for 2 weeks. That will be $100 . Thank you." Evidently I was developing nodes on my vocal chords.

Seeking a second opinion, another doctor suggested I would need surgery, but I politely declined the suggestion. So I didn't speak for 2 weeks. Carried around a notepad like Meher Baba and did some assorted mental exercises and visualizations which I had learned to speed up my recovery. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't recover. I did recover and rejoined the tour, a little wiser and more careful with my "pipes". Today my favorite people in the world, are Sound Engineers, 'monitor people' who allow me to hear myself on stage without screaming above the electronics on stage.

What I learned during that first episode in the late 70's was that what I 'thought' I needed to say, just wasn't necessarily all that important. After a few days, I quite enjoyed being silent, and forgot the notebook. If I really needed to convey some information, I wrote it down, but for the most part I became aware of the idle chat and 'filler' that I was used to supplying in a conversation. I realized that silence was uncomfortable to me and I felt it necessary to fill the gaps with whatever....

This latest bout of bronchitis has reminded me of that great lesson, which I must be honest I forget most of the time, as I chatter away, but I'm glad to be reminded. I save lots of quotes and sayings etc... and I recently came upon a good one which I do try and abide by:

It's entitled THINK before you Speak:

T = is it True?

H= is it Helpful?

I= Is it Inspiring?

N= Is it Necessary? ( there's a good one)

K = Is it Kind?

So not talking and chattering away is not an issue. But not having my singing voice, is different. It is times like these when I realize just how important it is to me and how truly grateful I am for it. I give thanks for what I have been given and appreciate it even more during times like this.

I hope everyone who reads this stops a moment and gives thanks for what they have, what they can do, their skills, their abilities, and not take anything for granted. For our gifts are truly a blessing.


May 1 2017 12:20PM by Cherie Abee Mabrey

THINK comes from Rotary International, and as a lapsed Rotarian, I still live with these. Rotary is an interesting organization. They meet in most towns and cities and are usually the leaders of the said town/city. Many years ago Rotary groups from across the globe decided en-mass to eradicate polio. And by golly -- and lots of money and effort -- they almost have! I loved my time as a Rotarian and if I had the money I would return.

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