Monday, August 23, 2010

The Governor General and Voices

I am the man that accompanies Helene Kesten and today I accompanied her to a lunch with the Governor General. Helene has been involved with a number of projects for the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and as a result gets invited to a number of official functions. I accompany her to some of these functions.

This is a great pleasure for me - for someone who gave up a career and chose to stay home to be the primary 'child raiser' she has certainly accomplished a lot. And she is remembered and appreciated by the people she has met through these projects.

I am proud of her and her ability to function in these circles. And perhaps I am even envious.

Today we had lunch with the Governor General and 80 or so other folks from Saskatchewan. We were asked to gather in clusters and the Lieutenant Governor and his wife escorted "Her Excellency" from one group to another. It always amazes me at the ability of some people to remember names and personal stories. Gordon Barnhart our present Lieutenant Governor is an expert at this. he always calls people by name and seems to easily remember personal facts about every one he meets. His ability to introduce the members of each cluster to the GG was impressive.

Although Michaelle Jean was careful to point out that she was not on a farewell tour the emotion in her voice as she spoke about her five years in office betrayed her feelings.

Which lead me to think about what a person's voice and ways of speaking says about their frame of mind.

I have a friend who always answers the phone speaking like his best friend had just died. At first my first question was "Is everything all right?" But I quickly realized that this way of speaking was just something that was part of his character and that things were just fine despite his 'hangdog' tone of voice.

On the other hand many other people in my life do betray their emotional state with their voices. For some it is natural to ask if everything is ok and for others it is clear that this is an inappropriate question.

Some voices I have heard recently have been charged with discontent or unhappiness or other less than positive emotions. Other voices have been filled with happiness, pride, enthusiasm and for some even glee.

In some cases I have shared the discontent, unhappiness, happiness, pride, enthusiasm and glee. In other cases although it has been noticed it has not been commented upon.

Michaelle Jean portrayed many of these emotions in her presence today - it was not my place to ask her "is everything ok?'

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