...you might as well see it for yourself. I know I have quoted this saying of Blanche's more than once, but a little repetition never did anyone any harm.
It's a truism that nobody likes the sound of their own voice, and I have been putting it to the test recently. There have been two waves of this - a couple of weeks ago I went and listened to the talk I gave at Hartford Street in November (I'm going to come over all self-deprecatingly coy and not give you all the links for this stuff - you can find it easily enough if you want), and also to the Full Moon Ceremony for which I was kokyo during Rohatsu. It was actually a bit of a revelation: I found that the lecture sounded pretty coherent, even though I did notice the two places where I knew I had wanted to make a summarising point but didn't; apart from that, I was relieved to discover that I still sound English. My kokyo voice, however, which I had thought of as strong and fierce that day, just sounded narrow and curiously unharmonious. This was certainly a blow to my ideas about my chanting voice, which I have talked about before.
This week I looked at some of the Livestream footage from the Mountain Seat weekend - someone had told me there were overtones in my kokyo part for the Stepping Down Ceremony, and I could just about hear what they meant, although some parts of it still made me cringe. I also took a look at the announcements I made after Hoitsu's lecture, which for some reason were also recorded, as someone had commented to me about them. This was not helped by the audio and video being slightly out of sync (for technical reasons I caused myself that I can explain to anyone who actually wants to know), but again, at least my accent sounded unimpaired, and I was glad that I managed to make people laugh; I do also appreciate that the feedback I have had from people attending the talks that I speak very quickly is quite justified.
Since my multi-media stardom knows no bounds these days, I also wanted to put in a plug for Nancy's blog, which has been up and running for a couple of weeks, and which features me being all English, in written form this time. As people here who have read the blog agree, Nancy definitely sounds like herself in her writing. It's just a shame you can't hear her laugh.