Hallelujah!

Bowling along a sunny street today, with the hound and my AirPods in – a couple of ribald thoughts came to mind. I smiled inwardly.

And then what should boom out via iTunes shuffle but Handel’s ‘Hallelujah chorus’

…And I smiled some more.

And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever

And Lord of lords

hallelujah

hallelujah

And he shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever

Etc.

Stirring stuff.

And as I sang along in my head, I thought of my poor old ‘inner voice’ who I’ve been giving a hard time of late.

Ignored; in favour of mindfully contemplating my breath and feet and whatnot. Berated; for worrying and dredging up unhappy memories. Muzzled; from saying anything funny, spontaneous or inappropriate. Sidelined; in favour of endlessly listening to others, accepting their points of view (however unreasonable) and looking for common-ground.

My poor old inner voice feels a bit like King George III in the fabulous musical ‘Hamilton’, the under-appreciated autocrat to whom the people of America turn their back.

So, even though my ‘internal King George’ is a right old pain sometimes, I’ve decided to give him a standing ovation today.

Pompous, opinionated, selfish, self-absorbed, self-pitying, sometimes petty and childish and often wrong, my inner voice is thoroughly Hanoverian at times.

And like the Georgian era it can be bawdy and rowdy; but also rational, curious and enlightened.

So here’s to my very own internal King George! A day of appreciation is in order; and an internal reprise of Hallelujah with the obligatory standing ovation to boot.

Hallelujah was written for George II, who set the trend by apparently spontaneously rising to his feet to applaud it on its first performance – although possibly by some accounts more because of pins and needles, gout or the simple desire to stretch his legs.

A bit like the Georgian inner voice – always up to something…

: ) or : (

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Last week, someone I’ve known for some years described me thus: ‘A generally glass half empty person, whose glass seems a bit fuller than usual’. Anther person countered: ‘No he’s not, I’ve never thought of him as gloomy, it’s just the way he describes things. Look at his socks’. Hmmm.

Truth is they’re probably both right, but I do feel quite cheerful these days. Happiness is a product of the mind, body and soul, but also what you do with your time and who you hang about with. Still happiness is sometimes in the eye the beholder.

I’m reading about the life of the great composer Handel (or Hendel as apparently you should pronounce him). And despite sometimes being described as gloomy in his latter years, when he lost his eyesight – an anecdote suggests he still had some good cheer.

On the suggestion that (as a great organist in his own right) he should share a performance with another great British blind organist, he roared: “But my dear man, this would be the blind leading the blind!”

Pondering it, I idly asked my son what he thought last night, as he brushed his teeth.

“Do you usually find me a happy person or a sad person?”

He thought about it for a minute and said.

“Hmmm. Somewhat in between.”

That’s about right, I reckon – but my glass is generally a bit fuller these days.