"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-David Livingstone

May 16, 2011

To whistle or not to whistle...

There's pretty much two things that you'll catch me doing 23/7. Whistling or sleeping. It's one or the other. Pretty much. And in the uneventful occasion that I'm not preoccupied with either of those, more likely than not you'll probably catch me singing.
Yes, I know that right now you're probably feeling sorry for the dear souls who have to live around me. Unfortunate, I know, but I've never seemed to be able to help it. It's habit. It's my expression, spirit lifter, smile maker, and part of what makes my world go 'round. And incidentally, it's also more feasible than singing when you're sick, which I seem to be more often than not these days.

Well a while ago now I heard this disturbing rumor... Good Karen girls don't whistle? Dreadful! But it went in one ear and promptly out the other. And when my dear mother reminded me my immediate response was, "Well they do now!" (Completely forgetting the fact that I'm not a Karen girl.)
Since then the same words have graced my ears at least once or twice. But I still was quick to put it aside as a bunch of foolishness. After all, there's nothing wrong with being a bit different. Then today I was seriously (though kindly) informed by a good Karen friend that, no indeed, good Karen girls do not whistle. But there's nothing wrong with being a bit different. Right? Or a maybe wrong when it may build a wall or bring prejudice between you and the people that you long to serve. The people who have your heart.

And so it appears that Whistling and I shall be parting company. If this be goodbye forever or goodbye for now, I cannot tell.

Farewell, my dear friend. You have been a faithful companion. A beautiful friend. Been with me through thick and thin. Given me hope and many smiles. Put a song in many hearts. And spread much joy.

You will be missed. But in those times when it just becomes too much, I trust that you're Sister Singing will be my great comfort...

And so, farewell, Dear Whistling, farewell.


  1. I feel your sorrow Maria. . . I am just like you, either whistling, playing my flute, or sleeping, lol! Somehow my flute-playing thrilled the people of Nepal but my whistling received only consternation. During my year there I never did get victory over the habit, but I did try (kind of half-heartedly. . .)

    It seems to me that a lot of cultures have an aversion to whistling (even the American culture actually), but in my home it's basically the norm to whistle while you work. My dad and brother and I could whistle some pretty nice harmony too!

  2. :) It's nice to know that I have company in my love for whistling! I don't think I've completely broken the habit yet. But then sometimes I get a little out of the habit anyways.

    Here it seems to be a real thing (to them). My best understanding (which isn't truly an understanding yet) is that they think that if a girl whistles the "wind" will come and, just knowing the culture a bit, they probably fear that ultimately she will get sick.

    And, YES for harmony!:)