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Day 565: Anyone can whistle

My son, who’s been rehearsing in a local production of a  Stephen Sondheim musical, has to whistle in the play, as part of his role.

Whistling doesn’t come naturally to him, and he has expressed some reactions to that, including the observation that most people can whistle.

Why does my son have trouble whistling?

I’m not sure, but I will tell you this:  his mother’s not such a great whistler, either.

Coincidentally, Stephen Sondheim, when he was quite young, wrote a musical called Anyone Can Whistle

Regular readers of this blog may know (1) the thought  “anyone can whistle” is an example of some cognitive distortions (listed here) and (2) I love Stephen Sondheim (see here, here, and here).

In any case, here is the title song from Anyone Can Whistle:

I chose that video version (found here) of “Anyone Can Whistle” because:

  • I am fascinated with the process of rehearsing,
  • I’ve never seen the show on stage (even though I know the original cast album by heart),
  • I like watching people’s faces, and
  • I loved the way Sutton Foster sings it there.

In case it wasn’t easy for you to hear the words to “Anyone Can Whistle” in that video, here they are:

Anyone can whistle, that’s what they say, easy
Anyone can whistle, any old day, easy
It’s all so simple, relax, let go, let fly
So someone tell me, why can’t I?

I can dance a tango, I can read Greek, easy
I can slay a dragon, any old week, easy
What’s hard is simple
What’s natural comes hard

Maybe you could show me
How to let go, lower my guard
Learn to be free
Maybe if you whistle, whistle for me

(lyrics found here)

Today, I was considering writing a post titled “Easy/Difficult,” inspired by many things, including:

  • Somebody at WordPress telling me they found the questions in yesterday’s post too difficult to answer.
  • Many people in therapy talking about what’s easy and what’s difficult for them.
  • My receiving praise, this week, for some things that come easily to me.
  • My focus on things that are difficult for me to do.
  • How human beings tend to dismiss the value of what’s easy for them to do and to magnify the importance of what’s difficult and hard.
  • How things might be easier for us if we let go of the need to be right.  For example, there were no right or wrong answers to my questions, yesterday. (But, I neglected to mention that, so how would anyone know?)

I didn’t use that title, however, because I’ve already used a similar one, a hundred-and-a-half days ago.

Also, I love this title, today.

Let’s see if I have any visuals that match today’s words.

Rats!  I don’t see any images of anyone whistling on my iPhone.  However, I did take these photos, yesterday, with varying degrees of easiness/difficulty:


IMG_7062 IMG_7068  IMG_7069 IMG_7072  IMG_7095  IMG_7139IMG_7098


IMG_7100  IMG_7103 IMG_7106

IMG_7118  IMG_7127IMG_7122

IMG_7131 IMG_7134 IMG_7135   IMG_7136 IMG_7148 IMG_7150IMG_7156 IMG_7159 IMG_7164 IMG_7165

Thanks to my son, Stephen Sondheim, and Sutton Foster; to the Fenway area of Boston (including the Rose Garden); to things that are easy and/or difficult; to people who do the best they can; and to you — of course! — for whistling by here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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