I have watched the movie The King’s Speech 4 times now. It is so compelling to me. I am drawn in by Bertie’s struggle, by the roles his life people play to him, by his inability to give up and let go. And every time that movie ends, I want to cheer for him. And watch his speech again.
As I think about why that movie haunts me, I am able to pinpoint the reason it calls to me: the precise moment where his story echoes mine. It is the scene where he is preparing for the coronation and Lionel is sitting in the chair, baiting him. Bertie escalates in tone and emotion until he cataclysmically yells in Westminster Abbey, “I HAVE A VOICE!”
I have no throne to ascend, no Lionel in my life, and my Westminster Abbey is a far less famous sanctuary. Nonetheless, there is a Force at work in my life goading me to the point of acknowledging that I, too, have a voice. Life can get in the way. Choices are defined for you by immediacy and needs and commitments and the beloved familial duty. What comes naturally, the path of familiarity, is not always the path we are to stay on.
As Bertie stepped outside the lines to become the first successor to ascend with his predecessor alive and well and loved, perhaps we, too, are all meant to step outside the lines. It’s a bit treacherous, this contemplation of a new path. I told someone last night, “I like my rut. It’s a comfortable rut. I know it, it knows me.” But, as much as I hate to admit it, my rut may be evolving into a grave – a death of what my heart needs and longs for, and certainly a silencing of my voice.
I heard a song yesterday called Awaken. I am fairly well versed in music. I listen to it often and I had not ever heard the song before. I looked it up last night, only to find it is perhaps as old as 2007. Natalie Grant records it. I know, for me to hear it yesterday for the first time, when shackled with the weight of the words, was a message. To my heart. To my voice. Awaken.
I can’t help but think of the ancient maps, the ones where they didn’t know what lie past the edge. They would write, “There be dragons ahead”. And while I am certain there are NOT in fact dragons ahead, I do not know what DOES lie ahead. But, I will press on in this journey to awaken my voice.