Monday, June 14, 2010

"Anyone Can Whistle"

Is this really true?  Can anyone whistle if they want to?

Today I cannot whistle.  I have tried many times to whistle, and I have not been able to figure out the coordination.  I have put some mp3 files of me trying to whistle in my practice room, and if you listen you will hear my deficiency quite plainly.

However, what has my trying been?

I think the longest I've ever tried to figure out how to whistle has been about 20 minutes and then I gave up.  Maybe 1/2 an hour.  I try to whistle every once in a great while.  Maybe three times a year, for about 20 minutes, I try again.

I think I figure because many many people can whistle so easily -- many small children being among them -- that if I can't get it in 20 minutes, then I probably am just ill-fated and have some kind of genetic predisposition that prohibits me from whistling.

But does that mean I can't whistle?  Does that mean I can't ever whistle?

I don't have a really strong motivation to learn how to whistle.  But if I did want to overcome it and learn how -- if I was determined -- it seems like I ought to be able to learn to whistle.  After all, I have the equipment don't I?  I have lips, like the people who can whistle have.  I have some breath control, because I use it for singing.  It seems that if I really set my mind to it I would be able to learn how to do it.

But it would take some time, effort, consistent practice, a few pointers from someone who knows how to do it, and dedication to the task.

(By the way, there are many many people on YouTube, I just found out, who would like to help poor people like me learn how to whistle.  Most of them are trying to teach how to whistle with fingers, which I'm not that interested in.  However, one girl,  in this video -- How To Whistle Without Your Fingers -- offers her tips on how spare one's fingers all that saliva.  She mentions that it would only take about five hours, perhaps, in one evening to learn to do it.  That's more than I've tried, I confess.)

Sometimes when we say we "can't" do something, it's because we can't on this day.  Limitations exist in the here and now, but the limitations of today are not necessarily the same limitations of tomorrow.

Last year around this time, I was able to comfortably run/walk about 4 miles.  But today I cannot go that far.

Today I have the energy to get my housework done, but tomorrow I may come down with the flu and be limited.

We have limitations, and we don't' have limitations, and limitations are fluid. That's why I don't believe in setting a limitation ahead of time.  It has to be tested each day. It is different each day. It's counterproductive to decide what they are ahead of time.


  1. Ahaha, only you would think quite so deeply about not being able to whistle!! I know I shouldn't make fun of anyone's limitations, but your MP3 files did make me giggle.

    I remember that it took me nearly four days as a child to learn how to whistle (that was a looooong time then!). Wish I were nearer, I'm sure I could teach you how (it's a question of physics).

    I know what you mean about the limitations, although I prefer to think of it the other way up - that the range of possibilities is fluid from day to day.

    *wanders off whistling jauntily*

  2. Oh! I am so glad you posted this comment! Of course! I like that so much better -- that the range of possibilities is fluid from day-to-day.