The Mysterious Shifter Handle on my 1995 Toyota Avalon

My 1995 AvalonXLS drives beatifully without any problems until yesterday at 189,000 miles, the handle used for shifting the transmission started to make a rubbing noise that went from whisper to where it could be clearly heard, at which point I could feel a little vibration. Car still rides great. No sign of transmission problems. Not due for transmission service for another 13,000 miles. Any thoughts?

Just to help us lurkers, is this transmission a manual or an automatic? Is the engine an I4 or a V6? What size is the engine?

I am thinking something is rubbing up against the cable houseing(s). But it could be low oil level on a manual transmission.