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Arrows and Sound

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There was a time when Philip Zach thought he’d never sing again.

He had spent a decade creating music with his brothers in Remedy Drive. He’d toured the world, won tens of thousands of fans, seen his dream come true and, in the process, built up thick lines of dull, white scars along his vocal chords.

Surgery was imperative. Full recovery was doubtful. His future, uncertain. The doctors told him that his only chance of ever singing again was to spend the 3 months following the surgery in total silence. No singing. No talking. No communication at all. It wasn’t a guarantee but, with absolute silence and a small miracle, he had a shot. For Philip, it was a shot worth taking.

He resigned himself to total silence. He shut up entirely. He didn’t talk to his family. He didn’t catch up with his friends. He didn’t answer the phone, order at restaurants, or respond to friendly “hello’s” on the street. When his fiancé told him she loved him, he could only mouth the words in return.

He became an observer, a tagalong. He followed conversations instead of joining them. He listened to people and watched how they reacted to the things around them. He learned that being quiet was almost like being invisible. It gave him a chance to look at people, relationships, and the world in a new way.

And as he did, he started learning how to speak without saying anything.

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