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I haven’t really been able to sing at all this year.

Yeah, I sing in my church choir – go to the city Thursday nights for rehearsal, Sunday mornings for services – but that’s it.

Everything is tight and everything hurts and I know enough to know that’s not good.

Last fall when I was studying with a new teacher (I’d take the train in on Tuesdays, basking in the aloneness, in the lull of the train, in the beauty of the city in the fall), we both thought my technique must be getting worse. “You never did that before!” she said nervously as we both witnessed my jaw shaking uncontrollably.

And she was right, I never had that problem.

Maybe it’s my technique.

Maybe it’s because she scares me and I freak out.

Maybe it’s cause I’m mental.

All of those are valid reasons for these problems.

But it looks like it might be something more. Something physical.

I remember being in the practice room in college, looking in the mirror, and, after the thousandth time trying to sing a phrase, feeling tight and out of breath. I remember thinking something’s wrong with me. 

Something’s wrong.


But still, there is uncertainty. Surgery is scary, but only a little scarier than the idea of never singing again.

June can’t come quick enough, and yet even as it gets closer, I want to turn and run from it.

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