Zoltar, The Fortune Teller At Coney Island
I have been in Brooklyn, NY for the last week feeling high-anxiety most of the time. Working out of my Williamsburg office for one of my favorite clients who is also a precious friend – watching her do her thing for her film shoot – supporting her – believing in her – coaching her on and, tomorrow she turns 30. We will celebrate.
At twice her age, at twice almost everyone’s age these days, I felt all week the familiar anxious duality that governs my existence. I also felt utterly overwhelmed with legal work to the point where I found myself seeping with internalized anxiety making it so I could barely breath or sleep.
If someone had told me when I was in my early twenties that I would be in this place now – overwhelmed with work – all of it actually important legal and business work – while yearning to come down off the volcano and just sing, write, record, play, and simply focus on everything I need to express musically – I would never have believed them. It seemed so obvious 40 years ago that I was destined to be a musical artist and that everything else was secondary.
The road only partially taken, left me incomplete.
But here I am buried in legal work, trying to get to my computer to hear the mix of my newest single Mermaid Under A Desert Moon sitting patiently in a WeTransfer file in the ether of the Internet – waiting for me to review, to gain solace from, to give notes for the mix, to swim in my own waters – to be me.
So today I was wandering around Brooklyn’s Coney Island one of my childhood playgrounds, in the middle of a freezing January blue sky day with my dear friends (also clients) and, to my surprise, I found Zoltar The Fortune Teller right by the famous Wonder Wheel. Cheaper than therapy, at $2 per fortune, Zoltar, with a dramatic Hungarian accent, will tell you what you need to know. He advised me:
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, it is not a thing to be waiting for, it is a thing to be achieved, create your destiny wisely my friend.”
I could have laughed and shrugged it off but damn, Zoltar was right. No one but me can decide to stop what I am doing, let those last 22 emails wait in my inbox unread (sorry clients, it is in fact Sunday for God’s sake), and listen to my song, my precious first original single and write down my notes to give to my friend Justin to fix little things in the mix.
So finally hours later, I put on the head phones. I turned my laptop up to “11.” I downloaded the music files. I closed my eyes and I listened. The magnificent track my son Cameron Lavi-Jones and my friend Phil Peterson produced with bass contribution from my precious husband Maurice Jones Jr., felt like a huge Tsunami sweeping me into the ocean - dramatic and imprecise.
I listened again. I wrote my few notes for Justin’s mix. I shared the song for input I will wait for before providing my final notes.
But there is no doubt now – this song is coming. It is almost done.
I need to make myself whole. No one else can do it. I know that now. I decide if I want to stay on the erupting volcano and die or come down and live. Zoltar is right, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, it is not a thing to be waiting for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
So I am going to keep pushing through the anxiety and the fear, which is real and daily and keep my eye on the results I seek; I want to bring these songs to others, one at a time and eventually the album called "Mermaid Under A Desert Moon, The Lost Sessions." I am making sure they sound as good as they can and hope against hope folks can swim in this ocean below the volcano with me.
Thanks Zoltar, you are right, you are right, you are so damn right.