Not Quite Terror

It took me a week to make the call. A few times, it was that trick of mental avoidance where your brain just shies away from what it doesn’t want to think about. Sometimes I just stared at my phone skeptically, like it was setting a trap for me. I talked myself through the conversation, being logical and clear-headed: “I’ve made this call before. I have an obligation to do this. It’s going to last all of two minutes, max.” So with my heart beating just a little faster than usual, I picked up my phone to call Morningstar Studios and book my first recording session for Restless Heart.

A realistic rendition of my face before I called.

A realistic rendition of my face before I called.

I surprised myself with my not-quite-terror of getting started on the project. The stakes are, at once, very high and very low. Even though the music is written … even though dozens upon dozens of you so generously supported me in making this album possible through my Jewcer campaign … even though it’s just an appointment to review the charts with my producer … it was still so hard to take that first step.

I was talking to a friend recently who commented on my “hobby” and how great it is that it doesn’t really matter to me how it all turns out. I was like, hold on there! It’s a lot more important to me than that! Anyone who writes — books, blogs, songs, poetry — truly, anyone who creates art for public consumption, they do it to share their soul with the world. As Ernest Hemingway is reported to have said, “It is easy to write. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.”

I’ve done that part, putting pen to paper and pouring my heart and my Torah into words and music. Now it’s time to share it with the world. And I’ll sleep well at night knowing that I did it. I put myself out there — I recorded not one but two albums, a handful of singles, made a professional website, booked a gig or two, ran a kickstarter…

And that’s truly what our tradition teaches. “Who is happy? One who is satisfied with their lot.” That’s what my song “The First Step” is all about. You’ve got to just take a chance, do your best, and accept what comes. It’s what I try to teach all of my b’nei mitzvah students too. The bar or bat mitzvah is the journey, the effort and hard work along the way, not the service and not the party. It’s about making the choice to be brave and to do your best not knowing exactly how it’ll all turn out.

And yeah, in the end, I did it. I made the call and set up the first appointment for November. Now the ball is in motion. Stay tuned for updates from the studio. Restless Heart indeed.



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