“the melting point of wax” thrice – the artist in the ambulance

"I've waited for this moment all my life and more."

“Something’s started.  I’m not entirely sure what.  Maybe it’s always been in progress.  But, something’s happening.  Something significant.”

I love that you can listen to a song a million times.  You know it so well, you sing every word without even realizing.  But, then something different resonates with you on that million and oneth (million and first?) listen.  And you see that musical composition in a whole new light, as if hearing it for the first time all over again.

My trusty co-pilot was recharging in the passenger seat, resting up so he could take on the next leg of the trip.  I don’t know that the original plan was ever to drive straight, but the onslaught unsolicited doubtful opinions had us figuring it was a good enough challenge as any.

I had decided to go the “shuffle of the entire library” route, where you vow to resist the urge to skip a track, taking a break from the selected tracks people suggested in a book designated for well wishes at my going away shindig.  –  The far too literal poetic narration of “I’m still driving away…” in Jimmy Eat World’s 23, a little to real for me to handle at the moment.  –  And while I might not have realized it at the time, foreshadowed the eventual importance of the entirety of the Futures album, a gift that I wasn’t yet ready to receive when the album debuted.

But, as a random number generator determined what song in my entire digital library would accompany my next stretch, a collection that had grown quite impressive and incredibly varying over the years, I couldn’t shake the fact that I was alone with my thoughts.

I was alone, and I was afraid.

"A leap of faith."

It had only been a mere couple of hours in the long run.

My father and brother doing the final check ups on the VW Jetta, relatively confident it should get me to where I was going in one piece.

Like so many family vacations that punctuated my childhood, my father skillfully packed all my necessary possessions like Tetris pieces, ensuring us that the last few moments could be spent enjoying each other’s company rather than scrambling to tie up loose ends.

I forced my dog, one last time before the ever looming departure, to sleep in the bedroom of my youth rather than his preferred, almost designated spot among the rest of the pack when at my parents.

My mother awoke early to prepare the delayed for this moment, traditional New Year’s Eve artichoke, and we ate as a family before sending me and my travel companion, my default and chosen best friend, my brother off on the journey ahead.

The goodbyes were tearful as my parents hugged me a little longer and a little tighter than usual.  I could still feel them.  My brother had to remind me at varying points that the sadness I was feeling was normal considering the undertaking, but assuring me I’d be okay.  No one was assuring me, right now.

I should turn around.  I’m not the girl who gets away.  I’m not the one who takes risks.  I don’t do this.  I have a lot here to be grateful for, I have a loving support system, an education that should, in theory, provide a stable enough future.  What is it that I think I need?

What am I doing?

“There’s no promise of safety with these secondhand wings.  But I’m willing to find out what impossible means.”

And suddenly, I was okay.  I couldn’t explain it, I didn’t fully understand it.  The sadness was still there, but that was okay, too.  This was where I was supposed to be.  This is what I am supposed to do.

I kept driving forward.

"How will I know limits from lies if I never try?"

Cause a Ruckus isn’t something new for me.  Given up sometime in college, though not necessarily missed by any, I thought I was supposed to be practical.

This new direction created a need to relaunch my old website, but in what capacity?  For what purpose?

When I started Cause a Ruckus, I didn’t do it to prove anything, necessarily.  It was simply an active result of something I was curious about.  Where did that curiosity go?

It was in getting back in touch with its reason to begin with – a multimedia avenue of expression – it’s redefined purpose, while still not entirely revealed has become more clear.  I had been waiting for something worthy of its second debut, neglecting to see that the documentation of the worthy things to come, the behind the scenes actions it takes to get these things there, is the purpose of Cause a Ruckus.

It’s the catalyst, the accountability.  It’s follow through with action over just talking about things.  It’s making art and connecting to humanity, lifting the entire way.  It’s a portfolio.  It’s facing the things that frighten, and living to tell the tale.  It’s just the beginning.

And in staying true to the Cause a Ruckus origins (and in everything I do, really…), it is once again proving to be an homage to the meaningful relationship I’ve always had with music.  The constant role it’s had in my life.  The soundtracks my various writings both required and for fun, the homework/study sessions it drove, the movies it sucked me into and video games it inspired me to play, the PRs achieved with its help in marathons, the accomplishments in my own musical ability, the times its quite literally saved my life.

That last bit sounds a tad overdramatic.  I assure you it’s not.


"I will touch the sun or I will die trying."

Six years ago, today, this particular Thrice song struck a chord in me.  Six years ago, I, along with the help of my brother, my most necessary of my possessions, and as I recall a broken toe, made the thirty-six hour journey from Michigan to California, home to Los Angeles – a city that has chewed me up and spit me out on multiple occasions in that time, but somehow hasn’t completely defeated me.  (Yet?)

And now, six years later, the same song exhibits the same phenomena. A simple replacement of “there’s no promise of safety, with…” with “Fly on…” and an omission of the “But I’m…” before “…willing to find out…” and the song takes on a call to action I can’t avoid.

The time is now or never, I realize as I consolidate notes and come across even more false starts than I’d care to admit.

"Fly on these secondhand wings, willing to find out what impossible means."

I’m never going to be “ready.”  As much as I’d like this to be, I know this is an impossible expectation.  So, ready or not (…and I’m going with “not”), Cause a Ruckus is back.  Whatever it is, this time around.  Whatever it has the potential to be.  Whatever it is meant to become.

Some pieces still revealing themselves, some remain a mystery, but that’s all part of it.  It’s part what of what needs to be documented, because it’s part of the process.

What I have been doing (i.e. a whole lot of planning, a whole lot studying, a whole lot of thinking about it), hasn’t been working.  Why not stop trying to define it, and instead give it space to develop and evolve into what it’s supposed to be.

And if nothing else, maybe the fact that I can cross “Srsly, relaunch Cause a Ruckus already!” off multiple lists is enough for now.  Action over words.

“Climb to the heavens on feathers and dreams. ‘Cause the melting point of wax means nothing to me.”

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