As a kid, I liked to skate. I wasn’t that great, but it was never about that. It was about feeling the board beneath my feet roll, almost like an extension of myself. It was all about the ride. I remember when some of my friends that didn’t skate would want to learn, they’d always ask me to teach them what they needed to know and I ever had the same response; “Learn to Fall.”
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Learn to Fall: A Way to Learn
It was comical to hear, playing on the well-known truth that you can expect to get hurt while learning to skate, and we always got a nice laugh as us skater kids brandished our scars and scabs; hard-earned trophies from our failed attempts. But there was quite a bit of truth to this as well. When I would try a new trick or was learning to ride, all I could think about was falling; I was terrified of it! It clouded my ability to perceive anything else. Any movement made was a risk that I would scrape a knee, twist an ankle, or worse. Rather than truly enjoying the ride, I was just constantly preparing to fall so I wouldn’t get hurt.
After countless injuries, I got better at bailing, and I soon found that falling wasn’t that terrible. Sometimes it was actually kind of entertaining. I found that the less I thought about falling, the less I fell. Soon it wasn’t even on my mind; it was just a reaction I knew I would have when I needed it. I could just cruise and feel the ride.
From that point on I realized that to ride anything, you have first to be okay with falling. I learned to make shifts and to adjust what I was doing or how I was thinking about something. Falling became a great teacher showing me changes I needed to make. I learned that the fall wasn’t a sign of failure; it was a part of the process that led to success.
Growth Starts With a Shift
Now that I’m older I still roll around a bit, but most of my pitfalls and fears aren’t scraped knees and busted lips, they’ve become something deeper, almost intangible. The falls I fear now are more real, and rather than causing temporary pain, these falls have consequences that can affect more people and last longer: family, wellbeing, health, finances, morality, past, future, time management, motivation, responsibilities, as well as many other abstract overly analytical unspoken whispers of doubt coming from within.
Sometimes it feels just like I did when I was first learning to ride: I’m wary, arms out, waiting for something to go wrong, fearful of screwing it all up with one false move and finding myself on the ground. It feels like I’m riding waiting to bail, rather than just laying back, and feeling life’s metaphorical board coast; I lost the joy of the ride.
And so, feeling like I’m drowning in these entrappings I turn back to the wisdom of my youthful self, “Learn to Fall”. Growth starts with a shift; realign your feet, identify your focus, be intentional, and visualize the change. This album is essentially a look at that and the duality found in perspective. What may appear to be a bad thing may actually prepare us for something greater that in the end will reward us with new, clearer perspective. Perspective on what I wasn’t seeing before, and on shifts I can make to learn with the falls that come.
Learn to Fall: The Album
Learn to Fall
This song starts with a dialogue introducing a state of paralysis in which indecision has become the choice. It opens up the album by discussing how in order to escape this paralysis, you have to accept the possibility of failure. You have to learn to fall.
“Ordinary” is about a shift of expectations, it is dealing with the fear of not achieving perfection. We set super high standards for ourselves and constantly set ourselves up to fail because we, in turn, will not be satisfied. This song is about recognizing how what we perceive as “Ordinary” may, in fact, be enough, and encouraging us to find satisfaction within ourselves.
Make It So
The third song is about a shift in inertia, about the inner struggle of motivation. Often we avoid the effort of doing something simply because of the possibility that it may never grow wings and become something. We are afraid it will become wasted effort. So often I find myself “stuck in the try phase” this state of having a plan, having a desire, and often even putting an effort in and feeling like it is yielding no results. It’s this desire to push through this state of “trying” and get to the point of “doing.” Shifting your inertia from a feeling of hopelessness and wasted effort, to the act of accomplishment, forward momentum, and motion.
“7:6” is a reference to a verse; it is about a shift in focus. In this particular song the idea of our conditioning, or our cornerstone, is challenged to recognize that much of it has attached grief with the stability it provides. Though the foundation is strong, we want to craft our own self from a new cornerstone. It’s once again a look at duality, not the abandonment of our foundation, but the recognition of the limitations that come with it. The desire to recreate oneself using the parameters of our foundation while still being able to reconstitute our core. Rather than focusing on our past blueprints, we can instead use them to craft ourselves new every day.
The next song ,“Runaway”, is about a shift in perspective. When outlook seems bleak, a change of perspective can often show that one may just be focusing on the small blemishes rather than looking at a larger beautiful image that lies before them. So much of our outlook is based on our perception. We have to visualize and control how we perceive.
“Ms. Informer” is about a shift in accountability. It follows the journey of the realization of our role in our own ignorance. The sources we use and information we take in becomes a part of our identity and warps the lens of our perspective. The song starts by condemning these sources for poisoning us with lies and negativity. The line “I know it all, you serve it, and we eat it” in the earlier stage of the song ties to this feeling that (before acceptance of accountability) we feel like we know who to blame for this problem. It gives a false sense of understanding that all my contorted facts and wisdom is given to me broken and because I am aware of it the source is to blame; they are the misinformer.
However later, it examines the role of the consumer. There is a recognition that we, as the viewer/ listener are the real reason of our deceit/pain because we have allowed ourselves to fall into it, often willingly. The line “I know it all” repeats again here but with the newfound recognition of our own fault in this process.
Rather than simply being bitter, we find that we are a misinformer to ourselves. By taking accountability, we gain new clarity from our mistakes which will make us wiser from the fall.
This song brings the album to a close with a simple meditative thought: “I think, maybe I think too much.”
The song ends just as it begins “I think, maybe I think too much.” It intentionally alludes to Descartes’ mantra of realization while still leaning towards this idea that perhaps my thinking is what is preventing action. It is the recognition that all of these thoughts, every shift discussed, is just adding to the tides of ideas in the vast ocean of my mind.
Now, recognizing all of the things I’ve said and thought, what do I do with this? I may be able to identify what I need to do, but will I actually do it? Or is this simply going to be more waves to tread through? It wrestles with the idea of drowning in your own self created paralysis waiting for a shift. Leaving in a state of waiting for the shift of inertia discussed in “Make It So,” hoping to make the move from recognition, to trying, to doing.
All of our songs are written as a band with different experiences and interpretations as part of the creation process. The above stories and explanations is one side of the story and one interpretation from one of the band members who was a large part of this process that felt a deep connection to it and wished to share it. Music is open to interpretation and even members of our band have slight differences in interpretation of our own music, that’s what makes music beautiful. Please feel free to interpret as you see fit, but I hope you perceive it in a way that grows you.
Thank you so much for your time and I hope this connects with you and strengthens you. Thank you for your open ears.
Causa, Category: Artist, Albums: Learn to Fall, Singles: Runaway, Top Tracks: Runaway, Biography: An alt-indie band out of Gainesville Florida that blends the catchy melodies and riffs of rock and indie (i.e., Monthly Listeners: 24, Where People Listen: Orlando, Gainesville, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa