>>I wrote “New Point Of View” a year ago when life was feeling particularly hard and I needed to pick myself up with some songwriting therapy (the cheapest therapy there is). In grappling with my issues, I thought about the first and only time I saw the Grand Canyon
I was on a road trip with friends, and when we realized the Grand Canyon wasn’t too much of a detour from our destination, we decided to make a quick pit stop. Unfortunately by the time we got there, the sun had set and there was nothing but a black abyss in front of us.
The funny thing is, when I stepped out of the car and looked out in front of me, the vastness of the canyon hit me like nothing else. I could feel how big it was, and I felt my smallness in that moment. “Feeling small” usually has a negative connotation, but this wasn’t a bad feeling.
It was liberating. It was comforting. It’s a feeling I try to bring myself back to when my problems feel insurmountable.
Fast forward to today and it’s hard to believe that this video was shot less than two months ago and how much has changed since. In some ways it feels like this song belongs in the times we are in. Its purpose is not to be the antidote, but rather to serve as the reminder.
With my own mental state fraying at the seams, something as simple as looking at the big clean lines of water meeting sky at Lake Ontario Beach Park is a healing balm. Feeling the mist from the surging Lower Falls is empowering and life giving. Walking the backwood trails of Durand Eastman Park, while maybe not as spectacular as hiking the Rockies, gives me stillness and peace.
When it first became clear that we had to isolate, I started to find myself grappling with a lot of negative feelings. I began to feel trapped and separated from the world. I would constantly find myself getting sucked into a time warp, where hours slip away as I engage in the infinite social media scroll in my desperate search for connection.
Then these little reminders pop up on my feed from Aaron Winters. Breathtaking images of places I’ve been and places I’d like to be. When I see his photos, my immediate reaction is “I’m going to go there to see this for myself”. Like my song, it’s not a remedy, but a momento that a different kind of connection can still be attained.
As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free”. So while we are currently deprived of many things in these challenging times, I hope we can all remember that Rochester is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty that is free for the taking.