Week #38: Look Up

This week’s song was inspired by recent multiple headlines: destruction from wildfires, hurricanes and flooding and Facebook’s virtual reality development.

What if we get to the point where amazing things we take for granted today – such as the beauty of nature – will one day only be accessible through virtual reality? For instance, the giant sequoia trees in Northern California were in danger of being destroyed by wildfires this past week. These trees are hundreds of feet tall and are a few hundred years old (some are said to be 2,000 years old!). Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of firefighters who wrapped the trees in fireproof blankets and worked on clearing the area, the trees are still standing.

Someday I’d like to take my kids to see the trees in person – and not have the only option be to see them through a virtual reality headset.

Put on your VR headset, I’ll show you how the world used to be
Before the fires and flooding, when fish swam in the sea
You’ll be amazed at the beauty under the clear blue sky
Like steppin’ into a postcard and living inside

We spend so much time on our phones and other devices these days. We are living in this amazing world with unlimited experiences available and yet we stare at little devices instead.

Look up, look around
See the beauty right here, right now
Look up, enjoy the view
What you see is up to you

With social media, there’s a big push to make your life appear incredible. People spend hours trying to get that perfect “casual” shot. Life isn’t perfect and thank goodness for all those people who “keep it real” and do things to inspire and encourage others rather than try to outdo them.

Take off the VR headset, see the world how it’s meant to be
Full of imperfection and possibility
You can make a difference, you can ease the pain
You can be the rainbow after the rain

Pay attention to the world around you – it’s pretty amazing.

Pay attention to the little things like the way the branches sway in the breeze
A butterfly flying by, cotton candy clouds in the sky

Look around you, be grateful, appreciate all the beauty that is right here, right now. (And yes, I’m talking to myself, too, and reminding myself to look up from my screen more often!)

Look up, look around
See the beauty right here right now
Look up, enjoy the view
What you see is up to you
Look up, look up, look up
Look up, look around
See the beauty right here right now

The line “what you see is up to you” has a double meaning. It’s up to us how we want to perceive the world – do we see it through a negative lens or do we appreciate the beauty that exists? It also refers to our actions – what we do today will determine how the world will look in the future.

I’ve been working on the song the past few weeks, starting off with the lyrics and melody then adding guitar when I finally had time to sit down and work out the music. (I do lots of songwriting in the car, singing it over and over again as I work through the lyrics.) This is the first song where I recorded my guitar playing in Logic and then added some piano and other digital sounds (using the MIDI keyboard, no loops this time around.)

Hope you enjoy it! (This is a work tape, I haven’t attempted the mixing process yet.)

UPDATE: A few weeks after I published this post, I had a new version (with a new vocal track) mixed and mastered by Dan Barracuda, which is posted below. I posted it on a new Soundcloud account, as my current account is full of rough drafts and is 98% full. May there be many more produced versions of my songs in 2022!


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