Sunrise & Sedona: The bliss and value of losing one's mind
She said she didn't need it anyway
2007: Separation, Flood, and Music
2007 was an eventful year for me (and my family).
It is the year of my separation, leading to divorce the following year. It is the year of the flood that destroyed our home and almost everything in it. And it was the year I began writing a LOT more music and playing out a lot more.
While using the first two items on that list might paint the year as a bad one, I prefer to see it as the start of some personal revelations; learning things about myself - both positive and negative.
When asked about trials of life, I explain that I don’t have an “everything happens for a reason” perspective. I mean, yes, from a physics/cause and effect standpoint. But no, not from a cosmic meaning standpoint.
However, with every life event, we are provided an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our interaction with it. I think I was learning how poorly I handled trials… but that’s a topic for another newsletter.
As an escape from the heat of Phoenix and from the heartache/anger/confusion I was experiencing, I would drive North to Prescott, Sedona (Oak Creek), or Flagstaff - at times, just sleeping in my car in the forest. I enjoyed being alone. Solitude and introspection make good hiking companions.
On this particular day I drove up to Sedona. Early one morning I grabbed a coffee and walked down from the hotel and sat on the bank of Oak Creek. Oak Creek runs down from near Flagstaff (the Mogollon Rim) and through Sedona.
If you haven’t been, Sedona is a remarkably rugged and beautiful place. As with “everything happens for a reason” I also don’t put any stake in the idea of vortexes, alien sightings, or any magic beyond the intense and rugged beauty of the area.
That beauty is magic enough!
On this particular morning, as the sun spread its light and warmth across the valley, I wrote this song. I was nearly complete that morning, although I didn’t officially finish it until later that year, in November.
The premise is simple. I could imagine leaving everything I did or was behind and escaping into the beauty of this landscape.
In my telling, I made my protagonist a women who left being an attorney in Chicago to become an artist in Sedona. In doing so, she “lost her mind” according to her family but found that her mind - that preconceived approach to life, was not what she needed.
Deb has been on me to get a recording of this song…
And so, early yesterday morning I recorded an acoustic version of the song. This morning, around 5am, I went back and re-recorded the guitar. I hope you enjoy it! The lyrics and a lyric video can be found below.
SUNRISE & SEDONA
© 2007 - Matthew Moran
She said it was sunrise and Sedona
That made her lose her mind that way
Caught somewhere between the river and red canyon walls
Then she said she didn't need it anyway
Hopped on a West bound plane from Chicago
Touched down in the heat of a desert storm
Not quite sure what she hoped to find
Certain that she couldn't find it back at home
Found sanctuary in the mountains
Walking beside a cold, clear stream
And there she swears she kissed the face of God
Spent the rest of the week like in a dream
Left the city an attorney
Now she paints and serves coffee on the street
Never regrets the race of rats she's left
Or the cold desperation beneath her feet
Her mama thinks she might be crazy
Her sister called to talk her back today
But when that morning sun spreads gold across the sky
Sanity seems a small price to pay
This song is really quite beautiful.