The human eye is designed for distance. Unfortunately, I work on a computer many hours a day using a focal length that can be measured in inches. I live in a city where my view bumps up against buildings rather than enjoying the sweep of the landscape. And when I get outside Toronto into relatively flat Ontario, my vision is stopped short by trees. That’s why I love to travel to mountains where I can stretch my eyes and really see the horizon. When I do, I’m inspired.
When I lived in western Canada, I knew the pleasure of mountains but having lived in the east for 25 years now, I had forgotten how they enrich life. In November, I rediscovered the wonder of mountains. I traveled to the Lake District where I walked for four days. Climbing the fells was not just exercise for my legs, a work-out for my heart and fresh air for my lungs, it was also a relief for my eyes. And, as my eyes drank in the view, I could think differently. I was inspired.
In January, Utah was my mountain destination. I went and volunteered at the Sundance Film Festival but the best day of my trip was skiing at The Canyons. At 10,000 feet, the views were stunning. The thin air may have contributed to the Rocky Mountain high that I felt for days afterward but the mountains served well to free my mind and inspire creativity.
It doesn’t surprise me that the famous poet, William Wordsworth, went to the Lake District of England and stayed. In the same way, it’s not surprising that the mountains of Utah are the backdrop to the Sundance Institute to support emerging and aspiring filmmakers. It’s simple; mountains are inspiring. Wordsworth once said:
Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.
When I plan my travels, I try to include some time at a higher elevation with a view. It frees my eyes to do what they do best and, in the process, frees my mind to new inspiration. It doesn’t matter where or what – even these beautiful benches with a view will do.