If I’m going to be honest with myself, I have to admit that I am rather terrible at being in the present. Unless my mental spiraling is pointed out to me by a concerned friend or family member, my mind rarely slows down enough to be present in the moment. Although I know that I am not alone in this struggle as it is human nature is to overthink and lose focus on the bigger picture, it is so easy to slip into these destructive thought patterns.
With how easy it is to lose sight of what matters in the here and now, it is often interference from an outside individual that we need to help drag us to the surface for a breath of fresh understanding. The beauty behind these moments of reprieve is what Michael Baker tackles in his newest song “Caught in the Crossfire”. Deeply introspective, Baker gorgeously navigates the ever-changing subtleties of connection and shifting human perspectives.
Led by a delicate blend of acoustic guitar and piano, Baker deftly layers them in a weaving pattern of ebb and flow. As he begins to sing, there is an immediate air of light, but unmistakable, melancholy. The powerfully restrained quality of his vocals is laced with a hauntingly hopeful quality. It feels like the sigh of relief that is almost unconsciously released when you’ve made it through a difficult time, emphasized by the calming consistency of the rise and fall arrangement.
“Maybe I’m just caught in a crossfire / Or maybe I’m too blind to see what’s going on / And I can paint it red / And you can paint it blue /These colors change the view”
His use of color is a gorgeous tool to illustrate the shifting subtleties of human perspective. Often unable to initiate these shifts on our own, we rely on the helping hand of another to lend us a new color. Much like the changing of a lens alters our perception of a landscape, another’s perspective helps us to see the bigger picture. The landscape itself does not change, but how we see it does. Like colors bleeding together and creating new combinations, we draw strength from others and rely on them to free us of our mental chains and wanderings.
“You can stain it red / And I can keep it blue / These colors change / These colors change the view”
Continuously returning to the laying and blending of colors to drive home the point, he gently reminds us to step outside of ourselves with every repetition. Although what we perceive is often such a small, narrow view of a reality, it can be so difficult to comprehend the true narrowness that we subject ourselves to. Simple acts of aid and kindness by others can make immense differences in your view on life, which is what Baker is truly getting to here. So next time you find yourself overthinking and struggling to find the beauty in your situation, let “Caught in the Crossfire” remind you to let others into your world.