John Swincinski

Through Rose Colored Glasses
40 x 30 in
For years, some have claimed that wearing rose colored glasses can improve your mood and ward off depression. In fact, rose colored glass does block the blue light spectrum, though I suspect that blue light does not actually cause the ‘blues.’ When I am driving, I often wear sunglasses that have a rose tint to them, mostly because they greatly increase contrast and reduce eye strain.

One day I was traveling from the Flaming Gorge in Utah, back over to Breckenridge. I took the scenic route – a desolate, mostly dirt or poorly paved road that runs north of the Dinosaur National Monument and along the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. As you cross into Colorado, and Utah Road 1364 becomes CO 318, there is a sign that reads “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” I was wearing already my rose-colored sunglasses.

It was an astounding drive. I was at the end of 30-day wilderness trip that took me from my home in Louisiana, across Texas, up into Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. I traveled down to Utah and I was making my way back home. The landscape I was watching through my windshield was rugged and surely treacherous for anyone stranded out that way. I hadn’t seen another car for nearly two hours. And yet, I was overcome with a calmness. I had time to reflect on all of the amazing experiences I had the previous weeks. I was content. Maybe more content that I had ever been. Maybe it was the glasses, maybe it was the landscape, most likely it was the combination of the two.