©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP

January 14, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State

Roger Fisher burnin up the fret board at California Jam II

One of the first realizations I had when learning how to play the guitar was the “flavors” different chords had, particularly the contrast between major and minor chords. Major chords are happy while minor chords are sad. And that difference alone tells the aspiring musician that to express different emotions in songs, we use chords that help tell the story. Add rhythm to the mix and one begins to really sense the value of music: IT MOVES YOU TO YOUR SOUL!

Let’s take a quick trip down science lane and see what’s so powerful about
music, as opposed to the higher wavelength vibrations.

The following includes excerpts from David Fairhurst’s Absorb Physics internet site:
“Sound and light both travel as waves. The properties of these waves differ quite considerably. Sound waves travel a million times slower than light waves. They have wavelengths between 1 centimetre and 10 metres, and will easily diffract round corners. Light waves have much smaller wavelengths, and only diffract through very small holes. This difference is the reason why you can often hear things that you cannot see.”

Also, light is an electro-magnetic wave, whereas sound requires the stimulation of material to travel. But that difference partially explains why music is so powerful in relation to a body. The only places in your body you see light from are tiny holes in your eyes, as they are higher frequencies. When you hear a kick drum and bass guitar, you feel it through your whole body.

To put waves in perspective, look at this: from short to longer wavelengths...

Gamma rays 300EHz                         1 exahertz = 10+18 hertz
X-rays 30EHz
Ultraviolet rays 30PHz
Visible light
Microwaves 300MHz
Radio waves 300kHz

Our hearing ranges from about 20Hz to 20kHz. Radio waves go as low as 3kHz, but that’s different from an audio wave, as mentioned before. Thing is, these are waves that affect us, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

So one difference between visible light and sound is that you don’t feel light the way you feel sound. Sound moves the air, which moves your body, which elicits a physical response and is hence, MOVING. Watch a movie with no sound. Nope...doesn’t work. Listen to the soundtrack without watching the movie... wow, works!

The “aha” moment for me came when I learned that the major scale, played in the key of C, for example, contains the notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That major scale is precisely the same relationship in every different key. It sounds happy in the key of C. Play that exact same scale in the key of A and it sounds sad. Now we are in a different mode - Aeolian.

mode | mōd

1. a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done... compare to “mood.”

So a happy-sounding scale merely played in a different key sounds sad. Profound! Isn’t that like the way we choose to look at Life? One person sees tragedy in a situation where another sees opportunity. And it’s everyone’s choice as to what key they choose to see Life in. And isn’t it amusing that it’s called a “KEY?”

The following is a note from my sister, Kay:

“On November 17, 1998, around 1 PM while in a Boeing meeting, I was paged, so responded to the page, and it was the Redmond Fire Department. The woman said after verifying who she was talking with, and without any emotion, “You have a house fire.” My response was, “How bad is it?”, as I visualized smoldering, and not a big concern. She replied, “I don’t know.”, to which I said, “Well, can you find out and call me back?” She said she would call me back but after about 10 or 15 minutes, she didn’t call me back.

I called my friend Carol Strange in Longview, as her husband was my insurance agent and my home insurance had been with his company over 40 years, with no reported claims. When I told Carol what had happened, she and her husband were watching the news on Channel 5 and she said, “Kay, your house is on TV!!!” Carol and her husband Ray were watching my home burn on TV on the local news!

I drove to the top of the hill near my home and there was a policeman there who said I couldn’t go down the street because there was a house fire. I said, “It’s my house!” There were 5 fire engines there, along with my Dad, friend Lana, next door neighbor and another friend. We were watching my home burn, totally destroyed.

Many things happened afterward, but I just wanted to forge on. I received a call from my Senior Manager at Boeing asking what folks at Boeing could do to help me, and I just said I didn’t want to discuss it, I just wanted everyone to carry on as normal, as if this hadn’t happened. It was quite an upset for me and didn’t want to get into conversations with person after person about the same devastating thing; that wouldn’t do me any good, or them either.

Many one-of-a-kind things from Norway including many years of photographs, were gone.  Mom said strongly and adamantly, “Kay, don’t worry about those things; they’re just things, they’re not a human life!”  She was right, and she just made me do an about-face!  I immediately quit crying and said to Mom, “You’re right, Mom, and you just watch - I’m going to take these lemons and make lemonade!!!  You just watch, Mom - it’s going to be OK!”

I told my friend Lana, she could have the listing. Lana and her significant other, Joe, both having years of real estate experience, felt that I should have the lot cleared to prepare it for sale.  In thinking about this, I came up with another idea.  I told Lana, if you do a paradigm shift in your thinking and look at this in a positive way in terms of assets instead of devastation - i.e., the fireplace is still standing; the driveway is an asset; as is the foundation; the landscaping, the water lines, the sewer connection, and electricity going to my home are all still there, which are all assets! Instead of thinking about my destroyed home as a place of devastation, think in terms of all the value there.”

Kay went on to sell her burned home for a good price and now lives in a beautiful house on a golf course with a spectacular view, healthy, happy, and HOME.

I remember clearly the first day I was allowed to walk to school by myself. I was in kindergarten. Maple Leaf Elementary School was about a six-block walk. I went out the door in my yellow rain-proof garment and began walking, thinking with great pride, “I’m a real schoolboy now!” Pausing to look at a mud puddle on the street, I noticed how each rain drop caused a perfect circle in the water, and all the circles intersected in ways that made a beautiful picture. At that moment I thought, “I really love the rain!” And I’ve always loved the rain. It cleans the air, cleans the ground, allows life for all that depend on it. It feels wonderful on the face. In a storm, there’s nothing like that feeling of being cozy and warm in your home while it’s raging outside.

And then the TV meteorologists! Aaargh! “Tomorrow’s going to be another gloomy, miserable day. Expect a 90% chance of rain.” WRONG! Why brainwash and program your public with a negative perspective? A pet peeve of mine, for sure:-)

By choosing to love what most others tend to regard as negative, I’m a happier guy.

Youngest son (he’ll be 18 this Halloween) Roger asked the other day, “Can you tell me your perspective on the law of attraction?”

I replied, “People are attracted to people who are happy, charismatic, intelligent, and having fun.” So if you’re a person who tends to have a gloomy outlook on things, you may find that you have friends who are supportive in this view. And if we take this perspective further, where parents are passing it on to their children, we shouldn’t wonder why the suicide rate among young adults is rising. “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.” (2015 CDC WISQARS)

It’s clear we need a paradigm shift. If you love your children, do more than tell them - SHOW them. Spend time with them. Get them out into Nature. Remind them of the beauty that is all around. Figure out how to get them pro-active doing something they love. Teach them to GIVE. There are great movements in our world right now. Among them is Global Citizen. It’s a great org that one can belong to and do good things for the planet. When we become part of something bigger, we then belong to a team. Children... your team needs you! More than ever before in history!

“Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, we have identified 10 Keys to Happier Living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling.”

In an earlier blog, I quacked about BASH - a method of practicing meditation anytime, anywhere. In the moment when we are quiet inside, there is no doubt, no fear, no suffering. By practicing getting to and sustaining that state, we become liberated from that wicked dictator, GLOOM.

“The key ingredients to achieving happiness are twofold, yet they are really two faces of the same coin: mental stillness, and being present. When our minds are still, all is well.” (Psychology Today)

The key is available to everyone, always.

The key is probably the most important decision you will make.