Foundations: Deepest Chord

Can you think of certain songs or pieces of music in which you become aware of the very lowest bass notes that are being struck through the piece?  Very often, we can enjoy music and barely notice, if at all, those base notes, and yet, if they were removed, the music would feel shallow, light, detached and aloof.

Recently in a celebration at the White House of the American genre known as gospel music President Obama noted in his remarks that this style of music had its roots in slavery and grew in and through the civil war and civil rights era of our history.  He observed that while it has evolved over time that its heart has remained true. “It still has an unmatched power to strike the deepest chord in all of us, touching people of all faiths and of no faith,” the President said.

Deepest chord.  Whether you identify with gospel music or not, I wonder how you know your deepest chord.  I wonder how  you access your deepest chord.  I wonder these things because I know that our human experience is an ever changing experience.  It has highs and lows.  It can be filled with light moments and become an incredible pressure cooker of emotions and relationships.  When we find ourselves most tossed about, most pressed, most wounded, most frightened or angry or depressed:  how do we find that deepest chord within us that supports, that carries, that calms, that reassures, that centers, that helps us find our way again?

Perhaps you know the answer to that immediately.  Perhaps you want to spend some time pondering that.  Perhaps you don’t know.  I invite everyone reading this today to respond–when you are ready, by hitting the comment button below and share however briefly how it is that you find your way to your own deepest chord.  You need not say more than a few words.  Share with this community how you get back to your deepest chord.  There are people reading who don’t know how to do that, who are struggling to do that, who have forgotten that they can do that, who need to be encouraged that doing that is really important to their lives.  We can share with one another that way.

Some 35 years ago, I learned rather by accident in a most desperate time of my life that if I would go outside (out of a building) and sit on the ground, touch the earth, touch grass, touch a tree, hold a rock, that soon, I would be back in my deepest chord.  That is still my favorite way to find my way back to my deepest chord.

How do you find your way back to your deepest chord? Please hit comment and share with us.

Bob Patrick

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6 Responses to Foundations: Deepest Chord

  1. Tammy Riley says:

    Stopping to absorb the bright, shining stars during a cool, crisp evening walk always strikes my deepest chord.

  2. Betty Allison says:

    Pray, be still and listen.

  3. Roy Reynolds says:

    I loved this piece, Bob.
    What touches the deepest chord for me?
    1. A mindful walk in this verdant neighborhood.
    2. Indoors, putting on a CD of soft, melodic music, especially played on cello, classical guitar, or vibraphones.
    3. Talking by phone with a friend who awakens my soul presence.
    4. An especially calming contemplative 20 minutes of entering into the Stillness.
    Roy Reynolds

  4. Jen Garrison says:

    Music has touched me at my deepest chord my entire life. As a kid I found myself making up my own songs, I suppose so I would feel less lonely. On the other hand, I sang on beautiful spring days while feeling joy and peace. As an adult, I find it interesting that although I don’t do Facebook or follow Twitter, I do enjoy finding oldies but goodies music videos from the 80’s and 90’s on YouTube. For example, while trying to find my way through a recent depressed state, two songs helped me see my own strength: “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, and “People Like Us” by Kelly Clarkston (recommended by a good friend). Oh, I can’t forget “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor! Music helps me find my way back to myself when I feel out of sorts. But sometimes I avoid it when it means I have to perform- something to work on.

  5. Dot Everhart says:

    I resonate with my deepest chord, too, when in touch with nature and her beauty– and feel most grounded with a stone (or shell or small piece of worn wood) in my hand. And, I also vibrate with my deepest chord when I am with those I love– friends who truly “get me” and are being their own true selves. Sometimes it takes music– like Pachelbel’s Canon in D– or an old hymn– to match my mood or to lead me where I need to go. Ah, yes– then there’s good food with great people and laughter and good talk. So many ways to be in tune with the deepest chords in the universe. (By the way, Bob, I think you meant to write about “bass” chords (of the lower register) rather than “base” ones– of the crudest kind.)

  6. Bob Patrick says:

    Thank you, Dot, for the sharing, and for catching the spelling mistake. As always, after some point, I no longer see my own errors. (Hey, I think that’s another post!).

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