calling all Zen

calling all Zen… by Art~

(the day the earth stood still)

I was at my friends/ co-worker’s, yesterday. The Sergent and I were putting in wood floors in his house. My brother dropped by to say bye. He had been here, visiting, from upper New York state. My brother was all smiles as usual, a positive energy that radiates. I was glad to have the opportunity to visit with him since he lives so far away, I haven’t seen him in years.

My brother took off and I went back to laying out the floor. A few hours later (5-6), I got a call from my mother. She said, ‘my brother had a heart attack and was in a really bad auto accident.’ (I froze) when you are told something like this it just doesn’t seem real, but the truth is… it is! (like a stone, buried on the beach. You may not be able to see it, but it is there.) They said he had a heart attack while driving, he tired to pull over and passed out, his foot may have slipped from the brake to the accelerator and his car went flipping off into the woods, totaling the car. The hospital had no way of knowing who to call for all his possessions were in the car, he ‘came-to’ long enough to give them my mother’s phone number.

My Mother and her husband, went to the Hospital that was about a couple hours away. I sat in total disbelief and shock. I had to draw on all the zen, wisdom, sayings, enlightenment I could recall. (“It is what it is”… one of my favorite sayings, was not acceptable). My mother told me, ‘he knows she is there for he woke for a moment and squeezed her hand.’

“Those who fail to prepare – prepare to fail,” I failed, I was not prepared for this situation. My brother is younger than me and to think of him having a heart attack was hard to swallow. They put to “stints” in his heart where they say he had 90 percent blockage. I always knew my brother had a broken heart because his life’s love, died of cancer. He fell apart and amazingly enough pulled himself up to where he now counsels those with drug addiction and runs a half-way house for those who are released from jail and have to go through the steps/meetings and probation/parole.

My mother called when she reached the hospital and told me his heart was fixed but the problem now was that he needed hip replacement and the hospital he is at can’t do this…? So they are shipping him to another hospital. His arm is broke, his face is riddled with lacerations and both eyes swollen shut. My step-father said it looked as though his nose was torn off and put back on. (This was the day, I felt the earth stand still)

I went through the phases, (felt each one) sadness,  anger, rage, self absorbed, praying, and a whirl wind of thought. I recall all the moments we were together. My brother and I grew up in a rough neighborhood, we fought side by side just to make it home from school. We fought each other (some of the toughest fights I’ve been in was with my brother and against my brother. We come from a long line of scrappers (tough nuts) Indian blood. I posted somewhere in this blog … how my mother was raised on an Indian reservation in New Mexico ( Cometh the wild ). I felt that this was another fight my brother is in and I was not there to help him. I was not there to help him when he had the accident, all the emotions of helplessness.

My little/ big brother (he is younger yet bigger) it is always a feeling the older sibling has to protect the younger sibling.

I called on all the zen quotes and stories to help me deal with the feelings I was having and nothing took the pain away in my heart. I was testing my zen and it failed. The power of human thought and emotions are some of the strongest obstacles we will ever encounter. Where had all my wisdom gone? Swallowed in one big lump in my throat. Stuck there and couldn’t get in to go away.

I called his girls, told them what had happened and they rushed to the hospital where he was being sent. I know when he wakes from surgery and see’s them it will be some comfort. I woke this morning and called to see how he was and they told me they are worried he may have bleeding in the brain. I thought he was pass the critical point only to find he is still fighting for his life. Human emotions… has the ability to knock you to your knees with out a physical blow.

I have often reflected on the saying that religion/ god, is like electricity, you can’t see it but you use it, you pay for it, but you can never see it. I have been raised christian, I like zen, but I’m not a buddist, yet I like the way the religion is structured. What god do you call on. ( Four blind men and an elephant ) Does God have a plan, ( the ant ) I know my brother, Alan, has done good and bad in his life (as we all have) and lately has done great things for so many so I know he will be welcomed in heaven if he doesn’t pull through. ( Butter and Stones ) but I haven’t accepted the fact he could pass away, I know he is a fighter and will pull through (the power of positive thinking).

I am calling on all my zen, and wisdom quotes to help me deal with this, to help my family deal with this and most of all to help my brother the best that I can. I am feeling powerless, helpless, and saddened, emotions that I am struggling with… the day the earth stood still.

bows (~_~) helpless


may you tell those you love, how you feel, for they may not be here tomorrow.

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25 thoughts on “calling all Zen

  1. Oh, Art! I’m so very sorry to read this! Are we ever ‘prepared’ for personal tragedy when it strikes??? I still jump every time the phone rings, after several really harrowing calls came within a short time span of each other. For a while it was like PTSD or something…I wanted to shout “IS EVERYTHING OK?” before I even said “Hello?”

    I’m praying for your brother Allan (my father’s name was Allen. It’s also my son’s middle name as well as my husbands….) May God’s healing power touch him and bring him to wholeness!


  2. Honey I am SO SORRY to hear about your brother’s accident! LIsten… rationalizing and burying emotions is not always the best thing. Those need to come out, the frustration and the anger, fear and … the tears. I think it’s important, that’s just how I think.

    My prayers are with you and your family… ((((( hugggzzz ))))))))

    CAT X


  5. You are as strong as you need to be for this situation Art — you just need to let the things you cannot control come to pass and to strengthen yourself and others with the things you can control. Wishing you all the strength and grace needed to deal with the pain and sorrow you have now in your life. Hoping your brother recovers from his horrible accident so you two can share many more good times together. Peace!

  6. Art, I am so sorry to hear this, I understand that you must feel lost and bereft at the moment. . Thank God you have your family to support you. If you can go to your brother, go if you can not he will understand. I do not know what to say as I have no knowledge on which to fall back on, non of us do as every emergency is different. Think of the ant, you do not know why God has set you this path or what good if any it will do you but follow it to your best ability and all will become clear. I am praying for you and your brother and all your extended families . May God be with you to light your way. Be strong with love willow xx

  7. My heart breaks with you, my friend. And I’m not sure there is any ‘preparing’ that can set us up to take such painful falls in our lives. It’s all part of the journey, and yet – you’re so right – there aren’t any words of wisdom that can ease the pain. Perhaps they can bring a sense of peace from deep inside, but even peace doesn’t always quiet the heartbreak. Rumi comes to mind: The wound is where the light enters. And so it is.

    I’m one of 5 siblings – falling in line at the second oldest. Can’t begin to imagine what I would feel if this were one of my younger brothers, my little sister or even my older sister. There is no advice to be given at a time like this, only love, compassion, grace. And so that is what I ask and send to you, that you might not only be a source of love and strength for your family, but especially so for yourself. Heartbreak comes when we least expect it – no amount of ‘training’ or planning can make the impact any easier. The test comes when the dust settles and we are left to determine what to do with our pain in that space. Your greatest gift to yourself and those around you now: just being present – in all the sadness, all the fears, all the love that is pouring out of each one of you. All of it is real – the power lies in choosing where you will put your focus.

    I believe no matter who we are, or what we’ve done we are loved by the Divine. It’s part of being the human-spirit beings we are. Allan is held in the arms of the Universe, even though it may not feel like it.

    Too much rambling….so I’ll stop and just send all my love to you. xoxo

  8. I am so very sorry to read about your brother! I am sorry to think of him suffering and the suffering that you are all experiencing. Being spiritually aware does not mean we stop feeling joy and sorrow, it simply means that we let ourselves experience our emotions, our doubts and fears and questions about life, especially for a loved one; we will then find the strength again to transmute that pain into grace. It will come to you, not with your mind, but through your heart and soul.
    Keeping your brother in my positive thoughts.

  9. I am sending out all the prayers and good wishes I can. I don’t believe you or anyone could be prepared for this. It sounds like your family has a wonderful support system and so much love to help him and everyone get through this. Stay strong.

  10. so sorry to hear about your brother,4 years back my husband had two attacks two blockages 92% and 97% all of a sudden he had this shooting pain and had to have angioplasty..he is fine now
    I know you guys are doing all that can be done
    taking from my experience all i can say right now is
    Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there.
    May god bless you all with bright days ahead and happiness :)

  11. Oh, Art, I am praying and meditating and crying all at once for you and your family and your brother right now. I am concentrating on sending a much positive energy as I can to those medical professionals treating your brother. I also beat a prayer drum for your suffering and your anguish. May you all be comforted! Comfort each other as you watch and wait faithfully by your brother’s side!

  12. Art, please know that the love, strength and courage of every one of your blogging friends is right there with both you and your brother….we are here offering every one of those to you to help support and sustain you. As I wrote in your more recent post, more prayers will be added in a few hours, too. I send you my love to help sustain you and your brother…please feel the love and care that we all are sending to you.

  13. ps…Art….of course I add that sustaining phrase too….
    “with love, prayers and encouragement”….from all of your friends, near and far…your friend Kathy (and Jampa,too… when he wakes up and I let him know what’s happened)

    • Hi Art, I just got home from work. Jampa asked me to pass along his positive wishes and prayers…he included those in his practice this morning…we’re thinking of you and wishing you, your brother and your family well….kathy

  14. hi Art, I ve been busy the last couple of days and Havent caught up and was distressed to read this posting my friend.. I send your brother all the light and love from Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary.. And pray that he will mend soon..

    Nothing prepares you for these kind of events.. having sat in the Emergency room praying for family members on more than one occasion I understand the deep wound we feel, and all our thoughts and knowledge are wiped out the window for a short time..
    wishing your strength to all of you.. Thoughts with you and family.. ~Sue

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