& Planning
(The Concise Oxford Dictionary)


“There are no coincidences in life.
Everything responds to the principle of cause and effect: birth is the result of energetic forces that we do not master, and so are many key events that happen in our life, including death. In all that exists, what often seems to be the result of pure hazard always comes from a precise and definite source located deep in our respective subconscious, since what and who we are as individuals is no more than a mere molecule of a much larger human consciousness.”

I made this statement a few weeks ago, while traveling in Rwanda, solicited by a friend to write “something” about coincidence. Something I had always considered writing about…

Tonight, the strange unfoldment of energies in my life dictates my writing more about the subject. Two events – one some two years old, the other so recent it is still going through its energetic dissolution process – are haunting my mind at this very moment. Both are linked with death, and with the mysterious transition between incarnated and disincarnated states.

Two years ago (on 02 / 02 / 2002, precisely), I was helping my then-13-year-old daughter Celine with a school project, building a diorama about Alice in Wonderland. She was desperate to get this project completed. Indeed, it was a lot of work. Since I have always been very good at building models etc (let’s not forget I am an Architect…), I volunteered to help her build her project, which included the characters Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum in a magic landscape…. It was a Saturday afternoon. She had to go to out for some necessary “stuff” she had to do, and I stayed home alone, cutting the balsa wood pieces, the thick red cardboard, gluing the synthetic grass, putting final touches to the Alice character out of modeling clay, etc… I remember it was around 4:12 pm, having just looked at the microwave clock. The sun outside was warm and radiant.

As I was trying to cut a piece of wood harder than usual, the blade of my cutter snapped. It hit me hard, right between the eyes, between my eyebrows, right above the metal bridge of my reading glasses. I bled. Drops of blood ran down my nose. I wiped them off with my right index. I stopped working, and thought: “Something is happening in my life. Something close. What could it be?” I did not think for a second of my father in law, 82 years old, who had been admitted the day before to the Flushing hospital for some breathing problems linked with his angina condition.

At about 4:21 pm, the phone rang. Usually, I do not pick up, as there are more and more too many unsolicited / annoying telephone calls. But this time I picked it up… I thought, “Maybe it’s Celine.”…
It was not. It was the attending Physician / Cardiologist from the hospital. He explained that my father in law’s condition had suddenly deteriorated, inexplicably, as he was showing strong signs of improvement less than one hour earlier… He asked me the permission to do a “cardiac resuscitation,” an injection directly into his heart that would attempt to resume his heartbeat, which had just stopped. Without hesitation, I gave him the permission to do so. Less than two minutes later, my wife returned home, and I told her about the doctor’s call and her father’s critical condition. Immediately, she left for the hospital. There was total silence at home for about an hour… At 5 pm, she called me, crying: “He’s gone. His heart started failing, a kind of inner haemorrhage, and stopped at 4:12 pm.”

To me, instantaneously, the subconscious energetic link had been demonstrated. The broken blade hitting my forehead and the symbolic meaning of the bleeding just could be considered a mere coincidence? The instant the broken blade hit my forehead happened at the very same time as my father-in-law’s heart failure. Weren’t the two events more precisely an energetic simultaneous sign about the physical manifestation of the bleeding, both in his heart and on my forehead? Wasn’t this a direct, invisible but profoundly spiritual link with my father-in-law’s soul, which I felt was always there, even that link always remained discreet?

Since the 1970s, I have been a close friend and associate of a great composer / musician, the most incredible soprano saxophonist in the history of jazz, Steve Lacy, who revived the instrument from oblivion after Sidney Bechet’s death. We have a deep inner connection, a special link together, through his incandescent music, through certain characters traits, and through a certain philosophy of life that reveal a strong spiritual bond.

Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer last July 23rd 2003, “coincidentally” (???) on the very day of his 68th birthday… Since then, he was receiving several embolization procedures that helped slow down the progress of his condition, without however providing a cure. Relentless in the pursuit of his art, he stayed focused and frighteningly lucid all along. Quite recently, he played two astonishing engagements at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in February and at the Iridium club in March 2004 (entitled “Monksieland”). He was preparing an exciting tour of Japan with his trio (June 10-24), and I was supposed to join the three of them. I was waiting for the final confirmations from his booking agent in Tokyo.

Yesterday (Thursday May 27), I was in my office, around noontime, chatting with my nephew Olivier. As we talked, I wanted to show him something on the internet. I clicked on what I thought was the correct line of my “favorites’ list.” To my surprise, the site of Steve Lacy appeared on the screen, and with it the famous 4-note chord of one of his most powerful compositions, part of a cycle entitled “The Way” inspired by some Lao Tzu poem, came out loud from the loudspeakers… Now, seeing the site’s homepage appearing was shocking in itself, but hearing the chord was most unusual as I usually keep the sound off at all times… But that morning, I had decided to listen to some classical jazz CD by Coleman Hawkins… So the sound volume was still on… I noted the time on my computer screen: it was 12:04 pm. The tune’s name is “Life on its way,” from the celebrated album entitled “The Way.” I did not mention anything to my nephew, but I thought it was odd to be brought “accidentally” to his website, and hear a tune that I have cherished for so many years, and that still moves me so deeply…
I remember thinking: “Could something be happening to Steve at this very moment? I feel something is going on. What could it be?” The conversation with my nephew continued, and pulled me away from my thoughts, but I could not help wondering what could have triggered Steve’s website sudden manifestation. A coincidence???

Friday evening, though I had plans to go out, I decided to stay home and listen to music, taking advantage of my being alone home (peace and quiet!). My program: watch the only two DVDs I own (not very many by today’s standards! …) and the third one lent the night before by a friend. At 9:24 pm, as I was about to play the DVD of Steve I produced in 2002 (I had played it only once before…), I received a phone call from Marshall, also a close friend of Steve’s, who— come to think of it— NEVER did call me home before!

That was most perplexing in itself… But when he advised me that Steve had been taken to the emergency room at the nearby Boston hospital the day before, and was in a critical condition due to a severe relapse of his liver condition, everything made sense… He told me that doctors predicted that he would not leave the hospital alive… It was just a question of days. I was in shock.
That Saturday morning, I called Steve’s wife Irene at their home in Boston, but was greeted instead by another friend of theirs (a lady from Paris, staying at their house). Irene was visiting Steve at the hospital. I learned that Steve had been taken to the hospital on Thursday around noon. She indicated that she arrived at their house at 12:10 pm, barely minutes after Steve had been taken to the hospital… What better proof was there to demonstrate the energetic disturbance / connection I felt the day before at noon? The news gave me goose bumps.

I reiterate my belief in the FACT that coincidences do not exist in life. All that exists in the universe – a planet, a fire, a glass of water, a human body, an ant, a flower, a stone, a thought, a color - is energy, and everything on this planet is linked in ways that we cannot imagine. There is a reason for everything that we find on our respective individual paths, even if we do not understand what is really happening at the time of the first manifestation of something important in one’s life.

© Gilles Marie-Paul Laheurte
New York City, 28 May 2004

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