Dana’s Backstory

I have been thinking lately about one character, Dana, from my recent novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson, and am thinking of writing a back story for her. Poor Dana, she was never really given much space when I was dealing with her difficult, workaholic husband, Russell. Fedup, she wrote the note, moved out, literally lock stock and barrel, to move in with another woman with whom she was having an affair. Then there was the divorce and Dana was no more. That was all in the first chapter, as I recall.  But I think she has an interesting short story she would like to share with me and has given me permission to write it. I’m sure she will readily work quite well through my imagination.

Stay tuned for later as I will not have much, if any, time, to write her backstory until after Sunday, March 3d, as the Durango Film Festival starts tomorrow and I have a solid four day’s worth of films to see. This is always a great treat to see all these features, documentaries, and shorts that will never be in the mainstream movie houses, films dealing with everything imaginable, including several documentary and shorts programs from Native Americans as we live so close to their culture here in the southwest. There are also several adventure programs since we are also located in mountains, deserts, and canyons where adventure abounds.

Cowboy Angels

Ghosts filled the room where we sat drinking 

our tequila and beer in dusty hidden darkness

while we talked of the hard suffering history of 

Rocky Mountain mining towns who still

felt residual pain, sadness, and death.

She observed us silently from blue ether

where she chose to live her afterlife

in happier saloons with cowboy angels

who bought her drinks and her bed

when the moon and stars still shined bright.

Water bugs danced joyfully on a polluted pond

of some mine’s continued orange pain 

to music no one heard on that Sunday morning.


While at meditation this morning at the Dharma Center and participating in the discussion afterwards, I was reminded of how my 30 some years of Buddhist teachings and meditation influenced Russell’s character in The Awakening of Russell Henderson and his time with Hannah and subequently with the Rinpoche at the Retreat Center out in Oregon. While Russell was discovering himself in a few intense months, it can, and most generally does, take many years of “practice” before such realization can be made. It usually does take time, effort, and commitment.

I have listened to people over the years who keep struggling with their practice and with their ego and working hard studying texts and reading books from the masters. I feel fortunate that I have had great teachers and good direction that have led me to realize that, while all the study and reading is essentially all well and good, it is living in compassionate awareness, moment by moment, day by day, that makes the difference to others and to yourself. That is the true practice. This is not to say I am some great enlightened being . . . that is far from any truth. However, I simply practice and keep learning, moment by moment, day by day . . . and that IS the practice.

Maybe I need to write a sequel of how many years it takes Russell to come to TRUE awakening after the initial glow has worn off and how he deals with the trials and challenges life can bring such as the loss of parents, loved ones, or maybe even Hanna, Hmmmm?

Be well, be happy and be compassionate with yourself and with others.

Another day of snow . . .

Had about another 10 inches this morning so spent most of another day plowing out. The clouds are supposed to move out tonight with things warming up next week into the 40s.

As I write this blog I am thinking about how much I am missing actual story writing. There are a lot of ideas running aaround in my head. Once a book is finished, I want nothing more to do with the project and hope the marketing gods, where ever they might reside, will do all that boring stuff fo me. But, alas, poor me, I gotta do what I gotta do if I ever want to sell any copies of this last book. I guess I’ll keep on keepin’ on.