The Awakening of Russell Henderson


Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at http://www.amazon.com/author/edwardlehner.

“I’m really sorry, Karen. I apologize. It was thoughtless of me. I’ll call Mom and Dad and let them know I’m okay.”

She responded coldly, “Well I hope so. You out running round by yourself. Anything could happen. You could be murdered or something and we’d never know. And a, what kind of center? Buddhist? Have you totally lost your mind?! God, Russell you weren’t raised like that, doing some pagan thing!”

“I’m fine, Karen. Truth is I’ve never been happier in my life. It was a good four weeks there. I learned a lot. I feel more alive every day.” I said with elated enthusiasm.

“Slow down. What? You sound like you’re in love or something.”

“That too. Yes, for the first time I think I understand love, and I’m in love and committed to the woman I met hitchhiking back in Iowa, Hanna, she’s — ”

“Committed to?! You got married?! You really have lost your mind! What’ll Mom — ”

“We’re not married, have no intentions of marriage . . . yet.”

“You need help. Are you drinking? Is that it? You’ve turned into a drunk. Or drugs?! God, Russell! Please! You need help!”

With that, I couldn’t help myself and started laughing. I thought of how Rinpoche had laughed at what he thought was the absurdity of life.

“I’m not drinking. I’m not drunk, not on any drugs. I’m just happy. Please just understand. People can be happy, you know.”

“I wish that were the case, I . . . I really wish that were the case.”

“Karen, what?  What’s wrong? Is something going on? Is everything okay?”

I heard a sniffle, “No it’s not. It’s John . . . we’ve been going through some bad times. He wants a divorce.” The sniffles increased. “I can’t fail, Russell. I just can’t. First you. Then me. Then . . . then what’ll I do . . . the kids? He took the boys.” 

The Awakening of Russell Henderson


Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at http://www.amazon.com/author/edwardlehner.

We kissed and stood embracing each other . She broke away, holding both my hands and looking directly at me, “Russell, I want you to know you are the most wonderful man I have ever known.

“I talked to Rinpoche early on. It was so hard. I was so embarrassed. But after I told him everything I told you, I felt like I was going to throw up, but he just looked at me and smiled — smiled the most warm loving smile I had ever seen and said, ‘That must have been an awful experience. What lesson do you think was there for you?’

“Lessons?’ I think I shouted at him, ‘Lessons’?! I was livid angry. Being hurt like I was, shamed, ruined, and he asked about fucking ‘lessons’!

“I was really upset when I left the interview. The next time I was with him, he talked to me about the choices we make and taking responsibility for those choices. Good ones bring us happiness, bad ones, we suffer consequences. Our choices are our responsibility. We need to make our choices mindfully. I knew I had made bad choices and my problems were of my own doing. I had to make amends to those I hurt and move on. I had to forgive myself.”

She moved in and I held her. She was quiet for a long time.

I was thinking of what Rinpoche had said about karma,  Then I drifted to my family. I thought of my own issues, about being always up tight, always thinking of risk assessment anytime I did anything. But isn’t risk assessment another way of being mindful about our choices. Maybe I wasn’t so far off.

I pulled away from her, “I can’t stand it. I’m going crazy. It’s all nuts. Everything is crazy fucking nuts.” I was shouting. I looked and was relieved we were the only ones there. 

The Awakening of Russell Henderson


Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at http://www.amazon.com/author/edwardlehner.

For some reason, I choked up and couldn’t speak. I pulled out my handkerchief, blew my nose, and, as discreetly as I could, wiped my eyes. When I left him that day my new name was Jampa (loving kindness) Dhargey (progress, development, spreading) Yonten (good qualities). I was overcome with emotion and went out into the forest and cried my heart out until I was exhausted. I never knew I could love a man as dearly as I loved RInpoche Tenzin Lhundup Karma.