in its own time


I have a dream, a vision of a world where there are no more throw-away kids.

But I have a problem, too, and it’s not the enormity of the challenges and obstacles to change. The hearts of judges, prosecutors, juries, victims’ advocates, and the public can be changed—it happened once before in the decades since the ’70s and the “superpredator” myth, when America turned to a “harsh on kids” frame of mind. Yesterday in San Antonio a jury ordered probation instead of a jail term for a young man convicted of the 2012 murder of his father. This proves the mindset can be changed back again.

fr perraultNo, my problem is my advancing age. Day by day, relentlessly, the clock is ticking. Although I have recently resolved that there is no predetermined expiration date on my life, in the unlikely event that I live to be a hundred, there will always be people who will refuse to forgive and rehabilitate. I may never live to see my dream come true.

But the other night I had a dream, and I have been a man transformed ever since. I dreamed that I was gone, but through my writing, I was explaining my vision. I realized that if I do a good enough job as a writer, others can pick up my vision and see it through. Since that dream, the burden I had been carrying was lifted from my shoulders. I can continue my work with the peace-of-mind that all will happen in its own time, even if it is not my time.

Estrella Vista & Corazon PeakTomorrow will conclude the experiment in crowd funding. The goal was not met but it was a good learning experience. Only one new person stepped forward with a pledge; everyone else was an existing supporter. But that’s okay. I have to be patient. Everything in its own time. The guest rooms at Estrella Vista will eventually be built. I see them clearly. The vision is still alive.

red carpetThen yesterday I received a phone call out of the blue. It was a famous female movie star. After the role that celebrities Johnny Depp and Marjorie Main played in the release of the “West Memphis Three,” receiving that call was like something from a dream. No agents or middle men. Just us talking for more than an hour.

I didn’t know it, but apparently she has been following the blog for several years. She wants to come out to Estrella Vista and interview me. She is working on a project and there is a character she wants to loosely model on what I do. It’s an amazing break, maybe.

It reminds me that everything happens in its own time, that we set things in motion by our actions that we don’t even know are in motion. It reminds me that someone will pick up my vision even if I am gone.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Peter, Paul & Mary performing “The Times They Are A’ Changing”


4 Responses to “in its own time”

  1. 1 Frank Manning
    September 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Very good to hear that people with considerable resources have become interested in the Estrella Vista project. That is truly marvelous news.

    I share your vision of a world where there are no more throw-away kids. The biggest obstacle to achieving this vision is the creeps and low-lifes who beget children and then neglect or abuse them so badly that the kids wind up in the juvenile justice or foster care system just for trying to survive as best they can on their own. Most of the kids I have worked with at the reform school would not be there if their parents had just taken care of them the way you took care of your Henry and I took care of my Jillian. Throw-away kids are throw-aways because their parents made a choice to throw them away. I’ve heard far too many stories from the kids themselves of what they had to endure in their short lives and why they had to break the law just to live another day. There are so many fathers, in particular, with whom I would just love to have a half hour alone in a locked room and full legal immunity for what would come down in that room.

    • September 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      I didn’t say she was interested in Estrella Vista; she is interested in shedding some light on the plight of the children we characterize as “throw away kids.” She can make more change happen through an entertainment project than I could through years of back-breaking work. I, for one, am prepared to do anything I can to help her realize her vision. My vision can wait. It must happen in its own time.

  2. 3 Daryl Watton
    September 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    It would be a shame, Dan, if the boys who need your help would be abandoned without your presence with us. Have you contingency plans? People to continue your legacy? I’d like to do what I can to make sure these boys are helped, even if it just means being their loyal pen-pals or perhaps a correspondent teacher.

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