Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Monday, February 21, 2011

6 Degrees of Separation? Maybe less

I drove back from the Monterey Death Penalty Conference today. My brain was crammed with information and my emotions strained with the synergy of 1500 criminal defense attorneys from all over the United States who fight the death penalty. I was clearly emotionally exhausted but certainly not morally bankrupt as I drove past Soledad prison with its backdrop of green, fragrant fields that feed all of us.

I was philosophical and angry and hopeful and empowered and tired.

Melodie slept beside me. She had seen and heard things that she did not know existed. She had found three new topics for her law school papers. She had spoken to experts in fields that, before this weekend, she didn't know existed. I watched her grow into being a lawyer in four short days. But, driving past Soledad, she slept.

Soon we are in San Luis Obispo and she goes home and I go to the office. Checking email and messages.

And there is a call. A young woman has had some trouble and her uncle is searching for help. He has lost his brother and he is charged with caring for his niece. Can I take good care of his treasure?

And I realize that Dan has been with us this whole weekend. Like the writer's conference. I watched his curiosity in my daughter's questions, in her eagerness to learn, her willingness to explore new ideas. So like Daniel.

Yes, I will take good care of the man's treasure. Dan would demand it.

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