Last week I posted an article about my homeless son that I wrote for The Street Spirit. Today I encourage everyone to put this on your calendar: Dogtown Redemption will premier on PBS Independent Lens Monday, May 16, 2016. Please check your local PBS channel and tune in to this thought provoking documentary. If you miss the show, the DVD is available on the Dogtown Redemption website.
But let’s back up for a moment to an era before the tough times began. The year was 1984. My son, Jason, was only 10 years old, a robust, likeable young man with the determination to earn his Junior Black Belt. He studied the art since he was 7 years old and met his goal in September 1984. He continues to study the art – the one consistency in his life for the last four decades. This is the dream that keeps him alive today.
I watched his life become a broken dream. Not his broken dream but my broken dream. He struggles with the consequences of his addictions but he does the best he can and holds his head high. I bow my head with the loss of this beautiful boy and what he could have been.
It is said the writing of a memoir can be a healing experience and I am finding this to be true. It’s not about what might end up in the actual book; it’s all about the process.
When Amir Soltani was working on Dogtown Redemption he shared his wisdom with us. Many times he said, “It will be a healing film.” While it is a difficult film for me to watch, as I share it with the public I see the profound effect it has on the audience.
It is with Amir’s encouragement that I strive to write a purposeful memoir of experience, strength and hope. One that will make a difference.
I’d love to hear your comments on the film.