Glennis Brown Interviews Dan from The Fortune Seekers
‘The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte’
GAB: Dan, tell us when and where you were born?
DM: I was born on January 28, 1837 in a small Welsh village named Llanrian, in the county of Pembrokeshire.
GAB: Did you always live there?
DM: No, our family moved many times. My strongest childhood memories are from a village named Nevern. A farming and mining community.
GAB: Tell us what goals you hoped to accomplish in your life?
DM: Freedom. Freedom from confusion. From my Father’s influence. Freedom to be myself.
GAB: What influence did your birth family have on you, your choices, your life? Explain why and how.
DM: My Father was the curator of the church in Nevern. He firmly believed in the non conformist Calvinist beliefs and his ambition seemed to be, to have all his children follow that doctrine.
I thought deeply about his beliefs about God, and did not agree with him.
Neither did my mother, who had a more balanced approach to her belief. Hence my confusion. Therefore I wouldn’t conform.
GAB: Was this the only reason for your life changing decision when you were eighteen?
DM: No, there were other reasons. My confusion had an emotional effect on my sanity. I became emotionally unstable, so it seems. And there was also the lack of work. These reasons all changed my life.
GAB: Do you regret your decision?
DM: No, not at all. Because of it, I met Charlotte.
GAB: What drew you to the person you fell in love with?
DM: Her appearance. Beauty. Conversation. And much more. I couldn’t stop thinking about her.
GAB: There was a lot about Charlotte you didn’t know, wasn’t there? It could have gone so wrong for your life’s dream, don’t you agree?
DM: Absolutely. Sometimes I think it was a miracle.
GAB: How did you feel when you later found Charlotte, after learning of her experiences after you first met?
DM: Angry – very angry. Also sad for her. But also impressed seeing her rise above circumstances. My resolve to put things right became a driving force.
GAB: Tell us. Do you believe women are really the weaker sex?
DM: Definitely not. Charlotte wasn’t weak. She was disempowered by being a woman.
GAB: How do you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?
DM: My love and respect for my mother remains, as she had wisdom.
My Father – I judged him harshly, not realising the hardship of his earlier life. But, I still dislike his apparent need to control and manipulate his children.
GAB: Anything else?
DM: And his inability to forgive. Especially when he considered he was chosen by God. Why didn’t he see his beliefs were turning people away from the Christian Faith? How come an educated Bible reading man can accept the beliefs of a cult!
GAB: Let’s change tact. What did you want from life?
DM: Freedom. Freedom to be who I was born to be.
GAB: What, in yourself, was preventing you from getting it?
DM: My immature thinking. The effects of indoctrination. The belief that I needed to conform.
GAB: What had to happen before you could overcome this?
DM: A crisis – emotional, physical, followed by learning new ways of thinking.
GAB: Did your life turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?
DM: Yes, once I knew I was a fortune seeker, with the wanderlust urge empowering me, I followed my intuition. Overcoming obstacles, learning acceptance, and finding my strengths.
Not at all as my father predicted. But exactly as my mother hoped.
GAB: How would you describe yourself?
DM: Courageous. Hard working. Understanding.
GAB: What really moves you, or touches your soul?
DM: Charlotte initially. Her love for me. And her depth of compassion and empathy for others.
GAB: What else touches your soul?
DM: The reality of there being a loving God over my life. Who doesn’t judge, condemn or punish. But who understands life, having personally walked on this earth. This knowledge brings me peace. Empowering me to do the same. To learn about acceptance.
GAB: What do you consider is your greatest regret?
DM: I didn’t confirm to my mother that I was doing alright. She was to never know.
GAB: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?
DM: I needed Charlotte, as a husband physically needs his wife. Because of my needs, and my love for Charlotte, I was the cause of her becoming sick – becoming physically exhausted and needing to grieve too many times.
GAB: Why do you think this?
DM: I caused it. I didn’t know how to do any different at the time.
GAB: What are you most afraid of?
DM: That the following generations may not understand that they are also fortune seekers. That they have choices – obtainable if they are brave enough to reach for what their hearts desire is.
GAB: What do you value most?
DM: The grace given me to be who I know I am. Discovering peace is a destiny worth more than material things.
GAB: But Dan, you sought gold for most of your working life! Following the gold-rushes, and watching your children doing the same…
DM: But, the question is…Was that the fortune I was seeking?
GAB: Dan, what is your current state of mind?
DM: Today my mind is clear. I’m well adjusted as I experience old age, with its associated aches and pains. I am old. My children are young. I would like to watch them on their personal journeys. Yet, I know that is impossible. I too must pass away.
GAB: How would you like to die?
DM: In my sleep with a clear mind.
GAB: Why do you say, with a clear mind Dan?
DM: Because, now-a-days I forget a lot. Such as what day it is. What I had for breakfast. Whether I had breakfast all all. These things are meaningless in reality. As the important things remain… Peace, love and acceptance.
GAB: From where do they come Dan? Can you remember where?
DM: GAB, you make me laugh. Of course I remember the important things. Peace, love and acceptance comes from Charlotte. Who was a gift given me, from God.
Glennis Browne’s interest in historical research brought to light questions regarding why certain situations happened within her family- such as emigration and religious thinking. After undertaking biblical studies and doing emotional healing training, these questions about her past kept resurfacing.
A decade of family tree and historical research birthed the first of the series of “The Fortune Seekers.”
Browne’s book, which she likes to describe as ‘creative history’ is based on the extraordinary real life experiences and historical travels of her relatives.
The book and her journey following the footsteps of her ancestors has already received positive feedback and positioning at various shops and museums.
Browne focuses on the question: why did our relatives emigrate to places unknown? Was it wanderlust, or social and religious reasons?
Browne brings the personalities alive on the page, endearing them to the reader. Readers speak of feeling the pain, experiencing the challenges in a real way, and sharing in rejoicing moments.
Born in New Zealand, she immigrated to Australia with her husband, to live closer to their two sons and their families.