It couldn't have
come at a better time. I suddenly have work as a camerawoman and I can
A small surgical team at Lasik America in Albuquerque sliced a flap
from my cornea and counted me down while I stared at a flashing red
target. The laser nibbled at cells in my eye for seventeen seconds,
reshaping my cornea to correct my miserable myopia.
I see trees that are green, red roses too. I watch them bloom for
me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. (sung
by Eva Cassidy, a singer who died young)
I see hawks in the trees, tiny print too. My viewfinder looks sharp,
I see my children too, and I think to myself, I see everything!
Two days after Lasik surgery, I shot a commercial for CH 41, the Spanish
language station here in New Mexico. I triumphed with the help of a
river of eye drops streaming down my face.
Three days later, I flew to Oklahoma City for BBC to produce radio stories
on reactions to the McVeigh execution. There I met Constance Favorite,
whose 21-year-old daughter Lakesha was killed in the Murrah Federal
Building, and Dolores Watson, who saw the building turn to rubble with
her grandson PJ inside.
Dolores and Constance invited me to Sunday services at Avery Church,
an African Methodist Episcopal house of worship, gospel, and amazing
grace. I saw love and faith.
After, we went to Pearl's, a New Orleans-style house of cuisine and
amazing margaritas. I saw friendship and courage.
I met PJ, bright and friendly, who miraculously survived his devastating
traumatic injuries. I saw an engaging little boy who plays with action
figures. He smiles easily, and has a permanent tracheotomy. Dolores
says there is so much information available about the bombing that PJ,
now 8 years old, will learn what he wants when he is ready.
Constance explained that although she was eligible to witness the execution
on closed circuit, she didn't want to. She said she wouldn't want that
image to exist in her brain. She said she gets upset when Lakesha's
son watches violent cartoons on TV. Because my mother was killed by
a bad man who blew up a building, he asks?
Early the next morning I saw something I hardly thought possible: in
Oklahoma City the assembled media treated the survivors with care and
respect. No ugly television gang-bang scenes emerged, no overt scrapping
for morning show guests.
After viewing the execution on a closed circuit transmission from Terre
Haute, Indiana, many of the two hundred or so witnesses made public
statements at a staging area near the airport. Several walked the grassy
press area and found our microphone. I saw these survivors restore dignity
to those who died in an undignified fury.
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do, but they're really
sayin' I love you.
When I returned to my home base in New Mexico, more Spanish language
TV production awaited my healing eyes. I shot commercials for a Chinese
buffet and a frame shop.
In the following weeks I had two assignments shooting mini-dv, small-format
digital video. One involved a ride-along with law enforcement. The other
was a soccer tournament.
I heard a cop ask his partner how much he tells his children about his
work. The cop expects that he'll need to think about these things in
I heard a Soccer Mom declare, The mountains are so beautiful.
And from behind the bleachers I heard a girl holler, "Guess what!!!
I saw my first tumbleweed!!"
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the
faces of the people passing by.
Newspukes record it all, good and evil, beautiful and not, dead
I have a digital video camera and I have eyesight. There is work for
those with vision. Mine couldn't have come at a better time.