I COULD only dream of an apple that fell far from the tree: a perfect news professional who is God’s little pencil.
I would have taught her to begin each work by having real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves in.
I would have made her aware that no art can be reduced to principles or rules because, at the center, there is a mystery no one has explained or could explain, which gives great authors work their literary force, particular charm and vitality.
I would encourage unobtrusiveness and inculcate that she is just a consummate observer. She is as a reporter, to be the reporter’s reporter, as objective, as free of prejudices and pre-conceptions, neutral and fair-minded as possible.
She would be a news professional faithful to the facts; one who does not invent, but uses her determination to look for the telling detail to reinforce her understanding of her subject until she finds the happiest form in which to cast her piece. This method chooses to inform and convey precisely what people did and said in certain circumstances in their life’s journey.
She doesn’t interpret, analyze nor pass judgment. What she does is to get at the truth. She does that with clarity, accuracy, simplicity — a simplicity grounded in her knowledge of just how complex every human being and every human event is.
I want her to look at the world with affection and enormous humor and sanity. She would be watchful, listening and bringing back reports that cast light and give lasting pleasure in a manner of reporting that is neither new or old journalism but categorized in the timelessness. She is of the highest tradition yet utterly original.
I imagine her reporting in a style that should be transparent and never calls attention to itself and be ever-present when people are going through actual experiences in their lives, beyond being interviewed, as they interact with one another.
She reports in a style without ornament and without devices. It is natural and crystalline, as pure spring water nor she does in her work without calling attention to herself, but places her considerable skills in the service of the subject at hand by having real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves.
Above all, I want her to surge across the boundary separating women into the former bastions of the editorial, where men previously controlled as chief opinion giver and defined what was newsworthy.
Whether she is writing facts or fiction, I imagine when she gets the things she feels are right and will for those things wherever she finds herself.
She will learn to savor the breathtaking way she can walk into people’s lives to ask them anything she wants at that moment available to her, the whole universe of a person’s life, the pain and suffering, the joy and the struggle. She can learn from it, as she takes it with her, and walks away.
She thinks for us, listens for us, asking the questions we might ask, if we were on the spot.
She can ask a decent question, broad enough to allow people to take off in many directions. Yet, she knows how to turn on the tap, eloquently and colorfully, and achieves celebrity status, with power that staggers the mind.
This daughter I could not have because I would have died in labor.
E-mail Mylah at [email protected]