Monday, May 09, 2011

What I know for Sure: I'm Going to Miss Oprah Winfrey

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There are only 13 Oprah shows left. 12 by the time many of you read this. I had to write to her, just once. Here's what I wanted her to know:

Dear Oprah (& the wonderful Harpo staff member who will read this note),

I wonder how many letters have begun that way in the last 25 years? I am adding mine to that enormous pile even though I know you may never read this, because I want to put my thoughts down so I can understand them better. I have been getting positively weepy all through The Farewell Season, but especially during clips that look back on your extraordinary life in television. Watching you high five viewers, welcome guests, tear up, and wave your arms in the classic "Aha moment" brings tears to my eyes every time. I love seeing your evolving hair styles and wardrobe choices over 25 years, not to mention those of your guests!

But when I try to think more deeply about why your show means so much to me and my life I find myself choked with emotion. It's hard to describe. I remember an episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon answers "What is your religious affiliation?" with "I basically do whatever Oprah tells me to." It may have been tongue in cheek, but it wouldn't be funny if it weren't also true. Your show holds a unique place in my spiritual development and my understanding of the world as a place full of wonder, mystery, humanity and bounty.

I think the dailiness of The Oprah Show has contributed to my feeling of you as someone I know, trust, and love. You appear in my living room five days a week (and my mailbox once a month!) to share something with me- a story, an idea, a cool new gizmo. But if it were only that, I would have stopped watching long ago.

What you offer me is the tremendous gift of your authentic self. This is no small thing in our phony, schmaltzy, celebrity-obsessed culture. I know you couldn't have given me that and accomplished all you have without also being "full of yourself" in the most beautiful sense.

Watching you become more and more completely yourself over the years has made me believe the same thing is possible for me and my life. I am still learning how to live better day by day. Watching you get better with each year shows me that life is a journey that keeps unfolding until the last breath. I will never pout about a birthday because I know each year comes with the blessing of wisdom, more than a fair trade for wrinkles and grey hair.

Congratulations on 25 years. Thank you so much for the lessons you will continue to teach me.



I'll be hosting a Last Oprah Episode viewing party on May 25th. If you're in the Kailua Kona area, and would like to join, please send me a message.

1 comment:

DitzyRedhead said...

Sad, but true. I've thought to write myself, but didn't want to write it in the "comments" area of the website -it would be too personal what I have to say. She will definately be missed...

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