Tag Archives: television

sO lOng Oprah

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 “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  –Anatole France

I know that this is a week late, but I’ve been thinking about the end of Oprah this past week.  The final episode of her show is strongly tied to the upcoming wedding of my best friend, in an odd way.

I am not a fan of Oprah.  I do not follow her book club.  I do not watch her show.  I don’t cling to every word that her drones spout, especially Phil.  I don’t see her as a saint, a prophet, or demigod.  I mostly disdain her for her hubris, her cockiness, her pretense.  It was a very, very rare day that I turned on her show to see what the topic was, and even more rare that I watched.  I caught perhaps three shows in the past year, and one of them was the very last.

I won’t say that I watched like an execution gallery, wanting to make sure it ended.  I watched for much the same reason I watched the royal wedding–it was history.  I wasn’t working, and there was nothing better to do or see, so I watched history take place.  The previous day I had seen snippets of the orgy of Oprah love that took place.  I was disgusted with the celebration of her, the emotion leaving love behind and venturing into worship.  It was all too much for me to stomach.  That being said, I’m not sure what compelled me to keep watching the finale.  It started with her declaring her desire to impart all her wisdom to her audience… again, the gross self-indulgence.

However, I will, humbly, admit that her last show was not horrible.  In fact, much of what she said was, surprisingly, wise and important to hear: find your passion and pursue it, acknowledge and validate others, give God His due.  And while I will give her kudos for her message, I was moved much more that I expected, no thanks to her sermon. 

I watched the show and thought about the countless episodes I watched when I was younger.  I remember watching her and Donahue with my mom, after school.  I remember hot afternoons in my stuffy bedroom in front of the old tv watching her talk.  The topics were far over my head, but I drank it all in.  I remember when her theme song changed for her tenth season and marveled that that was fifteen years ago.  The show is just about as old as I am.  And now it’s gone.  I don’t miss her and the show will not leave a hole in my life, but I am sad to see it end.  It is just another thing that is changing.  It is one more small piece of my childhood that has faded away.  The show reminds me of my mom.  It reminds me of being small and precocious.  Now I am old, average, and alone and hating to admit it.  I deeply dislike Oprah, but the end of her soapbox was much sadder than I was prepared to admit.

And now to E, my best friend, and her wedding.  I am excited and happy for her as she begins this new part of her life.  Since she has been back in town, I almost always hang out with her and her husband-to-be together.  I haven’t had her to myself for a long time now, and that is fine.  I miss our girl talk and being able to say anything I thought without a guy there, but I like him and we have fun all together. 

Nevertheless, her wedding signals an end to our relationship.  I know she is not about to leave me behind and stop our friendship in its tracks.  He is really respectful of our talk time, even when we’re all together.  But now, with those two little words, every one of her relationships changes.  She still has family and friends, and I know that she values them deeply, but he will become her first and foremost.  He is her family.  He is her roommate.  He is her best friend.  He is her person, her world.  I do not say this with bitterness or cynicism–this is exactly what a marriage should be.  He should be everything to her and for her.  That does not make the change easier.

I’m happy that E is happy and starting life as a “we.”  I am happy that Oprah will never again tell me what I ought to eat or read or do.  I am glad that life is changing and growing and that exciting new worlds are beginning.  But I am also saddened by what must end, what this newness closes.  It breaks my heart to know that my roommate will never again be my roommate.  She is going to be a wife, someday a mother, and we can’t be the same.  I am in disbelief that something so common, so mundane from my childhood is no more.  The little things that help bring me back are so precious, and another one is gone.  I don’t do change well.  I don’t like ends and goodbyes.  I don’t like newness and diving into something with no direction.  While life continues and the world gets bigger, I feel an ache for things to stay the same.  I know that they cannot, and will not, but in all the happiness, a quiet sadness sits still and watches it all pass by. 

“Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.”  –Joan Wallach Scott

Failure

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“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”  –F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Failure sometimes enlarges the spirit.  You have to fall back upon humanity and God.” –Charles Horton Cooley

 

It would be kind to say I am a little disappointed with myself for not writing this weekend.  I could excuse it away with the fact that I have not been sleeping well, so I spent the time resting.  Or I could rest easy in the fact that my trusty lap top is dying a slow death and it can take a big chunk out of my night just to get it up and going.  But, my reality is, I just didn’t write.  I failed. 

I did hedge this little venture by saying that I wanted to write and reflect almostevery day, but giving myself that out was weak.  In fact, I haven’t been very true to what I wanted to write yet, and I’m not now.  I want to write creatively again, to work at poetry, perhaps some prose, and regain the small bits of talent or discipline or whatever it is that creates something good.  That is not to say that what I have written in the past is “good,” but I have my moments.  I want to really try to write again.  If I’m not being creative, I at least want to reflect on things that go a little deeper.

That being said, I”m going to talk about tv.  Tonight I watched the season premiere of House and was incredibly touched by a moment that you could see coming a mile away.  A woman had been mute for years, vacantly staring and simply not “there.”  There was a moment when she was handed the music box that had been taken from her.  She instantly returned to herself, she spoke and connected.  The next time she was shown, she was playing the cello beautifully, her passion.  It gave me hope.  Yes, this attempt at writing has been less than stellar.  Yes, I failed and didn’t write this weekend.  Yes, this is not eloquent or interesting or profound.  Yes, I am still mute, lost somewhere inside.

Someday I’ll find my music box.  Someday I’ll come back to me fully, I’ll write and be happy and alive like I used to be.  It might take time and it might get discouraging.  But this will not last.  I’ll find my passion and skill again.  I’ll connect and use the voice I’ve lost.  It will happen.  Until then, as discouraged as I get, as bad as this is, as lost as I can feel, I just need to be more forgiving of my failures.