Sunday, June 05, 2011

What's On At Four?

"You have the opportunity to meet any person dead or alive and have a lengthy conversation. Who would you talk to and how would the conversation go?" K Syrah wants to know for this week's Indie Ink Challenge.

This is a hard question to answer with much originality if I'm going to be honest. I started thinking about things I want to know and there are many things I want to know. What crashed at Roswell? Who really shot JFK and why? Who killed Jonbenet? Who was the Zodiac killer and what happened to him? Are lake monsters real and is there a dinosaur alive and well in the Congo? Wormholes? Are those a real possibility? How about reincarnation? All those shows on the History Channel? How much of that stuff is true? Are we really being controlled by the Illuminati? Was Jesus the son of God for real or just some guy and he's not really coming back is he? Or is he? So when's that going to happen?

See, there's a lot I want to know. It bugs me if I sit and think on it too much. That kind of stuff can drive a mind mad. Only God could answer these questions and sometimes I look forward to death if only because it seems like maybe when we die we get all the answers, but sometimes I think maybe when we die we no longer care about the answers to earthly mystery. I don't think a fair answer to this question then is that I want to meet God so I can grill Him on this foolishness.

For the past 25 years, the most stable thing in my life has been Oprah. Since 7th grade, I could count on one thing in life, no matter what else was going on in my life, no matter what chaos. Wherever I was, Oprah would be on at four.

I'm going to miss Oprah a lot and I always counted on the fact that one day I'd get famous and be on her show. I wanted to write a book for her book club and I never achieved my goal, so my current revamped goal is to publish an article maybe, a little snippet, ANYTHING really, a blurb, who cares, for O Magazine.

I always thought I'd meet Oprah. Maybe it's still possible. Who knows. I've always wanted to meet Oprah - Oprah the woman who understood. I swear the woman is a Bodhisattva. I have a friend who believes Oprah is our modern day prophet. I may believe this too, although in the past few years I started liking her less for a reason I can't put my finger on. It could be that she just stopped wanting to do her show and somehow that came across very subtly and I picked up on it and sensed some negativity in her that hadn't been there before. The gay rumors really disappointed me too, because seriously, who would care if Oprah was gay except a few idiots? It would make me sad if Oprah and Gayle had been hiding that they were a couple all along and if Stedman was Oprah's beard. I couldn't handle that level of hypocrisy from a woman I admire so much. Please don't let that be true because I want Oprah to be sincere.

So yeah, I want to meet Oprah and have a lengthy conversation. I want to sit outside on a patio, how about at her Santa Barbara house, and I want to talk to Oprah all day because I can't imagine any one human being who knows so much, who has seen so much and who has talked to all the other people I might like to talk too as well. Talking to Oprah is about as close as I might get to talking to God, at least in terms of the questions I would want to ask, although I'm sure Oprah has no interest in Roswell aliens. For all I know, maybe Oprah IS a Roswell alien though.

I wouldn't want to dominate the conversation, but I'd start by thanking Oprah for changing my life, no matter how trite that would sound. It's true. Over a decade ago, in 1999 Oprah challenged her viewers to come up with something they'd like to accomplish by the year 2000. I had a million things I wanted, but the first thing that came to mind was that I'd leave my fiance. We'd break up and I'd be out of that abusive relationship that prevented me from growing and being the best version of myself. I remember the show and I remember her asking "What are you going to do?" and I remember hearing the words inside my head. I said to myself "I'm going to break up with him." By June of 2000, I was free.

Oprah, thank you for introducing me to good quality literature when all I knew was Chick Lit. Thanks for making several authors millionaires. Thanks for getting so many of us reading.

We'd have to talk about Toni Morrison too - about the time I saw her on the show and became some mesmerized by her that I immediately read Song of Solomon although I didn't understand a word of it, but you know what? I understood the part I needed to understand. Graveyard Love. I needed to see myself in that one page and I did. But I also needed to understand how much I didn't understand so that I would have the catalyst I needed to go to school and keep on going, because going to school for those eight years saved my life and gave me a passion and showed me who I was meant to be and I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't seen those few shows that inspired me.

I'd want Oprah to impart some of her wisdom to me. I would ask her how to stick with things. That's my greatest weakness. I'm an idea person. I have magnificent ideas but when faced with actually having to implement them, to make the ideas real, I become so overwhelmed with the work of it and the time I'd have to invest that nothing seems worth it anymore. Maybe I have ADD, but I have a hard time committing to my creativity sometimes. It's a miracle I've been able to blog for six years and I think it's because I get instant gratification from seeing that I have readers and comments.

Tell me too Oprah, how do I command respect? What is the best way to manage people and to get the best from them without them hating me? How can I make myself heard and seen and validated while hearing seeing and validating others too?

What about fear? I don't know how to overcome it. It often rules my life and every decision I can't make. I'm scared to death and I don't want to be scared 'til death. What do you do when you're scared because I know,Oprah, that you have overcome way scarier things than I've known. Above all else, I want to know the answer to this question. What do I do with all this fear?

I don't really care about the rest - her personal life, etc. She answered most of the questions we all had about her during her last season, stuff life favorite guests, hardest interviews and all that. I don't know what I'll do without her favorite things segments, except that I thought I might start sharing some of my favorite things on here once in a while and I promise you, mine will be cheaper than Oprah's, that's for sure.

Then my last question, I suppose is this:

Now what? What's on at four?

This piece was my Indie Ink Challenge this week. See above for my challenger's link. This week I challenged Manju to find the title of a news article and turn it into a personal essay.


Head Ant said...

You did really well with this one.

I forgot to sign up this week.

rosie said...

Oprah was very popular in the middle east. Don't know what I'm going to do without her this year if we go. :(

Also, lol! God or Oprah! :D

Melanie said...

Oprah might be an alien... that made me laugh!

I like the way you're curious about EVERYTHING from the mystical to the mundane (what's on at four?)

So if I could have a conversation with anyone on earth, I think I'd pick you. That would be a fascinating experience I'm very sure.

Christian Marie said...

It's interesting where our life path takes us. When I was a teenager in CT (mid 80's), I worked at a dry cleaners. Gayle King was the local news anchor and came in all the time. She was nice. Never,in a million years would I have believe that she was best friends with Oprah!

Sunshine said...

I like your honesty. Thanks for sharing. I'm not a huge Oprah fan, and I'd most certainly switch to Ellen, but I can admire your commitment and dedication.

Miss Kitty said...

(((BIG hugs)))

Excellent post, WL. As Sunshine said, your honesty is wonderful. So refreshing and amazing and unafraid.

Yes, I said it. The fact that you can write so much deeply, scary-personal stuff on this blog says to me that you're facing fear square in the eye every single time you sit down to post. That's one of the biggest things that keeps writers from answering their creative calling--"What if it sucks?" But as Hemingway once said, "The first draft of anything is shit." And that fact that you keep turning out post after great post tells me you're facing and dealing with your fears of whatever you write being awful.

Reading re: fear: Try Pema Chodron's The Places That Scare You and The Wisdom of No Escape. Chogyam Trungpa's Smile at Fear is also a good one. It's taken me a long time to absorb the valuable wisdom in these books, but I'm so glad I finally did.

And I don't think there's ever a time when we stop being afraid of anything. It's human to fear change and loss and everything else. The difference is that we can learn how not to let fear ruin our lives and keep us frozen. By acknowledging our fears, accepting and inviting them in, we can move past's the running from them that keeps us stuck and small.

Anonymous said...

I *loathe* Oprah (sorry). I've watched her face as she interviews victims of (insert horroric life experience) and she doesn't care. She is all about black which in my books is a racist. I think if you sat with her you would conclude that she is a shallow, selfish individual who is also very intelligent and knows how to manipulate a viewing audience.

Now Ellen, all humour, warmth and humility.

Just my very humble opinion...


greyspasm said...

I'm probably one of the few white straight guys who likes her. Overall, I think she's a wise person who really gets it. Anybody who really thinks about life, who questions the nature of it all, is interesting in my book. Haven't really watched the show in years, but I appreciate her philosophy. She never liked people feeling sorry for themselves, playing the victim, etc., and always tried to make them feel somewhat empowered. I think that's what a lot of people like about her. She's the friend who tells you exactly what you need to hear. And who knows, maybe she's not just a pollyanna.

Melissa said...

I liked Oprah okay, but didn't watch her very often. I sometimes followed her book club and thought that whole phenomenon was a good thing.

Did you see this? ;-P

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