Tuesday, December 14, 2010
She has her detractors, the people who don't buy the hype, those who think it's all fake, that she's a megalomaniac, insincere or just annoying. I have met them, I have defended her for decades and I will continue to do so ad nauseum. Today, I got overwhelming, conclusive and extraordinary confirmation that my Oprah is a phenomenon. I have never seen anything quite like it. I literally have never seen anyone do what they do for a living better than how this woman does what she does for a living.
There is no pretence, there is no 'show', there is no faking or acting. There is no hesitation, no cue cards or teleprompters - there is just an all pervasive warmth, boundless curiosity and the propensity for exuberant, childlike joy like I've not seen in other fully grown humans.
Many people have the gift of the gab, most coherent humans could conduct an interview and get reasonable answers. What Oprah does is t0 make you feel like you are part of the conversation. She allows you to know both her and her subject on a uniquely intimate level. Oprah appears to have no issue with being seen as a real person, an emotional and flawed individual with empathy and compassion second to none. We see her without make up, in unflattering clothing and in deeply personal situations. We see her as the glamorous, poised and magnanimous uber-celebrity. In both guises, she is the same girl. There is simply no artifice.
I truly never believed I'd have to opportunity to experience her magic first hand and I cannot tell you how privileged I feel to have been there today. To say it was a dream come true seems twee to me. It was so much more than that. We all have our 'person' who motivates us, moves us to tears, makes us laugh out loud and inspires us. Oprah is mine. I've watched her show for my entire adult life - from the time she debuted on SABC 3 in South Africa when I was a Uni student, through life as a young girl in London, a married girl in Sydney, a mommy in Dublin and beyond. She's been there through it all, propelling me forward with her crystal insight, her unwavering belief in our power as human beings and her innate spirituality and gratitude. She's my constant in a life that has been highly changeable. To be in the same place as her at the same time as her and to get her ringing endorsement of Sydney and Australia feels like a sign.
What can I say other than Thank You, Oprah. And to those who don't 'get it', I hope you find your person. It sure does help.