Monday, 21 June 2010

If you listen, you can hear....

I miss being able to listen to the Oprah Winfrey talk show as I paint, as the star TV cable network I subscribe to does not have it on it's package. As a talk show there were always some programs that were for the expected entertainment of the genre, but it was not to these that my attention was captivated. What held my interest was something else.

As in most cases it is the wealth and success of Oprah Winfrey that dazzles many people. But what makes her outstanding for me is her philosophy : to be the best that she can be. As I would paint in those afternoons and hear her voice echo in my studio (from the volume set high), it was programs that situated the risk to be different, to tackle issues that were uncomfortable, and to create a space where learning was apologetically addressed; that I gravitated towards.

Her book club holds the most significance for me in the legacy of who she is. In a world where literacy and reading are not necessarily the same thing, she gave to her nation (and to so many people around the world), the gift of reclaiming a forsaken heritage of reading literature once again.

As Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison and so many other writers spoke in intimacy of their writings on her show, and where the excitement of sharing a story could bring the human connections of other histories into the picture of consequence; a new birth of awareness from the simple diligence of her personal belief , caught the awareness of a multitude of listeners.

She contributes to the long legacy of activism of those who care enough to make change their business. It is not those glittering diamonds nor the many palatial homes she has, that matters for me. I remember her because she cares to want to change the world. Bravo lady. I miss you dearly!

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