It was the awards show speech watched on YouTube around the world, a benevolent display of grace, eloquence, and damn near blinding optimism.
Let’s get one thing quasi out of the way now: I love Oprah.
I love her hair in a ponytail. I love the way her new oversized glasses frame her ageless face. I love that she loves bread. I love that Gayle is her platonic significant other who’s become something of a cultural counterbalance—”you’re the Gayle to my Oprah.” But, perhaps most of all, I love—well, more so adore and cherish and obsess over—Oprah’s bone marrow deep talent as one of the great orators, entertainers, and spiritual gurus of our time.
The millisecond Oprah gently took the Golden Globe from Reese Witherspoon's left hand last night, I knew a hat-trick’s worth of magic was about to envelop the podium. Like a mental wizarding wave of a wand erected from a reading of a J.K. Rowling novel, she dazzled, delighted and, frankly, diminished any other nine-plus minute utterance that evening. And in that near as much ten minutes of pontificating for a brighter, more representative, fairer future, she said one line that stuck the landing better than any other: “a new day is on the horizon.”
Which, admittedly, begs the question: what will that day invariably be?
(Full disclosure: I’m not going to be feeding the contextual fires of an Winfrey/Hanks 2020 run; that’s already been beaten to the ground like a dead carriage horse—and I’m sure someone’s already made the glue sticks for its now listless hooves. But I will, however, leave you with a seed in which to plant in the zen gardens of your cerebral folds: if one of our main arguments is that our President is unqualified due to a lack of past government and policy work, it would be odiously hypocritical to fight fire with fire, no matter what may be lurking under your seat.)
In that moment, I dreamt of a dew-covered morning swept across rolling green grasses, canvassed by bouts of still silence, open hearts and minds running to credit unions, cashing paychecks absent of any sexist bias. I yearned for a day where straight men and gay men, straight women and gay women—be any of which in transition or not—can walk down any city, suburban, or rural street without eliciting an unwanted gaze or callus gesture. I voted for a day-and-age were politics is synonymous with humanitarianism and global philanthropy, where our representatives truly embody the principles of the people who put them there in the first place.
I hoped for a time where plug-in hybrids and EVs become cultural norms and diesel-fuming Ford 4x4’s are looked down at with unapproving eyes; I pray to the whichever god chooses to listen to my insatiable wishings for clean water, cooler temperatures, and a habitable, shared world where we can share spaces with our faunal and floral neighbors
A time where empathy and understanding, passion and curiosity take the vacant standing space where materialism and greed once stood, upright and surefooted.
I fight for truth; I heed to listen; I tell stories, write narrative, pen copy because too many of us, in some way shape or form, have said “me too” far too often.
Alas, dear ones, I shall leave you with Oprah’s final words of that resounding, reverberating, revolutionary speech, albeit with one bracket edit: “But the one quality of all of them seemed to share is an ability maintain Hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights … A new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of [phenomenal readers like you.]”
Be blessed, stay woke, read books, and continue to vote with a clear conscious.
// (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision)