Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Guiding Light--Lenora Worth
I cried today from 2 PM until 3 PM Central time. That's because my favorite soap opera "Guiding Light" is going off the air after seventy-two years in existence, first on the radio and then on television. I know some frown on soap operas because of their wild plots and over-the-top acting but I grew up watching Guiding Light. My mother and my sisters watched it and so did I. I learned a lot, watching this saga set in the town of Springfield, USA. I learned that every big family has secrets and scandals, just like my eccentric family. I learned that families fight and pout, but when push comes to shove they cling together. I learned how to dress and how to wear pearls from watching all the fashionable women passing through Springfield. And I learned all about heroes and heroines, villians and vixens just from watching that show. Once in a writing workshop, a very renowned author who also taught writing as a college course told us that she had her students watch Guiding Light so they could learn all about characterization and plot twists. I thought "Well, if it's good enough for a college professor and well-know writer, it's good enough for me. But then, I loved it already. On the day that my son was born, I had Guiding Light going in the delivery room. He came into the world at 2:44 PM while Reva and Josh were fighting about something. They made up later and my son is now twenty, soon to be twenty-one. And while I know Guiding Light is not Oscar material (but it has won quite a few Daytime Emmies) I also know that the show has brought me countless hours of entertainment--joy, laughter, romance, danger, death and lots of fun. And while the plotlines sometimes just got downright whacky and the steamy stuff sometimes fogged my glasses, I always tuned my television to Guiding Light (even during tight deadlines.) I just needed that comforting background noise while rushing through a first draft. And Guiding Light stays with me long after the countless edits and the final draft. I'll be at a conference later this week, but my husband has strict instructions to cue up the DVD to record the final episodes. When I get home, I'll find some quiet time and I'll sit down and watch the end and I'm sure I'll cry again. I'll miss Guiding Light but I'll remember that the show started with a minister tending his flock. He was a beacon to hurting humans. I'll remember that and know that I'll still have my own Guiding Light in God, even after the final curtain call on my favorite soap opera.