Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Hard Times Require Furious Dancing" by Alice Walker

Alice Walker
When I was in college, my roommate Deitrea and I would get stressed out from time to time. Eventhough she use to party, and I would drink and party, we were still very good girls who felt that it was an ultimate sin to say a curse word. So, to relieve stress, we would say the word motherf#@@#  and laugh until we cried.

Deitrea: College Roommate

When I lived in Detroit, I had a great friend named Brenda Childress and we both loved to laugh, and we would laugh at just about anything.

In the late 90's, Detroit had a BAD snow storm. When I lived there, school never closed because of snow, but this snow storm caused school to be closed. So, you know that this storm was BAD.

Brenda and I decided that we had had enough of being in the house, so we got into her SMALL Toyota Corolla during the worse snowstorm that Detroit had seen in years and went for a ride. Needless to say, we got stuck on a snow pile and it took quite a few men to FREE us. We laughed, laughed, and laughed all the way home. Mission accomplished: we had released the stress that was built up from being in the house for days and days during a BIG snow storm.

Alice Walker, one of my favorite authors, (Check out "Meridian," it tells the story of Meridian who just couldn't give up the struggle.) recently released a new collection of poems titled Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. 

Busboy and Poet, a restaurant in DC, had a "Hard Times Require Furious Dancing" dance party featuring Alice Walker. The owner removed most of the table and chairs and the entire restaurant became a dance floor. Everyone in the restaurant was dancing to an African band and later to a DJ. I don't know about anybody else, but after that party, I felt like "everythings gonna be all right."

This is what Alice has to say about hard times and dancing:
I am the youngest of eight siblings. Five of us have died. I share losses, health concerns, and other challenges common to the human condition, especially in these times of war, poverty, environmental devastation, and greed that are quite beyond the most creative imagination. Sometimes it all feels a bit too much to bear. Once a person of periodic deep depressions, a sign of mental suffering in my family that affected each sibling differently, I have matured into someone I never dreamed I would become: an unbridled optimist who sees the glass as always full of something. It may be half full of water, precious in itself, but in the other half there’s a rainbow that could exist only in the vacant space.
I have learned to dance………..
Wishing to honor the role of dance in the healing of families, communities, and nations, I hired a local hall and a local band and invited friends and family from near and far to come together, on Thanksgiving, to dance our sorrows away, or at least to integrate them more smoothly into our daily existence. The next generation of my family, mourning the recent death of a mother, my sister-in-law, created a spirited line dance that assured me that, though we have all encountered our share of grief and troubles, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat — no small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.
Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is the proof.

People dancing in a circle at the Furious Dance Party!

Alice Walker and the Owner of Busboy and Poet!
Me and Rhonda!

People, please share what you do during hard times to relieve stress so that we may be able to give suggestions to those who may be going through hard times now and those of us who may go through hard times in the future.

However, keep it clean, children read this blog from time to time :)


Tiedra said...

Whoa! I feel like dancing. Dancing until my soul runs free. Dancing in which every two step I take brings me closer to joy. Dancing with my hips which pushes away my worries. Dancing with a smile that lights up my space and assures me that a new day will come. Dancing is really a way to set yourself free and live in the moment. Kudos! Jackie Let's dance until we find peace and live life as it is meant to be lived.

Jacqueline Stallworth said...

Tiedra, we should dance out of our clothes like David did before the Lord.

Anonymous said...


Jacqueline Stallworth said...

Prayer always works!

ArchivedProfile said...

Sighs, now I'm mad I missed this. I knew about the event but just didn't want to make the trek to DC. I recently read one of her books for the first time "Third Life of Grange Copeland" and followed that one with "The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart." I just found "Temple of My Familiar" at a used bookstore. I'm trying to decided if that will be one of the chunksters I read in 2015.

Jacqueline said...

You missed an awesome event...I think that I have read everything that Alice has written, and I highly recommend Meridian!

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