How Did Stella Really Get Her Groove Back?

I was talking to one of my favorite soul sisters tonight and she said something that crackled across the phone and smacked me upside the head with a satellite wave whack. It’s time for me to get my groove back, she said, and I understood immediately what she meant because I knew that was my problem, too. I’d lost my groove. Somewhere in the midst of the vicissitudes of life, as my daddy used to say, I’d buried my groove as surely as I’d buried the ashes of my mother in the little Fairview cemetery ten months ago. I hadn’t heard the reference to “getting your groove back” since I watched the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back a hundred years ago, but I remembered the essentials. Apparently a young sexy shirtless Taye Diggs was the spark plug for a middle-aged Angela Bassett’s recovery of her misplaced spontaneity and optimism for her life. As I recall, Stella (Ms. Bassett) located her groove in less than two hours of screen time and happily rejoined the human race that she had forsaken. Sigh. Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Fixer-upper for lost groove. Quick and easy.

I’m fairly confident a shirtless man won’t be my impetus for getting my groove back and I know with certainty the process will take longer than two hours. Regardless, I do recollect Stella’s outlook became brighter and she seemed more hopeful for her future at the end of the film. I’m beginning to feel a small crack in the tortoise shell of grief that has covered me during the last year. Death and dying are two separate but equal tragedies and both exact a price on those who watch and wait. The tragedies remind me of my own mortality which brings questions of legacy and the life I chose to live. For those of us who tend to be contemplative and who ponder on a regular basis, facing our own mortality is a daunting undertaking. Undertaking. Hah. Get it?

The grieving doesn’t end, but the images I carry from the tragedies dim and dwindle away and I am left with a knowledge of the importance of this moment in this day in this time because I am not promised another breath. I’m thinking that’s my first step toward getting my groove back. Stay tuned.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How Did Stella Really Get Her Groove Back?

  1. Chris R says:

    Sheila – I came to this realization myself only recently – it is time for us to get our groove back!

    Love you,
    Chris R


  2. Dana says:

    I am looking for mine too! Once you have found the secret… I am expecting you to pass your knowledge on to us awaiting an epiphany!


    • Hi Dana – I think you’ve already taken the first step – at least you know it’s gone! If I have an epiphany, I’ll be certain to share, but I have a feeling it’s more of a process than a moment. We’ll see, though. I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time…:)


  3. Robin Gibson says:

    Are you sure you lost your groove? Looked like you had it last time we met!

    🙂 Robin


    • I’m afraid it’s been so long since we saw each other that you’ve missed my “lost groove” phase and probably the only one who knows I’ve lost it is T when you get right down to it. Thankfully, she’s part of my getting it back! Would love to see you girls – any luck with the book?


  4. Robyn says:

    Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!


  5. Bob Lamb says:

    Hear! Hear! A fine piece, lady.


  6. coyotero2112 says:

    Pun slinging again… Ask that sly looking dog of yours to take a tour around the homestead. If they can find coke in foil wrapped in plastic, and bombs in people’s rear ends, I’m sure they are good at Groove Retrieval. Good luck with that. I’d give you what’s left of mine, but I mortgaged it three months ago.


    • Paw snaps and twirls – what a great idea to call in the hounds for help in Groove Retrieval. Maybe I should whistle for tennis ball obsessed Chelsea – she’s the Labrador in the pack. And naturally you have mortgaged yours recently. Just my luck.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.