how did Stella really get her groove back?

Getting our collective “grooves” back across the world will be far more complicated, doubtless a much lengthier process than Stella’s in the 1998 film shown above. But hey, we have to start somewhere. Originally published here in February, 2013, I’m dedicating this re-run to the groove seekers during Covid-19. 

I was talking to Leora (who is one of my favorite soul sisters) tonight when 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 in Grimes County 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 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, the optimism for her life. As I recall, Stella (Ms. Bassett) located her groove in less than two hours of screen time to happily rejoin the human race she had forsaken. Sigh. Now, that’s what I’m talking about. Fixer-upper for lost groove. Quick, fun, and easy.

Let’s not kid ourselves. I’m fairly confident a shirtless man won’t be the impetus for getting an old lesbian’s groove back.  I can also say with certainty the process will take longer than two hours. Regardless, I do recollect Stella’s outlook became brighter – 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 that 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 about the meaning of life 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 leaving me 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 safe, get groovy and 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 family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Random, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to how did Stella really get her groove back?

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Sheila, it’s hard to pop the needle back in the groove. It just skips anyway. As our losses pile up it’s less a 2 hour readjustment and more of slip, sliding along like a snail carrying baggage up a slender blade of grass. Eek!
    I hope you continue to find it easier to be in the groove of the moment. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • No kidding, Ann. I love your snail carrying baggage simile. That’s exactly how we feel at our house, too! Been worried about you and the killer on the loose in Pennsylvania…nobody deserves a pandemic and a killer at the same time. Eek!


  2. Luanne says:

    I sure hope I can get mine back, but I am concerned this thing is not going to get any better for a long time. So how to get the groove back in the face of that? Ask me tomorrow?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wayside Artist says:

    Good God! I missed all the excitement. Had to Google “killer on the loose.” After being spotted in Chambersburg PA, they caught him in Hagerstown, MD. The action was all about 2 hours southwest of me. We are all focused on Covid, as Pottstown remains a hotspot. Even our local klansmen wear proper facemasks. Hopefully the virus will keep crazy killers away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope there aren’t too many starts and stops in your re-grooving Sheila! It’s hard to know when it’s safe to feel safer now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You need to listen to some upbeat music Sheila that usually has me grooving, it’s hard to stay positive though as you say when there is so much negativity.

    Liked by 1 person

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