Thank you, Alice Walker

Skipped church today. Sat in the shade of a tree, instead, and finished reading By the Light of my Father’s Smile by Alice Walker, wondering why it took me so long to find this book, published in 1997.  As usual, her writing leaves me a mix of content and agitated.  A few snippets:

“You are saying, are you not, I said to Manuelito, that stories have more room in them than ideas?

He lauged.

That is correct, Senor. It is as if ideas are made of blocks. Rigid and hard. And stories are made of a gauze that is elastic. You can almost see through it, so what is beyond is tantalizing. You can’t quite make it out; and because the imagination is always moving forward, you yourself are constantly stretching. Stories are the way spirit is exercised.” pp. 193-4


“What does it mean, being saved? asks Suzannah.

I think it means becoming aware.”

I am reminded that it is Alice Walker, who, years ago and through The Color Purple, provided me with a model to begin to explore and eventually own a spirituality beyond the words and definitions of others. Even hers.  Let the exploration continue.


About TinaLBPorter

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One Response to Thank you, Alice Walker

  1. Charlie Talbert says:

    I think it’s Alice Walker’s courage that enables her to encourage others to explore their boundaries.

    It was brave of her in 1996 to write this in the forward to the Dreaded Comparison, for many an electrifyingly provocative book: “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”

    Awareness of this truth may not be just salvation in the spiritual sense, as Suzanna asks about, but for the real life here on Earth too.


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