The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way

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New Press, The, Apr 9, 2013 - Literary Collections - 336 pages
This gorgeous collection gathers Alice Walker’s wide-ranging meditations—many of them previously unpublished—on our intertwined personal, spiritual, and political destinies. For the millions of her devoted fans, and for readers of Walker’s bestselling 2006 book, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, here is a brand new "gift of words" that invites readers on a journey of political awakening and spiritual insight.

The Cushion in the Road finds the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist, poet, essayist, and activist at the height of her literary powers, sharing fresh vantages and a deepening engagement with our world. Walker writes that "we are beyond a rigid category of color, sex, or spirituality if we are truly alive," and the pieces in The Cushion in the Road illustrate this idea beautifully. Visiting themes she has addressed throughout her career—including racism, Africa, Palestinian solidarity, and Cuba—as well as addressing emergent issues, such as the presidency of Barack Obama on health care, Walker explores her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged with the world.

Rich with humor and wisdom, and informed by Walker’s unique eye for the details of human and natural experience, The Cushion in the Road will please longtime Walker fans as well as those who are new to her work.
 

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THE CUSHION IN THE ROAD: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way

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In a new collection, Walker (The Chicken Chronicles, 2012, etc.) once again shows herself to be a deep and compassionate participant in global humanitarian efforts.Beginning with a meditation on the ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
LEST WE FORGET
7
WHAT I WANT
13
MAY WHAT EVER WE HAVE GAINED NOT BE LOST
17
FINALLY IT IS HERE
20
DEAR BROTHER PRESIDENT ELECT
22
WHAT DO I EXPECT FROM THIS TURN OF THE HISTORICAL WHEEL
25
A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ABOUT TORTURE
28
A RECIPE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES
146
EVERYONES A VICTIM
151
SISTERLOSS
154
WE ARE REMEMBERED FOR WHAT WE TEACH
160
EDWIDGE DANTICAT THE QUIET STREAM
164
MORE MEDITATION REQUIRED
166
WE BELIEVE BY STAUGHTON AND ALICE LYND
169
THE INNER LISTENER
172

UNDERSTANDING HEALTH CARE
34
WELL DONEOBAMA AND THE NOBEL PRIZE
36
FOR WHAT ITS WORTH
37
WHY WAR IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA
43
HUMAN SUNRISE
47
INTRODUCING THE OJIBWA WARRIOR
56
A WEDDING CEREMONY
63
COMING TO MISSISSIPPI
69
SAYING GOODBYE TO MY FRIEND HOWARD ZINN
72
ON THE HELP
78
HONORING CICELY TYSON
82
WE ARE IN THIS PLACE FOR A REASON
86
LISTENING TO HOWIE
91
MILAGROS DE LA VIDA TURTLES
98
FACING LA MADRE
100
GIVING AS GENEROUSLY AS THE EARTH
102
SEEKING COUNSEL FROM DIEGO AND FRIDA
104
HITTING THE MARK
106
THE VICTORY BELONGS TO LOVE
109
THE CLARITY
112
OVERWHELM
114
QUEEN SNOWS
116
ALL THE STARS
119
THE KILLING OF TROY DAVIS
121
THE G IN ODE TO JOY
123
FROZEN RIVER IS A MOVING SURPRISE
125
MAY I BE FRANK
126
NADIE TE QUITA LO BAILADO
128
LOVING AUDIOBOOKS BUT NOT THE SEGREGATION OF BOOKS AND LITERATURE
129
AT SEA ON THE AUDACITY OF HOPE
132
STUBBORN FLOWERS CLIMBING
134
WINDOWS
136
RECLAIMING THE CROSS
138
FROM GRANDMOTHERS HORSE
175
FREE DOGS AND THE ALBANY BULB WATERFRONT PARK
178
ENDING THE AGE OF WASTE
180
THE CASE OF BRADLEY MANNING
185
EVOLUTION
189
BURSTING INTO LOVE
192
LIFE LESSONS
194
THE UNIVERSE BELONGS TO EVERYONE
199
12 QUESTIONS
205
ADOPTING AN ORPHANAGE
221
COMING TO SEE YOU SINCE I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD
224
ST JOHN
238
ABOUT AUNG SAN SUU KYI MEDITATOR AND TEACHER
242
A LETTER FROM ALICE WALKER TO AUNG SAN SUU KYI
249
A LETTER ABOUT NATURE FROM 2005
260
AN OPEN LETTER TO NAWAL EL SAADAWI
263
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
266
WE CAN OFFER WHAT WE ARE
271
BOYCOTTS MUST HAPPEN IN THE HEART
272
YOU WILL HAVE NO PROTECTION
277
WHAT CHANGES THE WORLD? BEARING WITNESS TO THE TRUTH
281
NOTHING IS STRONGER THAN A CIRCLE
286
THE PEACE OF NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE
296
AUNTIE I SIMPLY CANT IMAGINE IT
298
AND SO OUR TRAILSCONTINUE
312
OVERCOMING SPEECHLESSNESS
314
EMPATHY IS A WAVE
343
TO THE FREEDOM RIDERS OF PALESTINE
346
THE SANITY OF FRIENDSHIP
348
ENCOUNTERING THE UNKNOWN BRAZIL
355
PERMISSIONS
363
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Alice Walker is one of the most prolific writers of our time, known for her literary fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Color Purple; her many volumes of poetry; and her powerful nonfiction collections, including We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For and The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir (both published by The New Press). Her advocacy for the dispossessed has spanned the globe. She lives in Northern California.

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