With the year’s end in sight, I thought this would be a good quote to start the week. This year has been one of heartbreak, upheaval, and determined reflection. I cannot say, for me, whether this year is squarely in the questions or answers camp. It’s certainly answered questions I hadn’t thought to ask. It’s also forced difficult and painful questions I would have preferred to avoid. Avoidance, though, seems a distant luxury these days.
This quote comes from the book, Their Eyes Were Wide Shut, by Zora Neale Hurston. Sadly, as with most quotes I share, I have not had the privilege of reading this book firsthand. What I have learned is the book tells the story of Janie Crawford and her journey—as a fair-skinned black woman in the early twentieth century—to uncover and understand her destiny.
From what little I’ve begun to learn about Hurston, she’s proving to be a fascinating and inspiring woman. She was a part of the Harlem Renaissance during a time where institutional racism was still rampant. I don’t purport to be an expert on race or social issues. My lack of knowledge makes me uncomfortable and so I’ve avoided speaking and writing about it out of fear of ignorance and insensitivity.
Yet, as I reflect on this year and what this quote means to me, I must resist avoiding the hard questions and the harder answers. The coming year is full of uncertainty and we must enter it with eyes, hearts, and minds wide open. This blog should not and will not become a regular forum for these topics, but in whatever way makes sense to you, I encourage you to face what you most often avoid and pursue a year of answers in 2017.