A Journey of Self-Discovery: Exhuming the Dead

their eyes were watching god book cover


For the past week, I’ve been focused on reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God.Janie, the protagonist of the story tells her friend, Phoeby, the story of her self discovery and self-actualization that spans three marriages. Although Hurston did not receive proper appreciation for this novel during her lifetime, the novel has received critical acclaim posthumously for this work of transcendent fiction. You can learn more about Zora Neale Hurston at http://zoranealehurston.com

I am also on a journey of self-discovery that I imagine sometimes as a self-resurrection. After marrying my wonderful husband and having two lovely girls, I realized one day that I had traveled far away from something that I felt (in hindsight) really defined me–my scholarship. So, the past two years, I have been on a road to resurrecting my forgotten self, taking time for writing, and engaging in intellectual thought.

Here is a little poem that I wrote to express these feelings.

I am resurrecting the dead–
the writer; myself
Lazarus, no–
the girl
“Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”
Jesus says to her father.
He wakes her from the clutches of decay
My muse lies buried
In a graveyard of self–
Self abandoned, dusty–
Nearly ruined.
I’m a doubting Thomas
Have to put my fingers in the wounds
Slowly excavating
This girl–this reformed whore
Lover, wife, mother
Exhuming decayed soul
Reveals musty memories
Exposes old stench.
Must trust
Yea though I walk through the valley of death
I fear no evil
I descend as Ulysses to Hades
To retrieve my lost soul.
Give myself fully
To my inconsequence
God is Almighty.
I am weak.