今天阳光不错，和对象一起在街区遛弯，发现一家人门口的Little Free Library(公益捐书小箱子)里有很多文学书，甚至有一本我一直很想读的Zora Neale Hurston 的小说Their eyes were watching god. 大学时候读过Zora的书of Mules and Men，是一本南部黑人社区民俗研究小册子。对社区充满好奇的Zora把整个研究过程写得生动有趣，带着读着一起浸入这个自成体系的社会，了解和感受民俗故事（谎话）和巫毒传统。
今天拿到的这本书前面有Zora的生平年表。很惭愧，我只知道她20年代在哈莱姆文艺复兴里起到的重要作用和文化意义，定义黑人文化，探寻黑人女性的力量。但我并不知道50年代之后她的境遇竟然有些荒凉，六十多岁打工养活自己还遇到因为“too well-educated”被图书馆解聘这类事情。1960年在福利院去世后被草草埋葬，无名坟冢上长满野草，作品文稿险些付之一炬。直到1973年，小说家Alice Walker找到了Zora的埋葬处，才为她修了墓碑。Alice的文章“In search of Zora Neale Hurston”里写，这时候Eastonville本地人甚至大多不记得她了，Alice还是先找到了Mules and Men里记录的一个讲述着，开始顺藤摸瓜搜寻的。文章结尾写到：
There are times — and finding Zora’s grave was one of them — when normal responses of grief, horror, and so on, do not make sense because they bear no relation to the depth of emotion that one feels.
It was impossible for me to cry when I saw the field full of weeds where Zora is. Partly this is because I have come to know Zora through her books and she was not a teary person herself; but partly, too, it is because there is a point at which even grief feels absurd. And at this point, laughter gushes up to retrieve sanity.
It is only later, when the pain is not so direct a threat to one’s own existence that what was learned in that moment of comical lunacy is understood. Such moments rob us of both youth and vanity. But perhaps they are also times when greater disciplines are born.