In Vitro

Every time we begin, we wonder how we ever did it before. Each time is a new journey with no maps. There is no security, no assurance that because we moved before, decided before, heard God’s voice before, we will do it again. Obstruction, obscurity, emptiness, disorientation, twilight, blackout, an inability to see our way forward, but a feeling that there is a way forward, and that the act of going forward will eventually bring out the conditions for vision.

So here I am, running wildly after beauty with fear at my back. Living in the dumb, awkward way a wounded animal cries out in pain. Facing, instead of life, blank pages, with a blank heart and blind eyes. Thinking every
moment, “This is another moment. Are you ready?”

And on the outside, grabbing at straws to make my life seem legitimate in the eyes of those who’re judging it. There are guardians and there are demons, and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

I used to think that freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it.

Perhaps when Jesus said that to see the kingdom of heaven you must be born again, he meant again, and again, and again, and again.


Today I leave for Georgia for two weeks. The conference I’m attending is on the spiritual roots of disease and pathways to wholeness, and will probably be like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, though I’ve been around the Christian block before. Several times.

I’m looking forward to it, fearing it and feeling generally apathetic all at the same time.

Er…maybe just pathetic.

You can pray for me. I almost more stressed out about the plane flights than the conference. I would endure most sorts of pain rather than commercial air flight. Sometimes I think that hell must be an eternal trans-continental flight, and they don’t feed you or let you get up, but keep playing Must Love Dogs over and over again with Sweeny Todd occasionally thrown in just to make you throw up and remind you where you are. But I usually only think that when I’m flying or anticipating it.

I’m trying to go into this with an open heart and open eyes. But I haven’t been predisposed to either, of late. I’m an armadillo, I ball up when frightened.

“Seek God,” I say to myself. “But,” says the little fearful me, “how will I seek Him if I don’t know where He is and how will I know Him if I haven’t seen his face and cannot hear His voice?


“What are you doing with your life these days, Emily?”

“Trying to become sane.”

“We must continue to open
in the face of tremendous opposition.
No one is encouraging us to open and still we must
 peel away the layers of the heart.”
Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche


4 thoughts on “In Vitro

  1. i like the “running wildly after beauty with fear at my back”.  I might steal it and use it in a song.  And if anyone ever wants to listen to it I’ll tell them that my friend Emily said it first while hanging on to hope and waiting for the light that always illuminates.

  2. mmm, I’m looking forward to hearing about the conference. …and the wild running, and the searching for forward motion, and the grasping at straws….and pretty much the you and your heart. 

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