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  • Writer's picturergummere


My Chasing Light memoir is finished and out on agent submission. We shall see what comes of that. I'd be grateful if you'd send some good thoughts!

Even though the book is completed, the journey of over 12,000 miles through 17 states changed me in ways I am still unpacking. I imagine I will be for a while.

The photos I'm sharing are from August, 2017, taken right after I'd returned from my cross-country journey. I remember that time as one of weird reentry, trying to figure out how to come home again, still myself but different. Everything was familiar, everything was strange. Moving out of Roadcinante and back into my house was both unnerving and comforting. I couldn't climb back into my old life. That door had closed behind me. But what would come next?

One afternoon, a few days after my return, my daughter and I came upon this cicada, so newly hatched its wings were still damp. I stared and stared, astonished at the sheer gratuitous beauty of the creature - glittering gold trim on an emerald-green body, the iridescent wings run through with delicate, perfect veins. And there was its recently vacated shell, the back split open where moments before the creature had climbed out. It struck me then, and still does now, that the cicada had no way of recognizing the thing it had been. It had become something new altogether.

These past four years, writing the book has been another kind of journey, one that, just as I felt about the trip itself, I have been both glad and sad to be on the other side of. Still, in the telling of the tale — how I ran away from home to look for footprints of the Divine in the world, chasing hope of finding Something/Someone to light my way in the dark — I was remade yet again.

After letting go of my faith, after hitting bottom with regard to what I believe, as I continue reconstructing, a question keeps coming to me: In what can I hope?

On good days I believe God is still at work, sending love out among us to heal and lift up. On other days, I'm pretty sure we are on our own. But this I know to be true: Transformation and renewal are woven into the very fabric of the universe, and in that I find a promise. Today, at least, that is a firm enough place to stand.

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20 sept. 2021

One of my favorite verses in these things goes:

this longing you express,

is the return message.

the grief you cry out from,

draws you towards union.

your pure sadness,

is the secret cup.

and another of the same poet’s poems ends with:

you’ll be forgiven for forgetting that all you ever wanted was love’s confusing joy.


translated by Coleman Barks


Jeremiah Miller
Jeremiah Miller
20 sept. 2021

At certain times in life, many of us have had our time in ’the wilderness’ where we emerged, like the cicada, to find ourselves changed, born anew, but unsteady on our feet. But life presses on and so we must as well. Thank you, Rebecca, for describing our shared experience so eloquently.

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