The Veil Between Two Worlds by Christina Vo
Christina Vo has always struggled with the concept of “home.” The daughter of an emotionally distant father and a mother who died when she was just fourteen, she continues to grapple with that legacy of loss and her constant quest to, as a fortysomething, find a reconciliation with the shape her life has taken. In January 2021, feeling a call to be closer to the land, she decides to leave San Francisco—this time permanently, she hopes—and set off on a road trip with one of her closest friends, David.
Christina and David begin their journey with an ayahuasca ceremony in Santa Barbara, then continue on to Ojai and ultimately Santa Fe—two magical lands that serve as deep portals for healing. Throughout their travels, Christina reflects on the recent and distant past: her relationships, her past experiences in Santa Barbara and Ojai (where she stayed for nine months around her fortieth birthday, two years ago) and her evolving understanding of her relationship with her parents. All the while, she ponders how the past has shaped her current identity as a single, childless, and motherless woman in her forties. Within the context of intimate friendship, she discovers how thin the veil between worlds can be, and gradually comes to realize that her mother’s spirit has accompanied her since day one of her journey.
Deeply reflective and ultimately joyful, Vo’s memoir takes us on a journey between two worlds—the physical and the spiritual—that eventually brings her to a newfound understanding of how to deepen connections with others, as well as to a place of peace and home within herself.