Beauty

I am a Threshold of Flesh and Blood

I was young when I first realized that my biracial existence inhabits liminal space.  We piled into the sticky church van, and left the Californian mountains where I’d spent a week at an Asian American Christian summer camp. It was my first experience at a summer camp, my first experience with a large group of […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]

Another Thorn, Another Rose (Mental Illness as a Blessing)

I fight against harm perpetrated both by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Since 1619, America nurtures me to mute my emotions, my pain, and my fear.

This is for you, Love.

This is for you, Love. You who stands with arms outstretched and ready to receive. I see you, and I celebrate you.⁠ For you, it’s always Mother’s Day. There is no need for birth certificate or birthright with you—you are not defined by nature or pedigree. Family is more than blood to you, and your […]

Autocorrect Me

“On plane with temporary wife.” This is the text my husband almost sent, seconds before takeoff and a 13-hour communication vacuum. He caught autocorrect just in time. Lucky for him, or he would have found his earthly belongings strewn across our driveway as a welcome home. Wi-Fi to Wife is not much of a semantic […]

She is Valor

Tell me your brush with greatness. How often have we danced around this one—in ice-breakers, job interviews, admissions essays? Predictability aside, it’s an intriguing litmus test. This was the first speech I assigned students in my Public Speaking & Discussion course. Because, really, who doesn’t want to stand in front of a college classroom of […]

Choosing to be Black Living History

won’t you celebrate with me   won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life? i had no model. born in babylon both nonwhite and woman what did i see to be except myself? i made it up here on this bridge between starshine and clay, my one hand holding […]

It’s Back. Period.

I used to curl up on the bathroom floor the day my period started. I wanted the cool hardness to counter my writhing body, and I’d lay there for hours, uninterested in books or television, until the pain calmed. The blood and the discomfort seemed unjust then, and now, for me, and especially for women […]

Rhythms that Return Us To Ourselves

T.S. Eliot writes, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I am forty-one and a half. And lately, I’ve been sensing that God is calling me, like the prodigal, to return to my senses—to […]

My Highly Sensitive Life

The most damaging and hurtful criticism frequently spoken over me as a child was this simple phrase: “You’re too sensitive!” I was three or four the first time I remember hearing it. The hours I spent playing in our small sandbox were punctuated by frequent requests for my mom to take off my navy blue sneakers, […]

The Ten-Year Challenge

Not too long ago, my (admittedly limited) social media feed blew up with something called “The Ten-Year Challenge.” I scrolled through predictable pictures of glossy people apparently untouched by time, alongside regular folks like me who have (shockingly!) aged ten years in the space of a decade. I pulled up a random picture of myself […]