Freedom

Phillis Wheatley’s Revolution

She had words, from a birth language, spoken by a birth family, who gave her a birth name. Thieves tore almost everything from her, endeavoring to replace the originals with cheap imitations—like the new name they chose for her, from the boat that abducted her (The Phillis) and the family that enslaved her (Wheatley). But […]

Dr. King’s Final Climb

Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his final speech from a Memphis pulpit on April 3, 1968. He was assassinated one day later.  He knew, as Moses before him, that he would not taste deliverance before death. But like Moses on the mountaintop, he would proclaim its promise from afar. May we, too, look long and […]

Your First Idea is Trash

I heard this great thing about being creative:  Your first idea is trash. It’s unoriginal. Your second idea is also trash. If you can get to the third idea, that’s where the magic happens. That’s the original idea.  One idea, two ideas, three.  As any creative person knows, getting to the third idea is hell. […]

You Being You Makes Me Need You

You consume me,  so go ahead and ruin me.  Remove me from  old, decrepit ways of thinking that block Your Name from gaining, training, staining, changing, rearranging my systems of thought that You bought, brought up with You when You got up from that escapable, not stayable, Angel-traceable room of gloom known as the tomb […]

How We Remember Matters

When I was in my early 20s I had a few opportunities to go up in a small plane. Jets are fine, but have you been up in a small plane? I mean a real small plane that’s got you just feet above the cracked tarmac: A plane with windows you crank to open so […]

Untangled

My mom has a particular story about me that she likes to tell: As she was doing dishes in our kitchen, she looked out the window and saw me in the backyard trying to catch frogs and kiss them. While it’s rather cute to think of a porcelain-white toddler with black curls and thick baby […]

America Looted The Black Body: (RIP George Floyd)

America . . .  Since our society’s conception You have looted the Black body. Take, rape, stripped us bare to our core, while you feast, prosper, stay safe, and ignore. All the blood you’ve shed, lives left dead, children unfed so that you live free in this claim of inheritance for liberty and justice for […]

Thirsty

I used to be an underweight Jersey girl. So skinny I could knot my underpants. “Pero, que nina flaca,” complained my grandmother one day. I searched her eyes, looking for the remnants of weekend revelry. But Abuela’s rosy cheeks were scrubbed. Her eyes, sans makeup, were bright, eager to please. When sober, Abuela mended her […]

Shame on Me

I think I’ve been brainwashed.  The unexpected thought pierced my sleepy fog. Although after midnight, we girls were dragged from our sleeping bags for a special lecture. Clumped together on a couple of couches, we yawned and tried to listen. I was sadly aware that my alarm was going off in less than six hours. […]

In Bed with Shame

Confession: Sometimes I watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” just so I feel better about my own life. I can’t always tell them apart, but there’s something satisfying about seeing Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall, Kylie, Kris, Caitlyn and Rob weave in and out of drama. (Thank goodness for Rob, as all good alliteration must come […]

Stealing Joy

Mindful of mental wellness and practicing self-care, I sought solace for my soul. I am overwhelmed. I am weary and seek to manage my anger and disappointment. My practice? Staying mostly quiet, writing, and stealing joy.

Breaking

I’ve had my share of youthful indiscretions. (Mom, please exit here and look at some of my baby pictures instead.) Not least among these was that time in college when my roommate Marie and I finished finals early. The cumulative stress from the completed semester was palpable. So we let loose like any other restless […]

Statement on Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID-19

The Mudroom is staunchly and faithfully anti-racist. We use our platform to support our oppressed and marginalized brothers and sisters in their battle for existence and equity. Please consider sharing this statement and signing the petition. Statement given by Dr. Michelle Reyes, Pastor Raymond Chang, and many Asian American leaders across the country. We are […]

Women, Existing and Singing

It’s day 9,348 of COVID-19 panic and last night, I read a story from Shar Walker* about her grandmother and a gospel song. Shar writes,  I can picture my grandmother swaying to the hum of a popular gospel song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” eyes closed and soft rocking. I knew she was drawing […]

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

What kind of women are women of valor? I think they are women who are courageous enough to use their God-given gifts, others-oriented, and are willing to buck the status quo to follow Jesus and bring forth goodness and justice.   Right off of the bat, I think of St. Macrina the Younger (330-379 A.D.). I […]