Race, Culture, Identity

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.

Nipped

I have this distinct childhood memory: I’m six or so, outside our little frame house with a big, wide porch, next to the azaleas whose buds we nipped before they could bloom. Everything is sort of floating by my eyes—I’m spinning. I am realizing, smartly, that you don’t need to go to church to be […]

Couplehood & COVID-19 Perfect Together?

It’s been 3 weeks. Maybe it’s been 4. Living in the shadow of NYC where My Beloved and I have plied our trades for the majority of our careers, we are currently sheltered-in-place. The good news is we are both safe. The good news is we are fully engaged each day, so as not to […]

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 […]

Teaching Me Hope

The day I crossed from green to brown, from chirping birds to revving motorbikes, she wore a pink headband and a faux fur collared coat. She was already waiting on the couch, in between the nursing mama and the wife of our host, one of the 6 women he had summoned to the corrugated metal […]

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 […]

Disruptive Love

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) I am talking to my neighbor and friend, Rosa. I’m sitting in her […]

The Scarcity of Enough

There is a daughter I mother A daughter I love But she is not mine & I am not hers, Forever. There is a mother she loves A mother who loves her, Forever. For love is like water. No human border can keep it out. Yes, love is like water It moves above in clouds, […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

This post was originally pushed in 2017, then again in 2019. It is timeless and profound.  My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a […]

The Immigrants’ Daughter

It’s maybe her first memory: The rocking boat, tempest-tossed* and cutting through Atlantic waves. “You always remember what makes you afraid,” she smiled. Fear mingled with hope as the USNS General M.L. Hersey entered the safety of the Lady’s harbor. Embrace was not a word she understood. Not in English. At three years of age, […]

Confirm Humanity

The sweetness of sugarcane stalks above, numbs me to their anguish below. Unlike my Father, I am slow to hear them, and quick to snap a selfie.   Beneath the canopy of ancient oaks. Blanketed in crimson-pink azalea beds. Shadowed by the Big House with her cascading cream columns . . . Are the voices […]