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 […]

Welcome to The Mudroom

This is the first-ever post written for The Mudroom, back in February 2015. It’s as relevant now as it was then! Back in the day, I used to write for Cornerstone magazine. The staff was a community inside of a community: artists, proofreaders, marketing, writers, mailroom. It was frantic and insane and glorious. I miss […]

A Safe Place

None of us belong here. and none of us are getting out alive.
My mother country doesn’t love me. I embody her shame.
I am the legacy she’d prefer to deny, and I refuse to be silent.
I am American history, but America would prefer me to get along quietly,

Anchoring Ourselves to the Truth – A Review of Making Peace With Change

When we settled back in the U.S. last year after our living in South Asia, it felt like the world had moved on without us while we occupied another plane of existence altogether. We might as well have been returning from outer space. My family got used to living in partially packed houses or out […]

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, […]

On Being a Sanctuary

sanc·tu·ar·y /ˈsaNGk(t)SHəˌwerē/ noun a place of refuge or safety. The other day I was in my room doing something exciting like sorting laundry, when I heard my five-year-old’s footsteps coming up the staircase. At the top of the stairs I heard him stop, and then, after a few minutes, start running full-speed until he appeared […]

Permission to Weep

I knew I was supposed to be mad. My head told me that I should be grieving. But it didn’t feel real. My twitter feed once again testified to mass shootings. As I read more of the details and was able to piece together the details of the two different shootings that happened on Saturday, […]

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 […]

To My High-Spirited Daughter This Epiphany

This isn’t the way the world’s supposed to be. You feel that. It’s Epiphany but you’re still saying “Maranatha” like it’s Advent. You want Jesus to come back and make things right. Make math as easy to perceive as your classmates do. Make your body able to control your emotions. Epiphany for you is a […]

Excerpt from A Prayer for Orion by Katherine James

 Editor’s Note: Kate James has written a vibrant memoir about her son’s battle with heroin, and her own experience during that time. This is an important book and we highly recommend it. Kate generously allowed us to use an excerpt today as her book launches! Few parents can say the word heroin. It took me […]

The Magi

Editor’s Note on “The Magi:” A dear friend recently confided that she loves the Season of Epiphany (beginning in early January) but secretly dreads its first Sunday. Just as Christmas is neatly tucked away, her church musters up one last pageant to remember the Magi. Far from the orchestrated order and beauty of Advent’s Nativity […]

On Younger Self Epiphanies and The Goodness of Limits

Epiphanies in my 20s looked like deep thought and deep feeling, unattached from the tethering forces of family, place, role, or life stage. They were found in the misty ocean air walking alone, contemplating the state of the world and the state of my soul. It all felt a bit more tumultuous then and that […]