Subversive Celebrations

The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At […]

Mothering in Black, White and Red

When I was very small, my mom only bought me black baby dolls because she wanted to do right by me.  She was familiar with the studies where little brown girls reject black baby dolls and she wanted to be sure, as a white mother of brown daughters, that she was raising my sister and […]

Centered. Unapologetic.

I am Centered. I am Unapologetic. In due season, I praise God for everything I never got. I am not, by nature, given first to gratitude, though I am deeply, profoundly grateful. I am by nature “…of a few days and full of trouble.” First of all, I conformed, or so I tried. I sat […]

Four From The Night, Four From Anywhere

1. Traffic Light When I slow to a stop at the traffic light, I notice a police car flashing blue into the darkness. A few feet away, a man stuffs his hands in his pockets and leans back against a dented trunk. I stare at this man with skin like mine. This man in a […]

See, Say, Spell, Repeat

“Could you spell that?” My name. You ask about my name. Countless times. Almost every week, in fact, you ask me to repeat or spell my name. For years, I lamented the fact I did not have a simple American nickname to make this part of life easier, for you and me both. When I […]

Longing for Rest

I say a prayer over both kids instead of praying for them individually as I do when I take my time. I rush through my usual night script: “IloveyouDaddylovesyouButwholovesyouthemost?” and they yell back, “God!” My “good night” barely slips through the door I’m already closing behind me, and my whole body sighs. I’m done. I’m […]

The Paradox of Being an Asian-American Woman Leader

My laugh is a guffaw. It can pierce your ears or shock you if I’m not careful. In church, at Starbucks, anywhere in a crowd, people are unsure of what to make of such a loud laugh coming from me. I’m a 5’2” Korean-American woman in her mid-30s, but most people would probably think I’m […]

Finding Grace in the Missing Parts of My Story

I reflect on pictures my mom kept of me posing on grandma’s front porch, my three-year-old little body donning a Fiesta dress with intermingled colors. They dance with each other far from lament. Dad’s sailor cap is tipped over my face, covering my left eye, making me giggle as I reach up to catch it […]

Dear Portia: How Do You Find Belonging When Your Ancestry Is Erased?

Dear Portia, Where do you place your footing when the footprints of your ancestors have been erased? Gentrification has/is pushing out the remnant of my marginalized community that was once here-do I fight to stay or do I wave my flag in surrender? GW Hello GW,  You ask such a poignant and important question around […]