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, […]

I Won’t Look Away

Our eyes grew wide in disbelief at the yelling, shoving crowd. We had been warned, to be fair, that our trip to the Mogamma, the towering government building in Tahrir Square, would be difficult. But this was something entirely otherworldly. We clutched our passports to our chests and braced ourselves against elbows to the ribs. […]

5 Things I Learned From an Immigrant Church

It’s been over a decade since I completed my dissertation, but I still have fond memories of my research project. I observed a Slavic church community, which supplied translators  for me and U.S.-born spouses of church members. I studied the ways in which the participants experienced a collective sense of identity through their interactions with […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

This was first published in March 2015.  Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of […]

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, […]