At the Table: A Place of Stability in a Multicultural Family

Stability. How do you create stability in a changing world? One way is to hold on to tradition and customs. Customs carry the thread of story into the next generation. Food carries story. Not only through its flavors, but with stories that are passed on along with it at the table. There are dishes prepared […]

Sowing Seed

Like most Black people, I know that racism is real.  I know the truth about the traumatic history of our people and the ongoing assaults on our dignity. I feel a sting from implicit, explicit bias, and each racist act. Yet I was unaware of how racism planted seeds that inflicted racial trauma, which exhausted […]

Engaging the Pulse of the Earth

Excerpt from Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God by Kaitlin B. Curtis Indigenous bodies are bodies that remember. We carry stories inside us—not just stories of oppression but  stories of liberation, of renewal, of survival. The sacred thing about being human is that no matter how hard we try to get rid of them, our […]

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 […]

A Masterclass in Race. From a Black Girl

Mother God “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy Sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14 KJV Amen. Masterclass The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a masterclass as, a class taught by someone who has an expert knowledge or skill in a particular area. […]

I am a Threshold of Flesh and Blood

I was young when I first realized that my biracial existence inhabits liminal space.  We piled into the sticky church van, and left the Californian mountains where I’d spent a week at an Asian American Christian summer camp. It was my first experience at a summer camp, my first experience with a large group of […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]

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 […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

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 foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

There Are No Experts

I listened carefully as the man in the center of the room, a well-respected black civil rights activist, shared about his years of experience in community organizing and advocacy. Then he said a word that made my insides clench in shock: “Orientals.” I hoped it was a slip of the tongue. Surely a longtime native […]

Love in Shades of Multifaceted Men

From the passenger seat, I watched you turn your head in the inky black of the night and smiled to myself about how your face still shined through the darkness. You looked like a gem and you are one, with your many aspects and your beauty. I wished that everyone saw you the way I […]

I Learned to Use Unsanitized Language to Empower Myself

Last Fall, I attended the Ruby Woo Pilgrimage (which happens again this Nov. —seriously go check it out)! It was a powerful time of fellowship with so many beautiful, diverse, dynamic women my heart was full to the brim. I thought I knew what I’d get opportunity from an opportunity like this. And in some ways, […]

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 […]