Category: the Margin

The Curious Case of Allyship

This is my daughter. A couple of years ago, we took a road trip down south to the Great Sand Dunes and she started doing backbends and cartwheels and all of her gymnastics contortionist moves in the sand, the whipping wind pushing against her as she sought to find...

The Shake Sisters

The Shake Sisters worked at the street-side shop around the corner from our housing complex. They were probably 13 or 14-years-old and as adroit at sales as they were at making mango smoothies. Foreign students daily graced their shop and sat in small plastic chairs meant for children, their...

The Process of Reinvention

I once wrote a narrative about the time I failed land navigation at ROTC boot camp. I was out there in the Kentucky wilderness with a hundred other cadets roaming around trying to find 10 points on a topical map. I only found 6 before the bullhorn sounded (a...

The Fear That I Have Failed

This is one of those curious days that makes me stop and take stock of my life. It is the day when history comes back to remind me that the circumstances of one’s birth do not necessarily dictate the circumstances of one’s life. Many of my fellow adoptees post...

The Time to Throw Stars

Yesterday, Scott and I discussed social media and the ups and downs of scrolling through countless posts of gloom and doom in the time of global crisis. It’s necessary but taxing on the human spirit—something that’s sorely needed if we are to endure the pandemic and its long-reaching outcomes....

A Seat at the Table

Judith Butler, an American philosopher, has spent her academic career discussing gender theory (among other things) with a strong emphasis on what it means to “perform gender”. That is, that we act and do things in accordance with our gender whether we ascribe to those norms set forth by...

Untitled

This is not a good story. It does not tell you what you want to hear. It tells you that I lived. Survived. Succeeded, even, in being a dutiful daughter, a good mother, a loving wife. It tells you that I was plucked out of precarious circumstances and made...

Insignificance

I saw Mt. Fuji only once from the small, plastic window that allowed me to view our ascension. In only the briefest second I could capture its steep, sloping sides, rising to form a great, chasm-like mouth that stretched above the highest clouds to take a gulp of the...

The Permanence of Memory

They call me a dirty chink and a gook, using the tips of their forefingers to slant their eyes upward while speaking to me in the tones of an Asian language. Ching chong choooww, and they laugh and laugh. One wants to spit on me, and I can see...

In Media Res

When I first saw Việt Nam, it was the year I got into UC Santa Cruz, the second-to-last in a string of colleges that kept my eye on the education prize while my mind still wandered, angry and discontent with the person I had become or angry at people...