I know there’s mystery when I
Look up at the night sky, fall back under brilliant stars, some twinkling
Some fading
Worlds and worlds beyond me
I am so small
And there is so much I don’t understand
How can I be dogmatic?
Little being
claiming to to know the ocean when all I’ve seen is my little bit of sand.

I know there’s mystery when I watch Jean talk, her warm,
Faraway eyes always squinting because she’s always smiling
She smiles when she’s talking
You’d think it’d be inconvenient
To talk with a big smile in your way – but she makes speaking look so delicious
and I find myself listening with my mouth open or else grinning with my whole
face too, embarrassed when I suddenly become aware of my face
I love how she loves
I love how she walks, all 6 feet of her, frame too small to carry her stories
Maybe I will tell her.

I know there’s mystery when I touch the earth to honor my ancestors
Feel the rush of spirits run through me and the longing for connection, lineage
We are all “woven into one garment” – your spirit is in my spirit
and the more I open myself to the mystery of God, the more I know our interbeing.
When I thought of my ancestors, I wondered if they would recognize me – this mixed race, English and broken Tagalog-speaking child
I was afraid my body was a disruption –
which ancestors do I call on and in what language should I call?
Who will recognize me?
I knew there was mystery when that Vietnamese mother, about my mother’s age, suddenly approached me and said “you remind me of my daughter. Are you biracial too?” And I usually don’t want advice on this racial identity thing but she looked at me and said “don’t say disruption. Say creative. You are creating new possibilities. You are an incredible asset.”

He sang “there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”
I found mystery in his vibrato, in the quiet way he assembled his band, in the way I’d first judged him and the feelings I’d had towards him as compared to the details he revealed later that suddenly made me love him.

There is mystery in the details
We don’t immediately see

I cannot speak with authority on the
mystery of God
But I can stop
Fall back under the brilliant sky
and wait on the Spirit
in silence.


i know that i know that i know there’s a fire inside that may
be temporarily bewildered and confused
but will find its way again.

i value ambiguity, gray, inbetween-ness
but i’m also sick of it.

i appreciated the sun
i appreciated its clarity. it was here. no hint of a chill until sundown

i am feeling
repressed, somehow
i’m having trouble naming
the source
and so it’s easy to point at the wrong thing. blame the wrong thing. like
the people who do nothing but love you
my school
myself myself myself.

but then i haven’t moved.

and i’m over it.

i’m ready to move.

i’m ready to be done with this
i’m ready to thrive.

May I please thrive now?

“The other nations who are not witnesses…they cannot know. Unfathomable the words, the terminology: …atrocities…destruction[, earthquakes]. They exist only in the larger perception of History’s recording…Not physical enough. Not to the very flesh and bone, to the core, to the mark, to the point where necessary to intervene…

To the others, these accounts are about (one more) distant land, like (any other) distant land, without any discernible features in the narrative, (all the same) distant like any other.

Neutralized to achieve the no-response, to make absorb, to submit to the uni-directional correspondance.” – Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee ‪#‎Nepal‬‪#‎HowDoWeMourn‬ ‪#‎PrayForNepal‬