November 23, 2018

Last night, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I prayed the Akathist of Thanksgiving, Glory to God in All Things. Written in exile by Metropolitan Tryphon in the difficult days of the Russian Church’s experience of the early Soviet Union, the series of hymns, often with incomplete stanzas, is a grateful meditation on everyday life, finding the grace-filled supernatural infusing all things in creation and working from those encounters with the world to the deeper mysteries of life in Christ. The... Read more

November 20, 2018

I originally posted this on Facebook when I was able to process the news that there had been a shooting at Mercy Hospital in the city where I love, Chicago. I repost it here. Sisters and brothers, especially those not in Chicago: I am safe. This happened quite a bit south of where I am. I am still catching up to this news, consumed as I was with work yesterday. What I will say is that, unlike the Northwestern PhD... Read more

November 11, 2018

Perhaps the scariest thing for a young scholar is to revisit the dissertation. It is also a necessity, as it is the source of our publications and future books, but among the struggles I’ve had with the piece is that in addition to the academic work, it was a deeply personal labor of love too. In fact, I think that not enough love went into it because the intellectual paralysis that resulted from it, with a trajectory from Occupy Central... Read more

November 9, 2018

My introduction to Asian martial traditions began when I was eight. My dad and I were shopping at Costco when suddenly he stopped at the video section. Picking up two videos, he said that they were famous kung fu movies. The actor at the helm was Bruce Lee, although one of the videos spelled it ‘Bruce Le.’ I quite liked that one because it introduced what it claimed were the five animals imitated by Shaolin traditions: dragon, snake, tiger, leopard,... Read more

November 8, 2018

The rediscovery of my Chineseness after my conversion to Eastern Catholicism, which seems to be a recurrent theme on this blog, has prompted a number of mystagogical reflections that I hope to write through in this third year of blogging. Here, I pick up on where I left off with the death of the novelist Louis Cha. When I was eight, my maternal grandpa, whose Shanghainese background meant that we called him ‘good grandpa’ 好公 (Cantonese hou2 gung1), told me the... Read more

November 2, 2018

They tell me that this generation does not honor their elders and that Christians do not venerate their ancestors. But these are the people I come from, and I am proud to be their descendant. We are the Tse and the Chu family from Sunwui, the Leung family from Shekkei, and the Hua family from Shanghai. Though the legend is that we were Ming generals, the more immediate truth is that Grandfather Tse was an orphan, with even his adopted... Read more

November 2, 2018

Earlier this week, I was in our shared Latina/Latino Studies and Asian American Studies seminar room and learned that I had missed the Day of the Dead festivities which they had a bit early. Today, I saw a Jesuit in our Kyivan Church post his school’s commemoration of all souls. Today, Archimandrite Robert Taft SJ entered his eternal rest, and a few days ago, Jin Yong also went to be with the ancestors. If I ever needed an excuse to... Read more

November 1, 2018

It was funny. My biological clock has been a little off because of a recent trip I took to a conference (it was very much worth it), and having trouble sleeping, I spent some of the earlier nights of this week searching on YouTube for a Cantonese television series I used to watch when I was nine. It was Hong Kong TVB’s 1994 drama series 射雕英雄傳 (Cantonese, sehdiu yinghong zhuen; Mandarin, shediao yingxiong zhuan), The Legend of the Condor Heroes (or better, The... Read more

October 28, 2018

Tonight, in a fit of course preparation for my Chinese American studies course, I finally saw Flower Drum Song from one end to the other. This is not an admission of incompetence in my field. I have read plentifully on the film and have even watched Frank Chin, that bête noire of Asian American literary arts, live-commenting on it. In a book that I teach in the course, the historian Madeline Hsu writes about C.Y. Lee, the author of the novel The Flower Drum Song on... Read more

October 27, 2018

Two nights ago, I went on a whim to see what Brooke Fraser is doing these days. Her work had come up on my news feed, but honestly, I had not really thought about her since her album Albertine. In the good old days of my early Anglicanism, I used to put that album on my iPod and head out to a bench that I called my own on the dyke in Richmond, the Vancouver suburb that is not all Chinese... Read more

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