Hatty Lee cut her teeth on organizing at UC Berkeley to disaggregate Asian American student data and to establish a permanent home for the Multicultural Community Center. She learned from the most amazing folks while organizing tenants in the Tenderloin for affordable housing, healthcare, and community governance. Her love for Jesus and her peoples has taken her from a full-time ministry in Berkeley to neighboring in Seoul, throwing down with an anti-Trump PAC, and then to decolonial theologies, with doctoral work in Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible in view. Her research interests include folklore, trauma narratives, ritual studies, and diasporas in the HB. She believes in coffee, hosting Zoom communions, and sharing Netflix & HBOMAX accounts. You will most likely find her in the Yale Divinity School library or her advisor's office hours.
What happens when metaphors and rhetorics about the female body, in service of male control and desire, become literal?
Could women center their bodies as their own way of encountering God, without being subject to male desires or control? Can we articulate our own freedom by listening to, ritualizing, and making meaning out of our flows and cycles and senses?
These over-the-top acts of neighboring in Seoul, by people who would be strangers in any other context, weren’t driven by any utilitarian or ideological function. They didn’t demand that I somehow prove my belonging first before intruding into my life in ways usually reserved for intimate relationships.
It’s past midnight in Korea Standard Time on a Tuesday, and I’m up writing with no rush to get up early tomorrow, as I only teach two days of the week. This nocturnal rhythm is quite normal for many English instructors in Seoul.
A 10-year-old girl looks out to a bare and large soccer field of her elementary school. Standing on the elevated platform, she can see all around her meaningful landmarks from her first decade of memories in Ilsan, Korea, all she’s ever known.
I came across this line in the book “The Cultivated Life”, and it moved me. The author described a forest after a wildfire, with trees leveled down to charred stumps and dead branches, and then, suddenly, a green shoot peeks out from the ashes. Yes, some seeds only open up in destruction. But until that flash of color, death is present — acute and chronic pain, grief, desolation.