Give it away now.

Ever since this post and the circumstances surrounding it I have been or have made an earnest effort to be less attached to material things. I’ve found myself giving away earrings I once thought I could never part with or losing some other “treasured item” but being okay with it, sort of like the baby who gets their pacifier taken away, after a few days they’re fine.

Alas, I think my tolerance for letting go is wavering. After conceivably the worse weekend I ever spent in a hotel (there were children, there was screaming, there were ungodly bodily secretions), I lost two of my favorite bracelets. Grounded me would be okay with letting them go, accepting that these items had had their time in my life and it was now time for them to move on to the next owner. The thing is, I’m not grounded me, and I can’t get those two fucking bracelets out of my mind.

So I ask my self:

Q: Is it about the bracelets?

A: Not likely.  It’s really about how tossed I feel with this impending move, my son’s general unhappiness and the difficulties he’s having in school, and the feeling that I have zero control over anything that is happening in my life right now. The least I can do is hold on to the things I love, huh Universe? Are you even fucking listening at this point?!

But I digress …

I am not going to return to the hotel in a desperate search for my two favorite bracelets that were so fucking awesome and made noise when I clapped and it seemed like I had musical instruments with me everywhere I went and fuuuuuck!!!!

Re-digressing …

The reason I’m not going back is because I, at my foundation believe that I am going to live and more beautifully simple and musical jewelry will come into my life. It’s just that I need to live with the uncertainty of when and how this new jewelry will show up.

Q: Am I even  talking about jewelry at this point?

A: Not likely.

I just want this transition not to feel so fucking crazy or at the very least once again enjoy and be willing to do the things that I know help me feel better. So when my new jewelry shows up I’m ready to handle the abundance of its beauty and musicality, but be willing to let it go … all the way … if I need to.

– Selah


Looking After Little Almita Randell


Clarice Randell marched back then forth down the vacant road and its barren surrounding landscape.  She turned a frightened eye to her oldest child.

“John, where she at?! You was supposed to be lookin’ after her!”

“Mama, I don’t know she was sittin’ right here just a minute ago.”

Before she could leap to attack her son, her husband grasped her wrist.

“Clarice juss calm down, she couldn’ta went too far.”

“Almita!!!!! I don’t trust it … these roads.  You know what they doin’ to colored folk down this way  Henry?!”

Silence, fear, and resentment hung heavy.  Father and son did the work of preparing the car to be road worthy.


Her mind drifted to a day a few months before.

“Baby don’t come in here!  Mama’s not feelin’ well and lord knows I don’t need you gettin’ what I got. Gone back in there with John.”

“It’s okay Mama. I’m a doctor.”

You a doctor?”

“Yes ma’am. I’m gonna take care of ya.”

“Is that right? Alright Ms. Doctor. Take care of me.”

Almita jumped right in staring intently into her mothers eyes, then ears, then throat. She flexed and bent her arms and legs. Finally, she put her head against her mother’s chest to listen to her heart.

It was here that the memory froze, and Clarice’s heart broke. Her legs folded and before she knew it she was on the ground. She sobbed heavily and cried out one last time.


There was brief silence, then the roaring of an engine. She lifted her head and was greeted by a large billow of dust. The jalopy pulled abruptly next to her nearly running her over. In an instant she heard …


Almita jumped out and ran over to her mother.

“What’s the matter Mama?”

Anger and relief washed over Clarice. She swatted Almita has hard as she could across her back side, then immediately kissed her and wept.

A small statured white man got out of the car.

“She yours?”


“You might wanna keep an eye on her.”

The twang in his voice and the implication that she would neglect her child, stirred hatred within her but the relief of having her child back kept it at bay. She rose, thanked him for his kindness and began to walk back toward her family. He followed.

Smiles and laughter as the family reunited fell to awkward silence.

“May I help you sir?”

“I fancy myself a photographer. You’re a right smart lookin’ group of coloreds. I wanna take your picture.”
Clarice looked to Henry.

“Yessir, but we do need to be gettin’ back on the road.”

“Won’t take me but a minute.”

The gentleman fumbled with his clunky equipment as Henry, John, and Clarice ready themselves to leave immediately after the photo was taken.  Almita, ever the curious rebel, ran toward the gentleman, past her father, down beside her brother, while resisting her mother’s last minute adjustments to her hair.

“Okay Mister! I’m Ready!”


photo courtesy of  the Waheed Photo Archive

Fear…and other shit I might need to just get over.

If I hadn’t told you guys before, I was a bit of a nervous Nelly when I was a youngin’. Yep, I was wimpish and bookish and didn’t blend in so seamlessly with my project surroundings. My Nana, ever the over bearing watch dog knew this. When I was in elementary school, every day before I left her apartment in the concrete jungle I would engage in the same ritual with little deviation. Looney Toons would be first. I’d laugh anxiously as Bugs Bunny gave the business to Elmer Fudd just one more time, subliminally terrified of the day ahead of me. Not for any concrete reason most of the time. I just was. Then, Nana would toast, and on more occasions that not, burn me a strawberry pop tart. As my time to head the bus stop drew nigh, she’d would call me to her always slightly sticky kitchen stable. There I’d discover her with her well worn bible cracked to the same passage, the 23rd psalm. We’d read. I wouldn’t feel any better than when we started, but she seemed to.

Fast forward to now. JEEZ! It takes everything in me on some days to slow down the fear train going on inside my head. It starts off when I open my eyes:






…and this is just the first 30 seconds.

Thankfully, most days, I get at least 30 minutes if not more to settle my thoughts before I have to face the world. I journal. I pray. I meditate. I avoid the news before 9 am. These things allow me to get out the door. Once I have though, it’s often hard for me to settle down again before literally falling out at the end of the day. ¡No es bueno mi amigos!

The fear creeps back in, usually around noonish, and sucker punches the shit out of me for the rest of the day. What’s a girl to do? Well, I already have a plan don’t I? I just need to implement it more. I can also take a look at the things I’m afraid of. Is it a realistic fear? Can I do anything about it? If so, do it! If not, let it go! Simply answers to a complicated process. However I feel so much better when I’m at least attempting to do something about what going on in this dilapidated building between my ears. NOW, those ritual mornings make so much sense. In hindsight, I think my Nana felt better because she felt like she was doing something to help me. As a parent, I now know what it’s like to try to ease the sometimes unrealistic fears of a child. I love and appreciate her for the effort and for introducing me to the concept that it takes more than just white knuckling through out of fear to make it in life.

Life, I’ve found is just a series of decisions, one after the other until you’re no longer alive.  When I make those decisions based on fear, I’m usually miserable and confused. I find balance when I live for the day and move through one well thought out decision at a time, trying my best not to over complicate it as I go.  My anxiety will probably always be with me to some degree, but I embrace it today like it’s the nervous little child I was, reassure it that it’s going to be okay, and tell it to GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP!