Mama Chelo

Mama Chelo

relieved of bones, wiggly skin

it’s taut again



pinch her waist

she’s singing now

the world’s on fire

dancing Preciosa

cat-eye specs

arroz con “sauro-creen”

margaritas con sal

her plane dips and swallows

she’s got her choice

built chimneys

broke that pulsing red thump it

her record player

one thousand strings

canaries in hacienda white and blue

her third floor walk up


no mande here

just Tío Ramón spoiling her

Polito el toro like Spot

pollitos at the foot of her bed

til the dinner bell rang

those tears turned

upside down signs at her luncheonette

a milliner’s dream at Bonwit Teller

a life twisted by one man’s Soledad

new born teens and Guadalupe

pulled her into canción

canta, canta

no llores

each drop of you

swims in us

 Me and Chelo Communion

Bustin’ Loose

Paris Soap
“Clutter is anything that’s preventing you from living out loud…the solution to your clutter is in the source of your clutter.” –Kerri Richardson, Intuitive Life and Business Strategist

I have been thinking about clutter—paper, digital and now, emotional and physical clutter.  I woke with a song in my head–“Bustin’ Loose” by Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers. We’ve been cleaning things out at home and just the other night, my son reached into my sock drawer and pulled out this soap that I bought in Paris in 2005. Yes, I bought this soap eight years ago and haven’t used it.  Why? I think it’s because my grandmother used to put Maja soap in her “special drawers” to make her things smell good. I don’t know if it was socioeconomic, but the idea was, you never actually used that soap to wash yourself. It was too nice and expensive. I think I transferred that to my Paris soap. And while we are in confession mode, on the same day, my husband asked me if we could get rid of my Kitchen Aid mixer attachments, which I have had for 20 years and used once. I have used the mixer religiously since I bought it in 1993. Do you know that I somehow had an emotional attachment to those mixer accessories? Well, when I caught Kerri Richardson’s online radio appearance about her upcoming Clutter Clearing Video Course which starts this Thursday, October 3rd, I learned a ton. (Her course lasts 30 days and anyone can do it from anywhere, no matter your schedule).

First, she openly talked about her own “clutterbusting” on her journey to lose 61 pounds thus far. She blogs about how her extra layers were like soft and squishy armor and served as protection from feelings of vulnerability. In response to a caller who struggles with letting go of medical articles piled all over her house, Kerri referenced a client who did something similar, and when she dug a little deeper, she found that client kept the articles because it made her feel validated and smart. The flip side is that perhaps as a child, she wasn’t valued for her intelligence.

I know that some folks don’t like to delete emails if they have a boss that’s abusive and might turn around any day and try to question their work. Or perhaps you’ve experienced verbal, emotional or physical abuse and surround yourself with stuff as protection. Then there’s the person who keeps every ratty t-shirt for the last 30 years as totems to the spontaneous life that’s given way to stability and predictability.  Think about how much more time, mental and physical energy you might have if you let go.

I’m ready to let go of my mixer accessories. Upon reflection, besides the obvious fact that I don’t use them, I remember working hard to be able to afford a “good mixer” because I love to cook. And at one point in my life, I wanted to be a chef and restaurant owner. Letting go of those items doesn’t take away what I earned or my love of cooking.  It creates space in my house, in my head, in my heart. And it makes me want to sing, “I feel like bustin’ loose, give me the bridge y’all, give me the bridge y’all.” You know the rest, and if you don’t, click here to listen.  And also, think about Kerri Richardson’s Clutter Clearing Video course.  She’s a straight-talkin’ strategist who will get you where you need to be.