Precipitous

20170529_133532-1

Sing me your lullaby
Dancing on a tin roof
Pattering and pounding
In soothing rhythm

Tell me your verses
Of evaporated hopes
Gatherings of condensation
And falling in a new land

Whisper my name
In ripples on still waters
In chattering of dripping eaves
And kisses on shivering leaves

Grant me sweet release
Cleansing my tangled mind
Sliding on moon-white skin
Seducing me with liquid touch

-KJ Roe

Advertisements

Ripple

This isn’t about money. It’s not about race, or religion, or gender, or politics, or what we ate for breakfast. Not really.

20170329_184632-1

My heart aches as I read about the tragedy in Las Vegas, about the pain inflicted on so many families at once. Those who were injured or killed, their loved ones, the survivors who were somehow spared direct physical injury, the first responders, the medical teams, police, even the mortuary workers… All of these people were directly impacted. Each person will have his or her own version of trauma from the experience. Each person will likely relive various moments over and over. Pain, anger, disbelief, looking for someone or something to blame – these are all effects of trauma. Trauma leaves scars.

But scars mean that there has been healing as well.

Healing requires care. It requires support.

Our bodies, at the most basic, cellular level, know this. When we are wounded, our bodies respond immediately and send their own kind of “first responders” – blood carrying specialized cells to create a safety net that eventually turns into a bruise or a scab, and sometimes, eventually, to a scar. Adrenalin shoots through our limbs, preparing us to fight, flee, or freeze. The pain receptors of the nervous system kick in to help us know things are bad and need to stop. At some point, numbness, often followed by pain. Following the pain, healing.

Our bodies know to respond with vital support.

Our minds and our hearts – our words and our actions – need to follow suit.

This isn’t about money. It’s not about race, or religion, or gender, or politics, or what we ate for breakfast. Not really.

It’s about humanity. About us losing our understanding of what it means to be a living, breathing, loving, hurting, mistake-making, struggling human being.

It’s about recognizing that everyone else is a human, too, and struggling in ways we can’t even guess.

It’s about extending grace and understanding and, when needed, forgiveness to everyone we meet, in person or online or in whatever format.

It’s not a competition over who’s been hurt more or who’s been stepped on or who’s smarter or more well-informed.

None of those things can be quantified and proven, because it is a matter of perspective, resilience factors, personal experiences, and a million other details that are impossible to determine absolutely.

None of those arguments solve the problem. They only increase the divide and exponentially increase the likelihood of additional tragedies perpetrated by those caught up in the rhetoric of whichever side of whichever argument.

In this competition, no one wins.

This isn’t about winning. It’s not about who’s wrong or right.

It’s about holding onto our humanity. Each hateful comment, each hurtful action, feeds the fire of divisiveness and malignancy. It grows the tumor of turmoil and grief.

It’s about peace – individually chosen peace, lived in individual lives, day by day. If we hold peace in our hearts and live it in our actions, if we salute each person on the planet as another living, breathing, struggling human being – just like us – if we remind ourselves of it each time we are provoked to angry reaction – if we just admit we make mistakes, too, and not one of us is perfect – then we do not want to hurt our brothers and sisters in humanity. We leave no ground for hatred and cruelty to take root. We can find within us the strength to offer kindness instead.

If we do this, we might begin to turn the tide of rising tragedy. Even if, as one person, we do not turn the tide, we will not have sped it along. Our contribution will be a drop of kindness in the ocean of humanity, and that drop can ripple out in waves beyond our knowing. At least, for that moment, we might shine a bright light in what is too often a dark world.

That’s a legacy worth leaving behind.

“There is no path to peace. Peace is the path. – Mahatma Gandhi

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

“…be a reservoir of joy, an oasis of peace, a pool of serenity that can ripple out to all those around you.” – The Archbishop Desmond Tutu

-KJ Roe

Metamorphosis

Butterfly woman
Image from https://goo.gl/images/j4B4Ez   PC: Unknown

Soft and pliant
No shield
No boundaries
No protections
Now hidden, now enwrapped
As a being ensorcelled
Cocooned in layers
A chrysalis of experiences
Of losses
And breakings
And shatterings
Now emerging, now changed
A creature unexpected
Broken from layers
A freedom of scars
– They didn’t warn of the pain.

-KJ Roe

 

Notice

Rainbow

I know you.

I know that sometimes you lie awake nights, mind spinning and rewinding and worrying.

I know sometimes you wonder what you’ve done wrong, and sometimes you know it, and sometimes forgiving yourself seems like the hardest thing to do.

I know you wish you could make things better, for yourself, for a friend, for someone you barely know.

Sometimes you sing in the shower, have solo concerts in your car, and dance with abandon around your house.

You pause to listen to the rain rattling on the roof and to admire the rainbow brightening the sky.

You make up plans and dream dreams that you’re not sure will ever come true.

You wonder what the future really holds and how you’re going to survive here and now.

You question, more than you’d like to admit, how you’re going to have the strength to face another day, another challenge, another crisis.

You build castles in the air while working the grind on the ground.

You come home… to a partner, to your kids, to your parents….or to an empty house.

You put on a good face. You stay strong. You keep going.

Some days you look inside yourself and see loneliness and helplessness eating away at you.

Those days you feel alone, adrift, and lost in the universe.

But you’re not.

You are not alone.

I feel it too.

Together, we face the loneliness.

Together, we fight the demons of despair.

Together, we are stronger than our fears.

We are not alone.

You and me, together.

You and me, admiring the rainbows.

~ KJ Roe

Reflections

20170804_214357-1-1

Reflections
Of mountains
Deep, ponderous thoughts
Grounded in centuries of folding
and building
and carving of
Water
As glacier
In frozen sculptor’s tools
Shaping, uncovering long-hidden truths
As rivers
Fast white-water dreams,
Began with gurgling brooks
and ending
and resting
In calm quiet lakes
Surrounded by
Forests
Ancient spires
New spring greens giving way to
Decadent summer foliage
Inhabited by creatures
Come to drink
To find sustenance
Perhaps unaware in the water
Echoes their beauty, their woodlands, their mountains
In calmness, in quietness,
These silent
Reflections

-KJ Roe

Finite

20170704_173231-2

This.

Conversing with the person across the table, laughing, smiling. Sharing these moments that I know are all too fleeting. Feeling the joy glowing inside each breath, the happiness of enjoying this gift of time. Hoping that it lasts, hoping that there are thousands more days like this, and wishing there was no end to our shared companionship.

But I know time is finite. I know you are growing and changing, moving towards the path you will take. These sparkling moments are too few for me, as you stretch impatiently towards adulthood and independence. I watch the glow in your eyes, the curve of your smile, and see all at once the baby you were and the hint of the woman you will become. I hold it close inside, storing up the memories for when you join your siblings out in the world. I cherish the times you let me into your world, chattering away about friends and art and videos and games I only partially understand.

This life is too short for me. Too soon, you will be on your own, making your way with your own special style, and I will be relegated to cheering section and occasional life consultant. You will be taking your own path, full of the adventure and creativity that fills your soul.

I know time has a limit, like this earth we stand on. I know the excitement of seeing you “become” is lined with bittersweet. But my hopes and my love for you are as unlimited as the universe. And I know that, like the stars, you will shine.

-KJ Roe