Closeup of Mosaic Dragonfly by Susanne Sorogan; full photo from mosaicartsupply.com

Hold my heart
hold it gently and with great care
Hold the pieces
with open grasp
Careful lest the fragments

cut you
with their brokenness
Watch the light glint
off the edges
Glimpses of beauty

in the shards
the strength in
the shattering
the hope found in

the wisdom in
the cracks
the magnificence of

our remnants
the brilliant mosaic of
our coming together

-KJ Roe




It’s snowing. It’s raining. It’s dark out.

And so peacefully beautiful.

I have been sitting in the night-covered fresh snow for about half an hour, mixed rain and frozen flakes pattering on my coat and my hat and my hair. The sky is glowing a soft gray-pink as light reflects back and forth between dripping clouds and sparkling white land. Every so often, a slight whoosh! and muted plop! signal a bit of snow losing its grip on a tree branch and falling to the ground below.

I am so blessed.

A little ways away, the glow from the windows of my little house promise warmth and dry shelter when it gets too cold and wet to sit out here. The sturdy logs hold safe my loved ones and the memories of our days together. The frame supports a latticework of laughter and teasing and music and even occasional tears. Love overflows here.

I am so blessed.

The landscape rolls softly around me, covered in its winter quilt. Trees stand along the perimeter, branches lifted to the sky, their fluffy white bracelets and gowns a temporary raiment for an extended ball. The quiet sings a hymn of peace and hope. It sings praise and thanksgiving. It sings, and I lift my face and whisper in echo:

Thank you, God, Creator, Absolute Love. Thank you, for
We are so blessed.

-KJ Roe



You were put here for a purpose
to touch somebody’s life
and leave them smiling

you were given a calling
a dream of what you could do
that thing that fulfills your soul
it pulls

at your heartstrings
speaks in your ear
when you’re quiet – still –

you have a hidden wish
that longs to see the light
a seed that yearns
for warmth
the water of life
the food of faith

and risks taken
you keep it close
buried in the dust of

of denial and practicalities
and “musts” and “shoulds” and
worst of all

but you can and you should
unearth the treasure
deep inside you
reveal the gems of
your hopes and talents and desires
uncover the beauty of

your dreams
rise up to the challenge of
being the gift
You are

to be

-KJ Roe

[not] alone


If you know me, you know I try to be considerate of everyone I meet. If you really know me, you know I try to find beauty and joy in each day.

And if you really, really know me, you know I get nervous around people I don’t know, anxious with confrontation, and that I struggle with my own sense of self-worth. As in, really struggle. That there are more days than I’d like to admit when I wonder what my purpose is for being here.

I’ve been working on opening up more about this, on putting a name to the shadow as a means of identifying it as just that – a shadow that can be banished by the light.

In admitting my own fears, what I’ve found is that there are so many of us out there. So many of us who are uncertain, and maybe a little scared, and maybe a little sad, and fighting demons of loneliness and self-doubt.

In fact, based on the responses I’ve had, I’d venture to say that it may even be a large percentage of us.

By opening up about my own uncertainties, other people have felt more comfortable talking about theirs.

And guess what?

There are lots of us.

Which means two things.

First, there is something wrong with the messages we, as a society, give to each other about vulnerability and sadness.

We’re not “supposed to” be scared or lonely or anxious; we’re “supposed to” be tough, and smart, and happy, and self-confident, and completely comfortable both in a crowd and being alone – and so we all cover up our “weaknesses.” Which only compounds the impression of being the only one struggling with these thoughts and emotions.

Second, that we are not alone. So many of our friends and loved ones often feel the same way, but we’re all hiding it, trying to be tough.

Often, people say that the hardest thing is feeling so alone, like there is no one out there who feels the way they do, who understands what they are going through. But so many of us feel that way.

Your “alone” might feel different than my “alone,” but for both of us, it can be soul-wrenchingly aching, bone-deep painful, and sometimes creates a curtain of bleakness that shrouds the view of the future. It can make it extremely difficult to look forward to the coming days.

But it’s lying.

There is hope in the future.

There is light in your life.

There is joy yet to be had.

I saw a challenge in which a person identifies one word to focus on, one word to try to live for this year. If there is a word that resonates with you, that helps you meet the challenge of another day, I encourage you to focus on that. Let it become your mantra. Let it be your reminder, when things get hard, that you are not alone, that you are stronger, and that you will make it through. Post it on your bathroom mirror and on your car visor and on whatever you look at at work. Flood your environment with it to continually lift you.

If there is not a word that helps you, I invite you to share the word I’ve chosen:


Believe in your own worth.

Believe in the beauty of your unique soul.

Believe in the unfathomable greatness of your heart.

Believe in the very real magic and value of your presence.

Believe in the brilliant light that is your future.

Believe that you are never alone, no matter what the shadows might try to tell you.

And believe that you, one-and-only, amazing you – believe that you have a purpose and a reason for being here.

May you have a beautiful and blessed 2018.

-KJ Roe



In the Wait


Snowfall is playing peekaboo with us, leaving a surprise dusting in the morning that melts away by evening. The lakes lie partially covered by ice, tempting my kayak just to try it, just one more time, before the water is completely cloaked in her winter blanket. My snow shoes await their re-christening, leaned in a corner with freshly-loaned-to-me poles. It’s a time of transition as one season melts into another.

Life echoes nature. I, too, await new adventures in a sparkling, renewed landscape. I march on with the days towards an eventual twilight. Each morning, the sun rises on both the mundane and the vast realm of possibility. It sets on daily tasks and dreams half-glimpsed. Stars appear, glinting in a murky depth far away, almost close enough to touch.

Amidst it all, the Wisdom of Ages settles on my shoulders, whispering in my ear:

“This is beauty. This is mystery. It is knowing and wondering and hoping, feeling the tug of limitless possibility, the depth of truest loving, the simultaneous realization of your smallness in the universe and your great worth in my eyes.

This is the visual, breathe-it-in-deep definition of priceless, incredible, glistening creation.

This is the treasure of my heart.

This, my darling, is you.”

-KJ Roe


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


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



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