Politics as Defining Value

Here is my first, and probably only, political post for the season. I generally stay out of things because the divisiveness and mud-slinging that not only politicians, but people in general, engage in goes against my believe-the-best nature and grates on my soul.

But today, I saw a post from a person I know that has been weighing on me. The post said that how you vote today reveals the kind of person you are when no one is looking.

This saddens me. To me, this says, I know who you are. I’ve talked with you, hung out with you, worked with you, whatever – but none of that really matters. Because, actually, I’m going to judge you based on which rhetoric and advertising campaign you believe. Regardless of what I’ve experienced directly with you, regardless of what I’ve observed with my own eyes and felt with my own heart, it all boils down to what I believe *you* should believe about a convoluted and, at best, cloudy, at worst, dishonest and self-serving monster of a political system. That a *system* is more important than the person I know you to be. That, even if I’ve seen you volunteering at soup kitchens or offering food to the homeless, or if I’ve seen you giving time to help veterans, or coordinating activities for the elderly, it all really comes down to the ovals you fill out on a piece if cardstock.

Who a person votes for, or even whether they vote, should not be the deciding factor in how you look at someone. If you vote, do your research. Know, as well as you can, what you are supporting, and choose based on what you believe to be best. That’s the beauty of voting – you don’t *have * to believe and vote the same as your friends or your spouse or some random person in the next booth. And they don’t have to vote the same as you. Judging one another based on fluctuating lines of a theatrical political system increases the division between us all and fragments the beauty of our differences.

This world is Orwellian and beautiful at the same time, and we are all just people trying to make it through as best as we can. There is good and bad in each of us; hopefully we nurture the good, overcome the bad, and learn from our mistakes. Hopefully we do our best, are honest, and show kindness and consideration to those we meet. Every day.

Ovals on a paper don’t define you. You do, by your actions and how you treat people. Regardless of what day it is.

-KJ Roe

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An Architecture of Life

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People say that
it’s better to be strong
to be independent
to know there are no
promises
and to rely on
yourself
because they’re going to
let you down
anyway.

They tell you to
build your own life
hold your head up high
and to always
be ready
to strike out on
your own.
And I will.
I will be strong
and hold my head up high
and build
my own life

But this is how
I’ll do it:

Reach out my hands
with the amber light
of friendship
Plant the seeds for
emerald new
adventures
I’ll stop and stare
at brilliant orange
sunsets
Feel the violet sorrow
of the heartbreaks
and know that
I’m alive

I’ll drink the
calming blue
of the sea
Ask the questions
of a thousand
stories
Release the laughter
bursting
in my chest
Sing the melodies
dancing
in my veins

I will open my heart
to the radiant
beauty
of this world
and build a life of
magnificent
fullness
in gratitude’s
vivid freedom

-KJ Roe

Nocturne’s Spell

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Daytimers don’t know

how the night

becomes a magical place

how the meadow shines

in its secret way

when the moon traces

her fingers on the snow

They’ve never stood

grinning up in delight

at scattered stars

gazing back from deepest skies,

nor watched the

world

become

a faery place

with silver leaves

and lucent boughs

and creatures stirring

in the shadows

They don’t long for

Luna’s sweet caress, nor

for Selene’s gentle breeze,

never fall yielding to

the allure of the gloaming’s

whispered mysteries

They don’t feel

the cool hand of eve

touch their cheeks

nor hear the songs of galaxies

drifting down in chimes

of star beams and moon shine

and Aurora’s dancing

luminosity

Daytimers don’t know

how the night

becomes a wondrous place

They don’t know

the adoration of

the beauty

of the night

-KJ Roe

For the Lost

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Hey you.
Yes, you. The one hiding behind a façade of laughter and everything’s fine.
You, too exhausted to get out of bed.
You, crouched in anxious trepidation behind walls of independence and strength.
You, who are busy, busy, always moving, always going.
You.
You’re not alone.

Look around. There are others near you, fighting the same fight, scared to let it show. Others who are lonely, and frightened, and lost. Who feel the air suffocating them and the darkness of the unknown looming. People you see, probably even people you talk to, who wonder if anybody cares. Just like you.

I’ve been there.
Been so worn down I fell asleep standing up.
So scared, I couldn’t see a way out.
So wrapped up in murky despair that I had to consciously name reasons to be here. Some of them seemed ridiculous (chocolate? really?), but when you’re down, anything can be a lifeline.

Others are oh, so worthwhile. Family, or friends, or the way you feel when you hear a beautiful piece of music. The sunlight, the raindrops, the stars, the shapes in the clouds. The first time you mastered – anything: Catching the ball, turning a screwdriver, beating that game. Being held, or the touch of a hand. Simply making someone smile.

Whatever your lifeline is, grab ahold and don’t let go. When it seems to get dim, hold the light it brings right in front of you. Make that decision to keep it in your sight, even if you have to consciously force it to be there. When the voice in your head speaks darkness and negativity, fight it with words of brightness and positivity and self-affirmation. You are unique. You glow. You deserve the good that you long for. You are worth it.

You are a beautiful soul.

It’s okay.
You’re not alone.
Take my hand.

We’ll get through this together.

-KJ Roe

*If you or anyone you know is feeling alone, feeling that their light is fading, please reach out. Talk to a friend, talk to a counselor, talk to a pastor, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8755. Don’t give up. YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.

*This first appeared here April 4, 2017.

Bounty

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Tiny worlds in rainbow hues

hide in depths of jewel-

toned leaves, in the

burning shades of frost-

seared fall, the damp

air a near-welcome

touch, the rustle of breeze-

tossed foliage interrupted

by the crunch of steps

on fallen brethren, the

scent of their released breath

a sweet prelude inhaled,

skins bursting as their

nectar fills eager mouth

slides down tongue

and chin and stained

kaleidoscope fingers

-KJ Roe

Fais de beaux rêves

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Blaze across the sky

   orange blinding in its brilliance

Shout your closing remarks

   in unmistakable vibrance

Let your departure be known

   by your legacy of beauty

As the hues of your goodbye

   blend softly into pinks

That glide blushing into

   a waiting bed of violet

The gentle touch of

   your whispered affections

Wraps close around a

   drowsy earth’s  shoulders

And you take your leave

   with echoes of peace

-KJ Roe