Finite

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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

Offensive

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Flinging
Barbs like
Throwing stars,
Flaming arrows of
Frustrations
Boiling over
Scalding the nearest
targets,
Watching in grim
satisfaction
Tinged with guilt,
Anger and past
resentments
Held up like a shield;
The will to draw
back the string
Fueled by voices
in our heads
Chanting ‘just desserts’
and ‘consequences’
And reassurances
of being ‘right’
As we watch sparks
Flare into flames
And flames turn into
A blazing inferno
of insults
and raised voices
And offended
Righteousness,
The hatred
burying pain
and fear,
The fists of our
False courage
pummeling blindly;

Then inferno
runs out of fuel
And blaze
collapses into
ashes
And smoky anger
dissipates,
Revealing crushed
dreams and
Broken hopes
And lost relationships-

And we think that
This
is how to
Love.

-KJ Roe

Le Cafe

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All alone
As she sits in the corner
Steam rising from a cup
Like the
Conversations swirling through the air,
Weaving around and past
Invisible fences,
Marking the spaces
That don’t fit
And the holes unfilled.
Music lifts with gentle caress,
Notes of friendship
And melodies of memories
Soothing storms hidden;
Invisible worlds and tidepool dreams,
Reveries of ethereal visions
Ephemeral shadows behind her eyes,
Like the
Steam rising from a cup
As she sits in the corner
All alone.

-KJ Roe

 

Breathe

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Breathe
Breathe in me
Your stillness, your quiet
Breathe in me
Your peace
Your hope
Your love so unbelievably deep

Breathe
Spill your laughter
Into my soul
So that it spills
Out of my lungs
Bubbling up in joy
And smiles
And moments of contentment

Breathe in me
The life you meant
For me to live
Whisper away
My fears and insecurities
Still the nervous
Echo of my heart
And the worries writhing in my veins

Breathe
Like the breeze in trees
Air currents on water
Breath that gives life
And words
And dreams
And peace

Breathe.

-KJ Roe

How to Have a Camping Mis-Adventure in 20 Simple Steps

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1. Overpack, because you love food and that’s what you do.
2. Bring along an extra kid and an extra dog. Because that’s what you do.
3. Feel slight panic set in as you pull into the camp spot just this side of nowhere because your oil light (the bad, scary one) starts flashing right as you get there.
4. Check the oil. Curse inwardly or outwardly, doesn’t matter, because the dipstick is DRY.
5. Curse some more because you had your oil changed exactly one week ago.
6. Pray for cell phone signal and call your personal rescue team because you’ve now reached the limits of your mechanic skills, cuss words and all.
7. Make arrangements for rescue the next day. Because it’s late and you were already planning on camping. And you’re an Alaskan girl.
8. Set up camp, complete with a half-baked tarp cover and a very sad little fire. Because you’re not the *perfect* Alaskan girl.

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9. Enjoy campfire-cooked dinner and dessert. Realize that you did not over- pack because, contrary to popular belief, teenage girls eat just as much as teenage boys.
10. Realize your crew is the bear bait of the little campground because you’re the only ones tent-camping. Review bear spray usage with kids.
11. Relax lake side, watch the changing light and reflections, take pictures, write a bit. Breathe. Because all of this – God and nature and beauty – is bigger than broken vehicles.
12. Sleep in a tent full of three people, three dogs, and stuff. Because that’s clearly what they meant when they diabolically slapped a label on it that said “3-Man Tent.”
13. Wake up every time the dogs growl. Because now you’ve given yourself bear-anoia. And a small-caliber pistol doesn’t phase a bear.
14. Wake up at an ungodly hour, because  apparently teens don’t sleep in when you actually want them to, and discover your bra strap mysteriously broke while you were not wearing it and while you were sleeping. Laugh. Because life.
15. Make breakfast, periodically pulling at your broken bra, wishing you had Irish cream for your coffee. Because camping.
16. Kayak for a bit while waiting to be rescued. Because kayaking. Also, see #11 above.
17. Experience a somewhat tricky rescue, including multiple trips for the rescuer and barely getting the vehicle (topped by a kayak) on the trailer. Because life. And because family rocks.
18. Return to town and call on parts to discover the one you need has to be ordered from out of state. Because Alaska.
19. Rescuer fixes car with substition. Because he’s determined, might have witnessed a frustrated tear or two, and because Alaskans make things work.
20. After many prayers and almost as many cuss words, return home, run a bath, write a ridiculously long post, and find that Irish cream. BECAUSE.
-KJ Roe

Independence Day

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Independence Day…
A celebration of the bravery of a group of men who understood that great freedom is made up of many “little freedoms.” That the ability to make choices for ourselves each day becomes the course we take, and the course we take becomes our destiny. Big decisions can create momentous change in our lives, but it is the small decisions we make daily – how to treat the cashier, whether to give our change to the person on the corner, if we give one more hug, if we forgive a slight – it is these choices that build the people we will be and the future we, as a nation, will have. May we accept this gift with gratitude and live up to it with grace.

Sylvan Shower

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The torpedo call of the jay
Rat-a-tat of squirrel chatter
And staccato woodpecker beats
Padding cat feet on damp ground
Shy drops of a light rain
Dance on millions of leaves
Kissing upturned blushing faces
Of wild roses and honeysuckle
Lupine standing enrobed in royal shades
With crowns glowing white
Dandelions grown spiky in self-defense
Lest they lose their heads in the shower
Like the sparrows spinning dizzily
Heedless of the stern gaze of the spruce
And the whispered laughter of the birch
And the wallflower wishes of
The wanderer in the woods

-KJ Roe