How does one understand the heart, much less explain it? The blanket statement “Everyone wants to be loved” just doesn’t do it justice. It doesn’t cover the nuances, the journeys, the heartaches and heartbreaks and effervescent explosions of infatuation. It doesn’t convey the quiet, comforting joy of a love well-lived and a life well-loved. There is so much more to the heart, a strength and fragility that co-exist in a precarious symbiosis of counterpoints: trust and trustworthiness; honor and understanding; encouragement and truth.

Human language is ill-equipped to truly express the depths of what is in the heart; this is why we use so many other mediums to say what words alone cannot. We turn to the rhythms and melodies of music. We capture snippets of beauty in photographs and strokes of a paintbrush. Perhaps we build, or design, or grow. Whatever our talent – nay, whatever moves us – we hold in our hearts. Hopefully we cherish it, nurture it, feed it with more of the same magnificence that lifts our spirits. Then we can send it out into the world, a little fuller, a little brighter, a little bit of heart grown bigger.

In this way, love – the love of a person for his fellow human – grows. If we all grew our own heart-source like this, there would be little room for anger and strife and war. If we all opened our hearts to shine our own special light, the darkness would be overcome. That is what the heart is – unveiled, unshrouded, unrestricted, it is our very own universe of unlimited possibility, created to be a light in this world.

-KJ Roe


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You are the expendable.

You choose to embody love, kindness, and forgiveness as far as you can safely do so, and further than you should reasonably do so. You choose to consider others’ viewpoints. You think about how their lives may have led them to believe certain decisions were okay, or the only option available to them. You ponder the interrelatedness of people and events, and the ensuing results. There is little that you do not think about, for everything merits consideration. In the same way, everyone has worth and is worth considering.

Unfortunately, in being considerate of everyone, you find that others are not the same. Others will use and abuse, until you finally find the strength to say “Enough!” Not “Enough, the world is bad,” but “Enough, I am good, and there is no room in my life for liars and manipulators.”

It may be a lonely road, and you will undoubtedly have people – the ones who are accustomed to you being understanding and pliable – who become angry that they can no longer use you. You will have to re-establish those boundaries again and again. But you will stand your ground. You will withstand the tempest. Those who leave, you didn’t need anyway. Those who stay will have newfound respect for you, and perhaps begin to recognize the strength you held all along. They will begin to realize you are not expendable, but that you – your quiet strength, your belief in them, your ability to bend but not bend over – is vital not only to their lives, but to the well-being of the world.

Their realizations, their respect, will only validate a simple truth. Their opinions of you are extraneous. Your worth is in your Self, your Soul, who you were created to be – not in what others choose to see. You are not expendable.

You are irreplaceable.

-KJ Roe

I am moved

2016-04-27 01.51.34I am moved by beauty.

The vibrant hues of a summer day, the iridescent majesty of snow-laden mountains, the ribboned depths of river-carved canyons

Crashing waves, foam flying, rocks standing stoic guard against the onslaught…looking glass reflections of sky and cloud on a quiet sea

Emerald grasses, rainbow gardens, fields overtaken by wild stampeding flora

Sparkling snow, shimmering rain, fog tracing its fingers lightly through moss and air

The scattered glitter of a nocturnal city – the deep, star-dusted blanket of rural nights – the quiet solitude of a thousand, thousand trees

An infant’s cry, soothed by a loving voice, and a child’s laughter, precursed by shining eyes

The soft fluidity of a dancer and the unspoken heartsong of melody

The joyous wonder of love’s first kiss…and the heartwrenching despair in its last

The shattered fractures of grief restored by tendrils of hope

Living’s truth, Devotion’s herald, Creation adorned by God’s tender fingerprints

I am moved by beauty.

-KJ Roe

The Sound of Air

20150829_202513Quiet solitude. A soft breeze, sun on my skin. Birds chirping, conversing about things avion – and perhaps the nature of the universe. Grasshoppers whiz by, their wings buzzing through the stillness. They say that air has no sound, but it does. It teases the grass and dances with the leaves on the trees. It toys with the edge of my paper as I write. It carries the myriad noises of this silence over earthen terrain to the welcoming ear. The soft rush, the sudden whoosh, the silken touch on sun-warmed flesh. Whispers of secrets…breaths of love…currents of tenderness under a tranquil sky. -KJ Roe

That Moment

That Moment picThat moment.
That moment when you stop to take a breath. The moment when you feel the laughter about to burst from your chest. The one where you drink in the beauty around you, or when you feel the love in every particle of your being. When peace settles over you with a welcoming sigh, holding you, for just a moment, in its gentle embrace. That moment. Hold onto it, melt into it, revel in it, cherish it. Then, when it is time to carry on, pick up where you left off, keeping the treasure of it safe within your heart. Let its glow be a light in the darkness. – KJ Roe



BridgeSome things we have no control over. We don’t get to choose the circumstances we’re born into, the parents we’re given, or how we’re raised. We don’t get to decide how our brains respond to how we are treated when we are very young. We don’t get to pick our genes, or how they present themselves. Would I have rather gotten this trait from my mother, and that from my father? Who knows how that might have turned out.

The truth is that we don’t get to choose – but we are not doomed to unchangeable fates of “leftovers” passed down to us through genes or upbringing. We do have a choice. When it comes to how we interact with the world, how we treat people, even how we see ourselves, we have that choice.

Life is all about choices. We become that which we choose to amplify in ourselves. If we choose to focus on the bad that has been done to us, we become an angry shell of the person we were meant to be. There is no room for growth, for strength-building, if, after every success, every failure, we constantly return to, “Yes, but THIS happened to me.” We become the victim in a story with no happy ending, because we refuse to believe in the happy ending. If we see our happy ending on the horizon, we often re-write it in fear that it will never really turn out.

This is not to say that tragedy doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean that your personal tragedy, your story, does not have meaning and even a profound effect on your life. Absolutely, it affects you. It is the water added to the clay that shapes who you are. Like water, tragedy is a powerful force. It can push, and pull, and erode. It can even wash clay, your Self, completely away if you let it.

Here’s a little secret, though: You are in control of the water. No, you can’t control the tragedies in your life. If we could, tragedies would never happen. But you can direct the way you let them shape you.

You see, water is a tool that every potter needs. It is used to soften, to smooth away rough spots, to wash away debris. Amazingly, the same water that can destroy can be used to make a clay pot stronger. It can be used to make pieces stick together, to form a bond between two parts that the potter wants to use. It all depends on how the potter handles the water.

The same is true for us. We may need help – support from family or friends, perhaps counseling or substance abuse treatment, possibly even rescue to get us out of a dangerous life into a safe place. Our choice at a particular moment may simply be to not let go of the very core of who we are, not to let those who may hold our lives in their hands take away the last bit of hope tucked deep inside. But it is a choice.

We are given no choice about some things. However, even with those things, we can choose our reaction. We can choose whether or not to let others’ treatment of us define who we are. We can decide, right now, if we are going to let our circumstances make us an angry, reactive person, or a better, kinder person – and then we can dedicate ourselves to the struggle of making that happen. It is a struggle, but not nearly as tough as trying to take on the whole world. We are only taking on ourselves. We are choosing to soften that which is hard, to smooth that which is sharp, and to put away our habitual, often counter-productive reactions. We are not giving up our defenses entirely – there are still those who mean to do us harm or take advantage of us in the world. But we are choosing to emphasize, to amplify, those things that are the best of who we are. We are taking the power away from those who have hurt us, and instead using it to become who we choose to be. We are guiding the water, controlling what it washes away, and shaping what it leaves behind into something strong and beautiful.

We are a work of art in the making.

-KJ Roe

About this…

Some posts here may be thoughtful or spiritual, others political or controversial, still others tongue-in-cheek or flat out inappropriate. I am not any one thing (nor, I suspect, are you). I am a kaleidoscope of colors, light and shadow dappled on leaves, slow cadences and rollicking revelry. May you find here a bit of light for your shadows.