I Believe In You

We forget that when we look back in time at heroes of civil rights movements, that they were people just like you and me. They were humans that just got fed up with the status quo, of turning their eyes to injustice.

It’s hard to see where they found the strength to rise above. It’s difficult to understand where they found the capacity to use their voice, actions, and perseverance to act when the odds were stacked against them.

When I look out at our society now I see all the injustice and all the pain. I realize that what we need now is that same spark. We too need to be FED UP. We too need to SPEAK OUT. We too need to find the discordant thread that weaves the tyranny throughout the system and we need to pull that sucker until it unravels.

We are the heroes we have been looking for. It is our doubt and fear that traps us. It is our reluctance to see courage in the mirror. It is our fear that keeps us imprisoned thinking, “Not me, but someone should speak up and out. Someone needs to do something.”

Why not you? Why not me? Why not us? Why are we any different? The answer could be in you, in me, and in us.

Do you believe in being the change? Do you believe in standing up and fighting for what is right? The time has come my beautiful friends.

We are at a crossroads. We look out and we see horror. We feel numb and are losing hope, but I want you to remember. . . I want you to see that there were people then, just like there are people now, who ROSE UP.

I call on you to remember your strength and your honor, to remember that your voice matters, that there is a hero in every single one of us. The only thing keeping us held back is belief.

I believe in you.
I believe in you to fight for what is right.
I believe in you to rise up and refuse to accept injustice as the status quo.
I believe in you to refuse to be distracted by misdirection.
I believe in you to see with eyes that see.
I believe in you to use your heart over your indifference.
I believe in you to be so affected by the pain of others that you rise up in unison to say NO MORE!!!
I believe in us.

Do you?

-Angel Marie Russell

#resist

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Pleading For Spring

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The return of Persephone, by Frederic Leighton (1891)

When we operate from our wounds,
We lose our center.
We forget the majesty of our own hearts.

When we feel, oh. so. much.
It sweeps us under; the pain.
It makes us forget who we are.
It takes us to places
We never thought ourselves
Capable of.
Hurting,
We lash out.
We cry out.
Please! Just make it stop!
Take the pain from me!
Or I will take me from all else!
And we downtrodden, dejected, wounded,
Forget
Love.

And then we seek from a lack.
We look to fill what aches,
We grab and we reach
For anything we can grasp,
And we vortex into syclone,
Into black hole syphon tail spin,
We lose ourselves in the abyss
Of this pain.

This world we live in that breathes
With agony, of the suffered,
The suffering ignored, repeatedly,
Invalidated, we plummet deeper still
Underworld
We each,
Persephone pleading for Spring.

Our hearts ache to remember that
Even in darkness
We can find the light.
Even in the shadowlands
There is a glow.
Right in our own hearts.
And the pain of this life
May have taken the flame
From your fiery heart.
But I see the embers,
Still smoldering, red hot,
Waiting to blaze once again.

And yes, it may feel as though the
World takes and takes,
Until there is nothing left.
But let me remind you,
Nothing and no one, can take you
Away from the truth,
That you are love.
And once remembered,
You too, even underworld deep,
With wings unfurled
Will burst aflame once again.

-Angel Marie Russell

Thief of Joy

I’ve lost joy again.
How is it such a swift depart?
How does its presence so mysteriously
Disembark from my journey?
How is it here sparkling mad with content
And furrowed brow the next?

I know of great things,
Of beauty, pain, sorrow, of healing, and
The rise above through love.
I know we are.
I know you are as I am.
I see I know nothing but one truth
Love creates all
It is the fabric with which all
Has been woven
Time immemorial

And yet my knowledge
Does not cure the ache.
Because to be awake means
Seeing suffering
Plain as day in every heart.
Blinded to the love that
Springs from their well spring
Untapped, led astray,
Suffering as are we all in life.

If suffering is indeed the path to awakening.
Where are the woke folks singing praises
When the thief of joy, sorrow, arrives.
I know we are love.
And I feel such a great weight
From that knowledge
I suffer knowing the nature of love
And the lack of people willing to really feel.
It hurts, so we run, we run in fear,
From love.

And the cycle repeats.
On and on.
Until we ask the right questions.
What is love?
Really, what is this thing we call love?
Every answer led me to another.
Every answer led me to question more.
Every answer led me to myself.
I am as you are.
I am love.
I am.

There is no sentence, penance, punishment, guilt, self loathing, isolating, or act
That can make you ready for love.
You already are love.
Right now as you are.
You are worthy,
Right now,
Covered in snot and hiding in the alley.
So, if that’s true,
Why do I still weep?
Who is the thief of joy?
Despair.
I care so deeply to change the world,
The injustice of it all threatens to break me.
And I crumble apart once again
To find the fibers that lead me back to love.
This is life
This dance
I lose joy to find my
Way back to love.
To see it never truly left me
And will always come round again.

-Angel Marie Russell

Mind

Be kind
In your mind
To yourself.

Find the root
Of the thorny branch
That snags to your self worth,
That traps you,
Thinking you
Are less.

We beings made of matter,
Energy, thought, and expanse.
We who laugh, tear up, and want
So much for love.

We forget the power
The nature of love itself.
The treasure resting in each
And every heart,

The fount that never ends,
The pulse with which
We all dance,
There is love.

We blinded by folly,
Unaligned malintent,
Operate from a perceived lack
Of love.

But it is there,
In every sigh,
In every aching heart,
A well spring,
Infinite.

You are the essence
Of love made flesh.
It rests in your breath,
And in each finger tip swirl.

And yes, we sway
From pain to pleasure,
From misstep to surefootedness
We the haphazard and fallible,
There is love.

Be kind
In your mind
And find love
Never left you.

It waits ever ready
For you to realize,
You are love.
You are love made manifest.

Do not believe the lie,
Of the emptiness
Inside.

-Angel Marie Russell

Act

Cease the wait
To begin
And leap
Someday is an illusion
Right now is all
That’s truly real
Tomorrow may never come
Reach past the pause
And just move
Or rest
Whatever is required of you
You know don’t you?
The nagging voice in the
Quiet spaces ever there
“Hear me.”
“Hear me and act.”
Do the thing
Find the courage
And live fully now.

-Angel Marie Russell

Purpose

You’re not aging. You are stepping
Into your purpose.
You are graduating along a continuous line
To yourself.

You are not waiting.
You are becoming.
You are effervescent presence
Made of sea, land, and sky.

You are the breath
Of ancestors long dead.
You are the dream of
Hundreds of lives lived.

You are endless, mysterious,
Evolving, spiraled as the cosmos swirl.
And my breath arrests at the majesty
Of your creation.

Your pulse, a tide,
Enraptured within flesh.
Crescendo and plummet.
Pause and sway. A tumult.

You are the life lived and have yet
To become.
The birth of the universe
Sparks to life in every thought.

And you, as the suns and the carbon
They emit to life, never age.
Endless. You transform life from ash.
You sleep in realms lost to memory.

You awaken anew once again.
And darkness can never truly take you.
For even in death, you will verily burst aflame,
New once again.

You are timeless.
You are sacred, still, and sentient
Energy through matter,
Impervious to death.

So, do not live in fear of this life,
But rise, full, large, and true.
Become. Do not run from who you are.
Your life has a purpose.
No other can fill it.

-Angel Marie Russel

Seek

Do not forget to seek joy
For often,
Its presence is a mystery,
Amidst the fear and pain.

Its laughter forgotten,
An echo,
A memory faded to dream
Amongst the shadows.

So, remember the long thread
Leading back from here to there.
Trace it tenderly
Step gently through the ash.

With eyes closed and lean in listen
Find the whisper that leads you there,
With heartstring murmur, and a fine tuned hum
Let the melody move you ever on.

The song of lifted spirits
The air vibrates with electric pulse
And fear takes a leave of absence
From your furrowed brow, and breathe here

In this peace of knowing
You once knew a friend named joy
That lent ease to your rapid heartbeat,
And melancholy, and reach

Past the shadow, Past the heavy
Reach further still until
You feel the return
Of sun on your face and smiles that ache.

Do not forget to seek joy.
Past the pain, Remember
You can find your way there
Once more.

Angel Marie Russell