Venus was her name


By now, you’ve all have seen these stunning images from the rare transit of Venus around the Sun on Tuesday and Wednesday. Again, we will never be privilege to see the lady planet up close ever again in our lifetime.

Science geek me loves this. Photographer me is grateful for the technology that allows to see the planet and star with such detail. Poet geek me, can’t help but see a poem here. Greek mythology tells that Venus (Aphrodite) is the goddess of love, sex, fertility, prosperity, and military victory. A news week flooded with confounding events (a failed recall campaign, a failed vote for pay equity, a drone strike, a presidential kill list target, vanquished, another black mother mourning the loss of a son at the hands of a neighbor). There’s a little black spot on the sun today — the opening refrain from The Police’s “King of Pain” – loops.

Sometimes, mama universe demands that we take a break from the woes on earth, look up to the heavens, and then casually reminds us of the cosmic, sublime beauty below.

Perhaps we could consider that our archetype of Venus manifests in a variety of ways. Filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa offers a beautiful commentary on hair and beauty in this video op-ed. I’ve been ‘natural’ for nearly fifteen years now. Saro-Wiwa’s video offers the best summary what I personally went through when I made the decision to stop chemically treating my hair. Venus, she bestows on us yet another delicious gift after this transit. Meet your new Poet Laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey.

Finally, would you believe I nearly missed 64 year old Grace Jones’ Diamond Jubilee performance?

Grace Jones! Hoolahoops for the ENTIRE SONG y’all! She just sonned all of us. Should I be so fortunate to be that sublime at 64.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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