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Venus: a manifesto

Feature

Lavinia Greenlaw

The sacred wood.
The space between devotion and determination
where you must fight against taking root
while drawing on forces buried underfoot.

The goddess of the interim.
The morning star and evening star are after all
the same thing. Passage
rather than beginning or ending.

Take hold.
Tease out all you have absorbed.
Take your time in releasing it.
Wait till it grows light.

The goddess of suspension.
A planet turning leisurely in the other direction.
A planet without seasons. A planet draped in cloud.
Concealed but not withheld.

Depicted more than any other goddess of her realm.
Intended to be viewed from every angle.
Take charge of depiction.
Intend every angle.

She is an act of love.
Yes, this is of the body. Language is of the body.
Give way but do not let go.
Take charge of what you did not know you know.

Learn the difference between truth and certainty.
Her name is without gender. She has no mother.
Or her mother is a version of her father.
He is not her father.

Use other names.
Use meaning and the seed of meaning.
Do not choose between love and desire. Go deeper.
Through noun into verb into gesture.

They say she stepped onto land new-made.
They say she was already a thousand years old
and arrived across the sea from the east on arm or a shell.
No matter the vehicle.

They say she was born of sea foam.
It does not start, after all, with a meeting
but by placing what you’ve glimpsed in tension.
Not beginning but finding.

Movement catching hold of matter.
Wave after wave
turning over what is too small to be seen
until what occurs becomes its own thing.

It is not enough to valorize agitation.
Protect the true nature of all you encounter.
She arose from within. She arrived fully formed
and from her first appearance she held sway.

Lavinia Greenlaw

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