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  • Sofia McKee

An Ode to My Muse

“If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious!” This quote by Warsan Shire, has become my motto since I stumbled upon the miraculous visual album, Lemonade by Beyoncé. In the two years since I witnessed this cultural redefining and multifaceted sensory experience, my life has been forever changed. With its incredible imagery, spoken word and emotionally rich music, this film weaves together a beautiful tapestry of pain and healing. It introduces an unspoken paradigm in America and presents it with depth and grace. This film follows the trajectory of a woman scorned by an unfaithful husband, within a greater frame of experience as being a black woman in America, disregarded by society at large. Beyoncé flows through eleven stages of emotion, processing and eventually healing, while exemplifying the true courage, maturity and compassion that is required to face pain and transform it into wisdom. Filled with symbolism that is expressed through fashion, dance and lush cinematography, it is a feast for the senses and soul. This film reintroduces long buried archetypes such as Oshun, the African goddess, while embodying qualities of Kali, the Indian goddess, and simultaneously mirroring the Sumerian myth of Inanna traveling into the underworld. In my personal story, as a woman born and raised in the very white pacific northwest, this experience awakened me to the depths of agony, fear and frustration experienced by black women in this country. As I watched through tears and awe, my heart was wrenched free of its blind privilege and suddenly transported into a visceral experience that has left me forever changed. It has spurred me to dig deeper in educating myself about multicultural struggles, celebrations, activism and social justice. This incredible work of art enlightens all who have appreciated it, to the beauty, complexity, passion and soul that is; a woman on a healing journey.

Writing Sample for Pacifica Graduate Institute. Sofia McKee. 2018