A Natural History of Sense & Spirit: A Poem by Maralie

An elegiac meditation on mourning, Maralie’s A Natural History of Sense & Spirit is composed from materials gathered during the long illness and death of her/their father. Enfolding us in a material atmospherics, the boundaries and surfaces of bodies in Maralie’s piece, are not eradicated or destroyed. Rather, they are transformed, warped and multiplied—they tessellate between themselves an abstract intimacy. And within this graceful geometry of dissolution, we experience the epiphany that a loved one can never truly be lost. Their shadow can be conjured in motion, can manifest itself within the bodies of those they’ve touched; can be caught gently between spaces, momentarily encapsulated in a beam of light. 

A Natural History of Sense & Spirit ultimately explores the question of how we may diffuse the close-heartedness of individual suffering and transform it instead into a universal mode of seeking. Death in this piece is not mired in pain, or suffering. Here death turns generous; it takes shape as something joyfully lawless and diffuse—something beautiful—hurtling in some dimension perpendicular to our own. A color we can only see out of the corner of our vision. 

—Trisha Low

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