Look at you, powerful danger, witness to our end and our continuance. Cipher of memory, speak into the borders of this condition.
The first body––of nature, will vanish soon. But the second goes slowly. A creature of culture does not exit so quickly from its binding web. There are decisions to make about the coming journey, and in these we find fiber enough to weave the net.
We ease them gently from us and continue to invite them back. We live with them, and they know us. Gone is too easy a word; if it were complete, wouldn’t the loss have less weight?
This is something else, a presence without assurance, a radical rupture, reminding what the soil takes back. No, we have never been clean.
But if not gone, then where? Here is the beginning of hope, thirteen ways of looking at a moldering body. What else could it be, these first lessons in seeing the invisible?
I was considering the presence of deep time in the work of artist Alfredo Arreguin when I came across a Social Research article by Thomas W. Laqueur called “The Deep Time of The Dead,” which inspired this post.