what remains and is to come

This text was generated as part of the collaborative project What Remains … with choreographers Katrina Brown and Rosanna Irvine.


what remains and is to come

16th December 2011, Harberton Parish Hall, 3.00pm

But who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? who hath the Oracle of his ashes, or whither they are to be scattered? …

The account of time beganne with night, and darknesse still attendeth it. Some things have never come to light; many have been delivered; butt more hath been swallowed in obscurity & the caverns of oblivion. (Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia)


it catches the light before it is washed to black in slumping condensation of gunpowder dunes at the exit entrance overlap in a density of viscous treacling held in falling fixed flopped folds shadows spread in scatter points cross curves slump flat overdeep

what are we looking at for to find? if I lift this does it incline my emotional projection? the reflectent angled out up and towards to tilt showing what I feel over the brimming rim of the almost too full vessel, and surface tension holds this liquid taut quivering at the curve to hold a moment again, hold again, an open hold for the knot in the middle to flick the branch points taking the weight to move it into the floor as the breath leaves, holding something in reserve so as not to crash out of standing waiting on the platform, it’s passed, has ebbed out with the slick damp wideness of the sands ripple-patterned after

I choose to do this here now and at the same time this is happening and I cannot resist it, a longer slower more shallow hurt, rather than a sudden crash of horror, and as I suck the fear into my centre it lodges there, then it is gone and I shift swiftly off to open anew expanding my surface to receive what the air brings me.



the lines recede from me growing away from my position perpendicular to these lines of writing, the saplings are not yet a forest, each reaches toward the light, they shift in the breeze, they sink toward dampness, they form another set of lines beginning to loosely grid, from here the pattern slackens as it spreads

what is enough? knowing it is enough

bits fragment and jumble the rigour of repetition to place then foot skin on floor, they shift, long dashed wavering they close and open narrow and widen now they are all dark

less themselves they rattle gently against each other, shells, a dry sound, she puffs at them

open, and more dense areas it is almost all lost, and some twigs remain press against and shift, they begin to cluster, to gather in loose groupings, bunches, small clouds set in the blue-grey

now almost wet scrunching in the damp moss suck of bog, she begins to grid, to skirt, to turn and leaves a set of parallel curls, they swap, swap a low drop slide sweep



I follow as it leads me, a petal fallen onto a running stream ripple-driven gathered in swirls by the water body I float on, drawn down toward the greater water body

an iron filing at the centre of a mass, twitch dragged by some force I cannot see, but sense, a scrap of tissue under static-charged cellophane, a fortune-telling fish lying on a palm, it sits there a flimsy scrap of plastic, dull red, it twitches, barely distinguished head from tail, crumpled by other hands, a distant echo of a sister fish of flesh and scales and gut and gills lying twitching by a river, blood drip by its open mouth, waiting, and in the sun glints on the water a leaf floats past dancing on the bouncing wave turning in the eddy’s swirl as a cloud passes and darkens the water, trees, air turning the surface clear to let the view pass to the stones beneath and to a pebble rocked by the flow



it becomes smooth pushed beyond the fingers’ reach slowed down now blowing a little rattle light patter dropping rain through the tree canopy down into the darkness below beneath the weight of the drop tilts the leaf the light shifts, a glisten, and then returns

a dust dry sound and still, and still lifting out of the page, holding, she lies on the other axis, round one shoulder a fulcrum point of pressure

they have gathered in small ridges and drifts, they begin to build a weave of skeins, a meshing of gesture traces a writing out from movement each about a limb’s length branching forth and back into and across the surface regular

then a depositing of ashes in small clumps, planting mounds she distributes placed in even rhythm over the ground still bright others smudged and ground and rubbed out of the dark punctuation, the swirl and swing mesh of field

they shine a little in the light as the edges catch turning silvery grey in the dense absence hanks and tresses appear from between her fingers sand spilling into the time glass bowl curling round the twice body-width an asphalt spill curving over and tipping down revealing the sheen still glints of facetted fragments

Mark Leahy