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As the second work in a collection curated by Shann Ray, also featuring the works of Vanessa Kay, Alan Heathcock and Shann Ray; this beautiful work by Mary Jane Nealon explores theme of “Light and Darkness” from the perspective of Isaiah 61:3.

Isaiah 61:3

Adoration of the Foot



Curated by: 

Shann Ray



Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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This piece is my attempt to highlight the body as the warrior for the spirit. In every situation of suffering that I have witnessed, the body asserts itself as a force for life. I am convinced that despair often comes with physical pain and that comforting the suffering body is what makes way for praise. I am especially drawn to the power of the human foot, which is the element of praise in my poem. The body in despair is often curled and tight and touching the foot with compassion and love is a way to honor the suffering person, to praise the body’s struggle to live and in doing so, one often sees the body uncurl, open out and release the suffering spirit.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Mary Jane Nealon, RN, MFA has worked as a nurse and writer for 36 years. She has two collections of poetry: Rogue Apostle and Immaculate Fuel (Four Way Books). She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Breadloaf Writer’s Conference. Her memoir, Beautiful Unbroken: One Nurse’s Life (Graywolf, 2011) won the Bakeless Nonfiction Prize.

Mary Jane Nealon

About the Artist

Mary Jane Nealon

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