MAINE, Maine — Margie Patlak is an award-winning science writer who has written about the environment, neuroscience, and technology for publications such as The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times.
She has woven that scientific curiosity, her love of nature, and her love of writing into her new book, "More Than Meets the Eye, Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine." Here she steps away from science and begins to explore the spiritual side of grief and the world around us.
"This is about what the nature in Maine taught me about the nature of life. It's also a literary exploration of loss and finding meaning in life ... it has another dimensional quality to it that goes beyond the science writing," Margie said.
She describes herself as a curious person, and her father was a scientist who loved to answer all of her questions. As a science writer, she learned something new by writing about it.
The book began as a series of essays. Margie found that often her memories and thoughts about family would come up in her writing. She had recently lost both her mother and her brother, and it became clear to her that these essays were a way for her to begin to process her grief and answer the question, "What is left after the ashes are spread?"
"The nature and the spirituality and curiosity all sort of became entwined," she said. "At first I thought I was just writing about the nature in Maine, but then I realized I was delving into spiritual territory, and no amount of scientific research could answer the questions I was raising," she said. "Things are always changing, but something always remains. That's what I was trying to capture in my book."
She hopes her book will be helpful to other people who are experiencing some kind of loss. Margie is also a nature photographer, and you call follow her on Instagram at @margiepatlak.