Visions in Meditation Part 4: D.H. Lawrence


Rental Format(s): 16mm film

I've made three pilgrimages in my life: the 40-some-year home of Sigmund Freud in Vienna, Emily Dickinson's in Amherst, and the mountain ranch and crypt, would you call it?, of D.H. Lawrence, outside Taos. I keep returning to the Lawrence environs again and again; and this last time attempted photography in that narrow little building where his ashes were (or were not) deposited (contradictory stories about that). There is a child-like sculpture of The Phoenix at the far end of the room, a perfectly lovely emblem to deflate any pomposity people have added to Lawrence's "I rise in flames ...." The building is open, contains only a straw chair (remindful of the one Van Gogh painted) and a broom, which I always use with delight to sweep the dust and leaves from this simple abode. I have tried to make a film as true to the spirit of Lawrence as is this gentle chapel in homage of him. I have attempted to leave each image within the film free to be itself and only obliquely in the service of Lawrence's memory. I have wanted to make it a film within which that child-Phoenix can reasonably nest.

(Bruce Elder sends me this quote from D.H. Lawrence, which may help to explain why VISIONS IN MEDITATION #4 is subtitled in his name: "... there must be mutation swifter than iridescence, haste, not rest, come-and-go, not fixity, inconclusiveness, immediacy, the quality of life itself, without denouncement or close." - "Poetry of the Present," intro to the American edition of New Poems, 1918)

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