Thursday, July 19, 2012

One place I really wanted to see out here was where DH Lawrence had stayed
and worked during his time in Taos. I love DH Lawrence. When I first read him, he seemed a kindred spirit, a Druid type who believed in wanting to live in nature and in the possibilities between human beings. Sex, love, connection. Strangeness, above all. Yup.

The DH Lawrence ranch, as the place is now called, is closed to the public, but I was able to go, courtesy of The Taos Writers' Conference, where I am teaching this week. I didn't take pictures of the buildings; they were fine all by themselves, and I'd indeed steal their souls by trying to carry them off with me on my iPhone. But here's a glimpse; they were old homestead buildings, adobe and wood, and looked like the huts at Valley Forge. Utterly simple and without comfort. The wind in the trees blew cool above the hot town, and the scent of the combined saps and needles was a magic potion. He didn't stay here long, but he wrote quite a bit. No distractions. I could picture him sitting on the simple bench under the tree and looking down at his page, out over the valley, and up into the branches. Who needs more? 

Georgia O'Keefe came and sat on the same bench and painted the tree from underneath. 

The Lawrence Tree by Georgia O'Keefe

That's one powerful tree!

The picture above is of his memorial. The story I was told that several women fought over what to do with his ahes. (Ashes spark a lot more arguments than graves, don't they?) His remarried widow Frieda settled the matter by mixing them into cement that was used to make the alter in the memorial on the top of this post. His other ladies wanted to scatter his ashes over the ranch. Oh well. His books are still widely scattered.

Here's the view from the restaurant, El Meze, last night. 

And later, when it got dark.


  1. AED: Kindred spirits. I spent today in North Bennington, VT, looking at the places where Shirley Jackson lived.

  2. Yum - We went to El Meze too! Tamales and Alhambra Negra with almond semifreddo for desert...