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Visions in Meditation 4: D.H. Lawrence

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1990
20 minutes, Colour, Silent
Available formats: 16mm

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 mtn. 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, 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. – S.B.