Who is this man? ....born 1885 in the United Kingdom and died in 1930 in France. Strangely he lies rested now in Taos, New Mexico. Taos is one of those places where it sounds actually a bit better than reality. Perhaps it is just me. But how did he end up in Taos? Actually, he had a ranch there and David Herbert Lawrence was a writer and poet. It seems that many creative people end up in New Mexico near Sante Fe or Taos.
I for one.....have been to Taos. I was traveling from Sante Fe to Taos and took the back route. The back route means to take the 76 cutoff that passes by Chimaho, Truchas (Trout), Trampas, and Penasco. I am sure you have heard of them. Anyhow, there is a great little pizza place in Truchas.
Someplace near the end of that adventure the road turned to gravel as they were repaving. Now, no one can go too fast on a downhill road on gravel. It just isn't possible with windy roads etc. And if you say 'night', that adds a new dimension. But it so happens that as I was traveling down that route some deputy who was at the tail end of his shift stated that I was going 80 MPH down this gravel road. Come on now....80 mph? I barely do that on the turnpike here let alone on this back road. So I had the option of having an automatic $350 fine, or going to jail and seeing the judge in the morning. I decided to take the fine and attempt to fight it, but I was real tempted to go to jail, just for the experience. In hindsight, I should have. So, when someone mentions to me Taos...I naturally state that it is one ****hole.
But that brings me back to D. H. Lawrence. This guy was a poet and a writer and was really into human nature, society etc. A pretty awesome individual in my thinking and a man before his time. Much like Thoreau, Walden, Donne, and Whitman...they were before their time. Lawrence at one time quoted:
“Different places have different vital effluence, different vitality, different chemical enhalation, different polarity with different stars; call it what you like. But the spirit of place is a great reality.”
How does that ring? .....To me it shows that each place we literally stand in this world is going to have a different vibe....a different feel.... Our senses will react differently and, as always...each to each. We venture in our travels and see an abundance of wildlife and scenic wonders. We venture to worlds unknown and yet as we do so, we experience within us, a connection to nature that captures our individual spirit. If I stand next to this tree outside of Taos for example, my intimacy to my surroundings as a human being will be different from yours. Same spot, same tree....same view. But the connection I build or have built within on some forbidden examination of life, differs from yours. That shows that our spirit and relationship with our surroundings', that connection to an aberration (as nothing than becomes normal) makes us who we are. When I stand by that tree that Lawrence stood by,....how I view that tree, the ground, rocks, wildlife, sky.....everything; well, that might be a complete polarization of what he felt. Interesting eh?
Now, try this one by Lawrence:
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
How does that read? What takes hold of you and directs your mind in some dark area, way back.....? A bird drops....fallen, frozen and now lifeless. And yet the bird feels nothing as it slowly passes away and becomes food for insects, ...and other beasts. No thought at all. No remorse for a life led, no feeling of a life less lived than the bird that might have survived. Just a death, plain and simple. No less than a trick that mother natures plays. Ha ha....you are gone, while 'you' live. Oh so; what of it?
Now, back to you as a human. What tricks have 'we' played upon ourselves as 'we' supposedly advance into a "CIVILIZATION"...? If Lawrence would be from his grave, and speaking to you in person....what might he say? How has our civilization effectively dehumanized us? We have become industrial in nature and strive for modernity, whatever that technology might be given any one era. And yet, have we lost the very nature of being a living thing?
The bird....prior to being frozen and dropping so nonchalantly to death, kept its secrets to life, from one generation to another. Migration.....nesting.... flying... essentially just living. And we as humans? We might have lost the essential of life a long time ago and now rely upon modernization and industrialization of any degree to keep us alive.
While the bird freezes and drops dead, we prolong our lives and do so with utter fakery and illusion. The majority of our population have forgotten what it is like to smell 'roses' or find shapes in clouds or to nourish ourselves from what we find along the trail. We exist now solely due to modernization and industrialization. We live long long lives and prolong our lives with the same modernization and industrialization. We don't just keep our secrets to living within or pass along to our off-spring. We don't just live life, but for many....we have our lives led. We rely upon our phones and computers and technology and fake shelter and fake food and medication and and and and...... Instead of like that 'bird. For that one bird who lived what, perhaps 4-5 years at most, had a far richer existence and peace with nature that most of have thru our entire lives. That one bird who drops frozen from the branches without having felt sorry or without thought, has lived an existence multiple times greater than we live.
So....the next time you walk in a casual way no doubt, and come across the remains of 'that bird'....and wonder too yourself about its existence, remember now..... it truly had a life. It's life, as recalled by Lawrence was direct and purposeful and akin to nature itself. What now, can you do within your life that will represent the same?