When I was a teenager I fell in love with the writing of DH Lawrence. I devoured 'The Rainbow' and 'Women in Love' with their colourful and vivid descriptions of relationships. I have recently returned to his novels. 'Sons and Lovers' was written 100 years ago in 1913. I'm currently reading it and love Lawrence's writing about my (and his) local landscape. Returning to 'The Rainbow', the opening passage describes the farm land below Ilkeston "...where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire". Lawrence writes with the colour and symbolism I try to capture in my work. His themes of life, death and renewal share a common language with my themes of life's beauty and transience:
'The Ship of Death' - 9
And yet out of eternity, a thread
separates itself on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
that fumes a little with pallor upon the dark.
Is it illusion? or does the pallor fume
A little higher?
Ah wait, wait, for there's the dawn.
the cruel dawn of coming back to life out of oblivion.
Wait, wait, the little ship
drifting, beneath the ashy grey
of a flood-dawn
Wait, wait! even so, a flush of yellow
and strangely, O chilled wan soul, a flush of rose.
A flush of rose, and the whole thing starts again.
D H Lawrence
'Quietly the World Awakes'
Through his eyes I am enjoying my local world. Enjoying too his descriptions of his sense of claustrophobia in his life and its daily mundanities and rituals, and the sense of escape that getting in to the landscape offered him. Setting off on a Wednesday with a sketchbook and some drawing things I have a sense of purpose. I love the element of surprise and discovery. Mostly though it is being in the landscape, the sounds of the world, the light and the openness. I am so glad that winter is over and like the leaves on the trees I am being restored to life by the sunshine.
'Early One Morning' - in progress