Saturday, 17 April 2010

Islandmore via New Mexico

Before moving to Islandmore, I had a furniture business in Edinburgh, and I still enjoy pottering in the shed with bits of driftwood, carving chisels and a fretsaw.

The materials and motifs are very much of the island - the nesting tern on the spoonbox, the (barely recognisable..) brent goose on the living room wall, the swallow above the bed, and the feather, stone and shell fetish which was buried with a dear friend who never, in the end, made it to the island - but the style and inspiration are of New Mexico, a place near to both of our hearts.

Lynn and I first visited America's 47th state, the Land of Enchantment, in 1991 and were instantly captivated. Like, say, Venice, there is just something about the high desert of Northern New Mexico - Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos - which seems to draw in artists, writers, musicians and thinkers from around the world; and it's not just a modern phenomenom. Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung and Leopold Stokowski lived or worked there; likewise Maynard Dixon, Georgia O'Keefe, D H Lawrence and more recently, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Dennis Hopper.

Lawrence spent a year in a log and adobe cabin on a ranch near Taos, spread over three visits between 1922 and 1925, and although he died in Provence, his ashes were brought to New Mexico by his widow Frieda, and she herself died there in 1956.

Lawrence was extraordinarily well travelled but had this to say about New Mexico:-

"The moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine high up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend."
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