+ ARTIST STATEMENT +
Apprenticing to Bright Forces
In my early teens, I encountered a phrase from the 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho:
Seek not the paths of the ancients; seek that which the ancients sought.
Inspired by Basho’s ‘spirit for the quest,’ I embarked on a meandering 30-year journey of experiences and studies — contemplative, creative, cross-cultural, ecological, psychological. Regardless of the setting, I was always tracking something. A way of being. A way of living attuned to the numinous.
Eventually, I encountered a New Mexican wise woman who would be a “root teacher” for me. doña Río (as some called her) was part-”holy clown”, part-curandera, part-”dangerous friend.” For over ten years, until her death in 2007, this horse-woman, wilderness guide, dreamer, and creative mentor guided me in a path of deep inquiry. From her juniper-shaded adobe bungalow in Santa Fe, to the shapeshifting landscapes of northern New Mexico, the work, play, and “tortilla wisdom” that was the focus of her “Dust in the Wind School” was about how to be what she called a “dream-traveler” — a deep-seeing poet, a deep-feeling human being.
The poems you encounter on this site are but a glimmer of that learning process.
Frank LaRue Owen
near the Chisha Foka Trail