This is not a bio, although it’s a story of sorts, not so much a timeline of my life as a woven matrix of memory making meaning, ‘seeing into’ the web –
I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, where the prairies and the boreal forest meet. A prairie girl haunted by the light and infinite sense of space peculiar to that landscape.
Born cross eyed, I saw two, sometimes four of everything – glasses at age 4 helped somewhat with the disorientation. I remember wondering as a child if other people saw what I saw – and if not what did they see? How was it different? When I was 6 this was corrected surgically – from that time on everything changed. I stopped wondering about what others saw – at the same time as continuing to see things differently, to have access to that channel.
University in the late ’70’s was an exciting time, there was so much going on. I was inspired to explore the arts and all the possibilities that it offered for creative pursuits. Among the many invited artists/speakers I was fortunate enough to be introduced to, Christo left a huge impression, as did Buckminster Fuller. Closer to home, Ron Spickett * became my life long teacher /mentor. I would say that he had the greatest influence / impact on my work as well as my life. The atmosphere at the time was one of possibility, that anything and everything was doable – then the ’80’s happened and the ’90’s followed and all that changed.
I wouldn’t say that I chose to be an artist, it was more like it chose me – it was akin to answering a calling rather than choosing a career. That said, there is nothing about my art ‘career’ that has been linear or fits into categories or boxes. As an artist you could say that I never really emerged, its been more like I’ve evolved over time not over night.
In the buddhist tradition a dharma name is given to a student by their teacher. It is designed to help connect the student with their inner, true nature, awakening their divine blueprint, a reminder of their spiritual commitment.
It was to be a constant reminder that I am the creator, the architect of my life – every breath, every thought, a brushstroke on the canvas that is my life – rendering the invisible visible – sometimes in incomprehensible ways
I had a great deal of resistance to this name, it was not a name that resonated with me. It felt more like an assignment than a designation or reminder of my commitment to live a life aligned to source – to creativity.
Only Gyozo and my dharma brothers and sisters call me Okori, and although I acknowledged the name, I found it difficult to embody it, to own it.
However as my skin and bones experience the passage through time, my life, the experience of it – has grown deeper, richer, more mysterious – and now without being able to adequately describe why, I feel as though the Okori vibe / energy, has moved in and taken up residence – a new level of understanding – a new operating system has been downloaded –
Finally, feeling not the weight of the name as much as the honour of it, ready to explore that alignment – to understand the creative process on a new level, a deeper knowing of my part in all of it.
Finally, seeing what Gyō-Zō would say over and over again –
that I am the form that the formless chose, the character in the book that my soul wrote for me, playing out my role in a story that has already been written –
the source of my life on levels beyond mysterious – okori