Sunday, January 23, 2011

Death Snatches But Cannot Hold the Indomitable Artist

photograph of OK Harris by karen kuehn
New Mexico Artist ( book featured on

O K Harris was a good friend of mine who has passed away. He was a huge inspiration to everyone. He supported the artist of New Mexico. Always abundant in creating and manifesting art. He helped everyone and anyone. His welding shop was an open door for anyone who wanted to make anything. I remember one day while meandering through all the steel and scrap I found a piece in the pile that I fell in mad love over. It was an uncompleted piece.
I had no idea it just made me happy. As usual O K and his wife Rosemary and I would have a coffee and a yak about art and love and things that were know love mostly and than I went on my way. A few days later OK shows up with his big welding truck and lifts this large piece over my fence and gifts it to me. I was in shock. I didn't mean he had to give it to me...I just adored all his art. Wow..this was typical of him and his generous Spirit.
He never hoarded things or stashed stuff but rather recycled it back to those he loved as well as strangers.
I would meet him for random lunches once a month for several years before he was diagnosed with cancer and issues due to Vietnam and Agent Orange.
It took him rather fast. He had commissioned me to do some sweet photography of his partner Rosemary. We were to trade for two dancing horny toad lizard's he was to make. He never recovered and we all sat and snuggled him till he passed. Rosemary said to me once.
"Karen if I die before OK would you marry him?" I was touched and speechless. OK and I had our own language as friends. We just got it.
Art was our language and we celebrated each others gifts. God Bless him and Rosemary.

"To O.K. Harris"
by David Coy

The reaper should have picked another face from the robust crowd.
You had more work to do: creatures to cut and weld.
Brother, you were wild,
eager and alive with spark and fire creating the next edifice.
It wasn't time to shut you down, to quite your heart, to turn off your oxygen.
I believe your bones are plates of steel. Your flesh is paint on canvas - spread thin in brilliant color.

What I know of faith and science is electricity runs beyond the copper wire.
The lightening is the air crackles and our hair rises.
Death snatches, but cannot hold the indomitable artist"

I loved this and thank David Coy for sharing it.
OK you are so missed and your the only reason I want to go to heaven.

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