Artist's Statement

I am an artist who uses words as my medium. It took years for me to decide to live my passion for writing, to honor the artist within me.

I am a scholar who feels very deeply. The recurring theme of my art is reconciliation: The art of creating agreement among things that are seemingly opposite or inconsistent. My words are simple. The feelings are not.

It is my experience that mind and heart are twins that are the two faces of me as an artist. Mind and heart are one. These are the source of my strength and voice as an artist – the conduits of imagination and creativity that I have been given.

Simplicity…Reconciliation…and the place I choose to be ….

Kubiashivik

The one and only time I ever heard the word was on the evening news in the early 1970s.

Two professors, psychologists from UCLA – a man and a woman – had built a cabin on a remote tract of Alaska wilderness. They called it Kubiashivik.

They earned cash money consulting for oil companies. Once a week, at a camp they were flown to, the man and the woman talked with construction workers. The workers lived in desolation. The workers were building the trans-Alaska pipeline. The workers found life in the desolation of the Alaskan wilderness stressful. The man and the woman listened. Mostly though, the man and the woman spent their time working in the solitude of their space at Kubiashivik.

As often happens when people wish to be left alone a film crew was dispatched to interview them. The man sat on a log at the edge of the lake from which they drew their water. The newsperson asked irrelevant questions. The man was polite. It was that kind of place – a point where irrelevance and reality intersect – there, at Kubiashivik.

Finally, with a resigned smile, the man – the woman beside him – told their story. They had received letters from friends in California and other places. The friends all complained. Their lives were hectic. Their friends wished that they could live in the remote solitude of the wilderness, if only….

If only there was running water. Their friends thought it a great effort to carry water from the lake. If only there was indoor plumbing and a toilet that flushed. If only there was a telephone. The man casually chanted the litany of if only-ies. The list was long for life was uncluttered here, at Kubiashivik.

As always, there was the ultimate if-only. The man smiled. The man talked of the grizzly that broke open the door to their root cellar. All their friends had commented they would love to live in the wilderness if only there were no bears.

Wherever a person lives, the man continued, there are bears. Critters that prowl the night and tear open the door to a person’s root cellar. The difference is that here the bear is a real one. That is the simplicity of Kubiashivik.

I have offered you food and comfort and love. Often I have thought of Kubiashivik - knowing that you will come to understand that the difference between desolation and solitude is whether you fear the bear.

Kubiashivik? Roughly translated it means, the place I choose to be for now.

Ken Jones
Anchorage, Alaska
June 2007



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