Six Inches of Water

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxInca -- 15x20in. -- paint and markers on foamboard -- click to enlarge

I once had a job irrigating alfalfa fields in the mountains of southern Colorado, eight thousand feet high. The guy was growing two crops per year and each crop got watered twice. I had to show up to work four times per summer. We did it the old way with ditches and dams. The fields were inclined ever so slightly so that the water would roll over the field. About six inches of water, rolling slow enough so that it'd soak in, but fast enough to get to the other side before it all did. The fields were one mile long. I'd let the water onto the field and then wait about three hours 'til it got to the other side and then close off the dams. This was done at night under the full moon to minimize evaporation and maximize vision.

O the visions I had there, the moon was close enough that you could reach out and kiss her. I'd see a lot of strange things in the sky. One time a falling star stopped falling directly over the field. I'm like wtf? I felt a little dizzy. Then suddenly I exited my body! The next thing I remember, I was high over what I later recognized from a picture in a book to be Macchu Pichu. What followed was an un-describable vision which, among other things, tied all of the myths and stories of my childhood into a tapestry of layered meaning. This painting is an attempt (and failure) to convey the feeling of one small instance of that experience. I still wonder --why Macco Piccho? And now come to think of it, I also wonder, why Humboldt Co?

You should've seen the cowboys slap their knees and laugh when I foolishly told them about it. But they understood. One smiled and winked and said, It gets mighty weird out there sometimes when you're irrigatin' late at night.

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