When I was asked to go to the Oregon desert in 1990 by a friend, I said yes. The trip sounded exciting and I trusted my friend Bill Witherspoon who was an artist. He said he was going to create an art project and wanted me to come and video tape it for an art video he wanted me to produce. I trusted Bill and knew he had spent many months over several years there painting.
After arriving at the remote location in the desert and meeting Bill’s friends, I found out that the art project wasn’t about painting. Bill and his friends were gong to create an earth carving a quarter of a mile in size in a dry lake bed there. Really hard work, sweat and pain went into creating the Sri Yantra design in the Oregon desert that late summer of 1990.
I had brought a high end broadcast recording system and knew that I had to protect it from the heat and dust of the desert. Bill did not want any tire tracks anywhere on the dry lake bed where the design was being made so that meant I would carry my equipment in and around the work being done.
Each day as the design got bigger and bigger I had to walk further and further to gather footage. At the end of each day everything had to taken back to my tent for save keeping.
After five days I realized my body had become stronger and was changing. Walking at least ten miles every day filming and helping the crew when I could had made me fitter than I had ever been.The food Bill was preparing for all of us daily and the two gallons of water I was drinking each day had cleansed my body and my soul. I was performing differently, I was getting stronger, and mentally more relaxed, only thinking of what I was doing in the moment. Thoughts of my business and my family faded behind what I was seeing and doing in this remote part of the world.
By the ninth day almost all of the plowing to make the furrows that marked the lines of the Sri yantra design had been made. From the ground and from any part of the design you could only see lines or furrows going every which way. After all the days of working none of us had seen the design from above the ground. The crew was sure it was as perfect as they wanted it to be. I really never knew exactly how they had made it. They continually studied geometric formulas and checked and rechecked their measurements, because if they made a mistake in their first markings of the design, the furrows would then be wrong and could not be erased and that would mean the design would be wrong and the project would end in disaster.
As the day ended, Bill said he and I along with his son Miles would travel to the top of a four thousand foot mountain to the North the next day to see and film the design from there.
During that evening, I could only think of the adventure that awaited me the next day.