Ixchel - The Goddess Of LoveSaturday, March 24, 2012
|Mayan temple to Ixchel, Isla Mujeres |
Mujer, mujer divina
tienes el veneno que fascina en tu mirar.
tienes vibración de sonatina pasional,
tienes el perfume de un naranjo en flor,
el altivo porte de una majestad.
sabes de los filtros que hay en el amor,
tienes el hechizo de la liviandad,
la divina magia de un atardecer,
y la maravilla de la inspiración.
tienes en el ritmo de tu ser,
todo el palpitar de una canción.
eres la razón de mi existir, mujer
you have that poison that fascinates in your gaze
a woman of alabaster
you of a the dazzle of a passionate sonata
you of the perfume of an orange blossom
you know of the potions of love
you can cast a spell with your levity and
possess that divine majesty of a sunset,
and a marvel of inspiration.
you have in you a rhythm of your being
all the heart beat of a song.
you are the reason for my existence, woman.
Pedro Vargas sings Mujer
Isla Mujeres is on the Caribbean Sea, near the Yucatán Peninsula, south east of Mexico. It is part of the State of Quintana Roo. It is 13 kms from Cancún.
The island was discovered by the Spanish in an expedition under the command of Francisco Hernádez de Córdoba in 1517. During prehispanic times the island had been dedicated to the Mayan Ixchel, goddess of the moon, love and fertility. Her followers gave her offerings shaped in the feminine form. When the Spaniards found these figurines they gave the island its name.
Sometime before I left for and assignment to Cancún and nearby Isla Mujeres in the late 90s I was in “negotiation” to photograph a woman undraped. Her name was B. She resembled a cat, a mysterious Egyptian cat. It is strange how my own cat, Plata can be silver in some light, gray in another and almost all white when she jumps on my stomach in the middle of the night. B was the same. She changed with light and her expression could go from a Circe to a friendly girl-next-door. What was unwavering in its presence was her voluptuousness. B was willing to pose but my trip interfered with our plan session. I told her. I can remember to this day her email in which she wrote something like: “It is most appropriate that you, of all men, should be going to the Island of Women.”
In the middle 80s Vancouver Magazine Editor Malcolm Parry had attempted (he thought it a joke) to besmirch my reputation as a photographer of women. He would introduce me as, “Alex, or Lenso as some of us call him, has the singular ability to make ugly women uglier and pretty women less so.” After a while a long string of portraits of beautiful women, taken by me, appeared in his publication and his remarks on my untalented ways with women stopped.
By the time I approached B I had a solid reputation which I have kept to this day. But at the encroaching old “viejo verde”, dirty old man in Spanish, age of 70 personal requests by women to photograph them as Eve-before-the-fall, have pretty well ceased as have my attempts to once-in-for-all enter the Vancouver Sun Run. I must find satisfaction in directing my students with their magical digital sensor-equipped cameras at Focal Point while feeling the frustration that “youth”, an undraped one, has passed me by!
It all leads me to vicariously enjoy the undraped fruits of my past and to find justification to place those pictures here (highly cropped and sanitized) and to find what many would consider irrelevant connections.
B moved to Toronto. Some months later she contacted me via email and told me that in her new business world stray pictures of her in the nude (I never did show or publish any) or even the mention that she might have posed to do so would undermine her future career. I voluntarily, but reluctantly removed the mention of her name in a blog that I wrote about her and even re-named the photos (the code behind the jpgs). I know that her blog is somewhere within the around 2333 blogs posted here. But even with my most efficient internal search engine I have lost her in the crowd.
In Isla Mujeres I really did not see many of them, the women for which the island was called. My friendly boutique hotel manager, was quietly gay and he took me to see the sights of the island. He was particulary keen to take me to the cemetery which was beautiful. The pictures here do not reveal the glory of the bright reds, blues and pinks that the tombs were painted with. The hotel was uncharateristically empty and as I watched the sun set from my lawn chair I contemplated the sheer pleasure of being able to photograph soon, Ixchel in the flesh back home in my studio
|Alex in Isla Mujeres|