El Ombligo De La Luna

Photograph Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Spain had its Siglo de Oro (Golden Century) which began with Columbus in 1492, and though scholars like to make it a neat century, there were two. It ended with the death of Pedro Calderón de la Barca in 1681.

Poetry was alive and well in the New World, before Hernán Cortés landed near Veracuz in 1519. This was particularly so with the Náhuatl speaking Aztecs in Central Mexico.

The word Mexico, in Náhuatl represents a poetic ombligo de la luna “belly button of the moon”. Mexico derives from Mexitli of which metzli is moon, xictli belly button and co place.

Some contest this and simply say that when the precursors of Aztecs, the wandering Mexicas saw the eagle land on a cactus to devour a snake on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco they knew they were home. That island was the belly button.

The above is simply my justification (a slim one) for placing here a picture I took in 1999 that I never bothered to enlarge. I saw it today and I was charmed.

I took the picture of Helen Yagi using Kodak b+w Infrared Film. I placed in front of my lens a number 25 deep red filter and processed the film in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B. The film has long been discontinued but I have 30 rolls in my freezer. As soon as I find my right subject I will take out a couple of rolls but this time I will try Kodak’s T-Max Developer.

Link to: El Ombligo De La Luna

Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:http://t.co/yf6BbOIQ alexwh@telus.net