Espejismo

Photograph — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Tonight, Wednesday Rosemary and I came back from the opening night performance of 4000 Miles, an Arts Club Theatre production at the Stanley Theatre. I will write about this play in the next few days.

I am in a state of turmoil because I have lost a file called Family 2014. I believe I will eventually find these valuable photographs (half of which I must admit are not lost as I took them with my Fuji X-E1). They will be found probably slipped with another file somewhere inside one, of the 14, four-drawer filing cabinets that I keep in the basement. The room is amply heated so there is no humidity to damage the slides, negatives and prints.

For the last few days, I have also been reflecting (appropriate choice of word, you will see) on my obsession with mirrors and taking pictures with them.

Last Week I had the cover for the Georgia Straight in its yearly Fall Arts Preview. I believe, since Janet Smith, the Arts Editor, calls me every year for this (am I the oldest photographer on the Straight masthead?) that she must be anticipating the day (soon now) when my widow will answer the phone.

The inside pictures, five of them, include two which I took of two dancers and of two actresses in front of a mirror. Smith has noted that this kind of shot has become my signature shot (as former Fuji employee and now photographer and father Gerry Schallie would say). I thought about this.

Yesterday with only my memory (faulty at times) I compiled into a holding file 72 such pictures. I plan to put all of them into one big blog but I will also insert two or three Jorge Luís Borges poems on mirrors. It seems that both these Argentines had a fondness, preoccupation, repulsion, and attraction to the mirror.

For this much shorter blog I will use pictures I took last week of Caitlin Legault in my guest bathroom and one this week of my granddaughter Lauren in which the rear windshield of my Malibu is the all important mirror.

I like the word, espejo, mirror in Spanish. It has music when you say it. Espejo comes from the Latin, to see or mirror, speculum but it still sounds like a Moorish (Arab) word like our ojalá (I hope) which comes from the Arabic and is a variation of Allah wills. It is further interesting to me that a variation of espejo is the verb espejar (no longer used) and the more modern despejar which means to clear but also take off. An airplane takes off, or despeja. Perhaps the labyrinthine back and forths of meanings associated with espejo is the Borges attraction.


Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.