Kass Mencher's "Fixed in Eternity," Parts 1 & 2

During her long visits to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala over the past eight years Kass Mencher has deepened her connection to this mystical place. She completed a body of work earlier this year on her relationship with Lake Atitlan for @exxplorevision, an Instagram community that promotes the work of women photographers. Over the next couple of weeks, we will share the photographs and writing that Kass produced for that project. Thanks for following along. -Andrew Sullivan

All photos and text below courtesy of Kass Mencher.

yoga-atitlan

feeding the goddess

she rises from the ashes

to dance away fear

Located in the Guatemalan highlands, Lake Atitlán was called too much of a good thing by writer Aldous Huxley. Atitlán means the place where the rainbow comes to get its color. And it's true: the fruits, the flowers, the textiles are rich in multicolored hues that combine to form rainbows of uncommon beauty. But be wary of color. It can be intoxicating. It can seduce, deceive and conceal the true nature of a thing. When at Lake Atitlán I am compelled to make images about what is sensed but not necessarily seen.

The Maya believe Lake Atitlán is a sacred, living being harboring the world's navel within its depths. Its unsnipped umbilical cord holding the sky and the earth together. It is a spiritual and healing center attracting people from afar today as it has done since at least 300 B.C.

 


atitlan-mencher-dock

Intersection
boat dock meets park bench
he sits - fishing
i sit - doing yoga
he moves with a grace
i can only dream of
i'm mesmerized by the music
in his hands
as he casts out his line
just when i think
to pick up my phone
he stands
his profile a silhouette in stillness
before he turns slowly from the hips
stopping when his chest faces forward
fierce proud defiant fearless
balancing on the edge of infinity
he waits
a muelle matador carved out of shadow
i pick up my phone
iClick
our worlds intersect
in 1/250th of a second
he returns to fishing
i return to yoga
yet
i can't help but feel
something has changed