Intrigued and Illuminated

A re-printing of “Intrigued and Illuminated.”  (TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2008)

I went to see Liam Finn play at the Largo at the Coronet on La Cienega Blvd in West Hollywood last Wednesday. I laughed a great deal as he played for a large crowd sitting in a beautiful theatre, but when he (and his partner, Eliza Jane) played “Gather to the Chapel” and “Wide Awake On The Voyage Home,” I began to cry. Great floods of tears. My imagination was running wild. A new story was of course working its way around my brain.

After watching Mr. Finn and Ms. Eliza Jane play on Wednesday night, it is like life started to remind me that surprises will always be found around the corner from where you are. And when you open yourself up to those surprises, life truly comes into sharper focus. And my eyes have been opened in so many different ways since that night. A variety of things have happened to me in the last few months that have truly made me grow as an individual. Some have been harsh, horrible moments, while some have been enlightening, as well as freeing.

Yesterday, someone important in my life told me that I have been going through a “growth spurt.” Pardon? A growth spurt? Like the sort of thing you have when you are a gangly, graceless teenager and you grow an entire foot in the summer? Or you grow into your long legs? Or you grow into your considerably large mouth, filled with what seems to be a million straight perfect teeth, which begins to no longer look awkwardly enormous?

I wondered, to myself, does it have anything to do with… nearing thirty? I don’t think I have the dreaded turning thirty issues (yet,) but I do see that I am doing a lot right now with my life. There have been a lot of changes in the last few months that have moved me forward in my quest to be a filmmaker, a businesswoman, a lover, an environmentalist, a daughter, an individual and a woman. A complete human being.

Which brings to me to a thought that has been running through my mind while I am working on a new film: the ‘traditional’ woman versus the feminist. It is something that has always intrigued me – a place where a woman can have a career, a family, a marriage and her individuality.

A place where a woman can be a creative soul – a filmmaker, an author, an artist – who follows and seeks her own bliss without making apologies, but is also a committed lover to the man (or woman) she has chosen to love and call her own. A place where a woman can be a Co-founder/President of a green (environmentally friendly) Company while raising a child. A place where a devoted daughter can still have a solid relationship with her mother, but also let her own, independent soul speak loudly and clearly for itself.

In the UK Times Online, there is an article titled “The good wife is an old fashioned realist,” which states:

How to be a perfect wife is not, you might have thought, a very contemporary question. Decades of feminism have been much more concerned with how to be a perfect career woman, exotic lover, fully fledged fashionista, alpha female and, latterly, yummy mummy; being a wife has been somewhat incidental, even for those who get married or stay married.

First of all, why would we (women) be thinking that this particular question is… Contemporary!? Why wouldn’t we think that the women who have “Come up the Ranks” before us wouldn’t be troubled with the same questions that we are faced with today? I think of Virginia Woolf and her essay “A Room of One’s Own,” which points out the importance and necessity of women to be financially independent in order to be able to create. I think of Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Ella Fitzgerald, Frida Kahlo, Margaret Mead, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Bourke-White, to name a few fascinating, strong and driven women. And I realize that I will always be an evolving, ever changing work-in-progress.

(This re-printing was somewhat altered.)