Who Does She Think She Is?

Today Trinidad and I went to the MFA to see the documentary Who Does She Think She Is, by Pamela T. Boll. We drove through snow and slush, intent on seeing this film.  We arrived with seconds to spare before the start of the film, picked up our tickets at the front desk and walked over to the theater. 

The first person I spotted was Camille Musser, one of the artists featured in the film. She was standing with Pamela Boll. I felt more than a little star struck. After boldly introducing ourselves to these two women, we sat and watched the film. 

The film highlights the lives and careers of mothers who are artists, the obstacles they face internally and externally, and so, so much more. 

I was expecting to be moved, and I was. I was expecting to find commonality with the women in the film and the audience, and I did. I hoped to spend meaningful time with Trinidad, and I did. 

What I was not expecting was the wave of physical and psychological relief I felt upon hearing the voices of other women who also juggle the two roles being validated with film documentation. I was not expecting to leave with more passion for what I do. I didn't think that was possible.

For the past ten years I have been studying the lives of strong, creative women who are mothers. I have read extensively on the relationship between motherhood and artistic process, and informally interviewed mothers I've met along the way.

Some of the women whose process I've witnessed first hand were members of my graduate school cohort. Most of my peers were women, most were mothers, all were exceptionally intuitive and supportive. Through the Arts and Learning, Master of Education program at Endicott College, I was able to explore my artistic process via storytelling, voice, visual arts, drama, dance, creative writing, drumming... you name it, we did it.

Whenever a performance was required, I chose to tell the story of a woman who was a mother and powerful creative force of their time. One of the women I portrayed was Isadora Duncan. 

Duncan lived with fire in her heart. She refused to be molded by society, or create within the restraints of what the art world conceived to be "credible". She was intensely in love with her children. She lived passionately and tragically, without apology for doing so. 

Countless mothers throughout history lived with the intense passion for their art, like Isadora, and countless women live this way today. What Isadora knew, what the women in this film know, and what Pamela Boll knows,  is the power of intention.

Who do I think I am? I am an exceptional person. I intend to live an exceptional life.  I intend to do so as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a mentor, and an artist. 

I intend to use the gallery to support others to do the same. 

And I intend to do so without apology.

"You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you." -Isadora Duncan

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