May 14, 2017 Probably Not a Hallmark Card

If your mother is still alive, I envy you. If your mother is still alive and the two of you enjoy hanging out together, I envy you. If your mother has passed on, but you used to enjoy hanging out with her, I envy you. If you wax poetic about your Mom- how she’s always been your best friend, or how she’s been your role model, or how she taught you how to survive in a world that just barely tolerates women, and very often, not even that, I envy you. I’ve always been envious of people with mothers like Read the full article…

March 10, 2017 You’ve Got to Have Friends

Years ago, I imagined what death was like. Not that I was looking for it—I just imagined that I knew. My conception was based on an Our Town/Carousel like idea of death, where everyone’s really there in spirit, checking everything out, seeing what you’re doing, but you can’t see them and they can’t speak to you. I think I conjured this up when I first went to Israel, and was all alone in a skeevy hotel, waiting to be transported to the kibbutz the next day, but couldn’t sleep and had no one to talk to. I felt so completely Read the full article…

December 30, 2016 They Can’t Take That Away From Me

I had a premonition. The last time I blogged, I imagined that if Drumpf actually won, I would need to be grateful that I’ve had the life I have had for all these years, without it being torn up side down. I’m still grateful for that—but I would be lying if I said that was enough. I find it more difficult than ever to look around and feel gratitude. I know I’m not alone—and I suppose I’m grateful for that—but I wonder if anyone experiences the rise of the most repugnant person into a position of power in exactly the Read the full article…

October 30, 2016 Being Grateful in the Age of Drumpf

I’ve been trying to figure out why this election has literally moved me to tears.  Why I wake up in the middle of the night, can’t sleep, and find myself dry heaving in the bathroom.  Why the possibility of a Drumpf presidency forces me to spend hours investigating a move to and appkly for visiting professorships in Canada. In 2004, after the election of Bush for a second time, I was diagnosed with costochondritis. That’s an acute, often temporary inflammation of the costal cartilage, the thing that connects the sternum to everything else.  It’s a pain in the middle of Read the full article…

September 18, 2016 The Human Connection

Whenever I speak about documentary filmmaking to audiences, whether students considering the field or adult aficionados of the genre, I invariably attempt to dissuade anyone from pursuing this career. Why?  Because it is so friggin’ difficult.  One spends more time on fundraising than creativity—by a ratio of what feels like 90 to 1.  And though one may be comforted by the idea that they are doing SOMETHING to address the brokenness in the world, documentary filmmaking, on the whole, is an almost complete drain on your finances, physical health, sanity and spirit. Why do it?  The only compelling reason (besides Read the full article…

August 13, 2016 The Stuff that Dreams are Made of

There are a lot of things in life that don’t manage to live up to one’s dream of it. For example, I can remember a bar mitzvah of a boyfriend that I was so excited about—and not only did it not live up to my fantasy, he actually wound up inviting another girl three days before the big day! Vacations have often been like that as well.  I think about them for months, about how I’m going to relax, read great books, see beautiful places—but invariably I don’t get enough rest—(even though I wind up sleeping for the first two Read the full article…

May 22, 2016 What’s Obvious Still Needs Confirmation

Watching HBO’s Confirmation, I am drawn back in time. I remember sitting in front of my television literally glued during Anita Hill’s testimony. I didn’t know all the inside stuff this film shows (obviously) but I knew when someone was telling the truth and when someone was not. And I understood completely how a woman could continue her professional relationship with someone who may have harassed her, made her uncomfortable with unwarranted sexual discussion and innuendo or even worse. I understood because her story was my story, which is so many other women’s story as well. In my case, the Read the full article…

January 31, 2016 Let’s Hear it for the Floor

I came home from filming in Uganda and Rwanda, stood in the middle of my kitchen, and was filled with gratitude for my floor. Not my granite counter tops, refrigerator with ice cube maker or microwave. My floor. There have been many of life’s simple pleasures that I have been grateful for — malted milk balls (always at the top of my list), Cooper loving his big brother Barnes so much, a Coke after a run, walking out of the dentist able to feel my mouth—but a floor? It’s not that the tiles are that amazing or I’ve done a Read the full article…

November 27, 2015 Thoughts on Gobble Day

Growing up, Thanksgiving in my house was a big affair. I remember my mother ז״ל waking up at 5:30 to continue the preparations she started the night before, shoving a supernaturally large turkey in the oven, and cooking all the way through till 3:00 pm when the 20 plus family and friends arrived. Thanksgiving would start with drinks—whiskey sours with more sour than whiskey, and whatever the current fad hors d’oeuvres. One year it was cheeses, another shrimp, (which one year our family wound up eating 3/4s of them before my aunts and uncles arrived), one year some strange version of Read the full article…

October 31, 2015 More than the Corners of My Mind

Mem’ries, Light the corners of my mind Misty water-colored memories Of the way we were. There is always a lot to be grateful for—from the mundane (until it’s not!) food, health, job, husband, cats, etc.—but then there’s the things you don’t think about much—until like everything else, they’re gone.  Like memories. When I was younger I was a voracious reader.  I would take out ten books at a time, and schlep them the seven blocks home.  As I had quickly read through the YA collection, I was given a special “dispensation” to take out books in the Adult Section as Read the full article…