Tag Archives: women

Fear is What You Imagine

by Gail Mooney
July 23 2013
Gail at the Pyramids - 19 years old

Gail at the Pyramids – 19 years old

We had friends over this past weekend, and we started talking about technology and the impact it’s had on our career, photography and life in general.  I was talking about traveling and how much different it is now in regards to ease of communication and staying connected.

When I backpacked around the world, as a solo 19-year-old woman in the early 70’s, I pretty much left most communication with my family and friends behind.  In a year’s time, I probably only called home 3 times and it was a lengthy and expensive process, going to a call center and waiting until an operator could put your call through to the other side of the world.  And there wasn’t any Internet or email or cells phones and texting.  When I left home for that yearlong sabbatical, I was really going out on a limb as far as disconnecting from the world I knew.

I’m always asked, “Were you scared?”  I suppose I was afraid at times, when I thought about what I was doing and what could go wrong.  But most of the time, I was too much in awe of what I was experiencing.  I was very tuned in though, to my surroundings and I quickly developed a sixth sense about people, determining if they were good or bad.  Those instincts stay with me to this day and have managed to keep me safe in my travels.

I could not have imagined what the future would bring to my life in terms of technology.  The world we live in now is far different than it was some 40 years ago.  We are more aware – of other cultures, world politics and global news.  You would think that would help in bridging the gap of understanding between different cultures.  I think it has in many ways, but we have a long way to go.

Our fears keep most of us from “daring” to do something different, especially if our life seems to be working.  Usually, it takes a big change in our lives for us to muster up the courage to face the unknown.  And when we do venture outside our norm, we are almost always glad we did and wonder why we had hesitated for so long.

I’ve been lucky.  I had parents who encouraged me to take some risks.  When I was hesitant about doing something, my dad used to say to me “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and when I couldn’t come up with any really horrible potential scenario, I’d take the plunge and face my fears.

I wonder, what’s in store for me now? The future hasn’t been written yet and the choices are mine to make.  Is it scary?  Only if I imagine it that way.  The story isn’t over yet.

Never Ending Circles

by Gail Mooney
March 19 2012

This morning is one of those mornings that I can’t seem to get focused.  My mind is spinning in a hundred different directions.  There have been too many times in my life when I’ve woken early, not able to sleep because my mind is too active. I’ve learned to “manage” my active mind with meditation, so that I can “turn off”, but I haven’t quite mastered managing my dreams and last night they were vivid, making my mind a virtual circus this morning.

I’m headed to the West Coast this week to attend another festival that our film has been selected by, The Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival.  I’m looking forward to this festival for a couple of reasons.  For starters, Opening Our Eyes will be one of the “featured” films, but perhaps more importantly, it will be a unique experience for me to be part of a festival that is dedicated to women filmmakers.  I’ve spent the better part of my professional life in a man’s world.  Still do to some extent, so it will be a treat to speak with other women who are doing similar things that I am.

When I was at the SLO Film Festival last week, I had the opportunity to see an absolutely wonderful documentary called “Who Does She Think She Is?”  The film follows a number of contemporary females artists who were working in film, visual arts, and music.

Renoir's Studio, France

These were women of different ages, races, geographic locations who were all working in the “arts” and struggling to “get noticed” in the “top” echelons of their prospective fields, which were predominantly male.

They were also struggling to find a balance between their passions (their art) – and their families and personal life. I think most women, regardless if they are working in the arts, can relate to the constant struggle of balancing what they give of themselves to their family – and to what is calling out to them, inside.

The film brought out something very interesting –  in ancient times the arts were predominantly female – the goddesses at work.  Somewhere along the timeline of the ages – women dropped out of sight in terms of being high profile in the arts world.  What top artists’ names instantly pop into your head?  Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Michelangelo, DaVinci?  All male. Nowadays, even though statistically there are more women working in the arts than men, there are few female artists at “the top.”

I sometimes wonder, why the tables are tilted gender wise, in regards to “worth”.  Is it because women, especially women my age, still somehow feel, that when they pursue their dreams so intensely, they often run the risk of compromising their personal life and relationships? I know I have felt the “norms of society” passing judgment on me at times.

I’m not sure if I will ever be “the norm”, nor do I think I will ever want to be.  Half the time I don’t even take notice of things like that because I’m so caught up in pursuing what it is I feel I just have to do. It was very clear when I was at the SLO Film Festival last week that I was certainly not “the norm” as far as “indie filmmakers” are concerned – a group that is mostly “30 something” males. No doubt, I will be more of “the norm” at the LA Women’s FF this week, but then again I probably won’t even think about it.  I’m just doing what it is I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life.  Or at least that’s what my inner voice keeps telling me.

Everyone asks, “What’s next?”  I do have a “what’s next” project in my mind.  But I’m not quite ready to abandon this one yet.  One young filmmaker told me last week “You never really finish a film – but you do get to a point when you can let go of it and move on to something else”.  That time is coming – I’m feeling it.  But right now, I’m not ready to let go of this one – the circle is not yet complete.

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