I just watched a really lovely documentary called Lost in Living. The director, Mary Trunk, followed the lives of four women, who were both mothers and artists, for seven years. This film is by turns, intimate, philosophical and poignant.
Although I don’t have children, the idea of motherhood is something that I lived with pretty actively for a decade. For ten years Paul and I didn’t use birth control, although the “trying” happened in patches and waves, and ebbed as years passed, along with our sense of “it” really ever happening. Still, for me, there was always a “catch” of possibility each month, like an inhale of breath, some point when I thought “maybe” and in that moment, I would imagine my whole life diverging from whatever it was at that point. I would calculate my due date already re-arranging travel plans, school workload, entire career trajectories. In those moments, I was always simultaneously excited and scared of losing my identity and my dreams of accomplishment. The subjects of this film give voice to a lot of those feelings with an honesty I don’t think I’ve seen before in a film. Much of their experience I also relate to, because it is not just about children, but is about balancing life and art, and about doing so from one’s position as a woman. It also tracks the difficulty of maintaining friendships through life changes–and although this involves on two of the four subjects, it is one of the most compelling aspects of the film.
This trailer is ten minutes, which is long–but I like it much better than the three-minute one–so just watch a couple of minutes of it.