I’ve seen her but other times I have not. I know who she is but her name escapes me; often many times. She’s everywhere and sometimes I spot her but soon she’s gone again. Hidden yet visible. Is that even possible?
She’s that young girl in grade school that you’ve noticed but hasn’t spotted you yet. She’s the neighbor’s wife who smiled at your twelve year old self. She’s the woman in your dreams who leads you to good and questionable places. She’s the old woman you stop for on the street even when you’re in a hurry. She sits in the same pew space every Sunday morning, never misses. She becomes the mother that you remember after you’ve forgotten your mother’s face. She was with you at your birth and escorts you from this life. She’s even that girl scout whose cookies you turned away because of your stupid diet.
Well, you may not know it but she has a name. For all of us, she remains nameless but I’ve uncovered who she is. This is the least I can do for readers since her elusive part is so elusive. But she has a name, it’s Anne Bancroft.
We may recognize her from movies but her face fits perfectly to my (or our) elusive woman/mother that looms over our earth, active within our minds and hovers inside our wanting souls.
In film, she’s the teacher and savior in “The Miracle Worker,” teaching Helen the word water with her gentle hands. When have those hands touched us in our lives? In “The Graduate,” she’s the seducer of youth as Simon and Garfunkel sing with gorgeous legs that lasted her lifetime. She’s the enticing deceiver in “Great Expectations” luring in the young to feel the pain she couldn’t resolve in her own life. The wounded woman she then plays in “An American Guilt” as she smells adultery on her husband as she walks around him. As a ballerina, she ridicules Shirley MacLaine on a windy roof for not achieving what she has. (Classic movie conversation, by the way.) She’s an extra with no credit in “Blazing Saddles” which makes her presence even more evasive and she plays herself (is that even possible?) in “Silent Movie.” Disguised as a nun, she guides fellow sister Jane Fonda through “Agnes of God.” (Jane Fonda as a nun?)
It is not her acting versatility that makes my point but her aging face with more age added to her years of work and labor.
Mothers die, women come and go in all shapes and colors (and shoes!) but within them all lies Anne Bancroft. I’ve never met her but I know her. I have definitely seen her many, many times in my conscious and unconscious life journey.
Is she Anne Bancroft? I think so, but I’m not sure.