Millicent Rogers, Mother Theresa and Brooke Astor, all dead now. Style isn't the only factor when you think of impact. Style isn't anything without gumption. I visited the Millicent Rogers museum in Taos... so she's on my mind with these other two.
Millicent Rogers, right, made her mark by collecting regional art. Her namesake museum is full of her personal collection of New Mexican Spanish Colonial religious art, Navajo and Hopi jewelry and Pueblo pottery and other art from this area. She, an heiress, came here from the East and found a style worth paying attention to, beyond her own style. Her interest gave these art forms impetus and traction because she had common sense to look beyond traditional forms and had the guts to move on that instinct.
The two other women whose styles were riveting are complete opposites. Now we know of the dark nights of doubt of Mother Theresa. She gave impetus to a life of denial and service, as Brooke Astor was a beacon to the art and style of the elite. Compared to Brooke Astor who reigned in the evening, they are women worlds apart, yet both hold fascination in their own rights. The dark nights of soirees were Astor's shining moments...
Isn't it interesting to look at other examples of how women choose to live -- those past and those present? More thoughts on these women on the flip.
The new book released containing Mother Theresa's letters where she writes that she doubts God, of God not existing.... Nobel Prize winning Mother Theresa lived to be 87, yet realizing the work she did and the difference she made even though she admitted she had doubts about what drove her. Don't we all have that sometimes? What does this mean that those worthy of sainthood were full of doubt? Regardless, she had the boldness to take intiatives that helped others. In so doing, she helped herself, I'm sure, as did the other two ladies. Mother Theresa writes:
So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them
— because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When
I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting
emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt
my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of
darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing
touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the
Call of the Sacred Heart?
— addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated
A New York Magazine article on Brooke Astor, who just died at 104, commented about how her positive attitude was her major force. She lived to be old -- NYC thought she was a saint. What she had was spunk, pure and clear. She swam with dolphins, jumping right in, in her mid-90s. While Astor served comfort food to her coterie of wealthy friends, Mother Theresa focused on comforting the poor... Of course I exaggerate. Mother Theresa did work to feed the poor and Astor provided scholarships for needy students at Columbia.
I just thought I'd focus on three women who made a difference with their own style and passions as I still have lingering thoughts about Princess Diana's death and Leona who only loved Trouble. What role does courage, faith and style play? Regardless of doubts they might have all had, they, like Brooke Astor swimming with the dolphins, all jumped right in. Style with gumption.
Making a difference in the lives of others... How do we find our own mojo, our own style?