Appreciate life, even if short

November 21, 2016

appreciate-lifeIt’s women who seem to have had the biggest impact on the southwest and in Taos, it wasn’t just the most famous, Mabel Dodge Lujan. The impact of socialite and style icon Meredith Rogers was a surprise, and went far beyond her amazing art collection. Her former home is now a museum and sits tucked back on a country road off the main drag in Taos, NM. The granddaughter of a Standard Oil tycoon, she arrived in Taos in 1947 fresh off a breakup with heartthrob Clark Gable. She’d always been sickly, having had rheumatic fever as a child, but it’s said her health responded to the the dry, high desert of Taos, So she stayed. And taught others how to appreciate life.


From her collection

An artist herself, she collected Southwestern-style art and jewelry, much of which is on display in the museum named after her. She died in 1953 after only a few years in Taos. Still, her legacy included advocacy for native american civil rights as well as successfully lobbying for native American art to be protected as historical.

Her art collection is stunning But what really struck me at the museum wasn’t as much the art as it was a letter she’d written to her son shortly before she died at only 51 years of age.  From the letter:


Rug from her collection

“Suddenly passing Taos Mountain I felt that I was part of the Earth…I felt the Stars and the growth of the Moon, under me, rivers ran. And against me were the tides. The waters of rain sank into me. And I thought if I stretched out my hands they would be Earth and green would grow from me. And I knew that there was no reason to be lonely, that one WAS everything and Death was as easy as the rising sun and as calm and natural–that to be enfolded in Earth was not an end but part of oneself, part of every day and night that we lived, so that Being part of the Earth one was never alone. And all fear went out of me–with a great, good stillness and strength.

“All the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed….”

“If anything should happen to me now, ever, just remember all this. I want to be buried in Taos with the wide sky–Life has been marvelous, all the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed, even pain and illness because out of it so many things were discovered. One has so little time to be still to lie still and look at the Earth and the changing colors and the Forest– and the voices of people and clouds and light on water, smells and sound and music and the taste of wood smoke in the air.



“Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one’s inner light. Don’t fool yourself more than you can help. Do what you want–do what you want knowingly. Anger is a curtain that people pull down over life so that they only see through it dimly–missing all the savor, the instincts–the delight–they feel safe only when they can down someone. And if one does that they end by being too many, more than one person, and life is dimmed–blotted and blurred! — I’ve had a most lovely life to myself–I’ve enjoyed it as thoroughly as it could be enjoyed.

“And when my time comes, no one is to feel that I have lost anything…or be too sorry…
I’ve been in all of you–and will go on Being.”

And when my time comes, no one is to feel that I have lost anything of it–or be too sorry–I’ve been in all of you–and will go on Being. So remember it peacefully–take all the good things that your life put there in your eyes–and they, your family, children, will see through your eyes.”

If ever there was a paean to appreciating every moment of life, both the good and bad, this is it. What a beautiful legacy to leave one’s children and the world—the advice to appreciate life and not fear death.


35 comments on “Appreciate life, even if short
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Lovely post, Carol. thanks.

  2. kirsty-rose says:

    This was such an interesting post and I would love to go here one day. It seems like it would be so insightful and I could learn a lot!

  3. Candy says:

    I don’t have anything like this in my home. Think all the different pieces are works of art. So much time and talent evolved

  4. pia says:

    Beautiful post Carol. very different voice and tone than many of your posts.
    I loved it
    I want to live a long life just because I want a book out there that people read and well prolific I ain’t

  5. HI Carol! Yes…so good to read and remember! I love the statements ““Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one’s inner light. Don’t fool yourself more than you can help. Do what you want–do what you want knowingly.” Thank you for sharing this! ~Kathy

  6. Cynthia says:

    Very interesting post. As a quote I agree with “Live every moment as if it was your last.”

  7. Jenny says:

    Great post! IT’s so important to enjoy the life that we have, and the people around us!

  8. Your posts are remarkable as always 🙂 It’s amazing how her last words were not only shared with her son but with us now, through you. Thank you. This is a great reminder.

  9. So true. We should amke it a point to count our blessings everyday.

  10. I love it when art truly is treasured. Theres so much heart and work into it and for them to live on is great.

  11. Diane says:

    Lovely post. And lovely example to the rest of us!

  12. sue says:

    Lovely post with a wonderful message. This lady certainly had her life together even though she passed quite early. We need to take a step back and truly appreciate life each day- we are told this often but it is so easy to get caught up and forget. I love the rug so colourful.

  13. What a beautiful letter. Such lovely writing. What a message – to be so at peace facing death. And what wonderful advice to give her son. Thanks for sharing, Carol. Had never heard of Merdith Rogers.

  14. Michelle says:

    Thank you so very much for this post. I read it as my step-daughter is transitioning and it brings comfort from its perspective. Very much appreciated. ~ With Gratitude

  15. Inspiring message. “Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one’s inner light. Don’t fool yourself more than you can help. Do what you want–do what you want knowingl? Trying to disassociate from the noise and do what I want.

  16. Heather says:

    Wow! Moving! She certainly was a woman who didn’t fear much.

  17. Amber Myers says:

    These are all such great things! I love this letter.

  18. Ellen Dolgen says:

    This is beautifulI just love these quotes. I have jotted a few of them down and they are now on my desk! How wonderful to be so full of life that you don’t fear death at all.

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s people like her that make you appreciate life so much more. I love her love for life and her passion to inspire others to live life with positivity and eagerness. She sounds like the type of person you’ll want to talk to for hours!

  20. Paula kiger says:

    Beautiful sentiments …..

  21. Valerie says:

    What a positive way to look at life. I really want to know more about this lady now.

  22. Such a lovely, heartwarming letter. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  23. Vera Sweeney says:

    What an amazing letter!! It is so easy to miss out on important things in life with how much we have going on these days.

  24. Kim says:

    Southwestern art is so beatiful! I really enjoyed these quotes 🙂

  25. MilicA says:

    Such a nice post! Hope I’ll get to go there one day.

  26. Jill Conyers says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I love the concept of, “All the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed”.

  27. Ellie says:

    Such a great post and a great message. It’s so important to live for you and not worry about what others may think of your choices.

  28. Borei Design says:

    What an amazing story and life lived! I would love to see her collection!

  29. Lisa Rios says:

    Mabel Dodge Lujan sounds like a great inspiration to many other women and her collections are quiet incredible as well. I agree that we must live a life with honesty as if it is going to be the last moment. Thanks for inspiring.

  30. Rosey says:

    That really is a good concept to instill in our children. For them and about us.

  31. Good heavens. She wrote this in 1953? What a woman ahead of her time. It could have been written today. What sticks with me is: Do what you want–do what you want knowingly.
    Thank you for the introduction to a remarkable woman.

  32. What an inspiring life she lived! Thank your for sharing. I’d never heard of her. Yes, she was ahead of her time! I want to read more about her!

  33. Debbie Goode says:

    Wow and Wow! What a beautiful legacy to leave behind….”Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one’s inner light.” So very true….and thank you so much for bringing her words to us…

  34. Elda says:

    What a beautiful letter. I felt like I was right there with her as she was feeling the green growing out of her.

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