This is Virginia Bell. She is not only a gifted astrologer but a lovely friend and mentor whom I trust implicitly. Once a year, I consult her professionally and, with big-picture perspective and kind wisdom, she helps chart a path that aligns me with my calling and the lessons I must court given the astrological aspects coming into the play. She cites such wide-ranging sages as Jane Austen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Marianne Williamson, Rumi, and Jung, and connects my chart to those of our country and world, which I love since I ardently believe no human trajectory exists in a vacuum. Every visit she offers me a guiding catchphrase and question to consider. This year’s catchphrase: “Creative chaos.” The question: “Where am I thinking too small?” Gosh, I just love her.
It’s not just that I loved Mary Tyler Moore. It’s that I needed her, especially when I was a confused little person growing up in the 1970s with no desire to be a housewife and very few models of women working in TV, which already was what I wanted to do. There were the beleaguered mothers in my neighborhood and the office secretaries perpetually bemoaning their single-girl status with a thousand unsmiling war stories, and then there was MTM on her eponymous show, living in a cute-as-pie pied-à-terre with no husband telling her to make dinner and no apparent regrets. Mary had the greatest best friend in America–who wouldn’t want to live downstairs from wise-cracking, warm-hearted Rhoda?—and Mary loved everyone she could, including her gruff boss (oh, Mr. Graaaant!) and simpering coworkers. She was gorgeous and hilarious and idiosyncratic and sharp, a vision in pantsuits and clever retorts and triple-take stammers and and just the best, best legs. She organized her medicine cabinet alphabetically and served cognac and coffee and didn’t pretend to be dumber than she was, even if she did suffer too many fools. (Even at age 6 I felt this strongly.) She was made for TV–movies never quite captured the scope of her down-to-earth elegance—but she also made over TV. Through Mary, we all got used to women who lived alone joyously–ones who presided over a newsroom unapologetically, who knew how to be good friends with women and men, who Long Tall Sallied everywhere with compassion, confidence, and clarity. Continue Reading →