DO NOT LET ANYBODY TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. IF YOU HAVE A PASSION, YOU NEED TO GO WITH YOUR PASSION AND DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS BEST FOR YOUR LIFE. BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.”
Pets and holidays trigger endless emotions… making this issue one of my all-time favorites. I immediately think of my favorite dog poem by Rudyard Kipling, The Power of the Dog, and my favorite holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Kipling laments, “Buy a pup and your money will buy, love unflinching that cannot lie. There is sorrow enough in the natural way, from men and women to fill our day. So why in—Heaven (before we are there), should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?”
And my favorite line in It’s a Wonderful Life: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Though seemingly different, the poem and film share a common theme, something that I think about often.There are uncalculatable risks involved in living and loving completely. Yet, when everything is said and done, it really is all that matters.
ELYSIAN’s brand focuses on women over the age of 40 who understand that life is fleeting and today is a gift.This issue marks two areas that allow the reader to share in the quest to love and live completely. Whether through animals or family and friends during the holidays, in this season of gratitude, my wish is that we might all love with passion and live with intention.
The unconditional love of a dog is captured through an artist’s eyes in the beautiful works that illustrate our opening feature, “The Dog in Art,” and the healing influence feline friends have over their owners is celebrated in “The Wellness of Having Cats.” Then, there is a certain majesty that touches the human spirit in the beauty of wild things, such as the Icelandic horse we celebrate in “The Winter Horse,” and the forceful dedication of renowned international concert pianist Hélène Grimaud to endangered wolves as founder of the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. And Kimberli Scott’s lifelong quest, to embrace stray animals with love and a forever home, is the common heartstring that ties our Inspiring Women, Jean Shafiroff and Cathy Bissell, who both are owned by adopted dogs, to stand at the helm of canine rescue and adoption agencies to actively further the cause.
Surrounding ourselves amongst family and friends—whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Chinese New Year—is not only a time of joy and gratitude, but it is the time when we can refuel our love from the strength we gain from the love we give and share. Fashion is the outward expression of our inner selves, the view we give others that reflects that which is within, and the holidays allows us to shine the brightest, as Iris van Herpen’s extraordinary haute couture singularly expresses with her unique vision. Likewise, there is creative expression happening at one of Copenhagen’s most avant garde restaurants, Geranimum, where every dish is a work of art. And finally, there is the artistry of one of motion pictures’ greatest actresses, Ingrid Bergman, whose life held as much drama as any of her performances.
And so, we at ELYSIAN have ventured to capture in this issue the inspiration that comes from deep within—the love of a dog to sustain our spirt, the inspiration that fuels creativity and the holiday spirit, the spirit of faith, and of love.
So love: love completely, passionately and with intention. Most of all, love no matter what the risk, knowing that therewards always ever are so much greater.
It is in this spirit, filled with gratitude, that the ELYSIAN family joins me in wishing you the joy of the holiday season.