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Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
The Book of Common Prayer

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

The Garden of Proserpine
, Algernon Charles Swinburne.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:
Sing praises to his Name, he forgets not his own.

Protestant hymn, 17th Century

Dear Readers,

I hope October brought you happy days, fruitful in both work and play. In this part of the world we have been enjoying a glorious Autumn, but the impending chill is felt in our cool crisp nights.

Now it is November, a month when we in America celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. Although the origins of this holiday have a specific meaning for early American history, I think there is a universality to the concept of "giving thanks" – and not just one day out of the year, but as often as we can. We here in the US often lose sight of the meaning of the holiday; it is so encumbered by store sales, the advent of Christmas shopping, football games, and of course, eating course after course of Thanksgiving dishes until you practically have to roll out of the dining room.

The last quote above is a hymn I learned in school, probably in first grade. We always seemed to sing it at assembly around this time of year, and the hymn, with its simple tune, comes back to me every fall season. I never forgot the words. For some reason, perhaps its mixture of consoling, and the promise of forgiveness, struck a cord in me.

All these thoughts motivated me to think about what I have to give thanks for. Many things indeed. I am thankful for my loyal, loving and wonderful readers; my ever growing audience; my delight in the increase of teens who have come and sought us out; and my international audience, from more nations than I could list. I am very thankful that I began this magazine – it has brought me such great rewards spiritually and creatively, even though it is the hardest work I have ever done. I have been most fortunate that in my work I have met such interesting people from all walks of life, from all over the world, from all religions, from all ages, from all points of view.

For this issue I decided to rerun six articles of which I am extremely proud. They appeared early in the magazine’s existence, and because I have gained so many new readers since July, I want to acquaint you all with the articles that appeared before we met. I believe these stories span the ages; whether you are 15 or 70, they will resonate for you all. They can be both nostalgic, and open up your world. The two costume design stories, The Red Shoes and Guys and Dolls, are a rare opportunity to see images that are not available to the public, and to learn how a film and Broadway play are put together visually and creatively. Whatever you want to be when you "grow up," or if you want to change your direction in life, these two stories show you how to understand a truly creative process – one that you can tap into for yourself. And for fashionistas, it doesn’t get any better than the clothes in these two articles.

Post Fallout Glam and Auras of the Goddess are wonderful and inspiring pieces about two young women, Aly and Kali, just starting out in their careers as artists and designers. Aly’s incorporation of history, philosophy, culture and fashion are fascinating and thought provoking – you won’t look at a piece of clothing the same way again. And Kali – her organic, sculptural, intuitive approach to design is an esthetic counterpoint. You will really enjoy both these young women and what they have to say.

Finally there is the unforgettable, beautiful and unique jewelry of Gisela von Eicken. Once you see a jewelry piece of hers its power and mightiness other jewelry pales and looks anemic by comparison. Her jewelry is about strength and beauty, and Gisela inherently understands archetypal eye appeal and drama.

I have also included our consumer reports of 12 makeup flagship stores here in New York City – though many of them are also all over the US and the world. It is a comprehensive report, and it tells it like it is. We visited these stores "incognito" so we’re reporting to you the real thing. No ooohs, aaahs, fabulous sweetie darling stuff – unless it was deserved.

In this issue we have a new Buying Beauty column, a no holds barred test of Clairol Herbal Essences; a new Top 5 Picks from your favorite mall stores; a new Indulgences column, and an update on the Canadian designer Crystal Siemens (she appeared in our June issue), with some photos of her Spring 2000 collection.

I hope you all have people and events in your lives to be thankful for, for the changes and the consistencies in your lives that you treasure. Most importantly for me, I am thankful that I have my mother still with me. As some of my registrants already know, my mother became very ill a little over a year ago. Her prognosis came right around this time of year – it was not good, and I never thought she and I would be preparing another Thanksgiving dinner together. Well, happily, she is still with me and my dad, a little worn from the battle she has been fighting. But God willing, at the end of this month we will all gather around as a family together, at least for now. I am so very thankful for my family, my aunts and uncles, and dear old friends, who have rallied and supported me through these difficult times, and guided me through new waters. Words can’t fully express how deeply grateful I am to all of them.

I wish all of you the best giving of thanks for yourselves.


Series of photographs
"What's Underfoot"
by Sabrina A. Mercurio.
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