ed­i­tor's note

Elle (Canada) - - Editor's Note - Noreen Flanagan Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Fol­low me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @noreen_flana­gan We love hear­ing from you! Please write to us at ed­i­tors@ ELLECanada. com.

Dream big. It’s the defin­ing mes­sage for this is­sue, and it’s the bold­est and big­gest line on our cover. It’s also a sen­ti­ment that now res­onates with an added poignancy for me. We were in the mid­dle of writ­ing cover lines when I started to re­ceive text mes­sages from my hus­band, David, about the hor­rific events un­fold­ing in Paris: “A gunman opened fire at Le Pe­tit Cam­bodge restau­rant in the cap­i­tal’s 11th dis­trict,” he wrote. “There has been a re­ported explosion near Stade de France and hostages taken at a Paris the­atre.” It seemed un­fath­omable. I reread his text mes­sages, grap­pling to understand what was hap­pen­ing. To be con­fronted with such evil is pro­foundly chilling. Only six weeks ago, I had been in that city of dreams to at­tend Fash­ion Week. Our friends live in the 11th dis­trict, so the streets—and the con­vivial scene—are so fa­mil­iar. One of ELLE Canada’s long-stand­ing writ­ers, Clara Young, also lives within blocks of where the car­nage took place. In one of our email ex­changes in the days af­ter the mas­sacre, I asked her what her “big dream” is for her fam­ily and her city. “I think at this point we are still not there in terms of dream­ing,” she said. “It might be a lit­tle melo­dra­matic, but it would be more ac­cu­rate to say we are about liv­ing right now. Just be­cause things are so fraught. The edge will come off, but at the same time, it’s in the back of our minds that this is prob­a­bly when an­other at­tack could hap­pen. Th­ese at­tacks were very dif­fer­ent from Char­lie Hebdo be­cause they didn’t have a spe­cific tar­get. In the first in­stance, they had a vendetta against the mag­a­zine and we were only in­volved in the ab­stract de­bate. Th­ese new at­tacks, how­ever, really do just tar­get us.” Thank­fully, Clara’s fam­ily was spared, but the nephew of one of her good friends had just pro­posed to his girl­friend at Le Pe­tit Cam­bodge be­fore she was killed, and a class­mate of her youngest daugh­ter was at the con­cert at Le Bat­a­clan and had to crawl through dead bod­ies to es­cape. An­other story of sur­vival from Le Bat­a­clan—which went vi­ral af­ter it was posted on Face­book—also moved me. In her evoca­tive post, Iso­bel Bow­dery re­counted what it was like to live through the mas­sacre. “Dozens of peo­ple were shot right in front of me,” she wrote. “Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girl­friends’ dead bod­ies pierced the small mu­sic venue. Fu­tures de­mol­ished, fam­i­lies heart­bro­ken.... Last night, the lives of many were for­ever changed, and it is up to us to be bet­ter peo­ple. To live lives that the in­no­cent vic­tims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to ful­fil.” So, in hon­our of those who died in Paris and else­where—or whose lives have been changed for­ever by acts of ter­ror­ism—dare to dream big. Imag­ine a world where our dif­fer­ences are a source of cu­rios­ity and in­spi­ra­tion and where our hearts re­main open to all those in need.

This illustration by French graphic artist Jean Jul­lien be­came the defin­ing sym­bol for the #peaceforparis move­ment. Pow­er­fully sim­ple, it re­minds us of our hu­man­ity in spite of th­ese in­hu­man acts of cru­elty.

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