A Mothers word is Golden.

My daughter the Muralist!

A mother sees through the wounds!

We are surrounded by murals every time we look out our window. Life is a mural. The four seasons that we sometimes take for granted. We are surrounded by murals every time we walk down the street or look out our car windows in our everyday travels.

Murals on buildings relate to our brokenness, shyness, expressions, and history that enhances our forgotten history and where we come from. Businesses prosper, streets and alleys are beautified. Old building’s tell stories of the past and present. Our youth, seniors, and the forgotten have stories to tell. Without them you wouldn’t be here.

We share kindness, a smile, a cup of coffee, conversations in this broken world.

The progress of technology has rapidly increased and no one has time to smell the roses.

Our communities, tourism and local businesses would greatly prosper if the act of mural creation was an essential service. The people are an essential service to our community survival.

We do have libraries, education systems and computers, that have taken priority over actual human interaction. But when one walks down a street and sees a mural, one is taken in awe, the colours, the story, and we can say I remember that. We can say that is my grandmother or mother’s story, or my uncle’s story. Or my story or your story. We all have a story.

My child could say “Tell me that story!” In doesn’t cost to go for a Walk About to see our towns beautified. I’m proud of my daughter and of what she has accomplished and is still trying to do for this generation and the next. Art is healing for our souls and brings joy. So many lives she has touched and helped to be seen and not forgotten.

Every town is special and has its own stories. We all like to have tourists see murals on our building’s to enhance tourism in your town, but more importantly we need to engage all together in that creation of tourism to bring all together for true community building. In my time we did bake sales and church functions, no-profit community events and disaster support, funerals and of course in our family mural creation and feeding everyone. Everyone as welcome at the dinner table and the mural wall.  That is what my daughter has carried with her in work. She welcomes all and tries to bring all together in the work she does.

Lest we must not forget all the people in the back ground who help,  donate their time, visite the sick, helping the poor, support the food bank, the go fund me,  the thrift stores, the parades, the events and all the volunteers who are sometimes so taken for granted. This is community social infrastructure that was part of our upbringing and moral measuring stick. The silent partners. Now it feels those that did give are forgotten. 

Those stories need to be heard and remembered. Especially the lost community skills that make a town prosper, socially and economically. We can have a community full of creators, but without a place to showcase and gather we are all unseen. Michelle works tirelessly to create opportunities for others to be seen. I do not think she is always treated kindly for her push for this inclusion of those not seen or part of our more recognised systems. 

I remember the murals and the making of the murals in Sparwood.  It was a joy to see the people of all ages come to the wall with their stories of coming to Canada and working in a coal mining town.

We all worked together to create giant stories of common threads. We taught kids to work, and let all spend time in some way as we had fun, shared cookies and laughed. So many seniors were so proud to see their lives on the walls. A tribute to the community resilience and the work they did to survive and raise families. Their tough times. The murals made the tough times feel less stressful and more successful. Somehow knowing together we were better and could see the strength in the stories on the wall.

But we seem to have lost that spirit and the respect for those that toiled before us. The walls have faded and folded, the spirit has gone. Our murals here, that started something that raised millions and millions of dollars for many new murals towns around the globe are lost in the dust. We have artists here, we can sing the story again. We still have walls, we still need to tell our story of this generation. We are still here we are not lost in the Dust.  

I am proud of the people of this area. The lessons we taught our children have been far reaching. Our children have made us proud. And I remember a wall, a photo of a school, the willingness for so many of us to learn to paint a giant mural, and an arts council that flourished with ground breaking enthusiasm.  I miss that here.

My daughter took that vision to share with many. That is her talent. Sharing and being a brave social activist. And that is not for the faint of heart. She has had to create the creative mine to support the creative people. I think her union mining grandfather speaks though her.

This town should be proud of all our daughters for being women of the coal and understanding community is working together.  Patricia Kozler

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