Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recent Letter to the Editor/Sanger Herald

I've only written 2 letters to the editor in my life, this being the second one. The first was about the time that we started Art Hops in Sanger. I never thought I'd do this, but it's a great forum and I'm finding out that people DO read them!

February 21, 2013

A Love Letter to the Blossom Trail, the Sanger Community, and the Sanger Art Hop

The onset of the Blossom Trail season makes me aware that I want to live in a world where EVERYthing is capable of blossoming, not only the trees--but also the flowers, the economy, peoples’ attitudes and abilities, positivity, acceptance, creativity, talents, and beauty. According to the dictionary, when a plant blossoms, it produces flowers before producing fruit which can often be eaten. When people blossom, they become more attractive, successful, or confident and when good feelings or relationships blossom, they develop and become stronger. When communities blossom, there is no stopping them. I am convinced that Sanger is a place to believe in.

I’m so tired of people not moving forward toward their hopes and dreams by taking the next baby step because they are afraid, broke, tired, sick, stymied, unloved, bored, stagnant, ignorant, or afraid to take a risk. They don’t maintain or  improve the looks of their rental home or rented business because it’s not their responsibility, they don’t want to spend the money, the landlord should do it, or they’re too lazy to do even the basic things to keep up a  place that is a direct reflection of themselves. On the other hand, I’ve had people from out of town tell me how clean our streets and restaurant bathrooms are and how friendly they find the people in Sanger.

I want you to look around you and see that some people clean up the trash in their yards, wash their windows, pull the weeds growing in front of and around their businesses, sweep and/or hose off their sidewalks, wave to their neighbors, smile frequently, and speak highly of their community as a desirable place to live and of their leaders as true vanguards, pointing toward a better future for our children. Their yards and their hearts blossom with goodness, generosity, and enthusiasm for life. Most of these things cost nothing so lack of money is no reason not to indulge in them. 

I want you to have the ability to see the best in people, our community, our state, and our country and let the good thoughts blossom and mature, rather than dwelling on the bad ones. The “bad” buds can be allowed to wither and die or they can be nourished and encouraged to thrive also. I encourage you to choose to help others blossom by boosting their spirits and feeding their souls. Sometimes it only takes a word or a smile.

It is because of all these wishes that I have for Sanger and for you as a member of the Sanger community that Sanger Art Hop was created. Seeing beauty through such venues as art, music, poetry, dance, and literature is a way to encourage bodies, spirits, and souls to take off and fly higher than they ever thought possible. Visiting different locations on Art Hop Saturdays and those same locations on any other day can lift your spirits and you can, in turn, lift someone else’s. A kind word to an artist in any of these venues can keep them creating or give them the lift they need when they are in a slump.

Right now, I want you to consider what YOU can do to help Sanger continue to blossom and mature. It might be visiting the Sanger Youth Center and encouraging the boys and girls to keep creating art. It might be going to the Sanger Music Center and listening to a young musician as he strums his first guitar. It might be donating a book to the library or a school library or writing a poem and sharing it with your children. It might be drawing a picture together while listening to music. It might be picking up a piece of trash from the street and putting it in a nearby trashcan. It might be donating time to help Hope Sanger or attending a Sanger Art Hop event to get inspired by all the artistic talent that IS in Sanger.

It all begins with the first step that you take. Will it be today, tomorrow, or next week? Right now is the best time. As Les Brown once said, “I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well-equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.”

With all my love for Art and for the Sanger Community,

Kathleen Mattox
Sanger Artist
“Mixed Messages” ART

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