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Guest column: Remembering

— For the past few weeks I enjoyed profiling three women who express themselves through art. Engaging in artistic work is our way of finding first, capturing next and ultimately sharing beauty. Beauty, when we experience it, makes us look up in awe, makes us stop and pause and reflect, and it makes us feel sated. It takes us away from the usual. In all my travels I have seen many sights of beauty, but none really as surprising, as rich and as real as those evenings driving home or to one of our local shops on Route 31. Stopped at a traffic light at the right time of evening, in the right season, the most glorious sunsets suddenly, it seems, appear. From nothing. From nowhere. The orange/blue/purple sky is a reminder that sometimes, we have enough.

There are many artists in our midst. But this week, there is another concept to acknowledge, the everyday rage that lurks in our everyday suburban lives.

Three years ago on March 15 we lost a member of our community. Patricia Mouton, a mom, a grandma (Nona) and a dear friend, died in the midst of a school board meeting, a school board meeting that was emotionally charged as the BOE and the superintendent of Liverpool schools were unveiling a budget plan that included the proposal to close a school. Ms. Mouton was also a beloved teacher in our community and on that night three years ago, she left us one last lesson:

Whatever we make three years post the events of that evening, let this be said — not a one of us in our community should be proud. In a time of scarcity, we acted badly. (I include myself in this assessment.) While we spew clichés about communities coming together after horrific events, the reality is we are still immersed in collective battles over vital resources. We fight without listening to what one another says; we demonize people rather than tackle collective problems.

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