Formidable & Loved Part ii: Conversations on Identity & Belonging
On the evening of August 17th on Occupied Duwamish Territory, I had the delight and honor to ‘set the table’ for people to bear witness to a lineup of formidable and loved artists who offered bold, erotic, and generous repertoires.
These are artists who have been (in varying degrees) pushed to the margins, harmed, and violated by the systems we live in. With their words and rhyme, they told the truth about their stories for the sake of a safer, and more loving and equitable world.
Photographs of Zach Spoerl and Chris Lovings are yet to be uploaded here. In the meantime, these are my words about these beautiful humans:
There are people in my life who, whenever I hangout with them, I somehow feel constantly wooed and romanced by the earth, the Divine, or however way you name this transcendent being. Whenever I think of Zach Spoerl, I feel incredibly grateful that, of all the times I could be in Seattle, it was the same time he has set foot in this interesting city. What an honor to meet this kind and wise and beautiful man—whohas a generative and loving presence that makes you want to create, feel, sing, and write more. And most of all, he makes you want to love more. If not for people like Zach Spoerl, we would not have nights like this. He is the one who introduced and reintroduced the word formidable to me. And in my season of struggle right now, he is one of the people who knew how to love me so fiercely.
Chris Lovings is a percussionist who is dedicated to bringing the beat, bridging the gap, and being authentic in everything he does— and he does so very, very well. Just like me and Ellen, he’s had his share of living a geographically sporadic life as a military kid who moved so much growing up, which is a journey that might be easy to romanticize but I’m aware have hardships of its own. So, when he says he is dedicated to bridge the gap between people, I very much trust that, because he gets it. He is not only incredibly skilled in the things he does, but he also has a most hospitable and warm presence that welcomes me and others are they are.