Gratitude

Sunday, 15 November, 2020
Walks in the Wood with Meka

Be Steadwell

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Navigating the uncertainties of the present requires gratitude. I’ve spent most of my time mining for silver. The simple gifts I can find in the middle of all this darkness. I make a gratitude list everyday. Especially on the worst days.  Acknowledging life’s gifts reminds me that life goes on-no matter how difficult or different it feels. Gratitude gives me hope. Today I am grateful for coffee, my health, a place to live, my sisters, a walk in the woods, good music, honey, sex, sunlight, ice cream.  

In the post pandemic world, social is a simultaneous widening and closing of circles. In person, my circle has grown small. In DC, I spend time only with close friends and family in an effort to reduce the risks of contraction. As a musician- I’ve faced so many changes. I can’t play live shows in person. But I’ve played music in dozens of virtual shows. In a pre-pandemic world-I’ve hosted album release parties in Brooklyn and DC. But when I hosted my album release party this year-the audience watched from all over the world. The virtual format and quarantine gives us a global platform we couldn’t have created before. I missed the feeling of a room full of people. The intimacy of sharing air, light and sound. The murmurs and laughter in the audience. I miss that so much. I mourn the loss of what was, what will never be again. But again, there is a silver lining in all of this. For now, I can’t perform and share space in person the way I used to. But online, in some small way-I can tour the world in a week.  

Today, my kind of social justice is a celebration of joy. As a Black, queer woman-I am mourning the losses. I mourn the loss of Black lives stolen by police. I mourn the loss of rights stolen by those in power. But I celebrate the visibility of these losses. Visibility is another gift of our virtual worlds. I celebrate and join the masses shouting and singing in protest. I celebrate my sisters’ lives. I celebrate Black elders’ lives. I celebrate the Black, queer love.

Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a musician, filmmaker, storyteller from Washington DC.

In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering, and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be’s original music features earnest lyricism, and affirming LGBTQ content.  Be’s goal as a musician is to make other black girls, queers, introverts, and generally marginalized weirdos feel seen and loved. In A Letter to My Ex, the musical, Be tells stories of love, loss and intimacy through a collage of music, movement and film — narrating one character’s journey through the year following a breakup. In 2019, the musical played in three sold-out showings in DC and Oakland.

This year, Be released her newest album, Succulent.  During the pandemic, you can find Be on her Patreon channel.

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