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Nan Seymour and Sarah May

00:00 / 02:18

Nan Seymour

I really want to acknowledge that it's hard to stay. My mom, who's 81, has had to move for health reasons. It’s a privilege that she could go. Not everyone has that privilege, most people don't. But she, to breathe better air, has moved to San Diego. She's 81, and she's there without family; that doesn't really make sense in one way, but it's also completely important for her vitality. So it's real life or death. On the other hand, and this is even harder, the anti-trans bill that passed criminalizes my daughter's existence. She lives in Tucson. She's grown up, and she's doing fine, but she can't come home and visit me — her or her spouse who's non-binary. Does that make me want to leave? Yeah, it does. So I just want to acknowledge: it's hard to stay. I don't know if I can stay as long as I want to. I'd rather live here my whole life; that's my very strong preference. So if we can turn this around — and by this I mean not just our relationship with the lake but our relationship with each other in these justice issues — we have to turn it around to make a place where people want to come, and be, and live.

Sarah May

Nature, water, and the land, they always show up for us. They're always holding us and giving us space to be and to feel what we need to feel. I can think of countless times that I sat on the shore of the lake and just cried and poured out my heart to her because life is hard. There were some really challenging things that I was working through, and my tears became hers. The lake has held me in such a way that it's my turn to hold her, and as a community we need to hold her.

Nan Seymour and Sarah May are artists and poets with the Making Waves for Great Salt Lake Artist Collaborative. Each morning and evening of the 2024 legislative session, they held vigil and celebrated the species of Great Salt Lake with handmade bird, brine shrimp, and bison puppets. “We’re making our love for the lake visible,” they say.

Nan Seymour and Sarah May
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