Elle Mae Mitchell
by The Bathtub Project
Name: Ellie Mae Mitchell
How often do you bathe or shower?
Probably not as often as most people. I wash my body about once a week, I haven’t washed my hair in eight months. I’m a fan of water rinses. Just water. I feel like outdoor showers are under-utilized, just a rinse off can make me feel so much better. If I have the opportunity to shower outdoors I’ll do it. We are planning to build a solar-bag outdoor shower with bamboo so we can rinse off. If I’m in the garden, I don’t want to come in and use the tub or shower if I don’t have to.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
Can I be an aquatic plant? Because hornwort. Hornwort is a submergible plant, it was actually the first plant in space. It’s this feathery thing that lives all underwater, doesn’t have any roots and floats around, clinging to other plants. It’s a natural oxygenator and it’s one of the backbone species in evolutionary submergible plants. It’s a very old plant. Hornwort. I feel like a woods witch when I say it, like “HORN-wort!” You know? Like, where’s my HORN-wort? It’s in our pond too. It’s one of my favorite plants. I would be totally be a plant.
What are you passionate about?
Oh, well, all plants. Growing things has been a part of my life, my entire life. Growing up on a farm, growing your own food, growing your own medicine. It’s very inherent to my own architecture in what I do with energy work. Plants rule my life, in the best kind of ways. Music too – being a musician. Being a songwriter and being able to tell my story in ways that other people can interoperate independently, it’s such an amazing way to heal with others and connect with strangers. To play music for them. I can really connect with people that way. I feel that music is a big part of my language, how I interact with people. I started when I was four or five. I played classical piano most of my life, then I quit piano when I was 16. I picked up the banjo when I was 18 and have been playing banjo for almost ten years. Trying to learn the trumpet right now.
Has music supported your personal growth?
So, I just played a songwriters-round the other night and it’s not often that I play solo. To play solo, I had to pull out some of my older songs that I haven’t played in a long time. Thinking about growth, in the way of what I’ve written and what I’ve chosen to create in a physical… creating a time portal, in a song. Because, I can always go back to that moment. And other people can create their own time experience with that emotion, with what they feel through the song. So with growth, it’s interesting to look at old songs and feel those feelings again. Sometimes, it’s like, what the fuck was I thinking? Why did I feel that way, it’s so silly! But that’s the beauty of time, I guess. Being able to look back and recognize the growth and move forward.
What is something that you struggle with?
A lot… I think right now, motherhood. Motherhood, parenting, is hard. I have a two year old and I love him deeply. Patience! Patience is what I struggle with. I’m a very impatient person, that’s what it’s all boiling down to. He’s learning patience, which is the irony of all of this. He’s stubborn and he’s learning and I’m stubborn and I’m still learning, as the mother and just… Patience. Patience with partners, patience with myself and learning patience while trying to guide another person through this world. Patience is something I’ve been struggling a lot with lately.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My child. Ezra. That’s what it feels like. Being able to… I don’t know, that’s a tough question ::laughs::. But as a parent, that’s been the most life-changing thing that I’ve ever done. To bring another person in this world. The way that he makes me feel is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Seeing him thrive and learn and grow through family-love-energy… I think it’s him.
What was your conception of motherhood before Ezra?
Kinda different. I probably thought I knew more than I should have ::laughs::. I really thought that I had a plan, like, no TV and all organic. I wanted the best environment for him at all times. Then… the birth was so fucked up. It was horrible and traumatizing and was not what I was expecting at all. I had an emergency C-section after 30 hours of natural labour. I thought I was going to have a water-birth, but then he was cut out of my body. It was intense, it was really traumatizing and that humbled me INTENSELY. I thought I knew, and that first moment was like, “You don’t know nothin’”. And that was really cool and harsh and important to learn that. All of this… it’s like a token you hold. It’s with me all the time, like, with each new experience I can use it as a check-point. It allows me to step back and ask “is your ego in the way, are you trying to encourage them to thrive”. Which reminds me of how all human beings act, whether lovers or friends or whatnot. Like, are you lording or inhibiting someone else’s growth from your own personal selfishness or ego or whatever.
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, familial, sexual and otherwise.
Human beings learn and thrive from experience. It’s how we communicate so much through body and through language. Most of those interactions are between people themselves. It seems like… I’m such an emotional person, I get attached so easily. Whether intimately or emotionally, relationships are intense but they’re vital. They’re essential to growth and to learn empathy and to continue to grow. Learn to love stronger. I don’t mean to sound like a dirty hippie, but like, empathy and love is so important in a harsh world. We need more of that, we need more empathy to understand one another.
What is your love language?
I affiliate with the Queen of Cups, and that would be the love language that I give… I’m an empath and a mother and a healer. Filling other people’s cups is really important to me. Giving gifts and making things for people. I love giving time to show someone I care. I’m a very physical person too. I thrive on touch, the little things. Little actions. Physical & intentional, like slow river.