exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Death

Jen Sanders

Jen Sanders


Date of Interview: September 21, 2016

Name: Jen Sanders

Age: 30

Pronouns: It

Location: Philadelphia, PA


What underwater creature would you be?

I am underwater and I am a creature. So I always try to put myself in water, so I feel like there’s definitely a history of something there. Like I’m getting back to a primordial creature. Yeah, I’ve lived near rivers a lot and the ocean a lot but I guess if I wanted to be another creature, I would probably be some weird looking coral spongy thing that would just chill and suck ::laughs::.

What are you passionate about?

Water. Plants. Love and connection too. I guess nature. So people and plants and the earth. It’s kinda, it’s depressing and sad when people try to, people that are in a position to own destructive materials, try to get more of those destructive materials and constantly fuck the earth without giving back to it. Just all of the taking instead of the give and take. So I’m very passionate about being completely pissed off about that ::laughs::.

How do these passions play into your daily life?

I mean, it plays a lot into everything, I have two kids so I’m constantly thinking about feeding them and feeding myself, and where that food is going to come from. Mostly, and we always hope that it comes in a very stripped down kind of way. You know, basic fruits and vegetables and grains. So, that’s the first thing that I think of but I also have a very deep relationship with plants where I feel like I do love them and they love us. Like there’s a lot of energy exchange. And I like to give that exchange and take that exchange, it’s like a gentle fucking. And I think that I’m always wanting to look at a plant, I always want to be near one and be touching one. But I guess that’s the same with people too. I have a lot of time by myself that I give myself because of my job and my life and the way that I put myself out to people, it’s good to have time and give time to yourself. So you can kind of restore that energy that you’re going to exchange, with whatever.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

Figuring out that I like to take baths. Figuring out that I genuinely do have a really positive way of connecting with people, and I really care about people and nature, and I’m really invested in life and the environment and the world. And you know, I’m also a huge hypocrite and sometimes I get my recycling fucked up and you know, I could go on about that guilt but I think accomplishing happiness is really important as you get older. And I’ve been able to find that through music and through art and meeting people that feel the same way. So accomplishing happiness in a really fucked up world is pretty impressive ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

I’m a little bit scared of death because I have two kids and I would be sad… I’m not ready to die and it sucks when things are dying and I see that in the world right now. I see water supplies poisoned and people still getting killed innocently and children in Syria that are parentless… it’s a worldwide stretch for something that is just not available and to me, it seems like the answer could be solved if we really look at greed as a factor in the unhappiness for most of the people in the world. But I think that people are starting to look at it, so maybe things are looking up. But I guess we’ll see.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

For myself… I guess, maybe starving or getting the wrong treatment that I don’t deserve with death. Like, I don’t want to be shot or raped or killed to early. I feel like there’s a lot of living left to do so I worry about having a shortened unfair death.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

Oooooo relationships. I’ve been in relationships, relationships are really tough, I’m in one right now. They’re great and I like having a lot of fun with people and sometimes I extend fun into showing sexual… like showing and maybe sharing to much. When it gets physical and intimate it’s hard treating the primary partner, it’s hard being exclusive when you want to extend the fun into other ways where you’re physically expressing love instead of vocally. So that’s where I’ve found difficulty with relationships, but I do enjoy having friends I’m not attracted to and don’t think about sleeping with. I think that closing it off and saying that it’s one thing kind of makes things awkward. Yeah, relationships are difficult for me ::laughs:: I want to flow. I want water… clean water ::laughs::.

What is something beautiful that you’ve seen today?

Your hair.

Julie Outrage

Julie Outrage


Date of Interview: August 20, 2016

Name: Julie Outrage

Age: 28

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC


If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

I would be a shark. ‘Cuz they’re like, the king of the ocean and I want to be the king, ya know?

Do you feeling like having power and being in control of your life is important to you?

I don’t think that there’s any possibility of having control of your life. So I don’t really mind not having control over things. I’m not a very controlling person in general, but I do like having power. Yeah. Power is strength more than it is control, power is influence. I remember this quote, I was listening to this Kanye West song where the line goes, “no one man should have that much power.” And I was recently reading one of the Malcolm X speeches and I didn’t think Kanye took it from there, but maybe he did because the quote is in there. When the black Islamic group began with Malcolm X, there was a man who was arrested by the police and Malcolm X showed up at the prison with a TON of people and the police were freaked. They were terrified because the black people were mobilized. They were completely fucking horrified. The police were like, “What’s happening? Why are all of these black people here?” and they discussed what was happening with Malcolm X. Malcolm X decided that bringing the group wasn’t the proper way to handle the situation so he told all the people to leave the police station where they were protesting to have the man who was in jail out. Maybe more than 100 people, they all left. And what the white cop said was “WOW, no one man should have all that power”. They were terrified of him, you know? For being able to mobilize them, then to calm them down and make them leave. And I’m just thinking… power. That’s what power is. That’s not necessarily control, not controlling people in that sense, but true power is influence.

What are you passionate about?

A lot of things. I’m passionate about music, bougie intellectualism. I only call it bougie because you know, intellectualism is pretty bougie. I’m pretty theoretical and analytical and I’m really interested in theories of things and all that type of stuff. Also debating and discussing, hearing different people’s views and understanding where people come from. I’m also really interested in psychology and stuff like that. Neuroscience and stuff.

Do you think your upbringing influenced these passions?

Yeah, I think definitely. I was born in West Africa but umm, I moved to America when I was three years old. And my parents definitely encouraged me to do well in school and all that stuff, but I think that when you come from another country, your parents don’t come here to fuck around and you don’t come here to fuck around either. You’re already here chillin’, doing your thing. But I just got here, my whole family just got here, I’m first generation. We’re here to make money or educate ourselves. We’re here for a purpose. So we don’t fuck around, we have a purpose. Either you do something or you don’t.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

I think relationships are great. They’re obviously extremely complicated and multifaceted. The structure of relationships are different, obviously between homonormative people and heteronormative people. There’s a big whole new free love movement that’s happening, that kind of happened in the 70s. Queers are taking over the free love movement which right now I think is manifesting itself as polyamory and open relationships and things like that. I think that’s cool. People can do what they want to do.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

Uhhh… I’m afraid of people I love dying. More so than dying myself.

What do you think of death?

Death doesn’t scare me all that much. Pain scares me more than death. When you’re dead, you don’t know you’re dead. I don’t want to die, you know. I got things I want to accomplish before I die. I think death is more horrifying and sad when you’re still alive and other people die. What scares me about death is more about the pain you have to go through to reach death.

If you could tell your fifteen-year-old self anything, what would it be?

Stop smoking so much weed. Yeah, probably. I started smoking weed when I was young. It was a weird time. I ended up still doing ok in school. It was a secret really, but really that was the culture I was in, growing up where I was.

Ben Schurr

Ben Schurr


Date of Interview: July 9, 2016

Name: Ben Schurr

Age: 31

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Location: Washington, DC


What are you passionate about?

Music. I guess music, primarily. I guess a general appreciation of life. And I know that sounds really vague, but like, seeing value in the experience of being alive. Like really appreciating every experience you have, and trying to see value in it, in an overall valueless world. And just, human rights. A lot. Just because, I don’t know, I feel like people… there’s so much pressure. Like people are just being pressed up against one another now. And ignoring each other, and I find that to be overwhelmingly upsetting.

Do you think where you grew up or the way you were raised has an impact on these passions?

Yeah, I grew up in Philly which is, I don’t know, it’s weird. It’s like cold and aggressive. And there’s just generally a climate of like, I feel like everyone who comes out of Philadelphia has PTSD. You’re really having to deal with a lot of different stuff and really extreme personalities, in EVERY capacity. Whether it’s people you know, people you don’t, there’s just this level of intensity there. But there’s also a sense that you can really disconnect yourself from other people very easily. Because you kind of have to, to not be overwhelmed by the amount of intensity and inequality that exists. The way all of that manifests there is really interesting.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I am most afraid of… I was in the hospital for a little while and they found a mass in my chest. And hopefully thats just mold related or something, which it’s seeming like it is. So that’s… once that became a real thing, there were a couple weeks where I was thinking “Oh my god”. I’ve never been confronted with anything as scary as that. Definitely re-calibrated my brain and my perception of everything. Stopped drinking, started eating better, and started valuing a lot of things more. I think that’s where my first answer came from, is from this experience.

What do you think of death?

That switches… I mean, it’s inevitable. It’s a shared experience. We’re all gonna go there. We’re all going to spend more time there than we did alive, from my understanding of it and my beliefs in it. So most of the time, I feel fine about it. But that’s probably because I’m not acutely thinking about me… leaving. Like my consciousness leaving my body. But I think it’s really funny a lot of the time… most of my jokes are about death. And whenever people piss me off I say, “Well, it’s not like you aren’t gonna die. We’re all gonna die, so you might as well just take it easy.” I’m a pretty hardcore atheist, but I’ve had a lot of… more spiritual experiences the older that I’ve gotten. I was barely raised Jewish, hardly raised Jewish. I don’t have any indoctrination really, with it. I don’t know. I guess I’m going to find out at some point. As time goes on and the more time I spend alive, I’m sure I’ll have different understandings of death. I just feel like it’s evolved into this thing where there are times that you think about the fact that nothing can be created or destroyed, you’re just going to drift… And you think about the parts of yourself, like your skin and your hair… Your nail clippings that have already drifted from your body and the thought of, “Well, I’m not going to do that at all.” What’s it like if you’re totally not connected? But I don’t know. Maybe I need to go on a iowaska trip. Maybe that’s what is in order… ::laughs::

What do you think of relationships, platonic, sexual, and otherwise?

I have a lot of thoughts on that. I think that relationships are… obviously they are crucial. And I feel like I’ve had a very unique sensation being- I’ve been a touring musician for about eight or nine years, so it’s a different level of relationship when you’re in a band. ‘Cause it’s potentially a two to how ever many people are in the band, mainly sexless marriage. I’ve been in bands where that wasn’t necessarily the case. Um, for myself or other people in it, but you develop this relationship that is gonna be a better understanding of how my friendships should be. And how my romantic relationships should be and how blurred that is. Because it’s all about the way you connect with people. And certain people will bring out certain elements of yourself and themselves and when you’re really gelling together you are autonomously disappear for a bit and become this, uhh… I guess this transmission of energy. And I think that we’ve unfortunately been sold an idea of what is supposed to be valuable. Like, a romantic relationship is number one, friendships are after that, then your co-workers are below… Kind of like different levels of love. That this is a thing… the first thing you need to do is realize how ridiculous this is. Your relationships with your housemates for example. I live in a group house and it’s like a family. A traditional family unit is probably the closest to that. When I’m on tour, it’s kind of the same case. I feel like a very maternal figure role in that, or somewhere between that, it doesn’t have to be binary, but I feel a parental role. I think that’s the best way to put it. Then, other times, when I’ve been in bands, or just playing in someone else’s band, I take on a different role. I’m kind of like the bratty little kid. And relationships can all be that way and the key is to know that every relationship is unique and you can bring that out in every person. It’s important to deconstruct your perceptions and just see things for how they are, and see that person and allow it to be that way.

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