THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Fear

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.

Kailasa and Saa

Kailasa and Saa

 

Date of Interview: September 15, 2016

Name: Kailasa and Saa

Age: 25 and 5

Pronouns for Kailasa: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

K: Ummm, maybe about four days out of the week. I like to bathe a lot, but I don’t get to.

If you were and underwater creature which one would you be?

K: Seahorse. They’re pretty.
S: Seahorse.
K: I don’t even know why I said that, but I guess it’s because I’ve always thought they were interesting. They don’t have any arms or anything, they just kind of float. With their tail. It’s the first thing that came to my mind, other than that a turtle or octopus. Or something bioluminescent that has a light on it.

Do you like to plan for the future?

K: Oh hell yeah. Yeah, I like to plan things, I’m not great at it but I do like to be aware of my future. Of where I’m headed.

What are you passionate about?

K: I’m passionate about my community. I’m passionate about being a mom. And being a better person everyday. I’m passionate about pursuing my dreams, which are being as creative and artistic as possible. And following through with my ideas.
S: I made it!
K: Yeah! Being able to say, “I’VE MADE IT!” ::both laugh:: But yeah, by community I mean, support the people who have supported me. I have a couple ideas that I’ve created business plans for and they’re both geared toward contributing to a healthy and successful community. So community is the people who’ve raised me. The people who support me, I want to support them back.

What is something that you feel accomplished with?

K: Raising that little one. ::laughs:: I feel pretty accomplished with that. I’m finally in my own space. Though I don’t own it, I’m at least supporting myself and my family. I’m accepting more responsibilities with self-assurance and accepting what I’m responsible for. I think I’m doing a good job. Don’t really know what I’m doing.

Do you think she knows what she’s doing?

S: YES. Whatever she does with me, she never gets upset.
K: Mmmkay. I mean, I guess I don’t get upset.
S: I have a splinter in my toe.
K: Let me see, do you feel anything? Do you feel water?
S: Yes.
K: Maybe it’s just a scratch.
S: Noooo, on the other side. It’s on my boo boo. Right there.
K: I think it’s just a scratch.
S: Okay.

Do you have family traditions passed on?

S: Yes.
K: Like what?
S: When we go on walks together! When we ride bikes together! When the whole family goes on a field trip.
K: Yeah, I mean spending time together.We’ve had a family function every year for about 28 years now, I was the host for last year. We call it ‘the family love exchange’. Umm, carrying on traditions. Being in tune with my inner being. Carrying on that awareness to her. Being confident in my divine nature as a melanated woman. My mother was a cosmic woman who was aware of her powers, she studied a mix of different religions and passed on her knowledge. So yeah, I think passing down some spiritual knowledge and a connection to my native heritage and culture is important.

Do you believe in God?

K: What… who’s this “god?” ::laughs:: I believe in a God. Do you believe in God, Saa?
S: Nope.
K: Alright. You sound so certain.
S: Because you mom is my grandma. And I don’t believe in God.
K: Okay. Well, what do you think God is?
S: An animal.
K: What kind of animal?
S: A stinkbug. And a… a puppy. Together.
K: A stinkbug puppy?
S: The face of a puppy with the body of a stinkbug.
K: Okay then.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

K: I’m afraid sometimes that I will get caught up in other people’s stresses.
S: I’m not scared of nothing.

Alex Tebeleff

Alex Tebeleff

 

Date of Interview: September 12, 2016

Name: Alex Tebleff

Age: 29

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Location: Washington, DC

 

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

Well… I’m currently falling in love with someone whose spirit animal is the sea turtle. So I’m going to say a sea turtle because that’s what I hope to identify with.

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

People can do whatever the hell they want if it makes them happy. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, including the people that they are involved with. So I think transparency is really important. As long as you’re transparent and honest, you should be able to do whatever makes you and anyone you’re with happy. I like monogamy, personally. I think I’m at my happiest and healthiest and most fulfilled in monogamous situations. But I’m also… I think it’s important to feel open to other kinds of romantic or sexual relationships. I’ve been in love a few times, and each time I felt like I could handle it better to the point where now I feel comfortable and confident in it. I think that Leonard Cohen said it best, “Love is the only engine of survival.” I think that is actually true. I think a lot about love.

What do you think you’ve learned from those past relationships?

I think it’s made me a much better person. Taught me how to be truly reciprocal with other people. I think it taught me what I really want out of life. And it allowed me to learn from other people in a lot of different ways. It’s really amazing because it allows you to experience, or at least have a better understanding of things you could never experience on your own. For example, being in love taught me how to be a feminist. Before my last two relationships, I was definitely ignorant about women’s issues in our society. I used to say, “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist.” And in my last relationship, with the last person I was in love with, she pushed me in a number of different ways because of her life endeavors that showed me it’s actually the other way around. You can’t be a humanist without being a feminist, because of the nature of the way women are treated in most societies around the world. Love is incredible, it’s an engine for personal growth with openness and kindness.

What are you passionate about?

Music. Food. Music and food mostly. I think music was originally attractive to me because there is something sublime about it, sublime and otherworldly. But that’s changed and… I now see it from both sides. The more grounded rational aspects of music and the otherworldly aspects of music, it’s the dichotomy between the two that gets me excited now. I can’t think of anything that has more of the sublime because humans are so visual that music can feel like it takes you to another world. We don’t focus on our ears very much in our daily lives. It’s usually just THERE. Most humans focus on words and their eyes to understand the world versus pure sounds. So when we do use our ears, we think about it through more… conventional language other than the abstract language that music can be, but doesn’t have to be. As I get older, I appreciate that music can be so many things and I think it’s cool that technology is allowing it to go in different places. That’s something I’m really excited about. It’s something that makes me feel so fulfilled to explore. Food, I like because I’m very interested in the sensual. I try to approach it in a way that is not indulgent. It’s not that I don’t indulge sometimes in music and food, I do, but I don’t want that to be the focus. I am interested in food, both as a means of expression and culture. I think you can learn a LOT about a culture through it’s food. Just the same as you could with music or art, or anything lie that. I think the arts and food and language are the best ways to learn about a culture, so I continue to be interested in all of those things.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

I really think that Donald Trump lacks basic empathy for other human beings. He is maybe the most insecure person I’ve ever seen. And, if you look at most of the sociopaths that have fucked up the world, if you look at Mao or Hitler for example, and you look at their background, they are almost always really insecure people. Mao killed more people than Stalin and Hitler combined and his whole thing – you know, you look at him beyond just the general populations and into his personal life and his treatment of women in his life in particular, and he just seemed like someone who lacked basic empathy, the definition of a sociopath. And I think that Donald Trump is a legit sociopath. I’m not sure that we would be able to get through a Trump presidency without some extremely brutal activity going on, at least from the dangerous people he has newly empowered. And I would be afraid for many groups of people who he’s demonized for power, and I’m terrified about the damage he has already been done through his rhetoric, but if he wins…

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m afraid that I’ll look back and be on my deathbed and think, “I didn’t get to do all the things I wanted to do.” Especially with music. That I didn’t get to accomplish the goals that I set out for myself. They may be ambitious, but I believe they are grounded enough that I think they’re possible, because they depend mostly just on me in the end. I want to make great art. I want to make something that I could show my kids one day and have them say, “Wow, you made something really worthwhile.” I’m happy to gamble on myself. Most of the great artists I love are gamblers.

 

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