Anita Lester

I’m a Product of the Great Curation, As Are You

As children, we were great devourers of the arts, of experiences and time. As adults, we’ve customized our life around devices, subjects of the great curation. 


To start this train of thought, I’d like to paint a picture. It’s 1998 and my widowed mother is raising three kids: ages 10, 11, and 13.

My brother has discovered Nintendo 64 and my baby sister is still innocently playing with dolls.

Every night after school, I run a bath and watch the water dip in the tiny river-line between my budding breasts. I love all things music, poetry, and paint. I am a Shakespeare fanatic and have visions of myself on the stage in deep shades of velvet with bright warm-colored silks draping my newly blossomed body.

Sick of the noise from respective bedrooms next door, my mother lets me move into the attic. As a younger child, I’d been so scared of what ghosts lived in the walls upstairs, but as an angsty teen, it was a world in the trees.

It was a special space—a divided room with a jagged roof. The second section (which fit nothing but a double bed) was once a balcony, so it was literally surrounded by windows and light.

My mother and I didn’t completely get along in those days, but she knew exactly how to nurture my mind (perhaps knowing what it meant for our deeply woven future).

This was my universe. I painted the roof black and stuck on green glow-in-the-dark stars. I hung cheap yet exotic fabrics over shitty broken lamps with painted light bulbs and presented all compact discs, records, tapes, books, and journals like a museum.

The only two pieces of technology I had was a dial-up phone and a radio.

After my bath and dinner, I’d go upstairs and explore the corners of my developing mind. I taught myself guitar and how to sing. I wrote in a journal every single night for at least an hour. I’d experiment with paint copying the masters. I’d read and read. I’d lay in bed looking at my stars listening to music. I’d sleep so deep and wake with the birds.

Though my teenage years were often excruciating (like almost everyone), the awkward, brace-faced, mono-browed, clumsy, and anxious person that I was, had true silence.


We are forgetting who we are. We have forgotten how to love ourselves and know our minds—and if we know not and love not, we can’t anything else.


What did I become?

20 years later, I am glued to blue light. I am uncomfortable without contact. I feel like a robot.

I am a jealous and disappointed insomniac. I lost my spirit in the hold of the webs that swallowed us all. I am the same as you. And you. And you.

My thoughts aren’t original. They are part of the great curation.

I wake to my phone. I shower to my technology. Eat to my screen. Work to the light. Sleep to the vibrations.

Then, something happened this year. I stopped reading. I shed a tear writing those words, for, not only did I stop reading, I stopped knowing how to read. Before this year, I’d look at a page and it would inhale me, yet now I look and see a jumbled two-dimensional unlocked code.

This may seem menial, this rant self-indulgent, but something is happening to us all.

We are forgetting who we are. We have forgotten how to love ourselves and know our minds—and if we know not and love not, we can’t anything else.

Where did we go? What happened to music? What happened to art? What happened to sex? What happened to revolution without personal acknowledgement?

So, I will try to lead by example with no more excuses.

Without denying what we need to survive, I am pitching that you join me in the re-joining and rejoicing.

Personal sites are now gone. My social media is now whittled down to blatant and sporadic self-promotion. Screens, aside from the joy of film, used only during the hours of work.

More time in mind than out of. Looking for that wall of boredom so to break it down. Searching for life.

Knowing that we are more than being instantly gratified by the forgetful thumbs of the people who will never truly care.

This is about so much more than ourselves. This is about our world and it’s preservation. This is about what makes us human and not just part of the great and broken machine.

I find myself back in 1998. I found a book of cartoon Kama Sutra in my mother’s top drawer. I sit on the cold bathroom floor and touch myself for the first time, dreaming of Damien, my high school crush. It is innocent and sweet. It is profound and only stimulated by my mind, body, and imagination.

I want it now to all, and only, be about the mind, the body, and the imagination.

So, with room to fail, I will try. To sleep under the moon and wake with the birds once more.

Who’s with me?


Anita Lester

After starting her journey with alt-pop trio Me and The Grownups before moving onto the moniker Lester the Fierce, Anita Lester is ready to debut her solo project. Over the past decade, Anita has become known as "The tiny church with Cathedral pipes." She describes her writing as lyrically-driven, and her music cinematically-inspired.

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