I (Harper) met Kirsten through our friend, Emily Theobald. I drove us all out to Rockaway for a literal day at the beach, and was so impressed by how quickly Emily and Kirsten turned in to topless mermaids, swimming out to a sand bar and being so appreciative of the beautiful ocean, which is something I passionately love too, and why I spend as much time as possible every summer getting myself inside of it. As I had nowhere to live at that point (still don't) Kirsten offered me her place to crash at, because she was familiar with that living-out-of-your-suitcase feeling from her own days in London as an itinerant musician. We spent nights doing arts and crafts and watching the new Nina Simone documentary, and talking about our shared interests in nutrition, our relationships to addiction, and our revolutionary aspirations. Kirsten is a Reiki healer, as well as a haunting songbird, a loyal friend & an incomparable fountain of bright eyed enthusiasm.
Above is a video that I made for her song "I Miss You Too" also at Rockaway Beach. It's a beautiful collaboration with Kirsten, her amazing friends Robin Lee (of The Babe Collective) , Julia Bray (amazing dancer & creator of ALL BOATS), and Emily Rose Theobald who totally brought her A-game that night in the acting / styling / and lighting departments! Big thanks to all you ladies for your help on this video and for staying up all night and then going to work the next day too.
And below, is an interview with the gal herself. Anima Rising is so happy to present :
What do you spend most of your time doing? I should say 'working on music' but lately I've been making a more conscious effort of spending time with animals, (I guess for me it's a form of self care) so I go horse back riding in prospect park, or I just go to the stables to bring some carrots and apples for the beauties there.
Jess: I was blown away by how kind you were when I met you - especially as everyone there was young, hip, beautiful, and living in Brooklyn. I could tell from your actions & behavior that you obviously find it very important to be kind - how easy or hard is that for you to do? What is that process like for you, and have you always felt the same way about it? I don't have to think about being kind. Sometimes I feel like a golden lab of some sort because I'm so excited to be around people- and my love bubbles over for them. Sometimes I literally experience a golden lens around the good ones ️. I'm really optimistic about humans and what we all are together. It's easy to find beauty. I've always been nice and meant well, but I haven't always outwardly expressed my positive feelings for people. Or maybe I didn't know how to access that love for people, or myself?... It wasn't until my awakening, about two years ago, that I really became aware of how to process my friendly dynamics and let go of what wasn't 'cool' to really just swoon over the rad people I meet.
Why do you think it's so shocking for us now to encounter kindness? I believe there are a few reasons... I don't know if what I just described is 'cool' and ego is powerfully set on allowing that concept to take over real experiences or relationships. (Play it cool) I also think we are jaded. I also think we are so detached from real interactions that we depersonalize them when they really happen. It's hard to be honest and live in the moment.. I definitely don't all the time!
How did you start making music? And what does it mean to you? Ive always played guitar and worshipped Neil Young but when I discovered Nina Simone at age 17, I changed. I started playing piano and was able to write songs and allow my minimal skills to just open up enough for me to channel my feelings into a melody. It's a spiritual experience because sometimes I don't know where these songs or words come from.
We know you as a real activist - you're always reading, always learning more and eager to get involved and help. Have you always been this way? And what is some of your favorite reading material? I've always been one for change. I don't know how involved I ever was. I think now it's really coming out because we are on the precipice. It feels like a real race to utilise our best intentions. I am working on weekly meetings at my friends' space in Bushwick to talk about our roles in making change and waves as a movement! It's really exciting to be a part of this generation, because we're not going to take it.
Lately I've been really into David Icke. He's a brilliant writer and goes down a few different paths on why our leaders are the way they are...
I'm obsessed with the thrivemovement.com and their movie Thrive. It's something I always go back to. Foster and his wife, Kimberly, really display helpful information about what's going on and how to get involved. There's a lot of sad realities out there, but this site offers solutions and steps out of the darkness! Love them.
Harper : Jess and I have become interested in the idea of "spiritual bypassing" (Thanks Ethan Nichtern!) Spiritual Bypassing involves using spiritual beliefs as an excuse to check out i.e. not dealing responsibly with your student debt balances because it doesn't matter anyway, we're all going to die..) which I think happens to a lot of us once we've done some self-work and research. I've always thought that anyone with their eyes truly open will see that there's a lot to be depressed about. How do you balance joy & enjoying life with sadness & a sense of responsibility? Do you have any coping mechanisms? Wow, that's a beautiful question. Spiritual bypassing is so spot on. Especially in the midst of this giant awakening. We are waking up to quite a few disasters. Quite a few less beautiful creatures on this planet, quite a few more scary animals as our leaders (potential leaders), with seemingly no hope!
I swing high to really low. It is hard to balance. But I am finding ways to come out of the shadows of fear, doubt and sadness by acknowledging that everything has a divine purpose. I know, I hate hearing that too.. BUT look at the Cecil the lion episode. Some sick man trying to 'hunt' a lion to add as a trophy for his collection got blown up in the media and in his face. I cried for a week when that happened, but the light that came out of that tragedy is awareness and a newfound drive to end that secret and common hobby. The same thing is happening with our political system. We are becoming more aware, and of course there's pain in understanding what's going on, but with that comes change. Tip for us revolutionaries (including myself): stay strong, don't be weakened by the cruel world! Stay with people who want to make a change but aren't bogged down with negativity. The only way to fight the dark is with the opposing force. Trust in the order of things. Everything is a lesson.
What are some of your goals? So many things to do in this life. I want to play music and travel the world with it. I want to carry a message through my words. I want to bring light to the world. I want to save lions, wolves, mountain lions, elephants, and wild horses.
My final goal is to end up with land and horses. Free.