“It hurts because it matters.” – Charlotte Eriksson
Charlotte Eriksson, the author of ‘Empty Roads & Broken Bottles – In search for The Great Perhaps’, is someone I like to call an artist of heart. She is one of those real artists, who is always herself and has learnt to be okay with that – who has learnt to be okay with being the beautifully broken artist she is in a world where dogmas and expectations have taken over our societies.
In her first book, Charlotte writes about her journey. Her struggles and successes. She writes about the open road, about her leaving and never coming back. She talks about the people she meets on her way and who either have become her home or taught her something about life, like the homeless man telling and teaching her about love.
But Charlotte’s journey didn’t begin on the road. Our journey does not start at some point in our life; it starts at the moment when we’re born. When she was a little girl, Charlotte was already aside, maybe considered an outcast and a weirdo… Because she was different.
She already had that something within herself that is so great and so big it just couldn’t be handled by conventional kids and normative people, who do things without a heart and ignore the existential questions about why things are the way they are.
Her great difference couldn’t be handled and understood so… she left. She spent days and months wandering, trying to find answers from various artists and she finally found out that ART was her only escape and saviour.
“Through music and writing I could create a new world, a new self where things made more sense. Where sad and broken things could be considered beautiful and where all these material dreams were of no value. So I searched for the definition of being me in poetry, music and literature, but even though it became my safe place it all just opened my eyes even more. Widened my world even more, triggering my confusion even more.”
– Charlotte Eriksson
She met the open road. Everyday was a new beginning, a new chance to do things a better way – her own better way. She left her supposed home and never came back, but above everything else, she left her comfort zone and thus found the key to success. She pushed her limits, learnt to know herself and became this poem she’s always wanted to be read as. On her way and through all the people she met, Charlotte discovered and let out the hidden hero that was sheltering her inner moonlight. She broke the conventions and expectations and eventually found herself.
“The hero is the one who beats the odds, who chooses to not take the conventional road just because that’s where he’s expected to be. The hero takes the road no one thought he would, hearing people screaming “no” behind him, but keeps walking anyway because the hero is the one who does what people thought he could not do. A hero is someone who doesn’t give up.”
– Charlotte Eriksson
In her book, Charlotte tells us about her struggle to convince people that she and her art were good enough. She also talks about the incomprehension of the so-called ‘artistic’ industry, which is composed of nothing else but rich people who only think about business and who have absolutely no idea of what being an artist means (you can by the way find my anger against this industry in my post Salvation). It took her some time but now, she doesn’t give a fuss about what others might think or say. She doesn’t care because she’s fine now. She’s fine because she’s found herself and other people too with the same flame within themselves.
She’s surrounded herself with them and has shared her journey. Like she wrote it, “a journey doesn’t mean anything until you’ve got someone to share it with”. And I think this is what happens with most of these homes she’s encountered, these people (including her fans), who were burning and passionate too, hurting and only wishing for a beautiful way to release what was held inside.
Besides, there’s a passage in her book, which caught my heart more than the rest… probably because she speaks about this guy like I speak about my salvation and I kinda felt… connected to this.
“And I found someone who got stars in his eyes when he talked about music and he wanted more. He wanted more of everything and he was greedy and spoke ugly and beautifully and his words were messy and I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. No… I couldn’t take my mind off him.”
– Charlotte Eriksson
I feel connected to so many words of hers (especially to those from the latter paragraph). I had sort of the same childhood, went through the same struggles with other kids and adults and I’m on my way to myself too. Moreover, Charlotte and I have the same vision of art, thinking that “ART should be a gallery of your heart, life and journey.” (Charlotte Eriksson).
I’ve found so many helpful words in her book and in her music, words I can easily relate to what I’ve been going through forever. Maybe, you too will find some. And there’s only one way to find out…