The prefix Xen- means foreigner or stranger, and the suffix -Ne means ‘not.’ We are all strangers to our own essence until we delve into the mirror.
Erica Xenne began writing songs and diaries as a young child, and moved on to novels, compositions and a professional music career in her early teens. She spent ample time in the woods, singing to tape recorders or writing in diaries, and collected gemstones, beginning with one she was gifted by her first piano teacher at age four. Between her favorite authors, Hermann Hesse and Carlos Castaneda, and her most beloved Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, she was drawn to themes that mirrored her own interminable yearning. The music that wrote itself through her was her earliest experience of catharsis.
Cycles of resurgence wove through Erica’s lyrics, and also, her life. At sixteen, after falling ill for months, she found herself on her death bed. “I may die,” she told herself, “and that is out of my control. But I am going to fight for life with everything I have… because I still have songs to sing.”
Though her battle with illness would continue indefinitely, she recovered most of her faculties… but there was one loss she could never reclaim. She emerged with vocal cord damage and was left speaking in a whisper permanently, which forced her to reconcile two burning questions: what was the purpose of her life, if all of her striving was for naught, and who was she, now that she was stripped of her greatest passion?
Erica devolved into isolated musings about past lives, dreams, and anything else that could reunite her with her most burning desires. As she lost sight of humanity and purpose, she was consumed by insatiable hunger, like a vampire feeding on the blood of the living. By ripping herself down to the animal within, she embodied her most primal energy, but shut down her vulnerability. She could desire, inspire and consume, but she could not love.
This lifestyle fueled a volcanic fury that erupted suddenly at age 21. As Erica rode in the car with a friend, both holding a crystal orb, an entire trilogy unfolded in her mind. It was a story of death and resurrection, love and war, self-exploration and transformation. After delving deep into themselves to discover their connections with nature, the characters join with the elements to determine the course of the world.
Though Erica had completed novels before, she was never a talented writer; but the story felt more real than her life. She resolved to gain the skills and insight to give birth to this vision, and began her long journey toward nurturing it into written form. Exciting though they were, her early drafts revealed she could not nourish her protagonist’s voice until she rescued her own. Every path lead to the graveyard of her music and her innocence buried beneath it.
When Erica sang through her whisper, resurrecting the ghost of her voice, her humanity was reborn. “My powerful voice was reduced to a whisper, but I am still a vessel through which passion emerges,” said she. “As my songs come to life, I beat the odds senseless and awaken hope, which means more than a perfect performance. Take my voice, my hair, my mobility, my memory… but if you want my passion, you will have to kill me.”
True to her word, when Erica resumed her opus, she infused it with beauty and love. She learned that her passion is to explore passion itself; and her purpose is to be a vessel through which it emerges. By practicing discipline and skills, she strives to be an unobstructed mirror for the forces that drive all living beings, so that through her work, others may see their own reflection.