There is a disconnect inside. A rift that upsets the balance, a stone in the stream disrupting the flow. Pieces of an endless puzzle, factory-installed with one piece always missing, scattered to the four winds. Eyeless, mouthless shapes wandering in a neverending blank space, desperately searching for one another by aimlessly clutching and grasping at the darkness around them.

Sometimes I feel like the voice inside me, the one that translates into creativity, is a very real, tangible being with its own visage and imprint, yet wholly ill-equipped to communicate through any other means but by using me as a medium. There is a current of energy inside me, one I funnel outward to the proverbial canvas through the eye of a needle. It is never exact, never precise, but never aimless. Ideally the exchange is instinctual, but I've grown into a bad habit of adding too much thought to the process. That's where it becomes complicated: the communication becomes muddled and distorted, like conversing over walkie-talkies and the signal keeps breaking. Over-simplifying it would be to say I don't always understand the man in the mirror, but it's more concrete than that. More... otherworldly.

We co-exist. He, she, it... is a shadow over my shoulder, a whisper in the wind, an ocean of faint sighs, a dream. It is something inside me, a home away from home, yet strange, unknown and formless. A wall between me and the world, yet an undepletable, bottomless well. My own construct, to which I'm always a visitor.

It is a strange essence to both nestle and inhabit, one I've often pondered upon. I can't deny that it hasn't made its way into my output. After all, Ward 13's phantomusiq is essentially a parable of purgatory, starring a man with a split personality wrestling with his demons while his better angels take shape only to be cut down by the darkness that consumes him. His Hyde, the co-inhabitor of his physical being, the shadow on his shoulder. The irony is rife with the pungent stench of poignancy, I know.

Where he and I differ is how that part of our being manifests itself. I can get lost in the murky waters of my soul if I choose to relinquish control. Otherwise it's frightfully easy for me to be conventional, blasé and mundane, even if I'm fully aware that it's nothing but a facade for the sake of others. It is a guise I wear for necessity's sake.

My creativity, though, has lately had to brush up against a stonewall of conformity and pre-programmed expectations, partly losing focus in the process. I feel like it's somewhat lost without its leash, no matter how joyful to be rid of it. I've found myself unnecessarily complicating the process by adding exuberant amounts of reasoning and motive to the flow of progression. I.e. trying to find the why in the what. It's probably due to being involved in collaborative rather than singular musical enterprises as of late, but the after-effect is unsettling and unwelcome nonetheless. It is a terrible, terrible mistake I've allowed myself to make, but luckily somewhat of a recent development. Lucky in the sense that something freshly learned can be done away with without it leaving a lasting mark.

You wouldn't believe how much I loathe and detest being questioned about subtext, underlying motives, hidden agendas. Surprisingly enough that tends come up quite a bit, supposedly because I can be a rather cryptic fellow. Still, having to explain myself - the ignition, process or outcome - would be like sticking needles into my eyes. So I decline, often in a very forceful manner. Or I simply sit and simmer, hoping the message gets across via the wavelength of silence. I resent the dissection, the breaking down, the afterbirth analysis of my creative endeavors. It's like trying to rate your orgasms on a scale based on obscure graphs and pie charts.

That's why working with others can be such a chore. Things get talked to death and everything has to have a purpose. Even the void must be decorated with a sign that says "This is a void". Chasing the dragon's tail only to strike it down and peer into the beast's jaw is to deny yourself the mystery of the journey itself. Trust me, dear friends and foes: we are all in much more dire need of mystery than illumination and exposition, even if we don't know it.

Aaanyways... Speaking of the three-fold elseworld that begins with phantomusiq, I'll give a little insight on the following two chapters next time around. Shadow'd and Deathwork, respectively. It was my intent to bring all that up in this entry, but look at me drift off again. As said: never exact, never precise, but never aimless. Pollock would be proud.