The wind howls like a whimpering ghost behind the windowpane. My throat is sore from growling all morning and my eyes have a beautiful reddish tint due to lack of sleep.

Sometimes inspiration grips me like raging wildfire, igniting everything in my view with grandiose golden hues. Spiriting me onwards until my blood roars. The urge and the drive are tremendous, but resistant to the element of control. I tossed and paced around the room for hours until I finally managed to lock myself in the studio. After the long stint at aimless tinkering and doodling that followed I was finally able to get some work done on The Stranger's new material. I still feel so damn energized I'm surprised I'm able to sit still.

Sometimes the storm inside my head gets so furious I find it nearly impossible to channel it into my creative output. It feels like my heart is swelling to twice its size and my eyes burn with every sweet spark of light and dark that mold my brainwaves into streams of creative current. I don't know how to fully describe it, but it feels like the brightest light imaginable pouring out from my essence. It is a mad, grand emotion.

I feel so good it's almost ridiculous. Like I'm some sort of caricature of myself, buck-toothed, huge-nosed and all. If you're reading this, I'm pretty sure I'm in your debt in one way or another. My eyes are finally starting to open up to how many wonderful people I have the privilege to call friends. The Finnish language has more synonyms for "friend" and the emotional depth differs, but that is beside the point. I am loved and appreciated and I feel likewise in return. All I really needed to do was to let these emotions ride free. I'm absolutely horrible at trying to express my appreciation, so I'll cut the attempt short before syrup starts oozing out of my screen (or yours). But you know who you are - thank you. It's been quite the joyride these past couple of weeks.

That - not to mention a conversation or two with people whose opinion I hold in high regard - has also made me ponder whether or not I'm handling this journal business with reason. People have told me more than once that while they know the man behind the words, they simply can't recognize him from what is generally on display here. Having looked back at my entries I must agree. Shadow Dialogue has, for the most part, become somewhat of a sewage valve for the excess dark matter of the undersigned. This was certainly not my original intent.

To be honest and blunt with both you and I, these little linguistic exercises have very little value as a one-dimensional reflection of a pale and bleak glimpse into my world, so I will at least attempt to turn over a new leaf by not waiting around to have something to complain about before I pick up the proverbial pen. I assume (most of) the people who read this have at least a measure of interest in my personal life and/or have a place in my heart, and I feel I'm doing everyone an equal disservice by providing little more than eloquently illustrated grayscale imagery with very little contrast and vividity. I'll try to work on that.

Perhaps this warm breeze will blow away, perhaps I'm just a big softy at heart. Don't worry, I won't burst into butterflies or start channeling Fred Astaire. But if our paths have crossed in recent times and we've shared words, smiles or something else together, make no mistake: you've played a part in this. My gratitude is all I have to offer.