Welcome to a poetic and philosophic blog about the struggles of life and relationship.

“The ambiguity of life exists in every creative process. In every creative process of life, a destructive trend is implied; in every integrating process of life, a disintegrating trend; in every process toward the sublime, a profanizing trend.”(Paul Tillich, Ph.D., from The Meaning of Health, 1981)

Life cannot exist without the essential possibility and existential reality of death. Life is impossible without the daily, chaotic struggle against death... against the unremitting threat of entropy and nothingness. As Tillich again informs us, “Life must risk itself daily in order to win itself, but in the risking it may lose itself. A life which does not risk death--even in the highest forms of the life of the spirit--is a life poorly lived." This willingness to risk ourselves for greater life is the key that opens the door to the wellspring of creativity deep inside of us... that wellspring of transformative vitality that propels us through the struggle of death into the richness and renewal of new life.

"Creativity is 'the elixir of life' that heals and transforms life. Through the creative process we enter that 'sacred place,' that zone of evolution where the world lights up to itself as we light up to the world. It is here, in that 'holiest of holy' places that we are reunited with the waters of the wellspring of creativity, The Source of the 'River of Life' from which all creative energy and vitality issue forth to be manifested as new life. Through every creative act, life fulfills itself. Through every creative act, we transcend the mortality of our separate ego-self of I and enter into the realm of immortality to become one with our contextual self as Thou, as a self-realized collaborator in creation. Through creativity, we are delivered from the chaos of illness into the dynamic order of new life."
(P. Donovan & Herb Joiner Bey from The Face of Consciousness, 2006)

Please join me on this courageous venture of life and "enter into the realm of immortality," the realm of dialogue and relationship by poetically sharing with this community, your struggles to live... to "nullify the unremitting recurrences of death" through the continuous recurrence of birth. Through dialogue and relationship, the Face of consciousness is seen, recognized and witnessed. It is your Face, my Face, the Face of all life, the Face of our God. Thank you, Patrick.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pillow Talk

Is it always that we realize after-the-fact that which we have been all along?

Suddenly, we look in the mirror and like whom it is we see in our reflection.

Has the person in the reflection dramatically changed?
Has the reflection changed?
Has the mirror altered its perspective?

Likely not.

More accurately, it is that our perception has morphed into a more concrete sense of reality, aligned by years gone by, experiences learned from and hopes not yet realized but dreams continually alive.

I wonder…

When a flower blooms does it realize its beauty and the sweetness of its nectar?
When a bee stings, does it know the effect of its stinger?
When a baby cries, does it know the power of that sound over its mother?

We are so asleep.

Asleep to the world.
Asleep to ourselves.
Asleep to the beauty around us…the beauty within us.

Why be “normal”?
Why sleep walk when we are free to walk with our eyes open…
If we so choose.

The world is a place worth living in, worth breathing the air of…
If we so choose...
To see it as a place in which doing so is a worthwhile effort,
A place worthy of our breath.

Too many are wasting away.
Too many are turning blue.
Too many have resigned to virtual living.

The choice is yours.

Do you choose to sleep during the entirety of this incarnation or awaken?
Do you choose life…or do you choose death?

Copyright 2010: Taylor Donovan

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Song Do You Sing Alone?

What song do you sing alone?

What sweet and joyful melody

arises from the shattered pieces

of your broken dreams

when there is no one to listen,

no promise of approval...

no bows,

no cheers,

just you alone

and the eternal emptiness

of the long, dark night of your soul?

What dance do you dance when there is no music…

no step to guide you,

no tango or ballet,

no partner to hold you up

when your limbs have been amputated

by the scalpel blade of desire

and the only rhythm you know

is the pound, pound, pounding of your heart

as you find yourself “going much too gently into that dark night?”

The song that sings you;

Do you hear it?

The dance that moves you;

Do you feel it?

© p. donovan

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the passage of time

but there were things
That covered what a man was, and set him apart
From others, things by which others knew him. The place
Where he lived, the horse he rode, his relatives, his wife.
His voice, complexion, beard, politics, religion or lack of it,
And so on. With time, these things fall away
Or dwindle into shadows: river sand blowing away
From some long-buried old structure of bleached boards
That appears a vague shadow through the sand-haze,
and then stands clear,
Naked, angular, itself.

- from "Trial and Error," H.L. Davis

This shows up as the Preface in the Oregon State University Press 1998 edition of William Stafford's "Down in My Heart - Peace Witness in War Time," first published in 1947.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Gulf "Shadow" Spill

"Man's task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious. When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate." Carl J Jung, Ph.D.

Oh, the metaphor of it all... the uncontrollable and unstoppable spewing of our own dark "shadow stuff "(oil) from the deepest well of our emotional collective (the waters of the Gulf) catalyzed by greed and empowered by the chronic suppression culturally of our collective unconscious (the shadow) for many, many years. This whole Gulf oil spill is the result of our failure as a collective consciousness to look at our shadow and give it voice. Hence, we are now forced to look at its ugly face through this metaphor. From this, we will witness the "black, tarry" nature of the egoic construct of our collective human psyche (represented by "The Corporation" or BP) squirm like a worm in the light of the sun and evade accountability and responsibility while thinking only of its own survival and gain at the cost of many lives and echo systems. As this all unfolds and as the "black tar" of our egoic greed washes up on our beeches and devastates coastal economies and echo systems, know this: IT IS YOU... IT IS US... IT IS OUR OWN SHADOW IN ACTION AS A COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS... AS A SPECIES. It just looks like oil and acts like a profit hungry corporation.

We will pay the price for this for a long time and we will continue to pay this price so long as we maintain a cultural "matrix" of deception which does not allow us to participate openly and compassionately in the shadow side of our existence. We exist as both Light and dark. When we do not integrate these two and ignore one for the other, we deceive ourselves with half truths failing to see the "wholeness" of our being and the universe. This disempowers us... makes us impotent as individuals and as a community. It makes us "herd-able" like cows as we project to the outer world (corporations, governments, saviors, religions, etc.) our power and allow those to whom we give that power to control us.

Aren't you feeling that powerlessness here in this situation? Do you like that feeling? If not, ACT and do something about it! Take your power back and face your own shadow side... the mythological dragon that needs to be faced and slain. Then, let's slay the dragon of our own cultural shadow together!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Shadow of Light

I came to Ireland to be alone again in some very powerful places... to realize again the deep Celtic heart of this land... of my heart and the heart of my father(s). I came to Ireland to heal a broken heart and face down the "beasts" of my own shadow and the shadow of my father(s). It was a powerful experience facing them both at the same time alone in the land of their origin... in the dark, heavy, melancholy and unremitting rain and dampness of this proud yet so deeply wounded place. Driven by my personal inquisition and the genetic beasts of my inner narrative, I found myself at the rectory door of a Glendalough priest and the conversation of a lifetime. I then began to understand the darkness... its power to transform things and invite the light... no, its power to demand of the light its presence... demand the light TO BE. Light emerges from the darkness... always overcomes yet contains the darkness within itself. This is the blood-truth of the Celtic soul. This is the blood-truth of life.
P. Donovan
Dublin, 2007

And now I watch my father die a slow death. This proud, loving man
who once held me so gently in his arms and in his memory, is now
locked away in some inaccessible corner of a deteriorating brain
tormented by his own beasts and the shadow of his fathers. He no
longer sees me, knows me, and I can't reach him, touch him, save
him any longer. I can't help the one man who so loved me he would
give his life for me. I can only watch helplessly as that meaningful
life and all it contained, my father, disintegrates away in front of me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sacred Sword

Sacred sword against my chest,
tongue of steel,
sharp and cutting,
speak to me tonight of wounded hearts
in the struggle for love’s favor.

Who wins?
Who loses?
Who leaves?
Who stays?

And who dies alone
forsaken on this holy ground of broken promises?

Tell me now
so I can sleep just this night
or sleep this night

© p. donovan

Monday, May 17, 2010

On Trial for Your Love

Tonight I am on trial
for the beauty of your love.
They claim I felt you naked.
But I swear I wore a glove.

And so I’ve pleaded guilty
in this holy court of laws.
judged by introspections
and convicted by my flaws.

They say you were imprisoned
by this lustful cruel desire,
to see your body naked
in all its flesh and all its fire.

But I beg for your forgiveness.
I beg for your embrace.
I beg to be released and freed
from the torment of this place.

Now I stand upon this gallows.
With no guilt and with no shame
for loving you without malice
for loving you without blame.

This hangman’s noose is welcomed
As it caudles my last breath
And I pass this night forever,
this night of welcomed death.

Please morn me in my passing.
Remember me to your kin;
this man who so once loved you
in your beauty and your sin;

this man who so once loved you
when you would not let him in.

© p. donovan

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A 14th century introduction to the world as it may be seen from one man's long perspective; this brief note is from Petrarch:

You who hear the sound, in scattered rhymes,
of those sighs on which I fed my heart,
in my first vagrant youthfulness,
when I was partly other than I am,

I hope to find pity, and forgiveness,
for all the modes in which I talk and weep,
between vain hope and vain sadness,
in those who understand love through its trials.

Yet I see clearly now I have become
an old tale amongst all these people, so that
it often makes me ashamed of myself;

and shame is the fruit of my vanities,
and remorse, and the clearest knowledge
of how the world's delight is a brief dream.

Why is struggle so integral to life and the evolution of consciousness?

This was a question one of our good friends Steve, a brilliant medical astrologer and mystic in his own right asked a few years ago. He inquired with an already deep understanding of the nature of life's unfoldment. His question opened up an ongoing dialogue about the nature of life... The Source of life and consciousness and its nature; the paradox of light and dark, "good" and "evil" as our egoic minds define and experience such dichotomies; the apparent violence from which new worlds/suns/planets/universes and life is born and destroyed, the paradoxical "predestined-randomness" of life, and so much more.

Let's discuss!