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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


All my life I have been accused of not being very diplomatic (as though this is a crime). So, I have given this "diplomacy" thing some thought. Here is what I have come to realize:

Diplomacy is a way of revealing only a small fraction of the truth while allowing those with whom one is being diplomatic to believe the whole truth is being revealed.


Irish diplomacy: (Wife) "John, ya didn't go out drinkin' again last night with Michael, did ya?" (Husband) "Of course not!" (He was out drinking with Patrick) (Wife again) "And ya were not at Paddy's Pub drunk again?" (Husband) "Of course not!" (He was drunk at Sean's Pub with James)

Husband diplomacy: (Wife) "Dear, does this dress make me look fat?" (Husband) "No dear, not at all" (His true thought, You are fat, so it is you making yourself look fat not the dress. The dress just reveals it.)

Political Diplomacy: (Journalist) "Mr. President, are we planning to go to war with Iran?" (President) "No, we are not." (What the president is really thinking, "Israel is planning to go to war with Iran and we will support them fully with our troops weapons, and money.")

I think I am quite happy not being very diplomatic!
P. Donovan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Relationship

His train arrives at midnight
from a town you think you know.
He told you to meet him sharp at twelve
and you know you want to go.

So you take the dress you've been saving so long
from a closet of antique clothes.
You fix your hair and you paint your eyes 
and you wonder if he knows.

It's getting late and you're anxious now
so you hurry down to the door.
And you stop a moment to think about
all the times that went before.

Then you step outside and the night is cold
but you've already shut the door.
You've already shut the door.

Woman your road is a long way from home
and the night is so cold.
If you walk it tonight you will walk it alone
and just to be bold.

You arrive at the station before his train
and it's warm but so empty inside.
So you sit on a bench of hard wood and nails
and you wonder what you've done with your pride.

Now here comes his train like a stab in the dark
and you get up and walk to the door.
And then as a face appears in the dark
you wonder if maybe there's more.

Hello! How are you? And so forth is said
from a grin you can not defend.
Like a puppet, you lean on the strings too hard
and you know that this is the end.

Then he takes your hand and he leads you down
to the tracks where you've been to before.
But it's too late now cause' his train has come
and you've already shut the door.
© p. donovan

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cultural Autism and Intimacy Deficiency Disorder (IDD)

There is a fulminating deficiency disorder that is festering at the heart of our “high-tech” Western culture…  lack of deep, intimate and profound relating with one another.
According to latest statistics, approximately 70% of American cell phone users send at least 1 or more text messages every single day. More often than we would like, those messages are sent while driving or walking in a public place or in the presence of friends and family. This level was reached by the UK four years ago. Irish telecoms regulator reports an average of 5 messages sent per day across the whole subscriber base. UK reports 6. South Korea reports 10. Singapore reports 12 text messages and the Philippines report 15 text messages sent per day on average across the total subscriber base. There are over 250 million active users of Facebook with more than 120 million users logging on to Facebook at least once each day. More than 5 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide). According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day (more than 52 days of nonstop TV-watching per year). Forty percent of Americans always or often watch television while eating dinner, missing one of the best opportunities for a family to share in intimate conversation.

Where is the organic intimacy and deep connectedness established and nurtured by the sharing of meaningful facial expressions, body language, verbal intonations, scents, pheromones, and the preciousness of a gentle touch or caress? Are they fading away in the distant memory of the human psyche replaced by the cultural autism and intimate sensual sterility of Facebook-friendships and the text message masquerade?

 p. donovan

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Align CenterCrumbs

I woke this morning alone
without my lover.
In her place I found the crumbs
of what I lost.

She is gone to see her family
in the desert.
I am left to pay the price
for what it cost.

Love can be a crime
when its entangled
in the barter of a lifetime
for one night.

It’s a trade we make
to keep ourselves in business,
a contract with the shadow
and the light.

Sometimes we choose to leave
our bed uncovered.
Sometimes we choose to leave it
not at all.

And other times we choose
to take the journey
hoping someone finds the crumbs
that we let fall.
©p. donovan

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Through the great dance of relationship the “I” of self-awareness is born and nurtured into the “Thou” of unity and self-transcendence. The underlying motivation for this dance is twofold: self-realization through the reflection of one’s being in the eyes of “the other” and self-transcendence through the ultimate experience of love whereupon one realizes, as Joseph Campbell writes, “… beneath the illusion of two-ness dwells identity: 'each is both'.”
Through the reflection of your being in the eyes of your beloved, you behold the essential nature of your own existence. In so doing, you inform the world of that existence because you are “seen” and your life is witnessed through the eyes of love by your beloved. This is only a micro-personalized experience of the grander experience of “God beholding God.” For you and your beloved are one and the same. As you are witnessed, so do you witness. As you inform the world of your existence, so do you inform the world of the existence of your beloved. As the great Jewish mystic, Martin Buber, tells us, only through relationship can we know God and only through relationship can we know ourselves. I would add further, only through relationship can God know God and only through relationship can the lover know The Beloved.
© p. donovan

The nature of the creator of this universe is sexual. Everywhere in nature the erotic choreography of the courtship dance and the refrain of its melodic conversation can be witnessed, from the strutting of the peacock to the flowers of the field, from the croaking of the frog to the chirping of the crickets. Life is engaged in an ongoing conversation with itself; a sensual soliloquy of many tongues. The topic is self-discovery and self-transcendence through relationship. The language is sexual and sensual while the word spoken is seed and the seed given is word. The outcome is life’s continuous creation and the guidebook followed is love. But to love, you must become a lover and passionately engage the world in intimate and erotic conversation as though it were your beloved.
© p. donovan

“Dance me to your beauty
with a burning violin.
Dance me through the panic
till I’m gathered safely in.
Touch me with your naked hand,
touch me with your glove.
Dance me to the end of love.”

(From “Dance Me to the End of Love”
by Leonard Cohen © Stanger Music)
As I “check in” with my own experience of love and the many poets, mystics and lovers who have tasted of the sweetness of love’s sublime ecstasy and have been deeply wounded by the flame of love’s transformational fire, I can only conclude the following. To be a lover:
One must realize one’s worthiness to be loved and to love;
One must be willing to risk being wounded;
One must be willing to risk
one’s self to be a part of something greater than one’s self;
One must be willing to be naked to The Beloved and witnessed by The Beloved in that nakedness and vulnerability at the risk of being judged;
One must have a vision of the heavenly perfection of profound relatedness;
One must have a burning, passionate desire to be totally immersed in the ecstasy of profound relatedness;
Because every being is the portal through which The Beloved is accessed, one must be able to recognize and erotically engage The Beloved living deep within the heart and essence of every being and enter into profound relatedness with that being and The Beloved within them;
Then one must dance!

© p. donovan
“The person who emerges from the act of pure relation that so involves his/her being has now in their being something more that has grown in themselves, of which they did not know before and whose origin he/she is not rightly able to indicate.” (Martin Buber, I And Thou)

Being in the sacred place of profound relatedness with another is a powerful experience, one that is either mortally devastatin
g or spiritually transformative. When it is transformative, it leaves you with “something more that has grown in you” as Buber tells us.

However, to be a lover you must be willing to live in love’s world and be sacrificed on its alter of creativity for your beloved; “crucified”, “pruned” and “shaken” to your very roots if that is what it takes to be one with your beloved. You must be deeply centered within your own being and have a strong sense of who you are at your very core, however, to risk such wounding and survive. You must first know yourself or else all will be lost. The blade of profound relatedness cuts deep into the heart of your existence as it dissects away all denial, apathy, and resistance. If you are not prepared, it may cut too deeply leaving you mortally devastated, struggling to survive, struggling to be free from your pain.
© p. donovan