Welcome to A Reverent Life

Amidst the perspiration of life is the need for inspiration. It is vital to our overall wellness to find ways to heal, regenerate and celebrate life on Earth. Accordingly, we are always in need of joy and to serve others joyfully.

A reverent life is one that embraces beauty, hope, peace and joy. It is driven by a generous spirit and a compassionate heart. It is a constant flame serving to enlighten this Earthly journey and to help others on theirs.

The world today is in great upheaval. Irreverence  for life can be felt among humans, Nature, and all creatures large and small. Think of this Blog as a small island of grace in your day — an intimate sanctuary to reacquaint you with awe and wonder and gratitude, but also to remind you, with wit and humor, that irreverence can be an amazing and perhaps necessary teacher sometimes in our life, helping us to be even more devoted to living honorably and compassionately.

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President Donald God Trump

“There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King Jr


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Poophead Donald Trump’s Disease of America: “Opticalrectumitis”

Without naming it, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has correctly diagnosed America’s affliction (really just another projection of his own): Opticalrectumis — a shitty outlook on life.

With insulting racist, misogynist bedside manners laced with self-congratulatory hyperbole, Trump declares that he can cure American society of this affliction: we just need to wipe America’s butt clean of a smelly past, put on a new diaper, and call it good to go. That is how Donald Trumps wants to Make America Great Again.

So, how do you know if YOU have this dreaded disease?

trumpdiaperwebThe Fingers of Entitlement and Scorn

Let’s look at two symptoms, entitlement and scorn, that perhaps best characterize Trump’s worldview sermons and this American affliction.

Trump points the anal-fixated finger of entitlement, from his haughty pulpit of wealth and entitlement, toward we peons down here in the trenches. By his example (oh, god!), he asks each of us to be enraged: Where is my personal entitlement, the one I believe society has failed to entitle me with (like it did with The Donald), whatever that was supposed to be? That’s shitty, life sucks, quacko Dr. Trump tells me. What happened to the American Dream, where’s my million bucks? Trump knows.

Adding a finger of scorn, Trump now gives us permission to point our own finger of discontent over our failed individuated entitlement — blaming flat-chested ugly women, the disabled, Mexicans, Muslims, judges, journalists, the media; our bosses, bankers, corporations, government, politicians and government officials; hell, even our neighbors who Trump advises we are obligated to suspect for terrorist activities lest we go to prison ourselves.

As a nation, on election day and everyday beyond that, we need to collectively rear up and have an “enema of conscience” that extracts all the shit that Poophead Donald Trump has fed us.

Donald Trump has given all of us a negative outlook on life based upon fear. In less than a year, he has hard-wired our optical nerves — everything we perceive about race, religion, respect, rule of law, dignity for life, earning a living — and crossed them with our innate gut instincts and rectal tendencies. He’s inspired both fear and loathing, and given us mental constipation with his endless, vacuous assaults, judgments, conspiracies, denials, lies and promises.

Sure, we can get a handle on this cultural affliction that is sweeping across America. Even Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again, permits us to revisit some idyllic moment in the past when life wasn’t so shitty — kind of like replacing a crappy diaper with a clean one.

This is still Opticalrectumitis. The reason is because another aspect of this disease is the existential dilemma of Hindsight. Meaning, if we could retrospectively look behind us (to imagine doing this physically is curiously interesting, too) — into the past at a time when life and things were cool — then we might better understand why the poophole of our life today get’s no respect. We’re simply losers, nobodies, wannabe’s trying to be somebody in today’s not yesterday’s world!

Opticalrectumitis also suggests why we suffer from the Runs of Life: going from one shitty moment to the next, one shitty job to the next, one shitty relationship to the next, one shitty war to the next, one shitty dump to the next.

godtrump1webA Shitty Reality — What to Do About It

We all know Donald Trump has a bad case of oral diarrhea. However, it pales to the crappy diseased reality he projects, especially using races, religions, gender, abilities and deception as the objects of our fear that we are supposed to suffer from.

If you suspect you might suffer from Opticalrectumitis, you may feel stuffed full of negativity and fear — think of it as mental constipation. The information the media has fed you is highly processed and toxic mindfood. When consumed, the toxic shit extrudes as anger, false judgment, failed dreams and a whole bunch more crap. But we can do better than the snake oil hype Dr. Trump has to offer as a cure.

What’s the simple medical cure for bowel obstruction? An enema to exorcize the accumulated shit in your body. I might suggest the same simple cure for a Donald Trump in this country.

As a nation, on election day and everyday beyond that, we need to collectively rear up and have an “enema of conscience” that extracts all the shit that Poophead Donald Trump has fed us. After all, Trump’s crappy message is simply from previous historical demagogues and lunatics whose books sit on his bed stand. We have to do better than history.

We need to eliminate Donald Trump’s shitty outlook right out of our lives. Ban and erase interviews, sound bites, videos, you name it about the bugger. Totally ignore him, TOTALLY, I said. Flush that asshole (even his own smelly diaper) and his irreverent worldview right down the civil drain into the septic tank where other demagogues have been laid to rest in history.

That’s the simple cure for Optimalrectumitis this election season. After losing the “mental weight”, I think you’re going to have a healthier outlook on life as a result.

Otherwise, you can follow Trump’s lead — proposing to put a clean diaper over a smelly one that only disguises the disgust, not the shitty smell of Optimalrectumitis.

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Why I’d Like to Punch Donald Trump in the Face — and Hillary Clinton, you should too!


What is the sound of one hand slapping a Trump? In a strange sort of Zen way, it is possible that we will find out during the presidential elections. In this irreverent rant #2, I reflect upon how a childhood bully changed my life, and what might be the best response to Donald Trump’s insults.


trumpnobrainerDonald Trump’s arrogant bullying nature appalls me, as it does millions of other people across America. I’m reminded of a personal coming-of-age event in my youth involving a similar narcissistic bully.

Here’s how I had to do deal with it, Hillary Clinton.

In 8th grade there was a kid who was a bully. Among us normals, Karl was a mutant: tall, handsome, dark wavy hair, baritone voice, brawny and was a star athlete. Karl, however, was academically stupid (everybody knew it), BUT bully-smart. He coolly manipulated us by setting up a so-called friendship — kind and considerate at first, winning our trust (we’d think, “Hey, I’m cool, because Karl is nice to me”) until he could use us for his gain (“I’ll make sure you get picked first on my team at recess if you give me the answers to the test”).

My 8th grade nemesis, as I believe is the case with Trump, knew that he lacked something up there, especially growing up in a family with a father demanding excellence at every move. For this reason Karl (like Trump) had to overpraise and exaggerate himself, manipulate and/or ridicule others for gain, have emotional outbursts to get attention, and love and lie himself to death — all this to make up for that “something up there” he just didn’t have.

I both feared and loathed Karl, like I do Trump today. The reason is because my father lacked that something too, and so was a tyrannical, racist, fanatically religious, physically and verbally abusive alcoholic vulgar man-demon who bullied his children, friends, relatives and authority figures until the day he died. My formative years living under the rule of a narcissist engrained me with emotional scar tissue that has never quite healed even today at 68 years. That is why I loathe Donald Trump.

One particular day, my turn arrived to be manipulated by Karl. As it turned out, the event that rocketed my personal self-esteem as a young teen was unplanned. I would never have tried to pick a fight with Karl in the first place, only because the likelihood of me surviving his onslaught was pretty slim. I simply kept my distance, ignoring him.

But in 4th period, I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom down the hall. Standing at the urinal, I was jolted by the sudden banging open of the bathroom door and a heavy-footed shadow breathing across the floor. Karl the Dragon had arrived and he meant trouble.

From a couple feet behind me, Karl rudely insulted my name. Suddenly he was my father in my adolescent mind — and unknown to Karl, I’d been through this scenario many times before, receiving my father’s unwarranted, spontaneous physical and verbal wrath. But this time I was not going to take it. Karl became my father, and my father became Karl. In a weird sort of way, I had been training for this fight for years, imagining knocking the crap out of my old man made me sort of a “world class athlete training for no event.” But the event had finally arrived.

Zipping up my pants, and before Karl could ever hope to react, I spun around like a fiend with clenched fist and hit him square in the face as hard as I could. Blood spurted everywhere as he howled in writhing pain holding his hands to his broken nose, busted lips and teeth.

For a brief moment I felt victorious; I had dethroned the tyrant in of all places a bathroom. How embarrassing for him when this David versus Goliath story gets out! But my mood quickly soured when I saw this fallen bully crying there on the tile floor. Suddenly I felt compassion, even remorse for what I had done to this stupid giant of a little boy who, stripped of his pride, now writhed like any normal hurt human being.

That’s the thing you must know about Trump. On one hand, you would like to simply punch the guy in the face. However, behind all that bully and bluster is just another insecure human being, in some ways like you and me, but certainly more excessive. That plays on you, demanding pity for the poor bastard.

So, I want to put out a challenge to you, Hillary Clinton, when you publicly debate Donald Trump on stage before millions of Americans in the Presidential elections:

Hillary, if Trump begins bullying you, diminishing your character, and even hints at playing the gender card, I would hope that you could leave your podium, walk up to him, quietly look him straight in the eyes, and then slap him good and hard in the face before marching off stage.

What is the sound of one hand slapping an insecure Little Donald Trump? The world waits with baited breath.


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Donald Trump’s repeated deriding of Senator Elizabeth Warren by using the name Pocahontas is offensive, insulting, and rude, not only to an individual but to Native Americans as a whole. “I think he definitely says it as a slur,” said Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. “No matter how he feels about Elizabeth Warren, to throw that out there is disrespectful to real Native Americans.”


Trump claims: “She’s got about as much Indian blood as I have . . . Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud. I know it. Other people know it who work with her know it . . . She is a racist”

Trump says there is a reason he (and his tribe of goonies) call Senator Warren goofy and Pocahontas. He actually believes she is racist by claiming 1/32 Cherokee blood!

Arguments aside, as Ms. Pata notes, the real Pocahontas (not the fictional Disney movie caricature) has a deep and even painful legacy for Native American tribes such as the Powhatan in Virginia. In Powhatan lore, Pocahontas gained hero status for saving the life of a white man and was later kidnapped by the English. After being held hostage and forced to marry, she died in 1617 in England at the age of 21. In short, Pocahontas died away from her people and of a disease that was brought by the Europeans. Any casual use of her name to discredit another person also discredits Pocahontas’s memory; in the same way calling Native Americans “Redskins” slurs all tribes.

It is disgusting to continually hear Trump’s adolescent name-calling taunts towards people, women, races, religions, the alter-abled, and the like.

To wax puniness, as my accompanying meme suggests, and given Trump’s penchant about women, their breasts, his own gloating of sexual prowess, and of course a disturbing preoccupation with Pocahontas — I clearly see now that it is:


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On June 12, Christian Schneider of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described Trumpus Americanus as “a cockroach in the GOP’s cocktail.” I think we need to take this Trump-cockroach thing more seriously. It seems there is an infestation of sorts happening right now in America and spreading throughout the world.

TrumpusAmericanusBut it started 70 years ago.

On June 14, 1946 a mutated, indestructible, short-fingered cockroach was born in the borough of Queens, New York. The parents, Mary Anne and Fred Trump, adored this new little mutant, the fourth of five offspring.

If the Trumps had a little better understanding of astrology, they might have timed their reproductive instincts to, let’s say, create a softer type of bugger born under a different night sky. But alas, this just was not in their lusty stars.

At the moment of his birth, Donald Trump’s Sun was in Uranus. Astrologists suggest, metaphorically speaking, that it is really a pain to have your Sun in Uranus. No, it is not a pain for the Trumpus Americanus cockroach itself (I refuse to acknowledge the Donald as human) — it is a pain for everybody it comes in contact with!

Additionally, the GOP cockroach’s Gemini sun (ahem, his vanity, ego, arrogance, hubris, etc.) eclipses his Sagittarius moon (oops, no wonder he seems cold-hearted, emotionally distant). The result is a radicalized impersonal beastie who disdains following the lead, but instead chews (eclipses) its way through relationships, opportunities and confrontations as it manipulates itself throughout society.

Astrologist Alex Miller of The Mountain Astrologer says Trump is a “born rabble-rouser, someone who delights in shaking up the establishment, rocking the boat, messing with the status quo, defying convention and he’s not overly concerned about who he offends or disrupts along the way.” Ahem, that seems to describe the personality of a cockroach!

All this supports the title Trumpus Americanus as the official name for this mutated GOP cockroach. It also supports why we should be so alarmed.

This vile bugger has now infested all of the United States. And it is threatening the world. Trumpus Americanus the cockroach has infested every fabric of our society, chewing through values and mores like soft wood. It is now seen in places of worship, behind some pulpits; in corporate boardrooms and public courtrooms. There are actually politicians, commentators, preachers, entertainers, money mongrels, and heroes who daily accept and feast on this mutant as if it were a chocolate-covered wafer that promises salvation from whatever.

I don’t know how a dumbed-down society can rid itself of a vile cockroach that has no reverence for life. Its enough that Trumpus Americanus stares us in the face at every turn, branded by the media, upheld and adored by millions of followers, abhorred by even more millions of anti-followers.

I am simply dumb-founded that America could ever possibly elect a cockroach as president, let alone follow it to the ballot box in the first place. But then again, America is one of the world’s great stages for birthing antiheroes.

I never considered a cockroach as an antihero. Sounds cool. But as I have now observed the irreverent behaviors of this mutated low-life Trumpus Americanus, I am convinced that United States citizens, and citizens of the world must collectively, figuratively and literally put our foot down immediately!

Oh, I’m sorry, was that the crunchy sound of a squished Trumpus Americanus?

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Generosity — A Way to Peace

“How can I live on Earth today so that my life and the well-being of all life is served well?”

This may be one of the most important questions asked today, for it is based on a belief that all life on Earth has significance and purpose. As such, our relationship to other humans and this planet is better served through sharing and cooperating rather than competing, conquering, and over-achieving.

Thinking and caring about our interrelationship with others is one of the surest ways to change our old patterns of seeing today’s world as a place of conflict, tension, insensitivity, or one of boundless resources to exploit. Kind and clear-hearted caring, as a gesture of generosity, can help us find our unique way of being of loving service. Continue reading

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Give It All Away! — A Personal Lesson in Generosity

“Give it all away, Forrest! Don’t hold back, just give it away!” John, a fellow food vendor, stormed across the crowded food court screaming at the top of his lungs. I felt like a child being publicly admonished. On one level I knew why he was so angry: I had sold the last cup of smoothie from our pushcart just before his son requested a free one in trade for a meal I had gotten earlier from John’s food stand. Apparently his son only told him that I refused to generously offer up a drink.

On a deeper level, however, John had unknowingly struck a raw nerve in my character — I indeed had a notable tendency to hold back, no matter what it might be. I am certain it was a form of self-preservation from growing up in a family of regular emotional and physical abuse, and of meager means. Consequently, I offered less than my full self to others, like conditionally extending one hand with the other held behind the back.

At the end of the business day, I sat in long reflection, caught between the dilemma of familiarly holding back in my life and the unexplored universe of letting go and giving “it” all away, as John challenged me to do. It didn’t matter what IT was — my heart, emotions, thoughtfulness, generosity, money, possessions, whatever — my public humiliation was an opportunity for soul-searching.

My contemplation led to this thought puzzle: Imagine you have a small backpack in which you put anything you desire that will fit. The rest of the things in your life — well, you’re going to generously give them all way. What would be packed, and what would you part with? Continue reading

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Love All Creation

Copyright © 2011 C. Forrest McDowell

Love all Creation. The whole and every grain of sand in it.
Love every leaf, and every ray of light.
Love the plants. Love the animals. Love everything.
If you love everything you will perceive the Divine Mystery in all things.
Once you perceive it you will comprehend it better every day.
And you will come, at last, to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.

Dostoyevsky, Brothers Karamazov

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The Sacred Hearth as Sanctuary

Most people commonly associate the word “hearth” with a fireplace, open fire, or stove. But the feeling that hearth evokes is its great value. It enfolds us in communion, interaction, sharing, comfort and safety. It speaks of storytelling, the passing on of wisdom and skills, the processing of ideas and issues, the simple feeling of being embraced and appreciated by like-hearted and like-minded others. The concept of sanctuary is ennobled by the symbol of the Hearth. The Hearth is both the spiritual form of sanctuary and sanctuary itself with spirit.

In a very practical yet spiritually bonding ritual, our friends Sharon and Steve re-enact all the symbolism of the Hearth described above. Every evening, rain or shine at their country home, Steve lights a fire in a shortened burn barrel, around which they huddle for an hour or so. Here they embrace affectionate conversation, dreams for their lives and land, and gratitude for their relationship. Their days are exceedingly full and exhausting with work away from home, but this Hearth ritual, by their own admission, provides them with much needed respite for their relationship.

In another example, a father describes taking his son regularly to a local living memorial: a 2000-year-old oak tree. This tree acts as a type of Hearth for the community, where multi-generations of families have played and been held in its outstretched arms. David writes: “The eyes of the visitors follow the same path over the tree, seemingly trying to see past its leaves, bark, and wood to something meaningful that surely must have been hidden there — something spiritual and eternal. The hidden ‘something’ that these visitors sensed was, I believe, the life-giving presence of God which flows through the tree’s trunk and branches.” Continue reading

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Love is Weird

Memorial Day is special for Tricia and me. Thirty years ago, we stood atop a nearby mountain and she decided to partner-up with me. The next day she moved in. That is how a hippie and ex-college professor began life anew together. Isn’t love weird?

In some ways we are like oil and water. Tricia needs adventures; I am world-weary. She has a vast array of friends; I’m a loner. She never worries about money; I’m a tightwad. She plants flowers; I pull weeds. She is happy, happy, happy; I am too serious. She never ages; I, well, I just am. Isn’t love weird?

Our mutual weirdness is held together by a common philosophy: we revere life. People are hell-bent on erecting fences, and we are heaven-bent on tearing them down. People like to complain about life, and we love to celebrate it. People keep an arms distance from nature, and we live in a tiny glass house smack in the middle of woods and gardens. People over-consume; we religiously recycle. People grumpily awake growling “Good God, morning;” we cheerfully arise singing “Good God, morning!” People are dragged through the day by their hair; we float carefree like a UFO. Continue reading

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