Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time

It is funny how I am already imagining 2009. The turn of the year is 3 short hours away, and there is nothing I can do, or anyone can do to change the course of motion. It is not here yet. I keep forgetting that the future is not promised. I keep forgetting that my expectations are dilusions of my own mind. I welcome another year. But if it shouldn't come, I'll be ok with that too.

2008.
This was the most influencial, powerful, thought provoking year of my existence. I have never felt more alive, more real, and calm and awake. The person that I have wanted to become, has finally started to stir within my thoughts. I feel like the chains are slipping from my wrists, that my eyes are starting to glow a bit brighter - brighter, because my grasp has loosened, my hands are open, and for the first time ever, I feel freedom.

The sunset over Moab.
The icy chill of snow in my lungs.
The heat of summer walks.
The feeling of absolute nakedness in Yosemite.
The stars above my eyes in Nevada.
The intimacy between friends.
The revelation of thoughts.
The loss of love.
The click of a camera lens.
The strumming of a guitar.
The taste of wiskey on my lips.
The feel of the ocean.
The sunrise over the beach.

What is next?
What is better?
What is left?

Thank you for the this existence, this year, this experience.

I am greatful.



(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I was a tiger in a past life.

There is always an initial confusion when attempting to understand a new fragment of truth. I misinterpret ideas, I draw conclusions that are misguided, I falter in shallowness while chasing the deeper concept. It is a lucid process that takes time, patience and open mindedness. In the end, if you follow through, there is knowledge (known truth that revolutionizes the mind).
I have just read Thich Nhat Hanh's writing on the teachings of Buddha. It is a powerful book, filled with ideas and truths that challenge my ignorance.
A particular part of text has taken root in my mind and will not let go. It is the truth about existence; the truth of life, death and the motion between those notions.

When you look at this sheet of paper, you think it belongs to the realm of being. there was a time that it came into existence, a moment in the factory it became a sheet of paper. but before the sheet of paper was born, was it nothing? can nothing become something? Before it was recognizable as a sheet of paper, it must have been something else - a tree, a branch, sunshine, clouds the earth. In its former life, the sheet of paper was all these things.

Thich Nhat Hanh


This is the remarkable truth, that everything is interconnected. There is nothing that exists, which has not been or will become something else. All energy has existed for all of time, so the ideas of death and of birth are simply concepts - not actual events. In truth, nothing dies, it simply becomes something else, it changes shape and consciousness - that is all. No longer is there fear of death, it is simply a process that we must all pass through to become the next shape.

The truths that apply to the paper, also apply to me. When I was born, I didn't just SUDDENLY exist from nothing - I had been growing from nutrients my mother was ingesting, from leaves she ate, from the meat of animals. I am not just a human, I am earth itself. I am a being created from the existence of thousands of beings before me. I am a cloud, I am rain, I am dirt, I am the energy of a rainbow, I am a roman emperor, I am a rose petal, I am a song, I am a tiger. The very energy that existed before me, has become me, and it is mine to use while I am conscious. When I die, I do not cease to exist, I merely transform into another form of energy. It is a perpetual, never-ending cycle of motion.
I am a wave in the ocean, a wave that is forever attached. I have my brief moment of swell, and then, in a second of astounding beauty, I become part of the ocean again.
Not lost. Reborn.


I was a tiger in a past life.


(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, December 22, 2008

For Sale

I have several items I would like to sell at a reasonable price.
A few lenses for a Canon DSLR camera, an electric guitar, some old jeans.
If you're interested give me a call.

Since I'm looking to sell a few things, lately I have become acutely aware of other people in the same predicament. We have stuff, and we don't want it anymore; we rather sell it and buy something else.
This is not an isolated event.
It appears that people everywhere, have decided the very same thing - that what they have is no longer satisfying their needs and desires. In fact, everywhere I look, I see "For Sale" signs.
On the hoods of cars parked alongside the road. On jet-boats and campers parked in yards. On houses. On businesses. On Tractors. On firewood. On food.

I take a walk.
This is very interesting.

Out of curiosity, I buy a newspaper - inside, the pages littered with the words, "For Sale, For Sale!" There are animals for sale, land for sale, sports cars for sale. A sailboat for $5900 catches my eye - "only used once", the ad reads.

I as lay the newspaper down, my mind starts to rev up. I begin wondering, "What else are people getting rid of?". Surely not everything is for sale? Right?

I am wrong.

I am sitting in front of my laptop, scrolling through a website called Ebay. On this website, you can quite literally buy anything you want.
You can buy a multi-million dollar mansion - on the coast, or in the mountains. You can buy airplanes. You can buy rare collectible coins. You can buy massaging cushions that sit in your chair; or you can buy massaging chairs that sit in your living room. You can buy baseball cards. You can buy stain-glass windows. You can buy a movie theater.
For the right price, you can have damn near anything.

As I sat in front of my laptop, (wondering which mansion to buy) I started asking the question, WHY? It is always a great question - it takes you back to truth.
I started asking myself, why all these people are selling these spectacular things?
Why are there "FOR SALE" signs at all?

(It is easy never to break down the reasons of motion. It is comfortable to sell and buy, and never investigate the purpose behind such a simple concept.)



The only reason I consider selling anything, is because I believe, somewhere out there, is something else which will satisfy me even more than what I currently possess. For some unknown reason, I feel compelled to sell that which I own, and buy something grader, better, faster, more expensive - surely that will satisfy.... Right?
Ironically, the cycle never ends. .


My conclusion: anything with a price tag has already been attempted, used, faded, and determined not to completely satisfy. Apparently, no matter what I buy, it can never offer me absolute satisfaction. I can tell.. because it is for sale. The houses, the mansions, the cars, the airplanes, the boats - do you want to know why they are all for sale?
The REASON, is because they didn't satisfy their owner.
There is something better, and the owner knows it.

We keep swimming further and further towards the light, but we never break the water's surface - always an elusive mirage tricking our stubborn minds.

Maybe:
Complete satisfaction is the opposite of ownership. Maybe it cannot be bought, or sold; it is beyond purchase.
The satisfaction in a sunset - completely un-diluted, un-harnessed, un-restrained, un-predictable. The satisfaction in the color of the sky. The satisfaction in the songs of birds, and the satisfaction of summer warmth.

Find these things that are not for sale. That is where satisfaction will be.









When we, ourselves, cannot be bought at any price, then we are absolutely free.



(Andrew Tipton)

Sailing Lessons

When we kill the dream within us, we kill ourselves, even though the blood continues to flow within our veins. We can see the signs of this living death about us everywhere: in shopping malls, in discount and department stores, in frantic Christmas crowds. We see people scurrying compulsively buying compulsively, as if they hoped through the expenditure of money, the acquisition of goods, to deaden a pain they don't even know they have. ...its purely an accessory, an accoutrement, to their otherwise-empty lives. ..until they discover to their astonishment that everything they thought they owned has sifted through their fingers like sand.

Richard Bode,
First You Have to Row a Little Boat

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Missing Life: Reward if Found


Who knew.
Who knew that I have been living my life in an absolute state of distraction.
I am not here.
I am not here in my head. I am not here in my thoughts, or in my words.
Where is here? Here is this moment - it is the point in time, at which we are all perpetually existing. Here is the only moment that is worth anything, because it is all that is real.

The last few weeks, I have been uncovering an elaborate construct of distractedness. It is everywhere. Ringing in our ears, blinding our eyes, manipulating our imaginations.
What a sick, twisted bastard.
Distraction is like a disease that has found its way inside our hearts - whispering lies, while we suffer.

Distraction has 1 simple cause:
Believing that there is something better that the moment in which we are presently living.
That is all. The anticipation of the next moment, a better moment.
That lie keeps life just out of reach.
We will never actually touch life - it will always be a thought, or a purchase, or a day in the distance.
We meander distractedly towards our imaginary next moment.

There is never a better moment. There is nothing in this world better than right now - nothing. In my head, I am constantly fantasizing about what is next, what is happening tomorrow, or next week, or next month - meanwhile, I miss so very much.
I miss sunsets,
I miss sips of cool water on my lips,
I miss smiles,
I miss the feel of a breeze on my face,
I miss pain,
I miss soreness,
I miss sweating,
I miss eating delicious meals,
I miss breathing.
I miss life.
I miss the beauty (aka: power, fullness, majesty, passion, freedom) that is on me, tearing at me every second.

Wake up wake up wake up! I shake myself and look around, and run my fingers across a the sharp edge of a knife. This is beautiful, this is everything that I could ever dream or imagine. I am standing in a kitchen, slicing carrots, and preparing a salad - and I feel incredible.






(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

State of Awareness




This month I have written of eating meat.
Ok, not entirely, but I have decided not to eat any meat unless there has been substantial, personal effort in preparation. I want to consume animals that I, personally, have been in contact with it prior to eating: killed, skinned, grilled, chopped, touched, smelled. In essence, I want the blood of the animal on my hands and in my thoughts.
I am aware that, at first, this seems like an tedious and unnecessary effort. "Why the hell would you do that?", has been the majority of responses. I feel the same way occasionally. But, a step like this is crucial. It is absolutely crucial in breaking down this cycle of perpetual distraction.


THE MOTIVE:
I don't think. I don't think about the preciousness of everyday consumption. I grab whatever I want, whenever I want, and stuff it into my mouth - absurdly indifferent to its origins and its journey to my palate. I can go anywhere, and buy anything I desire; pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-warmed, entirely easy. The problem with easy, is that it has stolen the sacred soul of food.
A meal is no longer a valued, treasured gift.. it becomes just another random distraction in our hectic days. "What do I want to eat, and how fast can I get?" - that is the question that comes to mind most often.



I am so distracted, that I forgot what I am eating.




I ate a meal by myself last week. It was the best meal I have ever eaten. It took nearly 2 hours to finish (just eating). It was intentional.
I prepared a plate with rice, grilled salmon, vegetables, water. I cooked everything myself. I felt the raw fish in my hands, I felt the scales, I imagined the way it must have swum through a river somewhere - alive and free. I let sting of an onion wet my eyes. I tried not using a knife - it was hard. The entire preparation was hard. Nothing easy, nothing fast, nothing simple. Finally I finished cooking everything. As I sat in front of my meal, I began to consider every element - the rice, the water, the fish - where did it come from? What was its story? It was more than just "fish", it was a living animal that had died just so I could eat this one meal, this one damn meal. After months of growing, these vegetables had been plucked by someone in a field - maybe they had been shipped all the way across the globe. The water that filled my glass, how easy it had fallen from my faucet - but it had been used and re-used and recycled, and piped all the way to my home. Amazing.

I picked of a piece of fish flesh in my bare hand... I held it in front of my eyes, staring at it, smelling it. I slowly placed into my mouth, making myself savor everything about it: the texture, the taste. It was beautiful.
I repeated that step about 70 times. Closing my eyes I concentrated on the experience of eating. The meal took a very long time; that was the point.

This entire month of not eating meat, is about treating myself and the world with honor. It is about giving meat its right name - considering the real living animal; remembering the blood, and the bones, and the skin - realizing the magnitude of forgotten effort. This month is about being aware of life, of the origins of life and thankfulness.



(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Theories on the Revolutions of Lost Planets



Freedom and the price to maintain.
Isn't that a perverted, ironic statement.
How does one acquire freedom?
Can it be purchased or stolen or shared or sold?
Where does it come from?
When is it lost?
What does freedom have to do with peace?

I would ask myself what real freedom is. Not the freedom that we read about, or talk about, or the freedom to rights or the freedom to own anything. The real freedom, the freedom that knows the perfection of water in rivers.
I don't think we even know freedom. I don't think we are aware of how insanely deep and interwoven it already is in our lives. Not even close.

Born into freedom we were - as tiny helpless babies. We were naked, bloody, uneducated, weak and owned nothing - and we were free. We had nothing. Nothing tethering us to a false existence. Nothing burdening our minds or souls. Nothing keeping us from dying, or from living. Nothing covering our bodies, nothing hiding us from the world. Nothing, is an enviable pursuit.

I listen to ideas.
The distraction of comfort, the distractions of wealth, and of security.. paint shades of gray over our beautiful sunrise - it grows dimmer.
Chris McCandless, where did you get lost brother?
Absolute freedom: Being able to abandon all but peace.
Can you give up everything owned?
A man who will not put down his rights, is not a free man.
A man who will not give up his wealth, is not a free man.
A man who will not take off his clothes, is not a free man.
A man who will not endure, is not a free man.
A man who will not be still, is not a free man.
A man who will not die, is not a free man.

Freedom comes when there is nothing left that I am afraid of losing.
A naked child, that is what I become. A child that can do anything - because all there is to live for, is life itself.



(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Peace & Quiet

He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak. Ausonius


I have been discovering the loudness of my mind.
At every moment, filling every space and every thought; consumed by it, driven by it - the relentless, dirty hum inside my own head.
It is incestuous; so much so that I am mostly unaware of myself. A perpetual state of distraction keeps me from ever touching the passing moment.
My ears are filled with the inaudible whine of televisions and radios and the voices of misguided direction. On my way anywhere. My eyes are blurry from the colors on the covers of beauty magazines and spiritual guidebooks - their words toxic to my soul. My mouth is distracted by the tastes of animals I did not kill. Conveniently boneless. The motion inside my brain - clouded with the concern of fading achievement: my possessions, my turn, my ego.
I can move in any way I wish.
I can speak about all that I know.
I can consider anything.
Yet, there is only the pounding of existence, nothing more.

It is somewhat alluring to be distracted. When I am distracted, I don't have to ask questions. I fear the discoveries and I fear the possibilities of exploring my own being. What if my depths outweigh answers? What if my ideas are uncomfortable or threatening to my safe, caged existence? What if I have to give up the life I live, because I no longer see its value or worth? What if? Is truth worth more to me than a preoccupation? Am I willing to give up everything I have worked for? Am I willing to entirely change course?
If you are as shallow as your own existence allows, why dig deeper when you can be quite satisfied by the bright and shiny simplicity of noise? It is a cycle that drags you deeper and deeper. The more distracted become, the more I am caught up in the clanging sounds that saturate my thoughts; the less I hunger for truth, wisdom and substance. The faint whisper of a dying voice, is all that is left to call me back to my own words.



There is a desperation for silence. A desperation to actually, for once, hear the voice buried inside - to hear myself think for a moment. If for ten minutes, there were only those ten minutes, what would you think about? There is a desperation for breathe. I am suffocating from this loudness. So much distraction that I forget to fill my lungs with air sometimes.
I have been lost in a sea of noise, that wishes to swallow me completely.

Peace & quiet. They are not separate. Quiet the soul, quiet the mind, quiet the fears and the doubt - and peace follows. Instead of running from one distraction to the next, relying on the noise to drown out my own imagination, I want to sit still for awhile. What else do I have to do? Where do I have to be? What is most pressing? Its always a challenge to let comforting lies die.
I don't want to be distracted anymore.
I don't want to be forgotten in my own thoughtless ambition.
I want to feel. I want to think. I want to ask. I want to know.
Peace is quiet. The stillness of truth, the serenity of freedom.





(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Places I haven't yet been


Happiness is not real if it is never shared with anyone

We expect so little. We expect disappointment, fatigue, anger, hostility, deceit.
Lives still lived as animals defending the kill. Everyone is out to get the best for them self - how pitiful. Self-preservation. Self-Concious. Self-Assertive. Self-Aware. Selfish.
We are unprepared for goodness or guidance, or thought or prayers. Unprepared for something greater than what we have.
How does the world respond to intentional acts of substance? No cost. No loan. No interest. No payments. No manipulation.
Simple, pure and positive. Unexpected.
Does the energy keep moving I wonder?
Hopefully.


(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Everything Its Right Name



I am back. It has been a month.
Sometimes the farthest you can get from yourself, is inside your own head.

I have told myself lies. Lies about people, lies about control. Lies about love and of spirit. Consumed. Sadness will strip the blood from your heart, it will steal the wind from your wings, and the color from your eyes. Tears leak from my face and as they fall to the ground, they pull the breathe out of my lungs. My grip is weak, my teeth dull.

But that is not truth. This is not what I know, or believe or have found to be of substance.

Everything has a name. A right name A name that was given by the flow at the dawn of time. Everything has a name. This name puts all in its place. When I know the right name of an object, life becomes balanced; I begin to see the universe as it truly exists - not as I have been told it exists.
This is an attempt to realize where things are meant to fall in life. A struggle to give priority to the elements that bring peace and joy and life, and to remove the pursuits that steal happiness away. When I know the right name, I can call an object what it truly is; I am not subject to it anymore, or afraid of it, or consumed by it, or blinded by it. Life's motion is directed according to knowing the right name.

I do not yet know this world by its real names. I do not yet know people by their real names. I do not yet know trees or oceans, or sand or sun, or thought or death - I do not know them by their real names. But I am learning them. The name is everything; it changes what life is - how I live, where I go, when I cry, why I laugh, who I touch, when I am satisfied.


Because, no longer is fire simply, "fire", it is deeper than that - to know it as a wolf knows it, or a stone knows it, or as the wind. No longer is money, "money", I see it as it really is, and I can live my life in response to that truth. There is a universal balance, a universal peace and motion that existed before we were born - I hope to find that again.
These cages have to come down. These walls, these bars that keep me separate from what is; that keep me saying the wrong names.



(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, November 14, 2008

notes to self.


I was free today.
My head is a tangle of thoughts sometimes, but today the world was clear, calm and trivial. There is a world out here, a place filled with adventure, and people, and ideas and dreams, and god knows what else.
I started considering my life; the possibilities, the gifts, the time, everything about me. We have to do that time to time.. rethink ourselves, re-realize why it is we exist, and consider the force that drives us. Questions make people uncomfortable, but why? How can anyone be satisfied without asking? I am insanely curious. Insatiably. I find that the more questions I answer, the more I have.
What in this world owns me? Who owns me? When I lay down at night, where do my thoughts go? When I am awake during the day, what do I have to do? Can I find peace.. is it in me, attainable? Can I throw my cell phone out of a car window? could I give my car away? Could I give myself away? Could I live on an deserted island for a month, or a year, or all of life? Could I hold the hands of an old dying woman, and give her a smile? Could I tear off my clothes and walk around naked - and keep my peace? Can I say what I am thinking? Can I do what I am thinking? Have I the courage? Can I go where I am compelled? Where is the line between "who I am", and "what I have", or "what I do", or "what I say"? I am me. I am free. That is all that there should be between this very very very simple world, and myself. No strings, no lies, nothing but a few seconds of energy given and then taken - I am in the middle.
Lets be intimate.
It is incredible how quickly truth escapes me. Not today though, not today.

(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When you were young


I look forward to any day.


As I drove into the driveway, my mind was filled with frivilous thoughts. I turned the key, and sat for a moment in silence. My breathe, my hands clutching the steering wheel, the chill of fall.
I stepped out of the Jeep and closed the door, running my hands along the hood at I walked towards the front porch steps. There were patches of light, fading through the overcast sky, the falling leaves, oranges, reds, yellows, bits of sunshine that had escaped and silently faded to earth I paused for a moment before knocking, and then rang the doorbell.
A large friendly woman let me inside. "You must be the nurse.", I said. She told me I was handsome, and I smiled out of politness. The kitchen smelled exactly as I remembered, the scent of flowers, bread, and the energy of one thousand ancient stories. Memories of my youth came back to me for a fleeting instant - memories of laughter and food and music. The nurse motioned for me to follow her, she led me through the kitchen, down a hall, and into a bedroom. I walked to the door, the nurse winked at me and left. The room was empty except for a nightstand, a small cabinet, a window, and a bed. The light was fluttering in through white curtains, giving the walls a soft glow and a peace. The room's silent serenity was only broken by the slow wisper of the breathing machine, and heart monitors.
I stood alone in the doorway, motionless - my thoughts abandoned me. I could feel my heart thump in my chest; my eyes began to water. I took a deep breathe.
She lay there in front of me, her eyes closed, her tiny frail body, weaker and smaller than I would ever dare imagine. She was eighty-six years old, but she could have been three hundred - I noticed every wrinkle and every delicate mark on her face. Her head was on a soft lime green pillow, and a white blanket lay over her body - I could see the outline of her thin limbs. There were tubes running into her nose, and an few bandages taped to her arms. Her viens were deep and blue, her skin a pale white, she had no makeup, and I could see every year of her age. She must have heard me standing there, because her eyes opened ever so slightly and she smiled at me - every so slightly. I took a step forward and returned the smile, desperately trying to conceal my wet eyes. I had intended to be lighthearted. I had intended to say something charming and funny. I had intended to give her a good hug and play her a song. foolish intentions. All I could do was stand beside her - looking into her pale eyes, lost in the ocean of their blue. "Hi.", I said, in almost a wisper. It was all I could get out. My great-aunt had just undergone an intensive surgery. Because of her weak heart and frail body, she was not expected to make it out of the hospital alive, much less, make it back here to her own bed.
As I stood there, my brain sparked with a million different thoughts. I wanted to asked her a thousand things, questions about life, and birth, and questions about fragile truths, and sunshine, and warmth, and about the leaves falling outside her window. I wanted to know what she loved, and who she loved, and what she would do again, and what she would never do again. I said nothing.
She looked up into my eyes, and held out her tiny fading hand - I took it gently into mine. Her hand wrapped around my fingers, she grasped as if never to let go. Her palm was warm. It was a grasp that had emotion, it had passion and absolute peace. I felt her true self, the young, vibrant woman held captive inside this frail, fading body - I felt life itself; the energy of the soul. I returned the squeeze. We stayed there for hours, or days, or seconds - I do not know which. We shared the moment as humans, as the same human. Finally her grasp weakened, and her let her fingers rest on the back of my hand - she caressed me with delicate strokes. She touched my hand as if she had never felt skin before, or had suddenly discovered a beauty that had long been forgotten. I will never forget the softness, the frailness and the affection.
The nurse returned to the room. She smiled broadly, and as she checked a chart, she asked, "Are you looking forward to the day you can walk again?". There was absolute silence for a few moments - then the slow and almost inaudible reply: "I look forward to any day.". She squeezed my hand again as the words left her lips.

My heart thumped in my chest. Here in this tiny bedroom, I found incredible truth. Here was my great-aunt, so helpless and fragile and old, her life at its end - and she had discovered something more beautiful than all the youth in the world. In her condition of having nothing, she had realized the absolute, fleeting gift of the moment! No longer are there appointments, or walking, or ambitions, or swimming, or cars, or jewelry, or elegance, or poverty, or disgrace, or embarassment, or pride. Everything that she once believed important has been replaced by the simplicity of the undeserved day. I was holding a person that had nothing to live for except life itself. How precious is each second to her? How treasured the warmth of ordinary?

To look forward to any day. If I could hold that in my hand - I would never let it go.





(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Beyond Reason



Beyond Reason & Safety

You are all that you do.
It is not the moment but the space between the moments that cures my counterfit wounds. Wounds in the shapes of smiles. Smiles that seek substance.

when did the sunsets grow dim under the calamity of mindless thought?
Beauty is more beautiful to the wounded.
How was there peace between the sheets of beds, or sheets of paper, or the sheets of glass that blanket a untamed heart?
Passion and the lies, and the price of pleasure.

Pleasure in every sense.
The pleasure of nights and of mornings.
The Sweetness of ocean, the saltiness of lips; the thorns hidden among roses tear at my heart until it aches.
The darkest lies, are the ones i tell myself - in confidence.


Do you find the pause between words more beautiful than the tears of poets?
Do you find the branches of trees attainable?
Climb higher than you are afraid of falling.
Do you find subtlty calming - the absence of sharpness.
Finish these veins - let me slip below surface and below light, and below all that I might deserve.
I have bathed in these rivers, and they are deeper than I. I have fallen from life, and hope has cradled me in its soft arms.


Here I lay, the moon and the stars and all that is stunning - it still smiles back at me and my blackness. Does truth never forsake the hungry?



I am not yet lost. Hope remains.
I am still free after all, after all this - still.
Freedom and strength grow.
This breathe beyond reason and safety.



(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Before there were answers.


I have the urge sometimes to leave the campfire.
It is warm, comfortable, safe.. but at times I get the urge to take off my clothes, and run naked through the woods.


Joshua and Trent were right. This life is a tangle of constant motion. I have known it for too long. Some days there need to be wounds, some days there needs to be thought. Some days there should be love. Some days there should be tears. Some days warmth... other days cold. Some days I will be naked, others I will wear the finest clothes . In every day there is motion.

It isn't about ego, proving anything to anyone, self anguish, bravery. Forget what you know about everything. Forget you know me, forget you ever knew the sun, or the moon, or trees, or the softness of a kiss, forget that you know what it is to breathe - touch life again for the first time. Stop, open your eyes, challenge the learned experience of existence - challenge what you think about dolphins, what you think you know about grass, challenge what you think water tastes like, or what the sound of waves sounds like from beneath the surface. You must take off everything you know, and sell your cleverness for bewilderment.

Experience the woods at night. Take your shirt off, take your pants off, take your shoes off, stand naked, wrap yourself in the moment, and then run... forget reason, forget pain, forget darkness, forget yourself.
I am tired of the lies that keep us quiet.
I am tired of the fear that keeps us cautious.
I am tired of the thoughts that keep us thinking.
I want to be like a child again... amazed.
Before there were answers.



(Andrew Tipton)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cage of the Name

My dinner, dress, associates, looks, business, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks- or of myself... or ill-doing...
Or loss or lack of money... or depressions or exhaltations.
They come to me days and nights and go from me again.
But they are not the Me myself.
- Walt Whitman


This is an interesting age.
25. A moment in life when we begin to pursue a particular lifestyle, set on a course, establish our self in a job, or begin to settle down.
It is a confusing age - a time when much is sacrificed.

At 25, we begin to call ourselves names... doctors, parents, scientists, cowboys, philosophers, bodybuilders, leaders, painters, musicians. We feel we have a grasp on things, a grasp on our self, on our very tiny world. It all starts when we see a person we want to mimic or replicate; and so we pursue the life that they have. We, consciously or subconsciously, adapt ourselves to a particular model - and our lifestyle begins to narrow. We begin to lose balance. Its a slow process, but eventually, we replace curiosity with monotony. An entire world of bright, incredible pursuits, becomes shadowed by our own blanket of daily routine. One day we stop climbing trees.




Life is broad.
There is so much to do. There is so much to become, and experience, and touch, and do! I watch it calmly.. I hate that I watch it calmly.

When I give myself a name, I put limitations on what I am willing to do in life. I am saying, "I won't go there", or "I can't do that", not because I truly can't, but because it is out of character. My security no longer rests in truth - but comes from the safety of knowing what I can and can't do. I Do I dare be original? Sometimes it is pitiful how very little will suffice.
I see people day to day, and we seem so morbidly similar. We have the same appearance, the same job, the same lifestyle, we do the same things in the same places - absolute predictability.
Do I not know that life is at my fingertips? Am I afraid of freedom? It is easy to define myself when I fit a model that 1000000 people have already filled.. safe and easy. Damn.

There is something more, something better and infinitely more beautiful.
There is balance - and the pursuit of many pursuits.
Do all you can do, and do it well.
Today I will paint.






(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Movement Entirely

There were clouds over the island today; blue and gray and silver clouds covering the entire sky.

There are revelations hiding in lonely places. I have found that solitude unlocks the deepest of thoughts. You can't run from them, you can hide behind your smile or your conversation, or preoccupy yourself with the usual - you are forced to dive into yourself, into the soul of your imagination.


There are these dreams in my head today and they won't leave my mind alone.
On this island, where I have a hammock, a tent, and a few small trees, there is the continual concentration on motion... motion motion. It is ironic to be consumed by the thought of movement so much, when I am on a place so small and so limited.
I tried to forget the thought, but it was persistent, I cannot think of anything else but moving, moving, moving..




There are always reasons to the madness..
Where you are, what you have, your limitations, your abilities, your surroundings - they are all relevant in some way to what you are thinking - all working together to provide a subtle glimpse into the depths of existence.

As I lay in my hammock, aching to move. I began to consider the many paths of motion - the subtle, the explosive, the silent, the wild.
There is more to movement than just moving muscles. It is the inclusion of every element of motion that brings balance to life. Climbing, swimming, or painting, or sleeping.. they are all connected and all intimately related to one another. Each is important.
There was no place to run on the island, but I could read. There was no place to hike, but I could think, there were no people to talk to, but I could stretch, no music to dance to, but I could write.
Hidden, here on my tiny island, I found an incredible abundance of motion. Every moment I was here, could be consumed by movement - and each movement, absolutely as crucial as the next. Balance.

The realization;
Motion exists everywhere, in everything seen, touched, everything quiet, mysterious, obvious, all things beautiful, all things small, grand, still, and unseen. It is the constant, the beat of perfect balance, constantly ringing in our ears.
To achieve all that motion has to offer us, we must explore it entirely
. We must dive into the the motion of our minds, in the words of other people, in the sway of palm branches, in the wind, through our feet running across a desert, our hands grasping rocks on the side of a mountain, in the pages of a book, the drops in a waterfall, in the touch of bodies, into the motion of absolute silence. There is no limitation - no boundary - no time when we cannot fully and absolutely be in balance with the flow of motion. To be balanced, to be complete as humans, we need to experience the full range of our potential movement. Movement Entirely.



As I lay here, surrounded by very little, I am persuaded to rethink myself, my addictions and my frustrations. I am persuaded to be at peace, and to breathe slowly, there is everything here.
There is balance.
I don't have to find it -
I can simply live it.




(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Substance Abuse


And here we are in this brave world.
I crave substance. I won't lie, I crave it like nothing else I can fathom. It is in my mind, wrapped around my tongue so that it comes out when I speak. I look for other users - I want to know it, see it, and get it into my veins - I want to bleed substance. More than just a fix, I need to find the source - the place where it is born and dies all in the same moment.
We were tigers when we were born. Courage was in our hearts - that day we didn't know the emptiness of fake smiles or fake laughs or fake thoughts. I am so tired of fake smiles.
When I do stand and feel solid? When do I no longer hide in the shadows of delicate things?

Counterfeit are the truths of men - illusions of substance, with specs of real worth mixed in. Let them go, let them go, let them go.
Solid true substance - We are all searching for it. We are just following the wrong roads. We find a base that feels strong.. but it doesn't sustain.
my car, my clothes, my prestige, my wealth, my knowledge, my strength, my lovers, my friends, my body, my very life itself... they all fall short. Substance is outside of me and my conditions. It will not die with me, and it was here before I arrived. How can I put my hope in anything else? How can I believe that fading, delicate baggage will make me better? It is beautiful to be free.
I am dying.. (unavoidably) - what then, can possibly make me better? :) haha I would rather pursue something larger, grander and more long lived that my own fleeting moment.
What I desire is outside of time, and outside of persuasion. The motion of existence itself, give that to me. Strip me naked and paint it on my body, so that when people see me and hear me and touch me.. they know that what I say is real, that what I am is not a lie.
Lies are the end of power.
Truth is the beginning.



(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Walking in Zion and the Pursuit of Elusive Truths

There are days when thoughts run deeper and faster than rivers.
Days when you lose yourself in the simplicity of breathe.
Days when you wake up, look at your reflection on the surface of a calm lake, and realize that you look different than you remember.
These days make me think.


I went hiking in Zion, UT a few months ago. Zion is a national park, featuring some of the most elaborate, complex, and incredibly breathtaking hikes in the US. It is an entire valley, sculpted from red sandstone - enormous rock towers, jutting up, thousands of feet into the air. A revelation to witness in person.
It is hard to describe the initial, breathtaking beauty of Zion - you simply lose track of your own petite existence.
There is a certain hike in Zion, called "The Narrows". It is a 16 mile trek that winds its way through a deep slot-canyon - you hike into a river, and use its flow as your trail.
There are many tourists at the beginning of the trail. Fat tourists, families, young children, elderly explorers - they are all eager to walk to get their feet wet. As you start to hike the river however, you immediately realize that the hike is not going to be easy - and so does everyone else. Slippery rocks, strong current, and deep cold waters deter many would-be adventure seekers. Unwilling to risk discomfort or suffer injury, most turn back quickly.
However, despite the difficulties, a few hikers press onward, moving upstream along the slot-canyon at a snail's pace. As you continue the hike, the amount of fellow hikers continues to decline - eventually, you find yourself close to alone.



The canyon of "The Narrows" in Zion, has one ironic catch - the further you go, the more difficult the hike, and the more absolutely astounding your surroundings become. Sheer thousand-foot cliffs rise above you on both sides - the colors of red and crimson are unspeakably vibrant. The walls tighten, and you find yourself moving forward in a surreal labyrinth of: RIVER, ROCK and MOTION. It is an experience is incredible; worth every bit of effort, pain, and fatigue. You find yourself miles into the canyon, with the sound of a rambling river echoing through your ears. It is sublime.

There were two types of people that experienced the hike in Zion.
There were the tourists, who wanted a photo at the entrance of "The Narrows. To them, the hike was easy, shallow and safe - although incredible, they did not see it for what it really was.
Second, there were the adventurers - people who wanted to get into the canyon, to see it and touch it, and explore it entirely. They risked everything, and in doing so, they experienced the true majesty of the hike.
Both sets of people will go home, and say that they know Zion, that they know The Narrows. But, you only know of life what you live - in the same measure that you pursue it, will you uncover its power and beauty.


Touch life gently, and you will not find it very amazing.
Jump into it, grab onto it, wrestle it to the ground and have it throw you against a rock wall - you will ache, you will be cut and bruised, but you will see it as never before; it will be so intense and so beautiful that you won't be able to think straight. God, I want to get me some of that.




(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Smiles on faces that know the abundance of perfect moments.


Smiles on faces that know the abundance of perfect moments.



The beauty lost between the first and second hand,
The moment - young we stood, ageless in our minds,
The moment past; and wiser we shall live.

I find the pleasure of truth delicate,
The truth of pleasure intricate,
And the thickness of my thoughts paint shadows on empty walls.
comfort and the means to what end?

There are moments when my doubt would overtake the joys of poverty. The fleeting lust of safety and safe words.
Forgotten faces toiling for the sake of fading vice.
I have looked at the life. I have weighed the price.
Neither worth my pursuit. Yours?

Who owns my morning, my sunset, my afternoon?
Am I the master of many things; or the slave to one-thousand shiny reflections?
When I wake, do I have a choice? Do I dread my tomorrow?
When I sleep, am I content with all that is?
And if nothing is my everything; do I dream in peace?
Beautiful choice. Beautiful moment owned.


Only here in the labyrinth of enternal luxury, have I forgotten the sensual ache of substance and the magnificent taste of worth.
Give me back my stolen days!
Give me back sanity!
$4495.00 - is the tag on the cashmere jacket. The price to be someone. Paid by those who are nothing without it.
It will fade like me, it will fade like all else in this fading place - and not be missed.
.
The sweat of palm trees drips into my imagination and I climb off the wheel.
Turn it yourself. Or better: don't - you do have that choice.
Suddenly, I know the abundance of perfect moments.
Count them. They are passing.
Ce Aujourd'hui.


(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lost in the Expression

I was genuinely disturbed yesterday. Caught in the ramblings of a drunken art student, I discovered the desperate, morbid side of personal expression. Artistic work that is neither redeeming or purposeful - wrapped up entirely in the insanity of itself.

I am incredibly facinated by the creativity that artists possess. There are insights into truths, colors, angles, fabric, visions - sometimes perfectly released onto pages, or environments. They inspire me with their complexity, and intrigue me with their depth. My favorite type of artist, is the one that can completely express the beauty buried deep down inside their souls. Its amazing to see the very essence of a person portrayed in their work - the motion, the reasons that the person exists, right there in front of you. Those moments are priceless.
When I draw or paint, I feel that joy coming out of my body - the passion for living, and the excitement become part of the work. You can see it in the finished work. It has beauty.

Sometimes we forget that we cannot create beauty - we merely uncover it. Beauty is not something that we develop, or discover, or manipulate - it has always existed, we just see pieces of it from time to time; in ourselves, and in others.


Last night, I saw examples of angry, depressed people, creating morbid, depressing work, and calling it beautiful. Between the jumble and the intentional confusion, the artists were attempting to establish their own subjective beauty. Somehow we begin to equate creative with beautiful, - somehow we expect that if we dig deep enough between disturbing lines, we'll find something illuminous. Curious. I was neither impressed nor inspired.




(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shallow water

I got sick of talking last week.
I was sick of the emptiness of words and the shallowness that seems to wrap itself around everything I say. There are deep deep thoughts and reasons below the surface, a thirsty heart and awareness; but I am forever wading through the lethargy of bullsh*t that keeps conversation comfortable. BlaaahH! Where does that come from?

I was mid-sentence in a boring conversation with someone I didn't know - and suddenly I just stopped talking. I smiled and calmly walked away. The entire dialogue made me sick at my stomach. I had portrayed myself as petty, crass and arrogant - and I just didn't want to continue the charade. I couldn't do it anymore, my lips wouldn't move. I couldn't keep speaking the predictable responses to predictable questions. I don't have to. I could be real, I could start over, I could put myself out there and talk about something solid. About motion, or color, or the softness of rocks - its beautiful to be yourself.


Nobody brings substance to the table.
Even though we might have something substantial to say.

We're so damn afraid and insecure with ourselves, that we won't risk a reputation on a misguided sentence. What loss.
When I speak about shallow topics, I can be vocal, passionate, riveting... because my true self isn't exposed - I don't have to be real at all. This is comfortable. If someone disagrees with me, I am not offended, and I don't have to take it personally, because what we were talking about didn't matter anyway. I don't have to let you see the true side of me - and I like that. My deep thoughts and convictions can stay safely out of sight - tucked beneath my fabricated facade.
Ironically, when we have nothing to lose in a conversation, we also have nothing to gain. The communication disappears into a perpetual circle of fake smiles and cliche paragraphs.
Everyone knows that everyone else is shallow. We count on it. And we stopped listening to what anyone else has to say, a long time ago. We are simply waiting for a pause so we can cut in with our own little self-preserving antidote. Ce la vie.

What if someone brought truth to a conversation.
What if they really listened to what you said.
What if you finished talking, and you heard a response instead of just a reply.
We need some substance... we crave it.

I don't have a problem walking away in mid-sentence.... I will probably do it more often now - For the sake of the other person.
Lets swim in some deep water for a change.
Maybe the ocean? :)




(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Duct-Tape

Did you ever stop for an moment and consider what age, exactly, is a good age to die? My first response would be, "Live as long as possible!" - but I am beginning to change my mind.
Look around you. You can see it. Probably feel it. Most likely you've talked about it today, or complained about it, or ignored it. pain.
We are on our way down.
Bodies + motion = wear out.
Unfortunately most of us don't want to accept that fact.

We have a disorder.
Not a physical problem, not a over-the-counter treatable diagnosis, or a virus that can be cured with pills. We have something worse - an unbalanced obsession with existence. Existence at all costs.
We pull, and tug, and cling to life in every way, clawing and tearing in a desperate attempt to stay awhile longer - to keep our head above water a few more seconds. Why? What else do we hope to get?
From anti-age serum, to life-supporting respirators, all we are really doing is duct-taping ourselves up. A little bit here. A little there. We patch up the holes, and cover up the scars - expecting the "fixes" to last.

What experience would it take to make us OK with passing on? What is missing inside of us, that creates the longing to remain - no matter what. Why do we fight the effects of motion with such hostility and brutality? Curious.
There is only one thing certain in this life: our inevitable end. That knowledge should change our lives completely. I know that I am dying, but my only response is to ignore the reality. We live under the dillusion that we somehow deserve more time.. always a little more time.

TRUTH: We are meant to live a short while and then calmly, peacefully exit this world.
This fact becomes plainly evident, when we start noticing the abundance of duct-tape in our lives. As we age, and as the flow of motion wears us down, we slowly become one huge piece of tape - everything is delicately held together, so that we can live a while longer. We tape up our exterior, our face our skin. Then put some on our heart to keep it beating, duct-tape our knees and joints; life isn't about quality anymore, it is simply about quantity. We aren't designed to last.

Perhaps we were never meant to die at all. Maybe our aversion to death is natural. Possibly, a long time ago, we were so close to the source that death wasn't part of the equation.

It is beautiful to imagine a life existing in harmony with motion - a life that is so self-aware that it enjoys the moment completely. A life that knows the truth, doesn't need 100 years to be satisfied, it doesn't want to be held together by rolls of duct-tape and "fixes", and it isn't afraid to let go.






(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Believe What You Want"

I don't believe in that.
Quite possibly my least favorite phrase at the moment. I have heard it a lot. It is simply a way out, a justification for thought that is not backed by reason, by depth, or objectivity - a numbing combination of naivety and closed-mindedness.

Belief never changes truth.
Know that, and live free.
Whether I believe in something or not, it does not matter - I cannot change the substance, and solidness of real.
if I choose not to believe in the color blue, does it change anything about the existence of that particular color? No.
If I choose not to believe in sunshine, or raindrops, or wind, does it ever affect the Truth of their existence? Never.
Truth exists regardless of all else. It is not moved or swayed by you or I, it does not conform itself to our reasons or our answers. We don't create truth, we don't own it, we will never tame it or make it comfortable - truth is completely and always outside of subjectivity.


When you realize that Truth is outside of yourself, it changes things.
I never have to defend a position, I don't have to be right, I never have to try and sway someone to believe my reasoning - because it doesn't matter. When truth is found, it makes your strong. You can feel it, smell it, run your mind around it - it is real and has power.

"I don't believe in that." is a weak statement. Try it. Learn it. Experience it. Then make your decision based on how much truth you find.


(Andrew Tipton)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

lost in the shadows of perfect circles


There was a full moon last night over the ocean.
I watched the waves through a filter of soft light, towering out of the surf in brutal majesty. The rise, the fall, the sound of thunder as they crash into the pale beach. I lay on the shoreline and stare helplessly into the motion.

My arms ache from 3 days of hard surfing. Muscles taunt, chest raw, eyes stinging from the saltwater. I still feel as if I'm moving.. up and down, side to side in the waves, clinging to my wax covered board. The tiredness is fully consuming, and yet, I find myself smiling up at the sky, considering the awe of perfection. Is it coincidence that brings us to our knees in the middle of the night? I feel like such a small part of this place, of these moments and movements. But, for a few desperate seconds I feel the power of the universe - everything happening at once in a tremor of perfect circles. I can see it, it is personal; and I can't breathe.

Moonlight is incredible.


(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

knowing the source



How does a person know the source?
How can any man grasp the thoughts, will, or concept of a spiritual, supernatural being? I don't mean the "concept" of the source, or the structure and reason behind it - I mean the source itself.
We read many books. We study. We think and learn and remember. We know about it all in our heads.

Can you know the ocean without swimming in it?
Can you know heat without feeling the warmth of an afternoon sun?
Can you know the numb of freezing cold only in your head?

How can I possibly know the being who is the universe, if I never spend actual time exploring, enjoying, touching, breathing. Pages and writings from past experiences, cannot fill the void. There is a space in all of us, every creature, that can only be met, by interacting with the source in a real way. No faking, no subjective thoughts, no feelings.

I ran my hands across the stones - a smoothness carved by hundreds of thousands of years. I felt the hardness of the source in those rocks.
I was carried by a wave on the ocean, lifted high into the air, and then crushed under the incomparable power of the water. I felt the strength of the source beneath that wave.
I touched the skin of another human, I ran my fingers along her arm and held her small fingers in my hand. I felt the softness of the source on that baby girl.
I watched the sunset over Delicate Arch, the beams of purple, or red, of crimson, of blue, and yellow. I felt the beauty of the source on that mountain, watching the day end.

I am never closer to the source, that when I am in the source, or laying beside the source, or running my fingers through the sand of the source, or swimming in the waters of the source. Life and god are never real, until you have felt them all over you.
I've said goodbye to words for a few days, and climbed all over god's hands - I know life better.


(Andrew Tipton)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Person Underneath.


"Full nakedness! All joyes are due to thee,
As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth'd must be,
To taste whole joyes."
- John Donne, Elegie XIX


There is the person everyone knows. The side of you and I that is funny, charming, happy, sexy. The mask we wear when we know anyone is looking.
What about when we are alone? What about the moments no one else sees? Do we still wear the masks?
I hope to god that I take off everything when I am alone. I hope I look at my bare body, my bare thoughts, and see me - the true me, the being that exists deep down underneath it all.

I found myself on top of a rock in Utah, overlooking a gorgeous blue lake. As the sun beamed across my face, boats zipped along below me. The warmth, the breeze, the rock, the water - it all came together right then.. I could accept it all, I could accept myself. No additives. No lies. No shell. No mask. Just me - alone on a rock with myself and the earth. I wanted to feel as naked with myself as possible, I wanted to be vulnerable, to be stripped of everything that I believe, and everything that others believe about me.
I took off my clothes, walked to the edge of the rock, stretched out my arms, and roared. It felt amazing. Every lie, everything false, it all just melted away into the wind. For the first time, I was able to forget to "Be someone", and I just existed as myself..
Naked.
Bare.
Real.
Solid.

I don't think we truly believe, that deep down inside something amazing exists. We are soooo scared to let it all go, with our guard down and our clothes off, to let people see the real us.
I want to be naked more often.





(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Exit the Circle


To us it seemed as if the island were mobile and had suddenly entered the circle of blue and empty sea in the center of which we had our permanent abode...

THOR HEYERDAHL


I have found that when I remain in a routine for too long, my outlook on life becomes severely skewed. The truth of a situation disappears, and I am left with a warpped, entirely ego-centric point of view. Life begins to rotate around me.
I begin to imagine that I am the center of my very own personal sphere - a circle of being, of which I am a god, and which all life revolves. Truth is reduced... smaller and smaller, until my existence is limited to the confines of the subjective mind. I am always subtly lulled into the deception. We are easily convinced of mobile islands, when we believe in the immobility of our own thoughts.
We are so naive.

We speed on the interstates... and do it so often, that we think we should always travel so fast - upset when there is traffic.
We buy groceries from the supermarket with ease - flustered when they are out of milk.
We watch late night television from our comfortable couches - tramatized when we can't find the remote.
We are outraged when we have to wait in lines.
We complain about a rainy day.
We worry and whine when we experience the slightest pain.
We are afraid of everyone and most everything.
We get upset over the smallest things.
Routine.

There is no happiness in our own personal circles. The smaller the circle, the more miserable we become. All my misery is simply a product of routine. Routine. Routine. Routine. We expect life to rotate around us comfortably - always. When it doesn't, or when something collides with our perfect imaginations, we can't handle it; or we handle it without truth.

EXIT THE CIRCLE
Step out of the line. Cross over into the unknown, the un-routine, the scary world of real. Drop the fear, lose the insecurities, open your eyes, and forget the technicalities of living.
Life is too short to worry about the failures of other people.
So JUST ENJOY YOURSELF.


(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Days When you Feel Like Taking on the World

DO WHAT YOU CAN DO, AND DO IT WELL.



I woke up this morning and stretched my body. I stood in the grass by our lake, and felt the sunshine warm my muscles - I felt like I was absorbing pure energy. I stretched my arms, my shoulders, my legs, my neck, my hands, I let myself wake up with the day.

I went for a hike. I breathed in the smell of wet leaves, I touched the trees as I walked by - the feeling of rough bark on my fingertips. Walking through the woods, I felt part of my surroundings, part of nature and not just moving through it.

I drove to a friends lake, took off my clothes and waded into the cool water. I splashed, swam, jumped from a rope swing, and enjoyed being able to move my body. You are acutely aware of the motions you create when you're in water - you can feel the way your arms rotate, the way your legs flex and kick, you can feel the breathes going in and out of your body. I swam back to shore and let the water drip from my skin.

I was offered the chance to go for a motorcycle ride. I took it without hesitation. We put on our jackets, helmets, gloves, and pants, and then headed out onto the trails. I felt like part of the bike, like it was a piece of me that had suddenly just become enabled. I pulled back on the throttle and motion shook my soul. Trees and dirt flew past me as I raced through the forest. Over logs, through creeks, jumping, skidding, - my heart in my throat, my eyes open wide. Some dreams feel like this, dreams where I am flying.

I stopped by the gym on the way home. The pulse of energizing music filling my ears - thump thump thump. The heaviness of weight, the ability to grasp, to lift, to feel strength leaving your body.. it is a feeling that should not be taken for granted. My arms ached, my veins screamed; I am reminded of the concept of pain passing through my body - it is not part of me, just a fleeting feeling, lost in a few short moments.

I picked up a few bags of frisbee discs, and headed to a course near campus. To throw something and have it move in a desired direction... AMAZING! I am forever fascinated by our ability to control movements - to direct concentrated energy towards a destination. I focus my gaze, draw back my shoulder, and this small round piece of plastic goes flying through the air. Energy lost - motion gained. I play until dark.

I pour myself a glass of dark, smooth wine, and sip on it while I sit watching the stars. I could run 1000 miles right now. I could sail across 7 seas. I am exhausted, and still so full of life. The day winds down, and my motion slows, and I feel the pleasure of enjoying each moment. Not out of desperation, or a need for preoccupation, but out of the love of touching everything - the love of motion.
Today my body moved, and I enjoyed every second of it.


(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

9 OF DIAMONDS




There is a place in our minds that we don't control. It is the place where we become so in-tune with the force of motion around us, that our thoughts, our words and our movements stretch beyond explanation. We can predict circumstance, we can touch the visions of another human, we are able to see life in a way that normally we wouldn't even consider.

You can't find this place. You won't be able to will yourself into a state of mind, or read enough books on the subject to master the art. There is no seminar on achieving success or learning control - it is about losing complete control. I am beginning to believe that the reason we have a hard time as individuals, communicating and reaching other people, is because we are so focused on our self as an individual. Are we really separate from everyone else? Is there really a distinction between me, you, a tree, a rock, a bird, water, the grass? Where does my line begin, and your line end? There is an overwhelming sense of autonomy has caged our minds! If we can break it, we might just see a world that doesn't exist some plainly - so well defined.


Think of the world as you know it. There is you. There is someone else. There is a forest. There are animals. There are clouds.
Reconsider your world. There is only we.
If you back far enough away from planet earth, you no longer see the lines. The edges of our bodies, the definition from sea to land, the breaks in our words and in our expressions - they are all lost in the single sphere of motion. You still exists, but you start to see that you are connected deeply to everything else.

If we can forget to be ourselves, if we can erase the lines that confine our brains, and stop trying to control our environment - there are possibilities unlocked, that will absolutely rock our souls! Imagine being able to know what another person is thinking, imagine being able to communicate on a level that is beyond speech and language, beyond space, beyond definition.
Twins are the closest example that we have to draw from. It is true that twins experience "telepathy" from time to time. I am a twin, and I can assure you that it is true. Why is this? How is this possible? Could it be, that twins were the same being for a short period of time, and they are still subconciously aware of that untra-sensitive conncection? Don't be naive. Don't be naive. Stop placing limitations on yourself, stop thinking so much, stop tyring to analyze, and factualize yourself. Open your mind.

You are not your own. You are part of earth - a living breathing being. There is a connection to every living thing here.. you are part of everything else.


(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Always Amazed


The Stones that move alone

Motion is bulit into us. It is closer and stronger than we can possibly imagine! If we are not consumed by it, if we are not wrapped in the rythm - we cannot be satisfied .
Even the rocks must move. Motion is everything.

I am always amazed.




(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Taste of Waves

Enjoy today - it is a gift. Thats why it is called the present.

I was surfing right after the hurricane. The storm was passing, and I was in the ocean, paddling out into huge waves - waves that have their own soul, their own motion. I could feel the sting of saltwater in my eyes, hands gliding down through the water propelling me closer to life.
There is a indescribable sacredness when you are flailing and fighting lost in the rhythms of the ocean. You will find, that you are smaller, weaker, and far less important than you previously imagined yourself to be. The ocean is a being; it is unmoved, untamed.. constant. When you are surfing, or swimming, you feel the movement all around you - in your ears, your eyes, your heart, your stomach.. it consumes you.



I fought my way out to the edge of the breaking waves, CRASSHHING! RUSHHHING! the feeling of being in a stampede. I waited on the right wave to come, I wanted to time it just right. There it was, looming behind me - like a sea monster rising from the depths. I paddled furiously, urging my board to catch the current.
In a split second I had jumped up onto my surfboard, and was now riding the face of the wave - plunging down, across the hissing surface.
5 seconds of glory, and then a face full of sand and seawater. I was flung from my board, pushed, pummelled, held beneath the frothing ocean. I clawed upwards, straining against the pounding force of the wave.
Finally, my face ripped through the water's surface, I gasp for air! Ahhhhhhh! My lungs drank it in.
Never has the most common of all things tasted so good, or been so desired. There, in the depths of the crashing waves, you find that the thing your body craves the most is simply life. Not food, not money, not friendship, not comfort - simply life and a solid breathe of air.

I paddled back to shore. Wiser. Took a look at the waves, and then did it again.
The taste of waves, makes you realize the insane beauty of simply being alive.




(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Urgency

Life can't wait.
There is no moment more precious than the moment you are living.

Be consumed by the urgency of life.

There is a saying:
live like there is no tomorrow
. In reality, there might be a tomorrow. Its true, there has always been tomorrows as long as I can remember. I remember yesterday, and the day before, and the day before - all followed by tomorrows. That convenient truth keeps us sedated - it keeps us quiet and comfortable, and calm.



We live carefully, because we anticipate a tomorrow. We work long, because we are hoping to have lots of money tomorrow. We don't live completely in the moment, simply because we are quite sure that tomorrow we will have the chance again.
I am perfectly aware of the paradox of living fully in the moment, while knowing that tomorrow is just a few hours away - it doesn't happen. We are so convinced in the security of our existence, we have lost the urgency of the day.

I don't want to live like there is no tomorrow. There very well could be one.
I want to live, knowing that tomorrow I will be older, slower, less beautiful, weaker, in more pain, and less able to taste the deliciousness of being alive. I want to live today, believing that I will not always be young, that I will not always be able to climb mountains, that I will not always be able to dance, that I will not always be able to surf waves, to kiss a beautiful girl, to have warm skin and firm muscles, that life is slowly, surely, stealthly wearing me down. That knowledge gives my life urgency! Whatever is available, whatever is beautiful and amazing, and extrodinary - DO IT WHILE YOU CAN. When I know that, I can't put life off, I can't conveniently let it pass me by. I must be in it, moving with it, exploring and feeling the earth.

The passage of life is both predictible and incredible. The ability to live fully, grows smaller and smaller with each and every passing day. Know it. Own it. Believe it.

TOUCH EVERYTHING WHILE YOU CAN.
Tomorrow may come - what will you do with it? What can you still do with it?



(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Rooms of Perfect Strangers

Have you ever found yourself in a new place, looked around, and wondered how you arrived there? You look across a table at smiling faces, you take a bite of delicious food, you run your fingers along a glass of deep, dark wine, and you share ideas with thirsty minds - it is an amazing experience. There is no apparent reason you have arrived - no obvious course of motion that has drawn you to this place - But you are here.



Its the perfectness of strangers, and being a stranger that gives us the ability to glide through cities, through towns, through the world itself - intricately, subtly, peacefully.
How imperfect are the ones we know so well? How many faults, and drama, and scars, and wounds do we know? The beauty of being somewhere new, is that you are a perfect stranger - and people will treat you as such. There is a curiousness we all share when it comes to a new face. People are eager to take you in, talk to you, dress you, feed you - even when they know harding anything about you. In their mind, you have no flaws.

So there we sit. Myself in a room with perfect strangers - both of us blinded by initial beauty, neither of us really knowing the other.
And this is where is starts.


(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Power of Good Words


I admit it. there are days when a life of motion and adventure takes its toll on my body and my mind. The times when I am so exhausted, so tired, so torn and dirty, and sweat covered, that I can hardly move. There are those moments.

It is exactly at those moments, when I feel beaten by my pursuit, when comfort wispers lies in my ears, when I feel seperate from all that is safe.. it is in those moments that I get a smile, a word of encouragement, a shoulder massage, a good meal, an drink of cold water, or a look of strength. I get a unmeasureable response - people say that they admire me, that they would follow my lead, that I am an inspiration.
Me? They probably don't know me well enough - I am just a boy in love with adventure. But, those words have power! They shake me from my very being, the part of you that is wild and raw. When I hear those words, when I see that look.. it gives me hope! I could not live a life of motion without those people - they are my soul. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I owe life to you. Peace & Motion always.


(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Luxury Of Having Little

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. Dorothy Thompson

Money, wealth, power, intellect, control. The luxuries of life.
Luxuries?
Men live and die for such things, surely they must be worth the pursuit. ?. We endure the agony of loss, the continual trial of sustenance, the distrust, the conflict, the flicker of passing pleasure - hopes and dreams wrapped around the absolute pursuit of an elusive happiness.




I challenge that thought.
I challenge the slavery to pointlessness.
I challenge the preoccupation with the comfort of life - instead of life itself.
I challenge the minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades spent working towards a life of freedom that is always a day away.



Consider this, the luxury of having little.
Be lured by the taste of absolute freedom. Is life not unspeakably beautiful? Does the warmth of the summer sun not draw a smile from your lips? Do ocean waves not seduce you to journey into their mystery? Can you not taste the sweat of mountains, and the revalation of ice water in a scorching desert?
The luxury of having little is this: Everything becomes incredible.
you will always be consumed by motion, you will always be free to go, you will always have your mind twisted and your opinions will be lost in truth. The luxury of having little is that you will feel above very few, in debt to none, and able to lock eyes with whomever you cross paths. You will be strong, you will be tired, you will miss meals, you will feast like a king. You will meet strangers, you will find friends, you will lose enemies. You will touch this world, and it will touch you back - and you will never be the same.

Life is almost over; there will not be a second. What luxury will be left?


(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alone in my Head


There are moments when I am owned by my mind. Moments when I am absorbed into the drama and confusion of my own imagination. Beautiful moments, full of thought and introspection, debate and color. I live within the bounderies of my skull, wrapped up in the process of life - the seconds that have just passed me by.
Its a good place to rest for a minute, to recharge and reinvent. Never underestimate the power of being still!
At times though, I linger there, pondering myself and my reason for motion. I get caught in the cycle of thoughts, the rythm of thinking. If I spend too much time in my own mind, forget the present. I forget that there are words to say, and smiles to give, and skin to touch, and children to hold in my arms. I forget about the sweat from running, and the pleasure of diving into a cold stream. As incredible as the mind is, I do not wish to live a life inside my head.

I need motion, we were all designed for movement! I shake myself loose from my coat of self-awareness, and focus my attention back on the beauty at hand - the beauty that is absolutely blinding my eyes. I look into a sunset, I smell the sweetness of freshly cut grass, I taste the flavors hidden in strawberries, I hear the perfect notes of songs.. My eyes begin to light up. Truly, Life is better, lived.


(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How to Untame a Tiger

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -Albert Schweitzer


What would happen if we lived life without inhibition? How would the world change, if we stopped pretending, and actually lived outrageous, uncivilized, incredible lives? Does any American do that?

What if you owned freedom. What if you owned truth. What if, when you talked, there was substance in your words, and wisdom in your thoughts.
There is absolute seduction in owning what you talk about. When you have explored lands, and bled, and tasted oceans, and seen sunsets over deserts, and touched jagged stone, you become more than simply someone who has read a book, or heard a speech - you become REAL. Places, people, experiences - they all become part of you... and you get deeper, stronger, wilder, and wiser.

People need real. We lost it somewhere along the way, while we were searching for comfortable. We rarely see lives that exude unpredictibility or embrace constant motion - and yet, we are facinated by the idea - facinated by people who challenge it all. We crave the life that is consuming, we crave passion and depth and emotion, we crave freedom and living like there is no tomorrow - but we are too scared to leave our cage. The entire, beautiful world calls to us! and we are too frightened to step into it. Shame.

We are tamed tigers. Splendid, sensual beasts that were created to roam free, to explore, to growl - but who have forgotten the feeling of freedom. We are tigers content with jumping though a hoop.. rather than jumping through the tree tops and running through the jungles.
Wouldn't you love to see a tiger, living as a tiger? To see that untamed look in his firey eyes, to hear him growl low and strong, to feel the scars and wounds in his beautiful stiped coat, from his battles and adventures. Would you follow that tiger out of your safe little cage? I would.

How to untame a tiger:
show him a free tiger, a real tiger, an untamed tiger. There is nothing on this planet more attractive.


You weren't born in a cage - don't die in one.

(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Taste of Raindrops

It rained today.
It rained thick and heavy... dark and mysterious like ancient stories from the pages of a dusty book. The smell is intoxicating. It has the scent of energy of life and strength, of wildness, of the untamed - the smell of all things alive and breathing and full taste.
The rain poured down, it flowed through tree branches and across the leaves, down the bark and onto the ground, and into the soil and through the roots.. it flowed into the earth and the world let out a sigh that you could feel in your soul.
I stood under the drops.
My eyes closed, and my mouth slightly open - I could taste the sweetness and saltiness as the water ran down my sweat stained face and along my dry lips.
Everything about me is wet. My face, my arms, my hair, my skin - it is the feeling of complete saturation; it is amazing.
I let the drops run from my lips, down my neck, and all the way to my finger tips.. they slide down each one of my fingers and hang for a few moments before dripping onto the ground.

Standing bare in the rain, it runs over my body and my thoughts - washes away the blood and the tears and the anticipation.
Rain is real and it is beautiful on a summer night.

(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Myself & What You Think You Know

"Its not that I am so tough, I just put everything in a box, lock it up, and bury it deep down inside where no one can touch it." J. Maxine



I listen and smile politely whenever someone tells me that they know all about me.. that somehow they can read me, or understand me or percieve the depths of my thoughts. I am deliberate.
My life revolves around truth and openness, and yet, you know only the person that I allow you to know. Don't be naive.

Friends often wear their deepest self on their shoulder. They grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and they must, at once, share themself completely with the world. They spend no time savoring the moment, or reflecting on the deepness of discovery - they are simply concerned with telling someone. What feeds that need? Have we become so insecure as indivduals, that we feel almost obligated to tell people about ourselves - to glorify our actions, to dramatize and hype our days and words? Our egos, our security, our very place in existence, rests solely on knowing that people "know" that we are ok, or that we are successful, or smart, or powerful, or weathly, or hopeless, or in pain.

We sell the sexiness of our souls .. we strip the depth of our concious! How does one retain beauty, and mysteriousness, and subtlety if our minds are continually naked and exposed? Where do my thoughts go to swim with one another, after I have drained the pools of personal reflection?

There is a satisfaction that comes from knowing motion in my mind, of which no other person is aware. It is a relationship that I have with myself. My spirit and my soul share secrets, they tell each other stories, and play games together. There is beauty wrapped around the thoughts that no one hears about.

GO. DO. EXPLORE. DREAM. BLEED. GROW. LAUGH. And I will share much. There is still a box inside that no one knows - don't be naive.


.


(Andrew Tipton)