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?

(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)