Wednesday, July 29, 2009


You are awesome.
Know it.
Taste it.
You are so awesome, that you rock my mind.
Believe it.
Own it.
You are awesome.. say it out loud.
Say it again.

Do you know how different life would be, if we knew that? Knew it to our core; knew it in our souls and in our bones.
Not just in an oblivious arogant way... but to know it in a way that makes us stand up and roar! ROAAARRR!!!!! I am awesome!!
You see colors,
You have waterproof skin,
You have K9 teeth,
You have arms,
You have legs,
You are awesome.
You have lips for kissing,
You can hear sounds,
You can smell
You are awesome.
You can run,
You can... THINK. You can THINK! YOU CAN THINK!
You are awesome.
Choice lies at our fingertips, the choice to climb a tree, the choice to be satisfied, the choice to be strong, the choice to be brave, the choice to be wild, the choice to do what you want, go where you want, talk like you want, say what you want, to die, to live, to breathe, to speak, to laugh.
You are so awesome.

There is nothing to maintain,
No reason - no steps to awesomeness - and no one can take it away, ever.
You are awesome.. just because you are here.

I'm so glad you're here!
You are awesome.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Dusty Prayers of Paintbrush Poets

The De Grazia mission is empty, except for a few dust covered benches and flickering candles.
Adobe walls feel fragile to my fingertips; I let my hands wander across the smooth surfaces, across the cracks, across the flaws.
Bright painted aluminum flowers are attached to the door frame, and the fence surrounding the building. The desolate ache of this place, is eclipsed by their eternal, metallic beauty.
There is something completely "calm" here. Just leaning against the dried-cactus doorway, the sunshine beaming across my eyes.. I like this simplicity, I like the way this place was built - built not to last.
Inside the mission, fading paintings cover the walls.
De Grazia was an impressionist. His work flows, it moves, it is unashamed and uncalculated. When I look at his paintings, I feel what he was feeling - you can see the emotions of his mind.
Words spill out of his paintings.. silent potent words. Words like, "fatigue", "alive", "strength" - poetry woven into the slightest of brush strokes.
I like that rawness, I like that urgency.

I sit down for a moment on a very old wooden bench.. my blue jeans, make a stretching sound. My eyes scan through the old mission.
How long will this place last?
Already it is crumbling, already the brilliant colors of paint have faded and dulled, already wind and dust and time have have taken their toll.
Seriously, how did he expect this place to last?

Last. Endure. Exist.

I looked again over the dusty paintings.
The imperfections in the works.. the quickness, and the disregard for detail.
I see motion in De Grazia's artwork, the urgency of color. His paintings seem to plead with me, "NOW! Now is the beautiful moment! Touch me, look at me, watch me before I fade like a comet through the black sky!" Like prayers for my wounded mind - his paint stains my perception.
Everything about the mission looks aged - everything here seems to be decidedly confident in its inability to remain.
How calming.
How absolutely reassuring.
How persuading.
I too have an inability to remain.

...a reflection of human existence; a beautiful, subtle reminder of our own frailty, and at the same time our own brilliance!
Sitting there, surrounded by dust and paintbrush poetry, I could almost feel time moving across my body - along the cracked adobe of my skin, through the dry cactus of my veins... the impermanence of that place echoed my own faltering, stammering, smile. Fleeting.
So beautiful, and yet so momentary!
Nothing here was ever meant to last.
Everything, everyone, every thought, every painting, trees, houses, machines - designed to fade to dust.
god I love that..
I love that we are all just pieces of motion, pieces of the moment, pieces of reality.. god I love that.
I find myself persuaded to live and breathe, and die in peace - that is existence: shining like a flame, and then disappearing into the wind.

What a wild, crazy blue-sky day.

(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, July 20, 2009


The early morning fog rolled across the river.. slowly wrapping around our kayaks, luring us further and further down stream. Raindrops ran down our faces, dripping into our eyes, and running down the backs of our minds. Everything was still.. everything except the sound of the river rushing underneath our boats.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4 months

I run my hands across her belly, and she pushes me away with a perturbed look in her eyes... like I am the millionth person to do that.
"Sarah! You are so big!"
She knows she's that, and she lets me know it with a groan and then lays her face into her arms.

I am fascinated.
Ever since I heard she was pregnant, I can't keep myself focused when I see her - I can't stop imagining her as a little baby, and now there is a baby inside of her stomach! The thought of life coming from life, a never-ending circle of perpetuation - it makes my eyes go blurry. Incredible. I'm smiling right now.

I remember seeing pregnant women in the past, always with curiousness.. but never with this much fascination. I remember seeing photos of naked mothers - the way their bellies swell, and develop into the most beautiful curves. I remember noticing a woman in a shop once, she was about 8 month pregnant, and she was wearing a small tank top; her belly completely exposed.
Sensual, human, animal, untamed, natural.
Words that flicker through my mind when I remember her.

She doesn't know how beautiful she is yet.
not yet.
She doesn't know that her beauty is because of what is happening to her.
I wish she would wear tiny t-shirts, and just let her stomach show.. show the world, and remind us all of how we really are. Remind us that we are fragile, intricate, wonderful, remind us that we are forever changing, growing.

I want to put my hands on her, and feel it kick, feel it move!
I want to believe that in the midst of our sanitized houses, and mowed lawns, and mechanical lives, we are still wild inside. We are still beautiful humans - and babies grow inside our bellies!
Bewilderment roams this place.

(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Racing Boxcars with the Company of Fireflies

"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.'

~ St. Augustine

Tonight I was driving with windows down, letting the coolness of nightfall rush through my van. The curtains flapping, my sweaty white tee shirt clinging to my arms, my face, slightly sunburned, my hair blowing like crazy - everything slightly perfect.
I stuck my hand out the window and let it dance.
Wind slipped through my fingers like poetry through the ears of a child. Never grasped.
I turned off my cassette player and just soaked in the serenity of cruising at 57mph. The Indian bells in the back of my van were gently blowing around, making the most beautiful sounds - like a sheep grazing in the Himalayan mountains.... "ting.. ting, ting ting."
The smell of rain on freshly cut hay filled my nostrils - the road was still damp from today's afternoon showers.
As I moved along.. the road began to run parallel to a railroad. I saw taillights on the tracks, and knew I would be passing a train; I slowed down, and watched as my misty headlight beams glanced off of rusty boxcars. The train was rumbling forwards... creaking and grinding against the metal tracks. As I drove beside it, I felt like I was bending time itself! The speed of my van, against the speed of the train, against the speed of the passing trees... it was all a blur of indescribable mystery.
Suddenly, a tiny light caught my eye.. it was up ahead, swirling in the air.. level with my eyes.. it moved with delicacy and effortlessness.
Then, without the slightest warning, it circled in the breeze and flew through my window - gently landing on my dashboard.
It was a firefly.
I don't know why he chose to glide into the van with me, but he did.
I kept driving.
The firefly climbed up on the edge of my dashboard and looked out.
It sat there, still glowing... just watching...
We drove along together, me at the wheel, and the firefly glowing contentedly on my dashboard; as the train rumbled along beside us - both of us watched the boxcars disappear... one by one into the night.
Like part of a dream.. like the feeling you get when you spin in circles too much.. like the feeling of rest, when you are absolutely exhausted.
The curtains blowing in the breeze, our engine purring, my white t-shirt clinging to my sweaty chest, the bells gently "ting..ting" in the back of the van, and my tiny friend the firefly sitting with me, simply savoring the most beautiful of all moments.
Simplicity and wonder.

There are mountains to climb, and rivers to swim across, and trees to touch, and oceans to dive into..
and then, there are the moments I so often neglect, the moments driving through darkness, watching the rumble of trains, and basking in the glow of an tiny bug. revolutionary. undeserved.
The chance to explore yourself, for yourself.

I find fireflies interested in racing boxcars..
And life is amazement.

(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lost in the Jungle - Yossi Ghinsberg

"I was in no hurry to go anywhere."

"Wild beauty surrounded me;"

"The sidewalks were crowded with people: ragged beggars alongside elegantly suited men, loudmouthed vendors, and filthy street urchins. A stench rose from the sewage that ran down the gutters. A big city, overcrowded, noisy. People thousands of them - good people, lovely people."

"...I have found what I truly own, for all that can be taken from me is not mine to begin with."

"May you find the courage to walk your own path. May you dare to venture in to the uncharted domains of your own heart. Here is my advice to you, the adventurers - fear will show you the way; walk steadily toward it, for otherwise you will always be running. Have trust and faith to guide you like a torch piercing darkness. Do not believe and do not deny, but find out for yourself - for there is no truth but the one you have earned in your own experiences.

(Andrew Tipton)