Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Changes Everything

How much effort do I expend, dedicating myself to "Anti-this or Anti-that" - daily, it seems. I speak broadly and honestly, solidifying my personal convictions - "I am anti-racism!", "I am anti-religion!", "I'm against obesity!". With the greatest of intention, I draw battle lines, and become one of the millions of humans that takes a deliberate stand against something.
Maybe what I am against is valid; maybe the world would be better if it were slimmer, if we didn't judge people based on race.. if certain religious beliefs didn't have a death grip around our happiness - those sound like good things to be against.. don't they?
I am beginning to have my doubts. Granted, not in the substance of my convictions.. but rather in the approach of being, "anti" anything.
On a very intimate level, I am observing that if I am against something, I have not fully conquered it in my mind - it still owns my thoughts in a highly negative way. Where is happiness when I am pissed off at the person standing next to me for being an obese, racist, Christian bastard.. where is my happiness?

I get asked frequently.. "Are you against ______?"
Take your pick: money, houses, against marriage, against work.. I get asked what I am against on a regular basis. I realize that people are trying to feel me out.. trying to understand why I do some of the things I do.
But am I really against? I used to answer those questions right away, "Why yes. I am definitely against ________". Recently however, I am beginning to hesitate on my answers.

What if... What if instead of being against things, and people, and ideas.. I was simply "pro-something else".
What if I am not "anti-obesity" anymore, and instead I choose to be "pro-healthy". What if I am no longer "anti-religion", now I am simply "pro-questions". In a lot of ways I am stating the obvious.. I realize that. But being pro literally changes everything!
Think about it.. the energy that you spend being "anti-racism", that same hostile negative energy could be flipped around, and devoted in a energizing positive way towards "pro-equality". Its a 180 degree turn to reach the same goal. It sounds simple, and yet it is a paradigm shift of supernova proportions! If we are "pro-something".. that means we are no longer on the defensive; no longer concerned with maintaining our hate or our resentment for ideas or lifestyles that contradict our attachment to "against". Now we can be free, now we can be at peace, enjoying the strength and excitement that comes from pursuing what we love.

I have a new answer when I'm asked if I'm against __________.
The answer is no.
I am not against anything. I am simply pro-something else..
I am pro-adventure, I am pro-questions, I am pro-hammocks, I am pro-touch, I am pro-choices, I am pro-awareness, I am pro-laughter, I am pro-bewilderment, I am pro-happiness.

(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

We are adults now.. we are sophisticated, eloquent, pretentious.. we do serious adult things - like work. An ungodly amount. Also we now complain about very adult situations and buy very adult things - like sweaters. We haven't the time for mindless excitement - there is no money in it.
Overly preoccupied with seriousness - we have forgotten the wild-eyed grinning 7 year old that still lives in our hearts. When did this happen?
When did we ever stop listening to those baby tiger voices deep down inside - the ones that make us want to rumble like miniature tornadoes. I Remember the feeling of grass under bare feet. Remember the taste of sweat as it dripped down cheeks and into a panting mouth. Remember green stains on jeans; remember running so fast it was scary; remember jumping; remember cartwheels; remember scraped elbows; remember laughter; remember play.

Play. It implies enjoyment, a complete awareness and satisfaction in the scarceness of the moment. It implies happiness. You can watch anyone who is truly "playing" and see the essence of life in their eyes. Everything that we as humans were ever designed to live for.. is captured in the simplicity and complete magnificence of "play". Life is thrown into perspective.. the truth of life, the sweetness, the breathless swiftness, the beauty of enjoying and committing to the now - existing, effortlessly owned by freedom and motion. As free as children.
We are young and beautiful and powerful and strong once. What will you do with that knowledge?

On sunny afternoons sometimes, I remember that tiger voice inside my soul. It purs in my ears; It calls me away from all my adult seriousness, away from my lofty adult rationality and fear, far far from civilized and sophistication.. it purs, "play... play... play." Sometimes I listen, and find myself 7 years old again - find myself smiling without a reason to smile; just because I'm alive and just because I have amazing things called legs and arms.
Everything I could ever want from life, i find in a field on a Sunday afternoon with friends. We came to play. Life is grand.

(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Fingertips to fingertips gently, your lips and the darkest curls of your hair pressed to my ears; inaudible whispers in the language of untamed; your voice is like raindrops on the leaves of ferns - falling from the branches of redwood trees - dripping into my heart, drip drop dripping into my mouth, running down my copper throat, into my lungs I want to breathe you like I eat blackberries - until it hurts delicious. This is where we taste each others dreams. On my left sometimes I taste that I am a thousand years old; teeth like a jaguar, veins like turquoise. I taste the scent of your eyelashes, I taste your wandering fingers and the rebellion in your silence. You whisper simple words. Simple like the lava of volcanoes. Simple like the depths of oceans. Everything is simple from such great heights.. come down now. Know the simplicity of touch. Know the simplicity of warm. Simple like the migration of monarchs; simple like hurricane waves, simple like notes of music. I stroke the sides of your cheeks and wonder out loud, "How beautifully simple is life. How trembling, how extrordinary, how magnificent, how strange and timid." Once again children of bewilderment; fingertips to fingertips. Fingertips to lips. Lost inside each other. Lost in simple thoughts and simple words and simple heartbeats. How deep, the lakes and deserts of simple things.

(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Health and the Beauty of Forgetting to Care

Pick up any issue of your favorite "beauty / health" magazine. These pages filled with the good advice that we all crave.
We live and dream and thrive on these magic words; We let them take hold of our minds and our actions. The magazines are supposed to be about helping yourself, about self-betterment... truthfully? How much we do, searching for approval outside of ourselves. Truthfully, we unconditionally accept the burden of "becoming everything to everyone" in order to maintain our illusion ofhaving approval - piling it without question onto our already exhausted shoulders.
This is not my game. This maintenance... this never-ceasing careful navigation of the minds and hearts and bodies of humanity. Who can do this? Why do I assume it upon myself until my soul aches and I can't think half-straight. My head is spinning.. tangled with imaginary doubt, with inadequacy and constant careful. What do people think of me?? Am I portraying the right image???
Since when did I need the approval of anyone? Isn't this my life?.. isn't it my own approval that matters? Have I ever given myself my own approval?
Guess what. I don't have to try to maintain exterior approval anymore, I don't have to fit the parameters of socially "OK", I don't have to care. I refuse to care any longer - for my own sake. I f**king won't. My success, my confidence, my strength ...on whims of others? No. No more. Who decided that my dream, and my existence was dictated by someone elses smile or frown? And, why do I care if she likes the way I stand when I talk to her? Why do I care if I am walking at the right speed? Why do I care if I'm giving off the right emotional signals? Wearing my jacket and jeans the right way? If people think my abs are symmetrical, if they think my skin is clean enough, my face shaven enough, my attire modern enough. My god! how will we ever be happy, if we worry constantly if we are doing everything right - if we have the approval of everyone else. This will drive us to insanity.. it will.
This life is about me. Your life is about you. This is about forgetting to care. Remembering to live. Remember my own motion, my own style and my own swagger. No shoes to fill.. I can even run barefoot. Thats right I can run barefoot.. or maybe, just maybe I'll wear moccasins or cowboys boots.

Sometimes I feel like we people don't spend much time looking up. We don't spend much time looking down. We don't spend much time looking to our left or our right. We miss the beauty of life.. because we are so preoccupied with looking behind us; making sure we have that approval. Like little children, wondering if what they did was OK.. if we are OK.. if everything is OK. I'm getting a damn ache in my neck from having it twisted like that. Whose approval do we need anyway? Maybe... our own?

Is my butt sexy enough? Are my clothes the right shade of gray? Am I being too forward? Am I not being forward enough? Am I walking the right way? Am I following the guidelines for a good conversation... for a good day... for a good life?
Dear lovely humans.. This is not my game.
Astonishingly.. forgetting to care is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Think of how much happier, how much freedom we could have if we didn't worry about the rules we never signed up for. Put down the health magazine, forget the 10 rules to attracting women, and remember that you are the center of this insanely incredible universe. Remember that you are perfect, that happiness belongs to you - remember that one elses opinion matters. This is the beauty of forgetting to care. I want my life back, I want my dream back, I want to try myself on for size and I don't care if you don't think I fit.
I forgot that people were watching.. and then suddenly I could do what I wanted to do all along. I can breathe again. I can think again, I can move again. I am alive again. I am real again. I am myself. The beauty of forgetting to care. I approve of me.

(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Living the Dream

I am born to live the dream. my own dream.
It is a good dream - it is the dream of deep blue, of a cloudless day. The dream of a smile suicide in an open field - we live and die and cloudless blue days are the dreams that are rarely dreamed. The wheels on my bicycle spin and I ride fast. I take curves and the rubber on my tires growls. I ride. I ride past the American dream, yards to my left - tall white statements of forty-five hour weeks. This is not my dream. I ride. I ride past the dreams of politicians, of lawyers, of nurses, of poets.. I ride past the dreams of Tom and the dreams Jane; the dreams of my parents, and my grandparents... the dreams of presidents, the dreams of husbands and of wives. These are not my dreams. My hands clenched, my jaw determined. This is the road to my soul's pleasure; my shiny spokes glistening against the sunlight, the weight of a bag of thoughts around my shoulders; wind in my hair, sweat on my chest. My own. Entirely.
There is no wealth given to those that live the dream of deep blue cloudless days; no status earned, no glory, no pride, or success to be claimed. There is no one around to celebrate when my bicycle rolls to stop - no banners and no victory cry when I get off my bicycle and lay in grass underneath a perfect sun. But there is happiness. Be it wise, be it wild, be it rebellion, be it sanity - be it the domination of words, or enslavement to a color. Be it the rumbling of thought or the awe of touch, or the calling of adventure - This dream is my own.
Live that dream.

(Andrew TiptoN)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Long Live the Day

Long live the day. Long live the roar of tigers and the thirst of lions.
The sons of roam own the golden edge of sunrise; ancient mornings - the sweetness of wild infinity. Long live the untamed. Long live freedom. We hunt for the feathers of sacred eagles; elusive. The mysteries of our own hearts - secret caves to the liquid lagoons of our souls. Born to bewilderment. We chase the wisdom of oceans, the rage of rivers, the peace of motion. Long live adventure. Long live the curiosity of children. Fascination in the afternoons of summer. The simplicity of pleasure; the pleasure of abandon. Always to run with leopards, always to treasure the sounds of laughter. Resting in outstretched branches - the arms of a thousand trees. Give me brave. Give me the splendor and hope of waves. Long live courage. Long live the fierceness of the young and the beauty of the old. We are the children of supernovas; we are the dreams of fireflies. We are everything as we are nothing. The puzzle of god - of which we are all pieces.
Long live happiness.

(Andrew Tipton)