Thursday, December 30, 2010


I was watching the birds.

Stretching this morning beneath this enormous cedar tree.. I listened as they chirped over my head. My eyes closed, my breaths coming in and leaving slowly.. I just listened to their cries and whistles.
What is a bird to me?
Its easy to look at a bird, to see it sitting on a branch or flitting through the air, and to consider it a lesser being. It is smaller, it is weaker, it doesn't seem to share the same acute sense of reason or thought.
It doesn't wear clothes, or go to college, or paint on canvas.
It has never been snow-sking, it has never been drunk,
Birds will never build skyscrapers.
Birds are simple.

But, as I stood there this morning, my mind racing with a million thoughts, desires, questions, doubts,.. I looked up at these birds.
And I envied them.

In all of our complexity.. we lose ourselves.

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To the Ones Who Start Fires

To the ones who start fires.
I am glad to know you.
To the ones whose words are like embers.
I listen.
To the ones whose thoughts destroy worlds.
I welcome new ones.
I have known the feeling of breaking apart at my seams..
The feeling of losing my best answers..
Truth does not grow from safe words or consolation.
There is nothing more terrible and more brilliant than a burning mind.
Your motion is subtle, yet provoking.
Your skin, ordinary like mine.
You are the travellers.
You are the heretics.
You are the lovers.
You are the worshipers.
You are the healers.
You are joy.
You are wisdom.
You are peace.
You are dangerous.
Burn these days down.
Burn my heart until is aches for rebellion.
Until I long for liberty.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let Go and Feel Your Nakedness

Let go with the senses, pull out the stops, forget false teachings and lies
Let go of inherited belief, let go of shame and blame in brief
Let go of forbidden energies, choked back in muscles and nerves
Let go of rigid rules and roles,
Let go of uptight poses
Let go of your puppet self, let go and renew your self and be free
Let go this moment, this hour, this day, tomorrow may be too late
Let go of guilt and frustration, let liberation and tolerance flow
Let go of phantom worries and fears, let go of hours and days and years
Let go of hate and rage and grief, let walls against ecstasy fall for relief
Let go of pride and greed, let go of missiles and might and creed
Let go the dead meat of convention, wake up the live meat of love

- Harold Norse

Friday, December 17, 2010

Permission to Live

I remember what you said on the way to the funeral,
How you stopped and looked at me with those wide eyes
You whispered your name,
You said it again, louder and people heard you this time,
and it felt good when you said it
it felt real, from the inside out real
I wanted you to say my name too
I wanted to hear it from your lips
You took off your shoes and I watched your feet sink into the grass
Its right then I fell in love with you,
When I knew you were leaving
When you ripped off the bottom half of that dress so you could run faster,
I loved that.
I loved what they screamed, and how you didn't care,
And when you didn't look back over your shoulder
When you disappeared people just stood here silent
holding their eyes on the horizon,
like they expected you to come walking back.
I knew you wouldn't

Andrew Tipton

Monday, December 13, 2010

We are Wild Horses


I read this quote a few days ago, and it has been consuming me ever since. It embodies the essence of absolute freedom.. the possibility of living out the motions of our minds.
Take a thought.. any thought, and consider for a moment what you would do with it.
Maybe, its a thought about getting up and walking outside, stripping off your clothes and laughing at the incredible feeling of sunshine on your skin. (thats a good one)
Maybe, its a thought about creating... music, words, ideas..
Maybe, its a thought about getting on a plane and travelling to Timbati to climb trees with the Leopards.
Maybe its just a thought about discovering happiness at this moment.

What do we do with these beautiful thoughts?
Perhaps we would pretend for a few minutes.. fantasize about how that thought could change our day, change our life even! We let the thought enter our minds.. and we think about how awesome it would be. But then, right along with the thought.. we also let in fear. Fear kills ideas.
Uncertainty.. doubt.. negative expectations.. All untruth that we have been fed since we were just tiny babies. Illusions that somehow certain ideas can never really be birthed, or actualized.
This mindset is absolutely fear-based.. manufactured by our ego..
We are afraid to fail.. and so we never try..
If we could see through the smoke of our fears.. I think we would discover that most of them are our own creation..
We are afraid of what people might think.
We are afraid of what might happen.
We are afraid because we don't know.

These fears are contrived.. they exist only within the walls of our own minds. If we allow them to dictate which thoughts we act upon.. and which thoughts we run away from.. we will never experience a life of sovereignty.

I am not advocating the "fulfillment" of every thought we have.. for example, maybe I won't go to Africa today and play with Leopards (but it would be cool if I did).. truly, its about understanding that we are able to pursue a thought as far and as deeply as we want - Any thought.
Victory is not completion, it is being fearless enough to take action.
When we can look a dream squarely in the eyes and not look away.

We are majestic, wild horses that have always lived within the fences of our own fears.. but we are discovering that beyond those fences is a landscape of uncharted liberty and possibility... and we are aching to break free.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Acadia Song

Some footage from our journey to the northern forests of Acadia..

Music - myself and Trent (Dulcimer and Guitar), an idea for a new song.
I can almost hear our friend Joshua's voice swaying in and out of the melody -
Just simple soul.. the motion of ordinary, incredible things.

I remember the skies, as we chased a hurricane up the Atlantic coast.. we spent our nights dreaming in hammocks under the stars, and playing music as we watched the flickering embers our campfires soar upwards and become new constellations.
Such a Wild earth.)

Andrew Tipton

Monday, December 6, 2010


What can we believe about ourselves?
That we were once animals?
That we are still animals?
Life moves to us the way it moves to the birds, or the white lions of Timbavati.
What must a lion do with life?
What must a Raven do with life?
Does a fern need to achieve some sort of greatness or esteem in order to be valued?
How are we different from them?

We wake up in the morning, when the sky is alive with color.. and immediately place ourselves underneath false expectations and false burdens.
We put on our clothes and our intellects, and re-establish how successful we have become up to this point in our lives.
The day is forgotten.. our animal being is silently slaughtered.
And then we breathe a long painful sigh..
Being human is difficult we say.. and perhaps it is.
But how much of that difficulty are we creating ourselves?

The separation from our animal self has led us to believe that we are more than animals; that there is more to life than living and dying.
If we believe that.. we are selling away our peace.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow Leopards

where do snow leopards go to dream?
When they are exhausted from the cliffs and narrow ledges..
when chasing wild sheep has left their paws torn and aching.
do they travel beyond the mountains?
away from the cold of Patagonia nights..
away from the avalanches and the echoing screams of Golden Eagles.
Do they have a warm den someplace..
where sunset sunlight filters in deep,
and they can lose themselves in the spotted fur and melodic purs of another leopard?
These are the hours of December..
when snow seals in our dreams..
and we roam to find some solace from the bleak afternoon grays.
The clouds glide overhead, close.. moving east to west..
Thick and heavy like Himalayan candlelight..
We both hear roaring bears in the distance..
It is happening before us.. sometimes to us.
All around us. Like this.
Snow leopards on mountain tops.

Andrew Tipton



"Where is Mercy?"
When our hearts break. Where is mercy?
When our daughters slip away without a goodbye. Where is mercy?
When the morning brings with it coldness and gray skys. Where is mercy?
When there are no good words for our ears. Where is mercy?
When our wounds ache and our bodies are weak with pain. Where is mercy?
When age strips away our flame and our strength. Where is mercy?
When hunger and suffering and poverty and hate overtake us. Where is mercy?
Mercy was given to us when we were born.
It was given to us when we saw our first color, and heard our first sound.
It was given to us when we breathed our first breath.
Do we deserve more?

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Andrew Tipton


my nephew's name is Brenen.
Every time I look at him I am captivated. He has these tiny baby hands, and these incredible blue eyes that are wide and eager. I love the way he stumbles when he tries to walk.. and his laughter. ..if you could hear him laugh. His laughter melts everything inside of me.
When I laugh it is complicated... but when Brenen laughs,.. its the most genuine, truthful thing I have ever heard.
I watch him experience life for the first time.. and I start to remember just how spectacular this all is.
How simple. How purely awesome.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Life November

Our bodies are gifts.
May we always live with abandon and eager fascination.
May we always take time to worship the day.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hypnotic Revival

This month started with 14 nights of deep black dreams.
I took myself away from comfortable for just two weeks to see what would happen.. without any expectation, without any good reasons.
It is astonishing what can become if we let ourselves journey to places without answers.
What I found on day 15 of this month.. was my own mortality.
Waking up that morning, I lay there, cold, aching, awake, dreaming - my eyes closed,.. Considering choice. My choice.

Often, I find myself clinging to rigidity.. like an old solider, believing that if have invested time and effort into an idea, or an pursuit.. I must resolutely uphold it. That firmness is breaking apart.. I'm realizing that my ideas are not me; just because I have been committed to doing things a certain way.. doesn't mean I have to continue doing them that way. I am free to change - free to uncover a different side.. and to pursue it at any time.
We are not tethered to circumstance.. not tied to a lifestyle, or an attitude.
Our lives are like ice cubes.. whose cold resolution can melt away in a moment.
ASK: What do I want?

I am beginning to experience life through reborn eyes.
To see an answer as merely one of a thousand answers;
To see truth as a perspective.
I own choice. That is enough to take my breath away tonight.

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


In the gymnasium yesterday.. I overheard this dialog between two athletes.

American Soccer Player - "Hey Rene, I see you're working out a lot.. is the coach making you? Or are you training now so you'll be ready for the next season? I don't think we're even supposed to be exercising today.."

(Rene) Foreign Soccer Player- "No. I do it for me."

.... I love that answer.
It respects the idea that we are both the beginning and end of our energy.
Got me thinking.
If someone stopped me during the day.. and asked me, "Who are you living for right now?" Would my answer be me?
I wish to live blind to the expectations of others.

I am the dreamer and I am the dream.
I am my reason and my excuse.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, November 12, 2010

What do you want?

We always have the choice to become a different self.
ALWAYS. no matter how much we have invested, no matter how much is on the line.. we can walk away at any time. We can chose to be done.. we can say it: "I'm done." and move towards something else - or nothing else.
This is motion. This is the evolution of a soul. To allow ourselves the freedom to change our minds.
What do you want?

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shifting Into 3rd

Took Trent out yesterday morning, and we parked in a wide open field as the sunshine started to top the trees.. the colors of Autumn swimming through falling leaves.
I have this incredible tea I bought from a organic vendor in Maine.. its Green Tea with specs of fruit-peel mixed in. Oranges & pomegranate. Really good stuff.. makes you feel like you own Jerusalem.
I turned on the propane, and brewed us both up a fresh cup.. we stood there watching and feeling life come around. The sunlight warming up our arms.. the tea warming up our thoughts.
We were there. Holding that morning up in our own hands like a sacrifice - ours to give; ours to embrace.

Its hard to be ready for motion always. Hard to want it, to welcome it with a firm grasp and a genuine smile. Yesterday feels like a good reason to never let go of a season.. but I know better. We were born to move.

We were children, eager and unknowing.. and then we shift.
We became men, hungry with the weight of the world on our shoulders.. and then we shift.
We learned that the world has always been ours... and now we shift.
Placing everything we have on the table - prepared to lose it and become the expression of life's next revelation.

I think green tea is the official drink of shifting.
May we always be thirsty.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, October 31, 2010


"Every beauty and greatness in this world is created by a single thought or emotion inside a man. Every thing we see today, made by past generations, was, before its appearance, a thought in the mind of a man or an impulse in the heart of a woman. The revolutions that shed blood and turn men's minds toward liberty were the idea of one man who lived in the midst of thousands of men...
A single thought built the pyramids, founded the glory of Islam, and caused the burning of the library at Alexandria." - Broken Wings

I am becoming seduced by the idea of intentionally and completely acting on my thoughts; throwing myself into the untethered mystery of possibility.
Dare I?

Sometimes it seems that revolutions slip through our fingers.. because we don't allow ourselves the bravery to act on our daydreams.
At times, a thought will enter my mind, and I say to myself, "How incredible that would be!" - and yet I do nothing to consummate the vision... I let it play comfortably and softly in the recesses of my mind - where it cannot be harmed; where it can never bloom. And it suffocates there.

I am a dying man - What is there to fear?
Rejection? Failure? The unknown?
Are you kidding me?? Is that it??? Seriously??
I watch people walk away from the the very places that they long for.. because they can't face the idea of their thought not succeeding.
I believe that we're often so traumatized by the idea of failure... that we rarely even give ourselves a chance. For the sake of safety, we trade away every possibility.

These thoughts. These mental explosions that thunder inside our rib cages.. like tornadoes, trying to rip their way out! Can you imagine what would happen if we stopped walking away from them.. and instead lived them!

I walked up to a stranger on a beach once.. and kissed her without ever saying a word. One of the best thoughts I've ever done.
This life is over so quickly. I cannot find a reason to be silent..

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crimson Skin

Grand is the seen, the light, to me--grand are the sky and stars,
Grand is the earth, and grand are lasting time and space,
And grand their laws, so multiform, puzzling, evolutionary;
But grander far the unseen soul of me, comprehending, endowing all those,
Lighting the light, the sky and stars, delving the earth, sailing
the sea,..
- Whitman

Andrew Tipton

Monday, October 25, 2010

The New Faces of Old Friends

We still have the same beautiful eyes, the same strong hearts beating in our chests, the same lips, the same contagious laughter... our bodies are the same.. yet, so much about us has changed.
I look at us together, and its as if we are familiar strangers... greeting each other with new ideas, new freedoms, new minds..
We are speaking with one another... Chanting the hymn: "We are liberty."
These are the revolutions of our waking souls.
I see new faces.

The evidence of motion... I love how completely comfortable and yet all-together lost I am around these familiar faces. Do I even know you?
Maybe we really should re-name ourselves at some point... just to keep track of who we have become.
The energy, the unpredictability, the peace.. the peace, most of all.
It is a blessing to chase freedom with you... may we continue to see life through childrens' eyes - wide with abandon.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


"To the one who stares at the sun with glazed eyes and grasps the fire with untrembling fingers and hears the spiritual tune of eternity behind the clamorous shrieking of the blind." - Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Left Hand Horizon

(Oct 17th, Longhunter, TN, experiencing a lake sunset with a beautiful woman)

Last month I spent time actually considering some of my routines.
The elements of my days that are consistently repeated without consideration or forethought. There were more than I imagined.
Mostly based on my own traditions - I discovered that I had involuntarily given myself guidelines when it came to decisions.
From where I meditate, to the sort of vegetables I eat, to which route I take when rock climbing... It wasn't that I didn't have other options.. its just that my repetition had resulted in a sort of subconscious conditioning - my view of the possibilities had become narrowed.

Truthfully, we all live lives that are routine in one degree or another.
Ranging from the most basic level (sleep).. all the way to routines that leave little time for anything extraordinary.
We have routines of going to work, routines when it comes to our interaction with other people, routines for what we like, or what we don't like, routines for the way we dress, or the places we go, or the way we respond to situations..
Personal traditions that begin to steal away the mystery and adventure of uncharted experiences.

I want to sink my K9 teeth into the shoulders of motion and let it roll me like an crocodile - underwater, uncomfortable, unfamiliar. To deliberately rebel against our routine natures - those ways of existing that are unemotionally predictable.
Lets take a right hand turn, in the places where we always seem to go left.. and see what happens. Lets challenge the way we speak to familiar friends.. and see what happens. Lets take a single day, and try something we have never done before - and see what happens!

Who knows where we will end up... who knows who we will encounter.

(Oct 14th, Ebenezar Swap, meditating in the silence of falling leaves)

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Burning Embers of Stars.

songs for the creation of supernovas,

Do you remember life as a child?

Losing our thoughts,

Uncovering our perfect skin,

Do you remember fearless?

Climbing up into the arms of Redwood trees;

where the leaves meet the stars,

Shooting across the horizon with firey blue trails,



We watch with doubtless eyes.

We beathe into ourselves the sex of midnight bewilderment.

Awake for the first time.

Eager to become like them, for the first time.

While the rest of the world sleeps...

We are just being born.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We are children; this world is change

Spending the day underneath clouds with etched dark edges.. watching the breezes come and go, experiencing those breezes as they brush across my lips, over my hands.
My fingers wrapped around a paddle.. strong strokes, propelling our boat through the water.. the feeling of diving into the deep cool darkness.. letting myself be here completely. To experience the blessing of our bodies, of our illustrious skins.. of music from our own mouths.
I feel alive, I feel completely well. Days like these.. slip by most times without a second glance.

We are often so acutely aware of our bodies when we're experiencing pain,.. and yet, neglect awareness on the days when everything is functioning perfectly.
Good things are not noticed until their gone.. as it is said.

Right now I feel perfect. And I know it.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is the best thing you know?

" I know that I will die! " - Trent

Thursday, October 7, 2010

These. Our Stories

All my stories fade.. we fade.. quietly into the circle of motion.
All that we lived for, all that we fought for, and challenged, and obeyed, and loved.. will one day be summerized by the sun-beached words of a tombstone.
Life becomes remarkable because of that truth.
When we finally realize our impermanence, we can begin to live fearlessly.

Today, I want to remember and honor the brilliance of this existence - these stories are only ours for an instant.
What will today's story be?

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rebelious October

Spend. Life.

Strokes, left. Strokes, right.

Across a sea, a lake, an ocean.

Bow of canoe, inside a kite; blue sky, pusuit of motion.

Swim with horses; Off your knees.

Chase golden streaks through bamboo leaves.

Cannot retame an open mind.

Reclaimed; spirit of childhood time.

October blue, rebelious.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Becoming Part of the Cairn

“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.” - Frank Herbert

Cairns are a group of rocks stacked on top of each other, left by hikers and explores to help others find their way along a trail.
They are void of elegance - brutal, heavy.
They are necessary - if you don't want to just wander aimlessly along.

Some days I feel like life is very much like a cairn..
As I discover the pieces left by other travellers, the stones of of their ideas... the rocks of truths and jagged wisdom.

These stones that we're standing on, they let us see the trail better... I want to be a part of that.
I love that we are building this together.. that its not just you or me.. its us. Rock by rock. Thought by thought.

My friends are incredible.. I am greatful for you all.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tell me I Exist

Playing music at some of the festivals along the road.. I feel sometimes that my music is only as good at the response that people give me.

This is not true. I know for certain, that when I play songs, they come from the inside of my heart, and make me feel relaxed and calm.. I love music, I love being a part of sound and emotion. But sometimes I start playing, and its as if my value is being drawn by the response of strangers.. like I want them to walk up and quietly acknowledge my efforts. I feel this voice inside, this annoying child calling out: "TELL ME THAT I EXIST."

Sometimes, I do not believe in my own existence.
That I'm here, that I'm real, that I have worth.
I laugh at myself when I catch these thoughts.. I know better!

I think a lot of us feel the exact same way though... Just look around!
We are all dying to find our self worth. Simply look at the relationships we chase, the censored ways we interact with each other, the homes we live in, the cars we drive, our pursuits, our thoughts, our songs, our poetry... having people see value in us.. consumes us!
Beyond mere superficiality, we are aching for someone to validate us. Maybe just a glance, maybe with their words, or their envy, or maybe with compliments.. deep down we feel as though we have no worth until someone gives it to us.

I love hearing my own name. Maybe you do too? When a lover whispers it in my ear, or when a Friend says it while we're playing volleyball.. I love hearing my name because I think I am constantly looking for someone to validate my existence here - letting me know I am worth something. I know I am real, but for some reason it registers more deeply when someone else says it.

I think most of us like hearing our own names; metaphorically perhaps... We feed off of the recognition or approval that others give us, because we are not truly convinced of our existence.. our worth. We spend a great deal of our lives striving to achieve and accomplish more, in order to hear people call our names... to qualify us.

WE EXIST. WE HAVE WORTH. It was with us the day we were born.. and the same amount will be with us until the day we depart from these bodies.
If I play music and people love it... I have worth.
If I play music and people hate it... I have worth.
I don't need anyone to approve of me, or acknowledge me, in order to exist.

If we embraced that truth... If we knew it and held it above everything.. Imagine what we could be and do!
What if we could shout our own names and know that we gave ourselves worth..
No more looking for others to say it, no more searching for possessions to give it - it was ours. We would be free just to live.

I exist, you exist - we are already perfect.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, September 19, 2010

set the tigers free

"I'm leaving for the great wide open plains
Leaving while this holy spark remains
I see you've written promises to make me stay
But it really doesn't matter now anyway
I'm leaving

True love feeds on absences like pleasure feeds on pain
So no matter where I'm standing I still love you all the same"

- Set the tigers free, The Villagers


Friday, September 17, 2010

where is the backpack?

We stood at the edge of a thunderstorm today, looking up into a sunset surrounded by rambling purples and exotic blues. We watched a wall of rain falling a few hundred yards away, but none came to us. Standing there, covered in perspiration, just listening, just inhaling, just resting silently .. everything loud and troublesome, every doubt and struggle fades into the distance; dissolves away into nothingness - like being caught inside a cloud for a moment where there is no such thing as bad.
the trail quietly continues ahead.

We are not the trail.. the things we create in our minds are not the trail.. the suffering that we believe in, and the pleasures that we endure are not the trail. Our experience of the trail, is not the trail.
They are us. Only us.
The trail will always quietly continue ahead and behind us.. .. despite my percpetion, despite my conclusions, despite my offense..

I want to comprehend that truth enough to live it.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wide Eager Eyes

We just left. Good things came. Eager for the taste of the night, and however many may follow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

eat well

I don't have to talk about the wisdom of eating nourishing food; Anyone that loves feeling and looking good, knows that nutritious food is absolutely critical to our bodies. When we put healthy goodness in our mouths, our bodies function at their optimal levels - creating balanced energy, strength, youthfulness, peace.. In a literal sense, we actually become the food that we consume.
But what about the "other" ways that we eat? What about our other mouths?

Have we considered our eyes and the respect we give with our vision? When we let our eyes feast on an object, or a person, or an image, we are truly inviting that energy into our bodies. Often times, I don't think we realize how much of an effect it has on us.. or how deeply those images sear themselves into the fabric of who we are. I think most of us let our eyes just wander aimlessly; filling our subconscious with images that lack nutritiousness. That can change... We have the choice to genuinely pursue images that really "feed" us deeply - that breathe creativity and sensuality into our reflective imaginations.

What about the sounds we listen to? When we hear words from the mouths of our Friends or from strangers, do we filter out the truth from the trans-fats? We absolutely are affected by the goodness or negativity of sound. People are jaded, afraid, hateful, and defensive.. mostly because they have listened to and believed lies about themselves or about life. When we accept what someone says... it is as if we eat their words - swallow them inside of us, and make them part of who we are. They can either leave us mal-nourished and feeble, or give us strength, confidence, and hope - it all depends on what we listen to.

We are always eating. Our eyes, our mouths, our ears... always feeding ourselves... be it healthy, or destructive. I want to encourage awareness on a small scale.. reminding myself that I can choose to eat well on many levels - and life is more delicious when I do.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, August 22, 2010

She moves. over and above the lake with a graceful. elegance,
the soft and the unearthly.
All that I am not. She is. the muchness of her;
wild before time ever only moved in one direction.
my arms stroking the water, forceful. forced to stare in wonder.
Delicate shimmer alone with me.
Everywhere. darkness slips away beneath her glow.
There is nothing between. Only us.
Legs kicking. Mine beneath the surface.
naked fingers stretching out, holding myself here.
Strokes. Watch me swim beautiful goddess, do you?
see me so far down below?
She is the silent quietness that steals away fears.
Away up high.
Never doubt her beautiful edges, her circle curves. honeydew embers.
Ripples. Smooth silver mirror waves.
She moves. I move. This place moves. All of us in moonlit solitude.
Pleasure measured in the complexity of stillness.
Success - the sincerity of astonishment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

endogenous morphine

Our bodies produce endorphins during exercise, excitement, pain,and orgasm. They resemble opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.
Sometimes, I think perhaps it is more than a feeling - more like a longing from the depths of our spirit.
For the past week, I have been biking and kayaking in wilderness of Tsali. An amazing thing to be away from humanity for awhile.. to see the raw and untamed side of nature - silent, and yet constantly speaking to your animal side. Makes you feel fresh, wild-eyed, hungry.
I spent the mornings watching blue clouds make their way out of the sky, and wander down into lush mountain valleys; the afternoons embracing the icy splashes of whitewater on my lips (I still have the taste on my tongue); the evenings rushing down narrow, rocky trails - only the sound of our heartbeats, and our tires catching the dirt as we speed along roller coaster slopes.

Sometimes I need to be reminded of the intoxication of the beautifully unpredictable - such a blessing to be shaken by shadows and mystery of the Appalachians.

As we paddle out into the rapids, fear disappears - my ego disappears - everything but the moment vanishes into the cold rushing blueness. Matching smiles make their way across our faces and then the smiles wander down into our hearts; we are alive, we are alive, we are alive.. I can't help but say these words out loud! As the river takes us, I glimpse my own mortality.. and I am glad for the motion of the water, sweeping us along into a dangerous unknown.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poems to God

Our words and intentions are powerful. If you believe that, I think it can change life.
What if we wrote letters to the day?
We send letters and emails to friends and lovers... we tell our stories, we share our excitement and our energy.
Why not extend that same energy and thought towards the wind, and trees, and our own beautiful bodies? What if we spent a few moments of our day writing to the earth.. being thankful for our existence... or honestly jotting down our prayers and dreams.
Could the intention of pen strokes change the channels of our motion?

These letters would simply be a connection to this one moment in time. Letters of awareness; poems from our vulnerable childish minds, to the earth that we exist inside.
We could light them with a match, and let the breezes take them to god's ears.
Things are possible.

We are blessed to be a part of this place.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, August 5, 2010

breathe in and breathe out

Most purely I think life's motion is most completely realized, when we see it as a circle - a smooth flow of perpetual breathes. Like the sunset that becomes a sunrise, the days seem to mimic the motion of our mouths as we inhale and exhale.
Breathe Once.

On the inhale, we are taking life into our lungs, we are capturing sustenance and wellness, opening ourselves up (literally) to the gift of air. It is the moment we take.. the moment we exert our presence on earth. We cannot live if we don't inhale.

On the exhale, we let go. Feel air slip from your grasp, move freely from your lungs, leaving you empty. The exhale, is when we give back the breath that made us complete. We're giving it back because it was never ours, we just borrowed it for a few seconds. It is as beautiful and necessary as the inhale.
We cannot live if we don't exhale.

Life follows the same rhythm; a balance between what we take into ourselves and what our open mouths release back into the world. When we breathe, we never hold onto a breath very long.. it is simply moving through us. Perhaps a life that follows that principle would do us well.
Days of deep breathes and open mouths - always eager to draw beauty into our souls, yet always free to let it go. Take and give. Breathe in and breathe out.

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

forget what you came for

Went out to shoot a sunset in the rain today.. a mist moved in as the sun faded and looked absolutely unbelievable through the treetops - weaving mystery through every single leaf. The second I took my camera out of its case to start shooting, my lens fogged up. I sat down for a few moments while I was waiting for it to clear, and out of the corner of my eye this little tree frog caught my attention. I got down on my hands in the horsetail right beside him.. and we both watched each other for about 20 minutes... me and the tree frog.
This guy was so bad ass! He had the coolest tiny fingers, and these beautiful golden bronze eyes that would follow my movements, and he had this mischievous frog smile. I watched his skin move.. frog skin move.. have you ever watched frog skin move? the color of a ripe lime, I would say its the greenest thing I've ever seen.
If you look at a tree frog long enough, it starts change in your mind - it starts to lose its place in your memory.. starts to lose its name.. starts to look crazy insane.
I was mesmerized for 20 minutes today. Looking at a creature that I do not know. I thought I did, I thought I had tree frogs all figured out... for sure. I was wrong.
We call things by made up names.. we let ourselves pretend to fathom what they do.. and why they exist..
but we are just pretending.
We live in a world of make believe

I missed my sunset. Got lost in bewilderment instead.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, July 30, 2010

Zebra Teeth

Unexpected. Like a chill breeze across your bare shoulders in the afternoon heat of July.
Welcomed. Purely.
Without notice a beautiful thing sweeps into your path.. you do not question where it came from, you don't ask where it is headed, or for how long it will be with you..
you respond only with a tiger embrace, a smile, and let it dance along your skin for the remarkable moments that it lasts.
Unexpected. Without expectations.
These experiences cannot be contained or explained away. They are completely ours - and at the same time they will never belong to us.
Open hands & open doorways. Our souls treasure that freedom.
I am grateful for the teeth of Zebras that travel thousands of miles across oceans and forests.. to find me, unexpectedly - they bring life to the inside of my words.
I will enjoy you until motion parts our ways.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, July 23, 2010

take yourself away

"Take yourself away, there is nothing to love; there is nothing to hate."
- T.

Stand still for a moment, let your thoughts slow to a distant murmur, let your hands and heart unclench.. let schedules and expectations drift from your mind, and listen to what existence is asking from you.
What are the trees asking from you?
What is the night air asking from you?
What does the sun ask from you?
What do the rivers and the stone streets ask from you?
What do dolphins ask from you.. or the seasons?
What about the grass in your lawn, or the hoot owl in the park?
What does this world desire from you? What does this world want you to be?
If you're still enough, you will hear complete silence - this is the sound of the world without the chatter of our own thoughts. The sound of a world that asks nothing from us; stillness opens our ears and our eyes to an existence that solicits no pressure, no agenda, no need, and no requests.

So much of our time is spent living under the blurry conviction of purpose. Most of us assume it comes from an outside source; we assume that we were just born into a world that has demands which must be met, goals which must be accomplished - we never question the pressures of life, neither do we question the assumptions that keep us in perpetual frustration. Often, we find ourselves attempting to live up to an ambiguous standard without ever truly identifying the source..
Most of the time we don't realize that we are the ones giving ourselves purpose. Everything we think we should become, or achieve, or possess in this world, the pressure is all created in our own minds.

If we take ourselves away... the self that echos the mantra of "I must be _______.".. we see life as being neither pressure nor futility; our lives become an powerfully empty page, where anything can be written.

(Andrew Tipton)

Monday, July 19, 2010


Copper rings on our fingers,
green circles so we remember,
Remember these,
the color of colors - vivid, livid, always at our window.
the slopes of Camden speckled blue in August,
wild splendors held in your flashing eyes.
Remember scent also,
the majesty of anticipation,
seduction of the breezes, never fully introduced,
yet adored - goddess of a mother's kitchen.
And touch,
to behold a face in the darkest shadows,
to gently caress the texture of canyon walls,
fingertips, lips, our shoulders beneath the surface of wave,
how sensuous, how tremendous.
Remember avocado, smooth to the edges of a tongue,
this writhing lover - sensation,
my dearest gifts and my most sincere offerings,
linger here gently, slow these flavors, drift aimlessly into my mind.
Remember our voice,
whispers trembling deep - down into our pleasure,
a thought breathed into existence,
the playfulness and the motion of music,
having its way with our souls - exposing tears, kindling rage,
first language, poetry of only vibrations.
Remember these senses, these all together,
leave me senseless.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Be Where You Are

I dream of adventure.
Even while I am on adventures, I am dreaming of more adventures.. the thrill, the challenge, the pursuit of the unknown, the sensuous, the vibrant! Nothing in this world satiates me more than embarking on an expedition to some unknown destination, or flirting with the edge of danger.
On the days when I feel farthest from mountains, or surf, or danger.. sometimes it drives me near mad. I lose myself occasionally to the daydreams of turbulent waves... or to the make believe stories between myself and a beautiful Brazilian salsa dancer.. I even spend late evenings fantasizing about exotic experiences, while staring blankly at the pornography of Google Maps. Adventure is my weakness.

My sister wrote in my journal a few weeks ago, I didn't read her entry until yesterday afternoon.. but when I did it struck me with honest potency.. her entry reads as follows:

with yourself as you are.
as you were
as you will change.
with others as they are
to rest
to listen
with the moment
to rest
to listen
to just love what is familiar
to enjoy diversity
within your soul
to rest
to listen
to know you are loved
by God.
I love living. I love you.

I am fortunate to have such a wise younger sister. Wise words especially for a boy struck with wander-lust. This life is always stunning, even in the places that seem ordinary and predictable. "to rest" - to listen.... the earth cries out to you and I for our awareness, for our silence at times.. just simply to realize how extraordinary we are... we have been.. we will always be.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, July 11, 2010

candlelight mentality

"The light of modern consciousness is not gentle or reverent; it lacks graciousness in the presence of mystery; it wants to unriddle and control the unknown. ...too direct and clear to befriend the shadowed world of the soul. It is not hospitable to what is reserved and hidden.
(Candlelight) The ideal light to befriend the darkness, it gently opens up caverns in the darkness and prompts the imagination into activity. The candle allows darkness to keep its secrets.. Candlelight perception has the finesse and reverence appropriate to the mystery and autonomy of the soul."

- Anam Cara

The words of John O'Donohue are a sweet reminder of the subtle sensuousness of enigmas; the places and people that remain unmolested by my desperate desire to know. It seems like this world has started to revolve around "knowing", like we are infatuated with it - with explanations and conclusions. We want to know everything. The whys, the reasons... a never-ending pursuit to shed a white light in every dark and mysterious corner. It sounds admirable: to discover things, to understand and dissect and comprehend.. and yet, I have to wonder sometimes if our need to unveil is not an effect of fear, rather than curiosity? After all, if we do not have an answer for something, how can we ever control it? And when we cannot control something.. who knows what will happen?

I love mystery. I have secrets.
Truly, the most interesting people I know are entirely mysterious. The seduction of the unknown, is that I get to use my own delicious imagination. The thrill of ideas and thoughts, and these elaborate passages that twist and writhe deep into my mind.. there is nothing better to me than savoring the magic of the unanswered questions. This is sincerely true when it comes to relationships.
Most times, I think our gut reaction is to shine a light deeply into a person.. to expose every area of who and what they are. We are afraid that if we don't know everything about them, we can't understand them... we can't predict their actions... we can't control them. Not knowing, much of the time scares the shit out of us! We are terrified of what could be. But isn't that what intrigues us to begin with?
Isn't that the good part? The mystery?

What if we use a candle light mentality towards each other?
What if we were content with the mystery and the darkness of ourselves and others? To respect and honor the sacred part of our souls.. of our very being. It is beautiful that we can offer that courtesy to one another - to let ourselves exist freely without knowing. I do not wish fear to take away my pleasure.. mysteriousness, is a captivating delight.

Andrew Tipton


"We do not create music; we only create the conditions so that she can appear."
- Sergiu Celibidache

Friday, July 9, 2010

a wild and unknown thing..

Friendship is a perplexing and delightful creature.
Limited only by my imagination, and often unquestioned in my thoughts, I have silently been telling myself "what" and "how" I shall be a Friend: it must be this, it cannot be that.. For years, friendship has remained humbly within the bounds of expectation - unable to spread its powerful wings.

These past few days have been spent surfing hurricane waves in the gulf.
From the moment I splashed into the water, and the first large swell washed over my surfboard, I have not stopped considering the beautiful possibilities of friendship.
The ocean speaks of fluidity and movement; it is a place that is neither safe nor predictable; it offers pleasure to those that know it, and yet always there is mystery, always intrigue - I love it for being this way. Perhaps the experience of friendship can exist in that same rhythm - a place between humans that is free to take whatever shape and motion we desire.
Surfing inside of these waves.. inside of their pleasure, and their terror.. I see that friendship can be open and completely evident.. it can be sensuous and filled with mystery.. friendship can be playful and hilarious.. it can be intense and quiet.. it can be the whispers across the lips of a lover, or the clasp of hands between brothers.. equal in their own right. A wild and unknown thing!
The possibilities of friendships are endlessly ours..
offering the courtesy of that thought to ourselves completely, and to our friends as well.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, June 27, 2010

i Go Standing Up

I find myself faced with the unexpected pleasure of being male. Not that I didn't expect to, its just that I have been abruptly and purely amazed at my own capacity.
Life as a boy is good. Real good. ;)

I find myself half-way up a rock face, fingers digging in deep.. panting for breathe, the muscles in my forearms crying for mercy..
Or, with a half-empty bottle of deep red wine, running barefoot through the rain in the company of a beautiful, new female acquaintance..
I find myself sleeping in the backseat of a jeep, comfortably sunburned, worn out from a weeks worth of adventure.. my face rough with unshaved whiskers.
I find myself wearing just a pair of old jeans, playing music from a hammock as campfire sparks drift loosely overhead.
Unloading my surfboards at a hostel in California, and then sipping beer with the owner while we share stories about waves.
Stopped on the side of a coastal highway.. replacing a blown out tire, for two young women - my hands and arms covered in brake dust and grease.
In the middle of meditation.
I find myself in the depths of late night poetry.. rambling about the laws of sensual attraction and the beauty of the human spirit.
Or when I lean in for a first kiss.
Or when I am strolling the late-night streets of New York.
Or when I chop firewood with my dad.
Every single time I pee standing up. ;)
There are moments that seem to catch me,.. take me by surprise.. and I'm reminded of just how much I love being a dude.

A complete acknowledgement of my body and my mind has a tremendous impact on how this world looks through my eyes.
I believe the more freely I allow myself to move towards who I am, the more astounded I will become at what I am, and where I fit into this planet's motion. It has been at these moments I mentioned, that I am most aware of my masculine humanity, and the joys of fulfilling that role - whichever way I wish.

Life as a boy is good. :)

(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Take a Breathe

We passed a girl wearing a stunning black feather in her hair..
"Where did you get that?", I asked, mesmerized.
"Down by the lake.. there are a few more there I think." she smiled broadly, and reached up, gently brushing her dark hair away from her face.
The feather fit her.. it looked organic, almost like she had always been wearing it. I am amazed at the way some people flow with nature... sometimes there is almost no distinction between them and the trees, or a sunset, or the whatever beauty may be surrounding them at that moment.
As she walked away, I stared, intrigued at the simple elegance of her motion.
I found three feathers by the lake. Each extraordinary by its own right. Two slender black feathers.. so dark that they shimmered iridescently in the afternoon sunlight. One very long feather, full of body and strength.. I'm sure the previous owner regrets losing it. There is something completely uncommon about a feather.. the way it moves, the texture, the lightness.. it is majestic and natural in the same space.
I placed all three in my bag, and then tossed myself beneath maple tree for shade. Letting my camera drop to the grass, I leaned back into the smooth trunk behind me, and took a breathe.
It was the first breathe I had taken all day (the first breathe I payed attention to) and I felt it as it came in: The deep swell of the lungs, the gentle delicious taste of life sweeping down inside my body.
It is a good feeling to be where you are.. to breathe the moment, mentally capturing the details that can often slip by so fleetingly.
As I sat under the maple tree.. I slowed my thoughts, and let myself only consider one thing: Inhale...... exhale... inhale.... exhale... such a simple thought, yet at the same time it put me in the center of my own world - the experience of the moment opened up to me.. I noticed the shade of blue beyond the clouds, I noticed the edge of the shadows left by the leaves above me, I noticed the faces of the people strolling by.. the day that I had been wandering through.. became alive and vivid!

I placed one of the feathers in my van window, stuck one in the pages of my journal, and one is still inside my bag.. they are reminders to take a breathe.. to take a deliberate moment, and breathe in my world; breathing you deep inside me someplace where I will keep you and remember how good it was to be here right now.
Belle Aujour'hui, thank you for this day.

Andrew Tipton

Monday, June 7, 2010

Who owns our mornings?
When we wake up.. how much time do we allow ourselves before letting our minds wander like stray ponies?
Do we rush off into our day..? or do we linger a moment in place that belongs entirely to our soul - an embrace with our breathe, with our being here, with our own skin, our own eyes, our own hands and voice.
Often times, I am too distracted to give myself this gift.. to spend a few moments remembering my condition; my impermanence, my dying, my undeserved still here.
Sometimes in the morning as I wake up, I like to take walks through the forest - attempting to see myself in the smallest of details.. to notice everything that my senses will allow. On these days, I find that I am caught in a rainstorm of bewilderment.. life is no longer happening to me.. it is happening through me.

(Andrew Tipton)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Book Of Thoughts

Trent turned and tossed his bag across his left shoulder. Not much packed, just a few shirts, jeans, books, and his mandolin with the lovely curved neck.
We clasped hands, gave an embrace; I wished him well on his journey and said something cliche but from my heart. Standing there with my sunglasses pulled up holding my hair out of my face, I watched as he disappeared into the train station. Immediately, I began to imagine his quiet ride in train car 7... I imagined our summer together... the trouble we'll get into and adventures that have not yet unfolded. I imagined music at sunset on the beach.. the pleasure of being half-naked lying in the sand, and feeling our muscles aching from a good surf - our hearts warm with laughter and faces filled up with peaceful grins.
I smiled as I jumped back up into the van.. what an excellent thought. My door swung shut, and I stared out the front window for a few seconds as raindrops started to splash across the glass.
I would love to bottle up the smell of afternoon showers.

We live in a world of stories; a world of ideas, of voices and prayers, poems and thoughts.. these simple, elegant, potent beauties.
I would love to capture a few... hold them like fireflies.. let them light up my mind.

Andrew Tipton

Monday, May 31, 2010

Today is Ours

4:30 am. Wake up to the sound of my alarm clock buzzing,
I cringe; raindrops falling outside. All I can think about is how desperately I want to close my eyes, and slip back into the comfort of a deep sleep.
I am a slave to my tiredness, and the thought of a few more hours of dreaming sounds very enticing.
It is at this moment that the fate of my day rests.,

I turn off the alarm, and climb out of bed. standing alone in the darkness, my aching eyes still closed, the world is black and silent - the only sound are my heavy breathes.
Ahead of me, lies 50 miles of walking; an exploration into the heart and soul of American humanity.
"What if....".
What if... today is the day that we wake up hungry..
what if today is the day we let go of our excuses and do what we have always wanted..
what if today is the day we walk,
or speak,
or unbashedly exist - openly, loudly, purely.
What if, we engage pain and pleasure and fear and challenge, and motion head on and just see what happens.

Today we asked ourselves: What if. The answer to that question always amazes me.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, May 21, 2010

Say It Out Loud

It is comfortable to be quite.
Most times, I watch silence happening around me. Sometimes from me.
The word in the chamber - shot never fired.
Blame it on inhibitions. Blame it on the convenience of remaining anonymously detached... but those words go unsaid, those ambitious beautiful strokes of our mouths.. slip from the pages of our story.
Sometimes I watch us move our lips.. so close to saying what we want, to doing what we want. But, its all the same thing, all connected, the saying and the becoming, the saying, and the experience that comes with a moment's courage - this world was "spoken" into existence after all.
Call it the materialization of intention.. but things do happen when we speak honestly, viciously, unrepentantly. Out, loudly.
That instant, when speaking or moving feels like too much of an effort.. those are the moments that shape our days.

(Andrew Tipton)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prayers for The Morning

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the gray window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colors,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the curach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come a cross the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
Anam Cara

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Afternoons with Horses

Sometimes the world changes colors on me.
It goes from a shade of gray.. to a deep, wet blue - the sort of color you can wade into and let yourself drift.
My fingers wander gently through the manes of painted horses .. their sweat on my palms; large soft eyes and noses. We exist in a place that grows stranger and more remarkable the longer you stare.
Unappologetic; seductive in every sense of the word. I can't help but smile at the absurdity of beautiful.

(Andrew Tipton)