Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life as Circles

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of not being.
- Lao Tsu

I had an incredible weekend. Dancing at a rave surrounded by sweat and glow-sticks, rock climbing across boulders at sunset, telling stories around a crackling campfire, strumming songs on my guitar at 3:30 in the morning, swinging in my hammock at dusk beside a beautiful lake, playing in the park under a perfect blue sky and laughing until I couldn't breathe. As I tossed myself onto my bed last night, I felt completely exhausted - my eyes heavy, my skin still warm from a day's worth of sunshine, my muscles aching.. I was worn out in the best sort of way; I lay there for a moment and embraced the pleasure of well-earned tiredness.

I am beginning to see life as circles.. every motion I make, every decision, every smile or word or touch.. connected like veins to my past and my future. Life is not a linear experience. No motion is independent from any other motion. We live a moment, we act.. and that energy affects us residually for the remainder of our lives. Powerful.
This is entire weekend happened because of motions I made in my past: words I said, or songs I listened to, or a decision to go somewhere, or to call someone, or the decision to smile, or the simple decision to be silent - they add up, and they return to us.
It is what I do Now, that opens the doors to what I do Now, later.

When we know that life returns to us.. I think it creates a sense of honest sincerity; our now becomes our everything, because we realize that everything comes from what we decide right now.

(Andrew Tipton)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wild Geese

Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Don't Come Back Until you're Bleeding

When I was a child, my mother used send me outside to play. We lived in the middle of a forest, by a lake, in a cabin - it was the sort of place most kids only dream about. Raw, wild, anything-goes, excitement.

"Go play, and don't come back until you're bleeding." - those are the words she used to tell me. :)
I remember why I bled, I remember the climbing up trees, the rope swings, the dare devil stunts, the bike races, the bonfires.. the skateboards, the rafts, the dirt bikes.. the pleasure of being 9 years old, and bleeding; an honor - earning your way back into the house. Scratches, cuts, scrapes, gashes, tears, punctures, rips. Wounds. Beautiful, gnarly, disgusting wounds.
When you bled as a kid, it was because you were out there, enjoying yourself, being dangerous.. playing by your own rules.
Getting hurt, wasn't something to cry about, it was expected. Honestly, I never went out looking to bleed, but somewhere between bows-and-arrows, and rock fight, it just seemed to always happen.

I think my mom would probably give me the same guidelines she did back then.. even today. "....Don't come back until you're bleeding." - I adore that concept. :) Possibly, most people believe that it is a success if you make it through your day, comfortable and well-preserved - is that what we are content with? Really? That is all we want from these days? Where is the lust and adventure and beauty? Where is the carpe-dium we all say we desire.. when we agree to adopt a hum-drum, la-la-la, pen and ink success story?

At the end of the day, I want to come back and have some wounds.. I want to have sparks in my eyes, and dirt in hair, a few cuts on my arms or heart, and a smile on my face. Life best lived.

I love you Mama.

(Andrew Tipton)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rip the Pages from a Book

It is amazing what happens when we cease struggling to define life; stop thinking; stop controlling; stop needing our own way. There is a wildness tucked away and hidden deep deep down inside these souls and galaxies.. it is perfect and deliberate and unpredictable; when we let that wildness run through our bodies, it rocks our world.
Sometimes, I get lost in my efforts; lost in trying to reason life out, or attempting to create a scenario which I find appealing. Yet, inevitably, the flow of existence is greater and more beautiful than anything I can imagine. I see life so linearly.. I want it to play by my rules.. but I'm learning that the goodness and the sensual revolutions of this world are not bound to time, not bound to opinion, or strategy, or effort - they are beyond our knowing.
This wildness... this intricate, inexplicable flow, is simply available for us to fall into... to sink between like tall, soft summer grass. There is no pressure here, there is only a question of contentment.
I rip the pages out of a National Geographic; without thinking... and the result amazes my mind.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, March 13, 2010


"You can tell a lot about people by the shoes they wear, and the cars they drive."
She looked over at me from the passenger seat of of my van, her black pony tail hanging loosely at her shoulders, dark eyes gleaming, peering out into the pouring rain, her fingers articulating each individual word. My cowboy boots were up on the dashboard, and I looked down at them.. tan leather; with scars and worn-out tread - I got them used from a sailor in Hawaii.

It is interesting that those two elements, your shoes & your car, are both associated with motion. Both are necessary for going places, seeing things and exploring; both are symbols of where your priorities lie. Maybe they don't have to say much about your monetary priorities necessarily.. but they say something about you that is much deeper than that, the priority of your days. Where and how do you spend your motion.. What in this world matters to you..
In a sense, your shoes and your car are the definition of your existence... where your desires, pleasures, insecurities and pursuits rest.
And if you have neither... well, that says a lot too.

(Andrew Tipton)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Devil May Care

I have expectations. From my days, from my nights.. from my Tuesdays, my Sundays.
I live in a world of expectation. From the way I drive, to the way I speak, my entire interaction with this world is based on expectations. People, surfaces, motion, time, distance, thoughts - it is an inescapable reality.
Recently, I am contemplating the apparent excessiveness of my own expectation. I am beginning to realize that the majority of my disappointments in situations, or my disappointment in people for that matter, is fostered by an over extension of expectation.
For starters, "relationships". How much do I expect from friends? How much do I expect from girls? How much do I expect from my family? I catch myself placing expectations on people (most of the time completely without their knowledge), and then holding them to my own standard. When someone doesn't measure up, or when they fail to meet my expectations of them... I get upset, frustrated, discouraged, angry. But all along these were my own expectations!.
How many relationships have faltered, or how many have I let die, simply because I perceived an inadequacy from the other person? I want to remember that these expectations are always only mine. I want to continually be aware that people create their own standards - they are not obligated to follow or fit mine. How much freedom does that give me? Much. How much freedom does that give someone else? Much.
I won't expect you to meet all my expectations.. you probably won't - but that lets me enjoy you for you.
I think that when we lose our expectant rigidity, we find an abundance of crazy beautiful bewilderment.

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

run naked through the woods

wild like Lantana romance.. a woven fabric from the souls and thoughts of trees,
she is not a slave to ideas, she is an idea - the dream of oceans; and pleasure of sea turtles.
/ Like wooden prayer beads around my neck, she reminds me that raindrop blessings fall from gray skys. Look how beautiful we have always been - even under a gray sky.
She is a verse in poetry I have never heard before, and yet know so intimately
- the music that flows through Earth; the unbroken motion of a zebra running for its life.
Will we give chase?
There is a fierceness: of living dying breathing..
watch her run - this is the beginning of everything.
There is an end to nothing. /
She is the birth of summer; a sunrise in the devils garden:
red rock golden bronze.
What do you see?
What do you feel?
On your knees, child's pose before a mountain, before a storm, before your birth.
I am barely wise enough to smile.
I am barely strong enough to look.
I am barely naked enough to listen.
Draw a perfect circle, and find yourself inside.

(Andrew Tipton)