Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reclaiming the Soul Filled Life

"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be.
There's no time limit, stop whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it.
And I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

I was painting last night and had the pleasure of hearing this quote while my paintbrush made effortless gray circles..
there is an echo inside all of us I think that resonates this same truth.
The message of hopefulness.
Hope in ourselves, hope in the tangible and the unseen, hope in the mystery and the vastness of our world, hope in the simple and mediocre things too.
We give life its soul and heart and lungs. We breath strength and substance into the crevices and the rough edges. I resolve to believe that beauty is seen through my own eyes and equally given through my own words and touch.
Today on the walls and tomorrow in the ocean.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011


"If you are afraid of death, you are afraid of life, for living your life leads to death. Until you face death and see its beauty, you will be afraid to really live - you will never properly burn the candle for fear of its end."
- Doris Haddock

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Spoken Existence

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)

Recently I have become fascinated with the idea of spoken words altering our living existence. The thought that when we vocalize our intentions, we are actually creating a bridges between our desire and our reality.
This not a new concept, the idea of sounds altering an environment has been studied and analyzed before.. even the Bible talks about "speaking" and literally changing our environment (moving mountains, healing, etc.). I have to admit that I am naive in my own practice.. It has simply never occurred to me that speaking our reality into existence could really hold some truth.

I remember watching the cartoon of Aladdin when I was younger.. In the story Aladdin speaks to the desert the words "Abra Cadabra" and behold the sand opens for him and he is rewarded with a vast treasure. I have always loved that story! The idea of speaking to a desert, or the ocean, or a forest and being granted access to extraordinary secrets and power.. what a seductive fantasy!
Perhaps though it is more than just wishful thinking.

When we speak, we use language, which is merely sounds strung together to form words. We have learned to control our sounds over time to articulate emotions and thoughts.. when they are spoken, they convey the vibration of our consciousness. When words come out of our bodies, they are filled with intentional energy.. this energy does not dissolve, but expands outward - its the same force that grows plants, that fuels volcanoes.. the same energy to which other people respond.

People respond to our voices. This is sort of a huge deal I think.. one that I have not truly grasped. It happens so much that I probably the magic of what's happening is taken for granted. It is incredible to me that we can "speak" with intention and vastly change the physical human environment around us. We can walk up to another person, share a few sounds (intentions) from our minds through our mouths, and "Abra Cadabara" the world has shifted! It is not necessarily the words that are affecting, but the meaning behind them.. the vibration of our consciousness letting itself be known in this physical space. Vibration is at the base of everything.. it is life, it is motion. I believe that we do have the power to create new realities with our voices.. we can already see it happening everyday on the human level. That same vibrational energy is woven into everything.. so it makes sense that the world will respond to us. To our words.

-Andrew Tipton

Monday, December 5, 2011

What Happens In Montevallo

Nothing stays here.
The words leak out of bounds and the sounds go with them.
The music from the guitar strings and the fierceness from songwriters' lips.
All the love and the anger or the affection you can throw at a person never stay in that one place.
Words are never where you left them,
our actions grow wings, and travel to a thousand different places.

I've seen a beautiful thought make it to Kai'lua,
I've seen sadness start here and fly all the way to the Alps.
The world's growing on our motion,
Cross-pollination. Starts right here..
In your town,in your house, in your room,
in your mind,
Nothing stays.

Andrew Tipton,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Politics of Ecstacy

(Theo Gosselin, one of my new favorite photographers)

I discovered some new tastes recently.. people, places, and things that have legitimately stirred the embers in my mind! I find myself studying in the late hours of night, lavishing over subjects that were once foreign - creative desires growing, it excites me to see where all these roots are headed.

I can't help but feel though that there is always some form of subversive thought lingering just behind a new love. The ecstasy that flourishes in the first few encounters, is often subdued by the agenda of 'purpose'. I feel at times that I lack the will to begin a pursuit (even one that tugs at my heart), because of the expectation that accompanies it. Maybe a lot of us feel that way.

Our relationships have expectations.. our friendships, our creativity, our work, there are expectations for sex and pleasure, for our voices, for our writing and songs.. It almost takes the joy out of loving a thing.
Sometimes I wish to be rid of the politics that accompany a new pursuit and just lose myself in the experience. Find out for myself its secrets and its details.. without being told 'how' or 'what' to admire. I want a relationship without precedent, a love affair that makes up its own rules.

Maybe that is asking too much from a thing? Maybe its asking too much from a person? But it is what I want.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, November 20, 2011


"Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the universe loves nothing so much as to change things which are, and to make new things like them. For everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be." - Marcus Aurelius

It makes sense that our thoughts are motion as well.. never dying, never lost or abandoned only reborn in the minds of others at different times. I was reading the last few pages of "East of Eden" tonight.. and came upon this quote.
Its like stumbling on your own thought.. written two millennia ago. How remarkable! It is my quote.. my prayer, my mantra. But written before me. I forget that I am not the creator truths.. only part of their circle. And it brings me comfort to know that these ideas, and revelations can never be lost or abandoned. Motion is my poem... but I do not own it.. I am the grandchild of its energy.

We are constantly, eternally, being remade.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gift Basket

I am warm
from your touch:
flower / eye
body / body
creature / god
We are all warm.

Charles Paisly

Monday, November 14, 2011

Every Word is Sacred

Poetry is such a perfect language.. every word that we use is wrapped in meaning. There is not space in a poem for wasted breath. Poets are the ones who grasp the roots of thought and shake away the dirt. It is marvelous to watch.. to follow an idea so intimately down down down into a person's heart.
I watched poets perform a few nights ago.. speaking about anger, and love, and youth, and sex. Each poem was like a knife, cutting through my pretensions and my own noise.. entering me, and making my mind bleed. Thoughts.

I would love to meet Sarah Kay.. she speaks with her entire body.. the subtleties of her voice leave me hanging in space. Graceful and warm.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, November 4, 2011

One Thousand Butterflies

It is such a release to look into the obscure shadows of death and not avert our eyes. To accept our mortality as a common thread.. that life comes and goes, and we are all bound to that experience - we can accept our humanity and share the emotion together.
We pretend that if we hide from the idea of death, that perhaps it will disappear; we only talk about it in whispers, but I'm tired of keeping my voice down. We're dying! We are ALL dying.

I spent last Wednsday in the company of hundreds of other people - recognizing the sacredness of the living, celebrating the loved ones that have already passed on, and embracing the delicate distance between our world and the next. I watched as thousands of candles flickered around alters.. their warm glow punching holes in the fear and the lonliness of dying. Alters dedicated to friends, fathers, prophets, brothers, mothers.. people who came, and loved, and then transitioned onward. It was like we were holding death and shining a light onto every pore and blemish, until there was nothing left to run from.. we can see it now.
We see these people who have died, and we see ourselves.. and for those who are willing to look, that truth unites us. We're all it together.

Rachel's father died 10 months ago.. and to celebrate his life she folded one thousand oragomi butterflies and hung them from strings. That was her alter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Me Now

Your days in one
This day undone
The kind that breaks under
All day at once
for me, for you
I'm just too young
And what of my heart
This day was once
Silence before
All grace of lost
Can't wait at all
Can't wait at all
Temptation won

And what ever comes through the door
I'll see it face to face

- Beirut

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Costa Rica Nightlife

This is a tree house near Bellavista in Costa Rica.. I have an obsession with this type of place. The openness, the simple luxury of the trees and their sounds. There is a pureness that you can't find in most places.. a connection that runs deep, bringing us to face our animal selves, the ones that are not fragranced and overtly clean. There is a sensuality here that nestles down in my mind, making me want to grow in a place like that.. to make love and write and invite friends to come and make music there. It fascinates me.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Night is Still Young

Our creation sides leak out sometimes.. unexpectedly, in odd places. Our vision for the night sways and is reborn. Its always a pleasure to watch the mind make up its mind.. like a spiral staircase - to the room, to the brush, to the stroke. The night is young.. We are a breath away from a thousand choices.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Commune

I have this idea inside that won't quiet down. And I keep wondering if there are enough people out there to start something.. to take apart our single selves and blend them into a community. Thirty or forty people.. Can you imagine the energy of us if we shared the same spirit! The same attitude about life. It is hard to find people who love creating.. love the intrigue of design, of building and learning, and romance. The ones that love the elegance of sand, and notice the intimate details.
This is not my dream.. this is a future that I believe is completely possible. A community built by people who adore life. A place that we can create music and adventure, and write wild new thoughts.. where we can study and touch and marvel at the fleeting things. Imagine thrity people pouring their talents, their ambitions, their intellects and finances into the same place.. all breathing the same message, that we are all dying.

Andrew Tipton

Dancing Tree

Before we left for the beach I went to visit my grandparents and as I was leaving, I looked up and saw this tree in the field behind their house. It literally seduced me.. the sunlight was trickling through her leaves, and she was dancing with the breeze. I quietly walked up close to her and watched.. It was sensual and breathtaking. She was alone at the end of the field.. catching the last beams of light with her outstretched branches,.. she swayed from side to side, like she was listening to some silent rhythm of music too soft for my own ears. Her hips were the base of her branches.. her fingers the leaves,.. she moved and arched without any inhibitions.

Andrew Tipton

Monday, October 10, 2011


Journal on Omens:
When a thought passes, we get to look at it.. see it as we'd see a stranger pass us on the street. It comes and goes.. sometimes at a slow stride, sometimes so quickly we don't really notice the details. But do we ever question where our thoughts come from? Are we creating them?
Can you trace a split-second, fragment of an idea to anywhere in particular?

For the most part, I haven't really been paying attention... at least not to the subtleties and the shadows.
Probably like most people.. I assume that my thoughts are more or less me, or my consciousness just randomly coming up with things. I never assume rhythm or reason, never elaborate on the coincidences.

The coincidences.. are starting to impress me. Or, I should say, they are beginning to appear deeper than I gave them credit for. Really, its a certain type of thought that has been catching my attention.. you don't notice it at first because we're not used to separating the sensations of our mind. But there is a difference.. its like these particular thoughts are coming from a source outside of myself. A thought is such a fleeting, fragile thing.. but if we can catch them at the instant they strike our minds then we have a chance to feel where they are coming from.
These "coincidence" thoughts, are interesting because they always manifest themselves physically somehow. When I react in a positive way, its like I have been shown a special doorway, and allowed some other (knowing) source to move me through it. It is me responding.. but I am responding to a feeling, or an instinct or an omen that I did not create.. the thought came to me not from inside of my mind.

I have been reading about omens, the idea astounds me.. Omens, to the best of my knowledge are instances in our paths that connect us to a deeper root of what's happening. In a sense they are exterior stimuli that lead us in a certain direction... or to make certain choices. But only if we see them.. or feel their guidance. I have started calling these thoughts.. omens.
They are becoming more frequent.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, September 30, 2011

My Friend Joshua

You create. The life around you.
And people notice.
They wonder at the things you make.
The beautiful way. the nonsense way.
You sing. and speak. and walk.
I think the world needs you.
Your curiousness and your bewilderment.
my friend.
You are the gold in a sunset,
you are the tears in a laugh,
I don't know anyone who dreams as much as you.
I don't know anyone who believes in dreams as much as you.
You make good things better.
You keep joy in your pocket and bring it to parties.
My friend.
Sometimes I hate you and love you all at once.
Sometimes there is nothing to do but listen to one of your songs.
And smile.

I'm not sure if can feel my energy tonight,.
but I'm sure giving a lot to you.
Good vibes. Good vibes.
It hurts to know you hurt.. I think it would be easier if it was me.
There is a lonliness in a friend's pain.. that makes you want to sit down.
And close your eyes. And somehow change everything back.
I just wanted to get that out..
My friend.
You're irreplaceable.
You've carved a nook in my heart, and it is just your size.. nothing else fits.
So I hope you rest well tonight and feel better in the morning.

Your Friend,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All the human birds

Despite my own truth that our "self" is not truly human, we are left with our presence in our human bodies. i feel as thought there are two options for those of us who come to this realization, we can defy our physical being in favor of the conscious / thought that we understand ourselves to be, or we can accept the truth and embrace our humanity / our presence on the earth.
There is a difference here, because I don't think that embracing our human experience, and being willed by our human experience are the same thing. In my mind, as we see ourselves as separate from the physical world, it shouldn't take away from the experience of humanity. It is an opportunity for us to freely explore the physical, emotional and irrational side of WHAT we are. Our human bodies are our windows to the world, we are connected by our physical self; it is not WHO we are, but it is how we perceive the physical experience. Almost an alternate reality in a way.
Surprisingly, I am finding that as we accept, learn and enjoy the human side of ourselves, we begin to enjoy the human side of people - other people. What we love and see in ourselves as a human, can be felt, observed and reflected back to us by other humans. Its as if we are the mirror through which our experience of humanity can be seen. We start to see that humans are bound together by our common physical presence - we are a consciousness that is living out the same physical story!

How do we enjoy our human experience without being attached to our human self?
I would suggest that we view our human-ness in its truest light - that we are a consciousness fulfilling a physical form. Just as you can imagine a consciousness filling the physical body of a bird, or of a tree. The bird soars and glides on the wind, accepting and embracing its "bird" condition. A tree grows tall and powerful, spreading its beautiful branches, displaying its leaves - accepting and living its physical capacity. It is consciousness contained in another form.. just like us.

As we explore our human condition, we see our senses, our emotions, our creativity, we acknowledge our ability to cry and laugh and scream, and die, and run, and hurt, and feel pleasure. We divide ourselves from "self", from the consciousness that we are, and allow our human sides the privilege of being human. It whatever capacity that may be. It is a beautiful thing to be human I believe.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our skins and stubborn bones

There is nothing. Like it.
Starts low, feels low inside deep
between the fibers and the muscles.
An urge. Desire. Crawls up in slow chords
like an onyx dragon.
Whispering close to your throat.
Each exhale is a gift and is terrifying.
Nowhere to hide from the thought.
That you were born to rule.
This moment. Is your tree house.
Is your dark chocolate.
Is your
summer dance.
As you play with the idea,
color grows wild through your intentions.
The horizon line, blown out background.
Comes in colors. Feels like colors. It remains when you close your wings,
still there when you open them.
Its on the inside out.
The part of your stomach that loves rain
and photographs of wild horses.
Because sometimes,
you also imagine that you are a horse.
That your life is about running.
The pleasure. And the weight of it.
The stumble. And the sex of it.
You feel it inside. Breaking your seams.
You were born for. Being here.
Here. This place.
The knowing.
That there is no lack of beauty.
Only how we touch it.
We live on the words of strangers, and
The rough licks of our memories,
tucked away in our shirt pockets.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Human Condition

"... I feel that I am a man. And I feel that man is a very important thing -- Maybe even more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent towards gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe." - John Steinbeck

I think he saw what I have missed. The experience of being human.. the tremendous wonder of it.
I have spent years looking into the eyes and mind of our natural world.. the details, the stones, the trees, the sky.. but I feel like I have overlooked the sacredness of my own existence. In a way, avoiding the very condition that enables my perception.
I am human. And for the first time, I'm beginning to enjoy that humanity. Not just mine, but ours.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

If you want a revolution

If you want a revolution
return to your childhood
and kick out the bottom

don't mistake changing
headlines for change

if you want freedom
don't mistake circles
for revolutions

think in terms of living
and know
you are dying
and wonder why

if you want a revolution
learn to grow in spirals
always being able to return
to your childhood
and kick out the bottom

This is what I've been
trying to say - if you
attack the structure -
the system - the establishment
you attack yourself
& attack if you must
challenge yourself externally

but if you want a revolution
return to your childhood
and kick our the bottom

be able to change
yr own internal chemistry

walk down the street
& flash lights in yr head
at children

this is not a game
your childhood
is the foundation
of the system

walk down the street
flash lights in yr head
at children but be way
of anyone old enough to kill

learn how to disappear

before they can find you

(that is, if you want to
stay alive)

if you want a revolution
do it "together"
but don't get trapped in
words or systems

people are people
no matter what politics
color or words they use
& they all have children
buried in their head

if you want a revolution
grow a new mind
& do it quietly
if you can

return to your childhood
and kick out the bottom
then become a being
not dependent on words
for seeing

whenever you get bored
change headlines
colors politics words
change women

but if you really want
a revolution
learn how to change
your internal chemistry
then go beyond that

walk down the streets
& flash light at


Monday, September 5, 2011

Climbing Trees In Rainstorms

This afternoon it rained... first time in over a month.
I almost forgot the scent of it.. the way it feels in September when it comes in sweet and cool.
I had to celebrate; I bought a bottle of wine for the occasion.
Stripped down to my shorts and took off into the storm.

You think to yourself half-way up a tree in a storm, that maybe you are crazy..
Maybe this climb, with a bottle of Merlot in one hand and a glass in the other is the opposite of a good idea.
One branch, two, three branches.. higher. Up up.
By branch four, you realize you are indeed crazy, and there is no sense in faking sanity. Even for the sake of appearances.
Sanity is an annoyance most of the time anyway. It always clings to my shoulders like a wet jacket.. one I wish I could take off and leave draped over a branch somewhere, and never come back for.
Right now, my arms clutching branches twenty feet up, I'm happy to leave sanity on the ground. (Let him stay down there for all I care)

Finally, I'm in the tree. Pressed against the trunk and a sturdy limb. Nine branches up.
The rain is coming down thick.. drowning out sound.. roaring as it splashes off the wide fat leaves. I feel like an orangutan in the rain forest. A obscenely wobbly orangutan with a bottle of wine.
I wrap my legs around the branch below me and pour myself a glass..
As I sip, I notice how the rain drops feel cool against my skin.. and how the wine feels warm, almost gentle. Sweet red goodness!
The tree sways gently. I can't see out very well.. I am surrounded by layers of thick green leaves.. and beyond the leaves are millions of raindrops. The rain saturates every pore of my body.. my eyes, my nose, my mouth.. it gets in my glass of wine. It is a wild feeling to be soaking wet.. and to be very high off the ground. I laugh at that thought.
Its probably the wine.. but I start to sing. I don't know why but it feels right. I sing about the tree. I sing about the rain.. to the rain, like its someone I know. I sing to my body. To my ears.
The rain is so loud I can barely hear myself.. but what does it matter.
this is a celebration after all!

When we leave a day behind.. I wonder what it thinks about us?
Is it glad to be finally done with us... or sad to see us go?
I wondered that as I was climbing down.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting the words out

Its dark in the street behind you,
I'm listening, but I'm looking over your shoulder
And I'm seriously considering throwing this champagne glass.
Not because Im angry,
but because I love alternate realities as well.
Like you said, lets not rule out the choices that don't make sense.
These are still choices too.
There are ways that quietly fuck with your mind.
Like raindrops that drip back up into the clouds
Or a girl in a white evening dress simply walking at the park
That's what our entire night came down to,
A thousand ways to die, and ten thousand to live.
And each one just as sane as the next.
Do you understand that's what I mean?
Do you believe that this is all make believe?
I hope so. I do.
I mean, I do believe it.
I'm rainbow trapped in a mud-puddle.
Who I am, and what I seem get stumbled up on the way out.

I know you see walls.
But they aren't too keep you out,
I put them there because people are as much afraid
of beautiful as they are ruthless,
I'm not talking about me,
I'm talking about the time I bought twenty dozen flowers
and gave them away to strangers.
Because I have the same hope you do.
That we are all ok. That love is real.
People are scared, even when you just want to give them flowers.
Thats sad yet understandable.
The world wants leaders that believe in purpose.
Because they make us feel like life is worth living.
But I already believe life has worth.
Even without purpose.
So. I will lead that group.
I meant to say, right before I thought about throwing this glass.. that
I miss you. I miss your abandonment. I miss your uncertainty.
It was so good when you didn't know, There are so many people with answers.
Telling us. But we are making it all up.
I laugh because it doesn't matter. What I say. What you do.
Like you said, Lets not rule out the choices that don't make sense.
Maybe I don't make sense.
I'm a rainbow made of mud.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just the Ripples

I took a solo trek into the Little River Canyon this week.. to get some inspiration, and for the sunrise. The sunrise there is so beautiful because it happens incredibly slowly.. filtering in through the leaves, the sun comes to the river stone by stone. I woke up well before dawn.. started hiking down the gorge, just so I'd be sure to be there when it arrived.

I met a man named Kyle the night before, right at dusk as I was packing up my books and my wine about to hike out of the valley. I was taking one last look at the river when Kyle walked up smiling and sat down beside me. He was heavyset, southern drawl, sandy brown hair. He asked me my name, and asked if I wanted to hear some stories about this place.. I said yes!
For the next hour Kyle told me about the river.
He told me about coming here as a child, before anyone knew how beautiful this valley was. He told me about diving into the water during a thunderstorm.. how it felt to be alone with the river and the pouring rain. He told me about how life changes.. how people change.. how places change.
He told me, "You can see all the beauty in the world just in the ripples".
I laughed.. I told him that was such a true thing to say,.. and then he laughed.
He offered me some "Early Times" whiskey straight from the bottle.. I accepted. We shook hands.. and I was on my way.

Andrew Tipton

She Loves Me

I feel like sometimes I am walking the thin line. All around me god is kissing the earth.. and I notice how delicate her lips are. You can't help but tilt your head back, close your eyes and hope it rains; its a firece thing to live.
Sometimes the color of her mouth makes me hurt all over.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A friend designed this fetish for my dulcimer.. it is made from the wings of four different birds, beads and a wrapped leather chord... I love that these birds are now part of my music. Its as if we're creating songs together.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm Not Yours

I don't want to own you. I don't want to hold you so close that you can't breathe. Or for so long that my arms get tired. My arms need space.
I like wondering where you are.. and not caring who you're with.
Because life's made for experiencing people.. all kinds of people.
Its a sexy wonderful thing when we're together,
but I dig it when you aren't around.
My body needs space.
We're so afraid of space..
We're afraid that people won't come back if we give them space.
But we all need space. We breathe space.
I don't want to get used to you.
People get used to things, and they stop marveling.
Like when you get used to the ocean.
Or when you get used to the air in Telluride.
I like it when there are stories between us.
I am not yours.
I am not your reason in the morning to live.
I am not your escape from the shadows of night.
I am not your yours. I need space.
That's what I love about you..
that you aren't afraid of that idea.
That you aren't afraid to let go.
You know that the world doesn't belong to anyone.
So it would be foolish to try and hold onto any of it.
We live with our hands open.
I'm not yours.
Wherever you are.. enjoy life. And I will do the same.

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Fleet

A summer rain storm came out of nowhere today at sunset. I got out to feel the breeze and watch. the sky completely changed into a sea of color right before my eyes - swirlling, twsiting together until it was like molten waves. Then these smaller clouds stared to move in a slow, simultaneous arch to the left, like a fleet of ghost sailboats, out for a cruise before the stars came out to claim them.

Andrew Tipton

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

We Are Us.

Its hard to see through the skin sometimes.
Hard to see what it is. See.
Why it is sometimes. that we are the same thing.
No you. Not a me.
Just the us.
The doves and the antelopes.
The groves and orchards.
The music.
We are all. There is.
I watch science sometimes. See it up close.
See the smallness that makes us the largeness.
All the same. Up down and sideways. The same thing.
Through my skin. Into the air. Through the air. Into your skin.
Our skins.
We wear them together like a blanket.
Around everything. A sheep's skin. A baby's mouth.
A house made out of the ocean. No roof.
Tell me. Why. That is so hard to see?
To believe in.
If God loves you, then so do I.
Because we're the same. Me and you.
Me and god.
We are us.
You're my heart. I'm your lips.
He's my sweat. I'm her kiss.
They say love is the best thing.
Maybe. We should love ourselves.
And that would take the spaces out.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Planting Trees

I've been planting trees for about 3 days.. digging into the soil, shoveling dirt, making space for new roots, new branches, new life. My arms and hands ache beyond belief, I am fiercely aware of every muscle and tendon beneath my skin.
There are eight trees left to plant.. tomorrow we'll see if I survive them.

I had this thought at sunset today though.. right as I was finishing the dig for my final plant. Looking down at my shovel full of dirt sweat I realized exactly what I was doing.. "I am just digging in the ground", I thought to myself. "Just digging holes."
For some reason the simplicity and absurdity of the endeavour caught up with me..
all seriousness abandoned. How does this look to the birds flying over my head I thought.. I wonder if they think to themselves, "What the hell is that guy doing.. just digging holes down there in the dirt! I began laughing... first to myself and then out loud! We do the funniest things in the name of seriousness.

I realized right then, that "just digging holes" is really all any of us are doing.. EVER. We create an idea of the magnificence of a occupation or an adventure, or a relationship.. but really it is all the same.
We are just living. We are just dying.

I went back to planting my trees.. the only thing left to do, I thought, is to enjoy the pleasure and the thrill of digging.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Te-lah-nay’s Wall

We left early in the morning to find a Native American man named Tom Hendrix.
Tom has spent the last 32 years building a rock wall by hand, in honor of his great-great-grandmother, Te-lah-nay, of the Yuchi tribe. I was fascinated by Tom's story, so we made the journey to Natchez Trace to see if we could find him.

This wall is something very special.. being there in person is somewhat of a surreal experience. It stretches for almost a mile through the forest - curving and winding its way between the trees. Every stone is meticulously placed.. thoughtful, purposeful. When you walk along the path, you can feel the energy emanating from the rocks.. you can feel their weight and their sorrows, and their pleasure. Each rock looks at you.. into you, and you feel it wants to tell you something, maybe wants to share a story with you somehow.

As I sit down in this particular curved section of the wall.. I am captivated. I think about how much energy went into creating this silent tribute.. about Te-lah-nay, for some reason I imagine her being there singing a song. I think about the long days, the heaviness of the stones, the satisfaction that must come alongside the sweat. I start to imagine the passion that drives each of us to do what we do. In all of us we have the same urgency, the same desire - to be swept away by our dreams.

Te-lah-nay's wall is sacred place to me.. touching these stones and talking to Tom, reminded me of the possibility of love - loving. That it is not so much what we do with our lives.. but how we love what we do with our lives that matters. Seeing a man, who despite logical reasoning, was determined to do what he felt in his heart - I can't help but be intrigued.
I can't imagine a life better lived.. than one lived pursuing what brings you alive inside.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Morning Goodness

She comes strolling up the front porch steps, still talking about feathers and adventures on the open road.. a broken bicycle trailing along behind her.
We were having this delicious conversation last night.. she just picks up where we left off, teasing my adventurous mind with stories of indie-rock music festivals, and then feeding my imagination by describing the plump, ripe tomatoes from her mom's garden.
I'm standing there in a pair of worn out jeans and a tank.. leaning against one of the pillars in my doorway, watching the morning sunbeams as they trickle down through the leaves.. casting these crazy-beautiful shadows on my bare feet. Summer-time is so incredible,.. I want to scream that out loud.. but all that comes out is a smile.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nectarine Moon

I just took my clothes off
to go swimming in an abandoned quarry.
My arms and legs moving in crazy circles. Underwater.
There is nothing but blackness below me, my splashes breaking the moonlit, glossy finish that keeps everything calm. Water tension.
The moon looks soft.
Like a nectarine,
I think because of all the fog that the rain brings.
There is still lightning in the distance.
No sound, just the flicker and pulse of silver streaks against a night sky.
The way my arms strike and sink into the water, make sounds like
double bass drums,
a deep echo. Maybe I've somehow stumbled upon the heartbeat of water.
Wasaboom. Wasaboom.. Wasaboom.
i feel like a sea turtle drifting.
i feel like I can see everything from right here.
I love how vulnerable I am,
I love the sensations of the bubbles swirling around my legs,
I love how my arms feel strong and muscular as they glide through the water.
Then, suddenly, I am empty.
Every thought leaves my mind at once.
Outside and inside-out.
All that I'm feeling are the breaths coming into my nostrils as I try to stay afloat and the scent of rain.
I become a fish,
I become the silhouette of my friend standing on the rocks above me,
I become the nectarine moon,
and I take a bite of myself.

Andrew Tipton

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Moment After

The moment after hello
is really the first moment of our goodbye.
Perhaps it will be a good long one.. a goodbye of many years.
Or a few months. Or a few days.
Perhaps we'll say goodbye with a lifetime of adventures together.
Maybe our goodbye will include swimming in lakes at sunset, or sex, or surfing waves in Maui.

And then there are the goodbyes that are almost still hellos..
desperately short..
so brief that we never even realized they had come and gone.

These experiences we share are just indefinite, extended goodbyes..
because honestly we don't know how long this is going to last.
Every time we say, "I'll see you later.", and walk away.. there is always the chance that there isn't a later at all.

And that makes me want to take notice.

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Say whatever you have to say,
I'll stand by you.
Do whatever you have to do,
to get it out
and not become a reaction memory
To hurt the ones you love
you know you never meant to but you did

Be whoever you have to be,
I won't judge you
Sing whatever you have to sing
to get it out
and not become a recluse about you,
how to come out

And take whatever you have to take,
you know I love you
come however you have to come,
and get it out
and get it out


Liberty for me is freedom; freedom that I accept, and the freedom that I in turn offer to other people.
Liberty is not a blind eye, it is the observation of a life in which all things are sacred. My life. Yours.
It is the hopefulness in each of our destinies.
It is the opportunity for breath, and the quietness in the ears of others so that they might breathe too...
So that we can all take our inhibitions off a few times before our hearts give out from tiredness.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Blue Experience

These past few months have been about blue. About feeling it.. experiencing it. About embracing a color as more than a color, more like a way of breathing, or a way of thoughts. I spent hours diving into blue waters, starring up into a serene blue sky, drawing pictures with only blue paint, searching for the iridescent blue feathers of Stellar Jays. The "color" as we called it has been more woven into my days than at any other time in my life.
And yet...
In the end, I am more bewildered by blue than ever.

My recent closeness with the color blue, has only shown me how vast it truly is. Instead of becoming more narrow and more concise, it has transformed in my mind.. losing all reference and bearing. My interest and curiosity has only been rewarded with experiences.. not answers, not understanding... only experience.
Because of this, I am coming to believe that perhaps some things cannot be broken apart, or figured out, or calmly observed and then then written down.
I am under the impression tonight, that perhaps there is much more of life that is this same way... here to be experienced.. not to be comprehended.
Maybe its better that way... maybe when we stop attempting to know something, we are actually setting it free. When we stop demanding answers, its as if we give wings to the thing we want to understand, allowing it to soar to far loftier heights than we ever could have taken it.
Becoming a wondrous anomaly; a gift for our eyes, or for our mouths or for our hearts..
Blue is profound.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nonordinary Reality

I've been thinking a lot about myself.. about the physical nature of who I really am. When I see a photograph of myself, it looks like a person I know, but I don't feel like I'm really looking at myself; It doesn't seem like that body truly has the ability to contain all that I am.
And when I look in the mirror, I see my face, my dark brown eyes, my lips and mouth, my cheekbones.. but I don't feel myself in the face - it is just the face of a close friend. A face that I recognize, .. much like you would recognize a familiar word.
The word "Tiger" for example, when I see the word "Tiger" I understand that it represents a wild, fierce animal.. but I also understand that the word in itself is not a "Tiger" - it is just a metaphor that alludes to something greater.
The more I stare, the more I fail to see ME.. the being I feel I am. I don't see me when I look at my chest, not in my arms, not in my legs or hands.. its like I live in this structure built to facilitate the REAL ME.. a being who is existing somewhere deep inside.

I have begun considering the idea, that if this "structure", this "body" is only an outlet for expression or survival, then perhaps I am something beyond physical, perhaps I am more like a thought.

I'm curious about what, or who I really am, because I am curious about REALITY. My reality.
Depending on "who" I am, I see two possible choices in my mind, when it comes to my interaction with reality.
The first response, if I assume that I am a "physical" being, (if my body is who I am) then I am bound a completely carnal experience. I will live woven inside an instinctual, surface level reality; a life that is dictated by external pressures. If we exist in a carnal reality, It will be a roller coaster of an experience.. because the physical body is responding to every sort of stimulus: pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, tiredness, etc. My life could one day be a blessing, and the next day be a curse, depending my environment, my physical perception - depending on how my body feels.

If, however, I am separate from physical, if I am something beyond skin, and bone, and eyes and lungs.. (which is how I have begun to see myself), then I believe there is the possibility a nonordinary reality - a personal experience that makes sense regardless of my physical limitations.
If I am a thought, then perception also becomes a thought.. and if perception is a thought, then reality becomes a thought as well. If I prescribe to this idea, then I am no longer translating and responding to my environment.. instead, I have the potential to author my experience.
Thoughts come from me because I myself AM thought.. and my reality is at my discretion because it too is a thought.
This means, that I do not fluctuate in my universal experience.. it means that the same ideas that govern my lifestyle when I am warm and safe.. also govern my behaviors when I am weak or in pain.
The comprehension of life becomes internalized, seared into the walls of my mind instead of gently resting on the surface of my skin.
It would create a life of perpetual balance.

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Staring into the moment

The mind wants to wander so much.. I have to keep telling myself, "Breathe, breathe.. Look around you, this is where you are."

Chris and I grilled slabs of steak over a roaring campfire, ate them with our bare hands.. ripping off enormous bites with our teeth and growling like wolves. We let the blood run down our arms and fingers.. gave ourselves permission to be animals for the night, then laughed at the beauty of our magnificent fading blue sky.
We talked about the excellence of being human.
Decided that our lips and hands are truly wonderous.
We laid blankets out in tall grass, and slept under the stars.
There was nowhere else to be..
I was there.

Andrew Tipton

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hugging Cedars With Shelyn Somani

I feel like I know you.
When I look at your smile, it feels like a smile that has been in my life for seventy years.. a smile that comforts the inside of my heart.
What was it, 6 hours? Less? How long did we walk through the cedar trees and look for feathers?
You found two, a gorgeous blue pair.
They're in my journal, next to the scrawl of your penned thoughts.
I am amazed by what I do not understand.
I am amazed by you..
by the way you hugged me when we met..
By your abrupt and radiant honesty.
I look into your face, and I want believe that we are eternal.
That life is just like we said. AMAZING.
Maybe we don't choose each other.. maybe life chooses us for us.
Maybe we knew each other as raindrops a thousand years ago.
I don't know.
I do know that when our paths parted that night,
I was glad for finding you.
Or maybe you found me?
Such a gorgeous creature.
Stay well my wild hearted, affectionate friend.
I am blessed for meeting you.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I stay awake because I want to see if our world is going to be here in the morning.
Stay up with me, till our sun makes his appearance,
till our sky melts apart,
till our legs are tired of walking,
till I work up the courage to kiss you.
We make sure to tie our shoe laces; on ordinary days.
to put on our Sherpa jackets, on ordinary days.
to take a photograph out and write good words on the backside; postcard style.
What did you need to hear?
While its still black outside, before the stars slowly wander away,
what is it that you wanted to say?
When you speak, I listen. Please. Speak. I never ask;
But. Your mouth creates storms that tear down my walls.
But. Your hands make me believe in silence.
In my head, I'm wondering if there are spaces to grow,
to take care of our bodies, to nourish our laughter
to decide that tomorrow morning, if it really does come,
will not be as amazing as this fire we are sitting beside tonight.
I want to believe that is true,
inside my vertebrae, where it keeps me upright.
inside my lungs, where it keeps me alive.
What is foolish?
I watch your eye lashes as sparks shoot up into the sky.
What is foolish?
We spend days just painting on rowboats; and each others palms.
What is foolish?
If we are truly going to die.
If this is all permanent like a dream.
What is foolish?

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chase the Black Fox

Perhaps we must lose our devotedness and ardent thoughts,
before we can discover the splendid edges of ourself.
The Outlines.
Gifts for the empty, tucked away in lonely valleys.
Orange rock; my mind.
Owl's Clover for the eyes.
The secrets of a black fox.
This absence of sense.. a renaissance for sensuality.
Naked of intent.

Andrew Tipton