Monday, December 29, 2014

The Secret Language of Words

People are listening..
 even when we don't think they are..  and even when they don't think they are.      We are hearing each other.   The way in which we choose to talk..  the emotion and energy we exude.. is not just filling our ears for the moment..  its abiding, even after the conversation ends. 
We may think we are speaking casually,  but this is an illusion.    

  realizing that those words don't just DISAPPEAR,  they are going places, affecting things in profound ways.      
   Its like we are speaking this separate, secret language..  a language that reaches beyond the surface level.. into the depths of us.      Its a language that is not temporary.. but rather filling the spaces behind us, and in front of us.    

I am under the impression that the thoughts and language that we choose.. are of utmost importance.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, December 21, 2014


"To affect the quality of the day,  that is the highest of arts."

- Thoreau

   I have recently been re-considering my idea of partnership, or a friendship for that matter - readdressing the parameters of how men interact with each other... or for that matter the relationships of men and women..  of who I allow into my own inner circle.     

Friendship is becoming this very intimate and powerful device for me..   I am beginning to see its true potential and its ultimate purpose.   A purpose that reaches beyond the clichés of casual masculine interaction.    And the more I consider it.. the more I am drawn to this idea of confrontation..  of challenge and a reciprocation of power.    This necessary masculine interaction with something (or someone) whose purpose is to draw muchness out of me.  A being who resonates with the desire for my betterment, my strength and power.  
Even if that brings with it conflict... and discomfort.    
Think about it... most of our male interactions are based on making friends with those guys who make us feel "good" about ourselves.   We hang out with other men,  because they reciprocate our energy towards life.    This is an excellent criteria..  but it should not be the only criteria.     This type of interaction keeps us content and temporarily satisfied..  but it does not address our deepest masculine longing to "evolve in muchness".      If interaction with our friends is always warm and safe..  then they/we are not truly serving our fullest purpose:  to sharpen each other.  
To elevate the quality of each other..   to elevate the quality of our pursuits. 

As men,  we should come to a point where we ask ourselves..
 "Who do I want to become as a man?" 
 In terms of our ethics, our morality, our power, our attitude, our belief..    We should define it..  make it known and hold ourselves to it.    That definition should begin to affect the way we personally live out our life.    But, beyond our personal agreement with our masculinity..  we should begin applying our desire to our friendships!    
Building "allies" that reflect our intention... and "allies" that hold us to the agreement that we have made with our self.

 I see that the role of a "friend" is to draw out MUCHNESS
 It is the role of the "ally" to make me uphold the agreement that I have made with myself... this personal agreement to pursue goodness.     
A true ally / friend does not wish us to fail.. or seek our destruction..  but rather presses us to uphold our own power - to become that thing that we ourselves are seeking.  

This is such an awesome metaphor for what is possible in our masculine relationships!
I desire this attitude to permeate my idea of friendship -    
"....Affecting the quality of the day."   that is such an eloquent statement from Thoreau..    I stumbled across it yesterday.. and it tied this thought together..
I want FRIENDS / ALLIES that desire that... men that want to "affect the quality of the day"... and in doing so,  want to affect the quality of themselves... and subsequently, the quality of ME

As we embrace our evolution,  we should embrace also this idea of an ALLY.  
To become men who challenge our friends to uphold their agreements with life..
offering our attention, and our respect, and our confrontation..  because those are all elements that we desire for ourselves.

This belief is uncomfortable..
 it is not an easy thing to be challenged to step into our greatness... or to be the one to challenge another person.   It would be easier to just "live and let live"..   But if we are to move forward,  with our freedom, and our MUCHNESS..  I see this as the next step into friendship.     Not taken lightly..  and not clasped with self-righteousness..  but simply motivated by our inner, and ultimate desire to see ourselves and our brothers reach new heights.  

Andrew Tipton

Essential Thought Part 1 //

"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it, and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself."
- H.D. Thoreau

Thursday, December 4, 2014

the adoration of wander


Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This time last year

If you could list your favorite things,
and the worst
of what you're made of,
San Francisco,
and suicide
the certainty of perfection
and the death of the soul,
There was a day we spent driving to Big Sur together,
you spoke to me in French,
and told me I must visit Leon,
and we ate pomegranates at sunset,   
I remember kissing you in the shower
of that hostel
on Geary Street,
I snuck inside and found your room,
we spent the night together,
looking into each others eyes,
and I found solace,
I listened to the taxis and the madness outside our window, 
and I fell in love with that place,
with you pressed against me,
and how we drank champagne at breakfast,
they asked us to leave,
and we said, "Fuck you."   -  and we left. 
Laughing, arm in arm,
Watching the sailboats race,
watching the fog come sweeping through the harbor,
walking, silently through the city at sunset,
I remember camping beside the ocean with you,
we set up our tent in the dark,
but moon was enough light for us,
I remember,
standing side-by-side at the bluegrass festival,
I took off my shirt,  and you kicked off your boots, 
and we stood there in the midst of everyone,
and you leaned against me,
and I felt everything in that moment - your anguish, and mine,
your hunger, and mine
your affection, and the sliver of life that was left
in me,  grow
life is fragile, and intricate, and bewildering
I have never felt more alive,
than those few days,
death was so close,
at the same time,
life & liberty.  
This time last year

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

I rememeber. now.

   I am running through wooded trails tonight..  jumping boulders, splashing through creeks, dodging fallen trees..   my path illuminated only by the faded glow of November starlight, etching its way through leafless branches. 
I'm breathing heavily, my Aries mind ripping and ravaging complex thoughts, inhaling and exhaling the sweet blur of darkness.    Its a good thing to run alone, at night, in the woods.   Its a true experience..  I am what I am here - and that is it.   
there is nothing to see really... save the blackness..  and no one else around to see me..  
it keeps things intimate.   I am consumed by unadulterated motion.   

I am standing in a field now..  panting,  sweating, gazing upwards at those tired stars..  the veins in my arms are trembling,..  I can feel the muscles in the top part of my legs, where the thighs connect to the knees..   and I remember now the last thought..


I've been turning it over in my mind in the dark.   Chasing it down.    As if it was out there,  and I could run it to the ground..  catch it.  make it talk.  

I keep coming to a certain conclusion tonight.. that in every part of my existing..  I am what I consume.   
Particularly tonight,
I am recollecting the "people", the "friendships" that play intimate roles in my life..
the people who I chew into, and lick and devour  - their words, and their ideas, and their action, and their soulfulness.   
Standing here.. hands on my hips,  eyes wide, staring into the blackness..  deep inhalations..   
I am shoving aside (as much as I am able) my preconceived reasons for adhering or rejecting those friendships.  
I want to see them clearly... as either sponsoring my alchemy..  or attributing to my erosion.       Because, if anything in life is going to shape me...   I believe its going to the people I keep close.    
And I want to consume the best people.   Without compromise. 
Just like the food I agree to eat, or just like this running...   there is a reason to it! 
It is making life more delicious..  it is building my mind, and my strength and my love. 
So tonight,  identifying those people..   ones who DO THAT,  and those that do not..  is of utmost importance.    
There is not time for lesser ways of being.   

And..  thanks to the darkness..  my thoughts become very intimate - they turn inwards... directing the question towards my own character.      I find myself asking...  am I the person that I want to consume?      And if so...  what parts of me are ripe and good... and what parts do I need to separate from?     To move.  Towards alchemy.   

I wipe sweat away from my lips...  and stand still for a long moment.  

these are my thoughts. 

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

walk the path of enchantment

Eccentric, bombastic, soulful, ferocious, tender, and profound. 

- to become these
in addition to others. 

Andrew Tipton

The Art of Rebellion

I have named this month, "Rebellious October" - is the month of challenging my identify of self.
 This is the month for rebelling against the "learned" idea of who I am.  what I do,  the way I feel comfortable interacting and arranging my life.   It is a month of re-invention, of experimenting with my edges,  the lines that keep ME contained and defined and organized, and...  sane.  

I began this practice a few years ago..  with one idea:
"What if we took a month...  and rebelled, not against anything outside of ourselves,  but against the idea that we hold for "who we are" or own "definition" of self?       What if we took a few weeks to reconsider the way we perceive our story, our direction, our intention, our interaction..   accepting ourselves as malleable, and pliable.     

 Each time this season rolls around, I find new ways to feed the rebellion. 
 I anticipate it.. I avoid it..  I get twisted and brooding about it.      This is not about "dismantling" myself..  but rather challenging the routine of my lifestyle; the habits which are practically, permanent staples in my character.  
ANDREW.   Is more than he thinks he is.  
 ..and it takes a month stepping outside of the "ONE" that I am familiar with..  to literally, viscerally experience that truth. 

Rebellion is the fundamental uprooting of leadership, it is the undermining of order, the symbol for rebirth and the symbol of inner conflict.   
And if used with intention... it becomes the art of self-reinvention.  

This October.. for myself.. is the rebellion against my tolerance.  
I am practicing the intolerance of "apathy".  
I am practicing the intolerance of "disregard".  
I am practicing the intolerance of "whatever-ness".
I have agreed (just for this month) to be intentional with my self on a higher level.  
This is affecting the way I dress, the attention I give to the simple details of my surroundings, the time I spend attending to details of life. 

What I have noticed year after year...  is that everything I am doing to myself  is also affecting life beyond my borders..     it isn't a contained rebellion.. 
inadvertently it bleeds over into the lives of others 
and they get to be part of it too. 

I dig it. 

Andrew Tipton

Monday, October 27, 2014

speak slowly to me

"I am in the mood
to dissolve
in the sky."

Virginia Woolf

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


 "Make the best out of what you have."  

How many times have we heard that statement?   
Somehow as we were growing up,  hearing those words always sounded suspiciously like a "cop out",  like a suggestion to get away with doing less, or a half-assed job because you weren't exactly dealt the "better hand".        
"Make the best out of what you have." was a way to say,  "yeah,  we know this isn't ideal..  but just make it work... somehow,..  no pressure.. no expectation of actual goodness.."  
Jesus... what a terrible concept. 
Doing your "best" wasn't really..  your "best" at all... it was pushing "barely".. if that.    
But its a common phrase..
I have to admit,  I became pretty damn exhausted by the way it sounded to me.    And the false sense of dumbed-down humility that accompanies it. 

...So, recently gentlemen,
 I have been playing with the idea of adapting life in a tangible, literal context to that phrase..   with the attitude of "YES!  Why not make the best of out what you're given?"  
 NO.  NO... Literally..  I dig it.  Lets do it!    
This mantra.. that I have considered such a disenchanting statement... has actually got some, downright awesome  validity to it.. and some balls.   Yes - that's right..  this statement has balls.
If we were to actually to live this way...  it would take some very dedicated, masculine intensity.
But what would happen?    How is it to live with an approach that says, (literally) "MAKE THE BEST OUT OF EVERYTHING YOU ARE GIVEN. LITERALLY."      Damn.. that is a challenge of the highest degree.  

I remember contemplating life for a month straight in Costa Rica..   I literally, set aside hours in my daily routine to go for a run,  and then sit and meditate.   I would clear my head, and focus seemingly every drop of my energy and intention on the parameters of existing.  For myself.   
And it was a fantastic, unbelievably perfect use of time..   it was a way to assess my body,  my spirit, my lifestyle,  my outlook,  my living arrangements,  my attitude, my purpose,  my perception, and the perception of myself that I offer towards others..   to observe it objectively, and to agree to it,  or to build a new agreement with a different way of existing. 
   And the more time I set aside to meditate on "Self" (godliness),  the more that phrase, "Make the best out of what you have."  kept wandering into my thoughts..    just nudging me,.. teasing me with the potential.   I began to admire it...  the idea that we are to take the fragments of our daily routines and build something with them...  not just "something",  but the "BEST" that they can be made into.     That is a powerful way of living..   and I want to be a part of it

This is very personal..    our BEST, is very personal.    
And that is what intrigues me the most...  "our best" involves a number of masculine qualities..
Integrity.  Intention.  Dedication.  Action...   things that I greatly admire. 
  "Make the best out of what you have.",  is this very intense, personal question..   it threatens our apathy, and challenges us to rise to OUR own version of BEST.
I like that about it.
I like that it doesn't leave room to look anywhere else,  or at anyone else's interpretation.
I like how it directly challenges us to consider and agree upon our magnificence..   either the muchness of it,  or the absence. 
What we make out of this moment...  is a metaphor for how we perceive ourselves.  

October is always my month of rebellion... trying things that I have not yet tried before. 
So I am trying this..  

I am.  I dig it. 

Andrew Tipton

Friday, October 10, 2014


Does this come out of the essence somewhere deep inside or is it the assimilation of goodness that we are building.   I feel strongly about these things, I feel strongly about the work that I do, and now... I feel intolerant of the lesser-ness: of myself and of others who would draw it out of me.
 To be god is to be intolerant.   Not to suffer ourselves to the whims and distraction of ulterior softness.  This place wants to soften our will and our intention, until we lazily roll over and comfortably perish; but we are made of more substantial things.
 We, if we desire purpose, must keep our energy safe!    Our efforts deliberate!
 "Walking the straight and narrow" is not a clichéd metaphor for politeness, or nice-ness,  but the instruction for maintaining Godness.
 Our sorcery (our muchness) find itself when we allow our reflection to resurface, our attention to move towards our own ferocious intention.   Again and again.  
Our Godliness is often dumbed down and softened by our human condition -  the belief and our identity rooted in trivial activities.   
GODNESS is a current, an actual feeling that begins to provoke our energy - a brilliant, caffeinated source of clarity that you literally feel in your face and in your eyes.   It is the clearness of true-self, raging, intense, wild, fearless, knowing, intuitive, creative, intelligent, long-reaching... 

Before I move, I have been praying,  conjuring up the center of the universe..
in my throat, and then up into my mouth, and finally behind my face.
Every time, I feel as though the bones of my cheeks are going to disintegrate and come to pieces. 
And once this feeling exists, the parameters of the world shift, all things become possibilities,
all possibilities become liquid/movement, tangible and concise, and I have neither doubt
nor question, that I am the author
of all of it. 

Andrew Tipton

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

In case we die / part II

"Whatever comes through the door...  see it face to face."  

I am stroking the walls.
 Paint is coming off my brush and leaving a dark gray trail across the pale yellow that it is viciously replacing. 
I pause...  and a huge grin crosses my face..    this is it.   THIS IS IT!

I am 12 ft up..  high on the scent of Iron Mountain paint..   and high on the feeling of being intimately driven into the heart and bones of the moment.  

In case we die.   I rather be HERE.
In case we die.  
I rather be pouring my essence / my goodness / my muchness into my actions.
  every action deserves that doesn't it?

This is the secret of life,  and I kid you not you better listen closely because it all starts and ends in this very simple yet magnificent answer: 

"that we are as perfect and as wonderful, and as powerful, and as worthy, and just, as the moment we are a part of."    This moment is everything.    And it all sits and waits for us, welcoming our kindness, or our godliness, or our apathy..
 and whatever we make out of it...
OF THIS MOMENT..   is what we become.   

I stand 12 ft up..   with a brush in my hand, and gray paint splattering my body, 
There is NOTHING past painting this house.   And there is NOTHING better than painting this house.  
And when you realize this... and FEEL THIS,   then you believe in it..    and every brush stroke isn't a brush stroke to get anywhere,  or to move beyond THIS,   it is rather just another sacred moment in the experience of THIS. 

WE speak of godliness.   We speak of greatness.   
Here is what I say: 

Whatever comes through the door...  see it face to face..  
 .welcome it, know it,  kiss it,  fuck it, taste it, challenge it, hold it, set it free, learn it, become it, wonder about it, press into it, scream about it,
love it

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Undiminished Muchness

Speaking with the brotherhood this evening.. Trent, and Ryan.   The September atmosphere is pushing us deeper into masculine conversation;  The essence of purpose, the vastness of the female mind, our acknowledgement of our intentions..etc.    On our table are two glasses of whiskey,  a journal, yerba mate, and a cup of vino.  Trent is rolling a cigarette.   Ryan is leaning back in his chair, cap backwards, his bicep tattoo, "tocar la tierra", gleaming in the porch light.     I am sitting between them, admiring the clarity and the ferocious goodness worn on the shoulders of these men.   I consider myself fortunate to be in strong company. 

These are peaceful warriors.   Seeking out their undiminished muchness.   Seeking out their own paths and their own agreements with the world they live in.  
[There is not a higher calling for a man than to seek out his own god-ness...  to wrestle and converse with his inner self until he is exhausted... and perfected.]  
Friends who want greatness for their world,  ultimately want greatness for you,  and I am aware of this distinctly tonight..

We are all feeling very MUCH. As MUCH as we decide we want to. 
And there is never the feeling that we should slow down, or keep it concealed, or the slightest
embarrassment about it.   We speak boldly and with conviction.  
That is the way to be.  

Andrew Tipton



Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I claim strength
and optimism. I claim the love that is all around me
growing things,
changing the seasons,
directing the paths of men,
and friendship.
I claim the wisdom
that built me,
I claim the happiness
that makes children laugh,
I claim peace
and calmness.
I claim the prosperity
towards my actions
and my intention.
I claim my joy
in the beauty of the sky,
and of feathers,
and common things.  

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Path of Reconciliation.




Andrew Tipton

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Learning The Conversations Of Darkness

Andrew Tipton

Spitting Magic

The sun has just hidden itself behind layers of thick, swelling clouds..  there is a noticeable yellow blur as the sky dims and becomes an opaque, rusty version of its afternoon brightness.   It is high-tide, and the waves are biting at the shoreline.  
My body is wet and panting..    I have the feeling of supreme essentialness and near clairvoyance.   I am sprawled out in a chair, gazing into a pristine, blue-tiled swimming pool - feeling refreshed from swimming laps.
 But not here...  in the ocean.  
And not really laps... but more like fierce strokes of aggression in one direction until I am exhausted by the swell of the waves.  
And then repeating.  
Back and forth..  overtly directionless, pawing the turquoise and kicking up sparks of aquatic smoothness.   
I have so much energy here its ridiculous.   Brimming on every level with enthusiasm and subdued machismo... flowing into a state of obscene clarity.   I am fortunate to have the jungle in every direction so that my possibilities are continually narrowed.

I am sitting cross-legged, post-ocean-swim, holding a tattered copy of Carlos Castenada's "Tales of Power".   This moment is perfect and supremely ironic.
I am in a conversation with a priestess...  a female sorcerer.   She is in all ways effortlessly feminine and articulately cool..  like a stone sculpture, carved by philosopher hands.
   I expect her to be in her 40's - she is tall, her long hair tossed around her shoulders, her bare skin still magnificently vibrant.   I can feel intensity stirring inside of her.  I can feel it literally coming out of her stormy eyes and passing between her nostrils as she exhales.  

We are spitting magic..
 the two of us side by side, conjuring the splendor of each other's minds.. discussing the fundamentals of sorcery, and the birthplace of rituals. 
  Both within ourselves,
 and elsewhere...  

Andrew Tipton      

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sinews of Godness

The clouds were a frame for the sun
this morning.  5:09am,
 I was there with a cup of green tea
 steaming.   In my hands
 I am holding the "everything" that this day offers,
the escape, the remaining, the clarity, the cleverness, the naivety
and to remember that, means remembering that I am god,
what a decent and delicious thing to remember; 
I am working on becoming a person(al),  
The words are a cradle
 for enchantment,
the placenta of our contemplation, 
but afterwards they grow up
into sinews; the arch and shudder of muscles - lifting, with their strength - our minds and lungs.
We do more than simply speak eloquently
when we wake up,
we are those threads / we are the talk.
I am watching/feeling/allowing the sunrise to lick me all over;
it is kissing my face and lifting my chin, gently
asking for my holy recollection.
I am god.   I am the muchness
I am the birthplace of goodness
as well as alchemy.   And when I believe that,
I can't help but become it
and bleed it
and wash my face with it. 
Thank you for this. 
give it away
give it away
give it away
give it away
give it away
give it away

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Omens of The Coasts of Osa

Andrew Tipton

The Deliciousness of Loving Stars

The sparkle above,
the sparkle within
realizations that your absence when blueness
is an illusion;  ever-there, you are, delicious star.
they say Jesus is tossing salad
with the beat poets of Ashville,
and the djembe bass nectar
keeps carving supernovas
out of the sky
's muchness.   
Osa, Osa, burning bright,
these stars they shine
with all their might,
through the clouds they
tastily fight
a visual meal never felt
 so right.
Spiral of the skies,
spiral of my eyes,
I'm savoring the memory, gazing
into infinity
ever-expanding community of consciousness
your precious particles I shall partake.
my spirit bends,
digesting the difference between
point-like twinkle & the truth of you
r magnitude.
Estrella,  I mean the moon
shakes/makes strawberries out of my explanations
(and) deliciousness walks me to the alter,
lets me worship
the heavenly-ness of my own humanity. 
Shine on.
and the dead papaya is sticking out of the trash can
behind the laundry room.
your shoulders and
lift your chin,
they illuminate thy beauty within
I snag a taste and then
I'm full
from my heart, my gaze they pull.

"The Blue Osa Poets Society"
Andrew Tipton
Lindsay Meagan
Taylor Jean

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Letters from Colorado

She was already sitting on the ledge when I pulled up.  Knees to her chest, looking down at the river.
I had a bottle of eleven dollar red wine and a paper sack filled with Chilton County peaches.   And some strawberries in a cup.  

What makes us?   And where do the small places take us?   
There are a thousand of these memories.. fragile and permanently twined around my recollection; chisel marks curving and shaping my character..  just a millimeter here, and another there.     I think, maybe its not the obvious pieces that etch out our muchness..  but rather the ones we were never really expecting.   The songs in the galleys of sailboats, sneaking into hostels in San Francisco, the conversations about love in campers, watching prayer flags flutter while sitting on a balcony... or, eating peaches and drinking wine at sunset.    
We're making it...  we're making us..  though ever so slightly..  with the least of our moments.  

Everything matters.   

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Only What You Bring

The road,
is only what you bring
with you.
It may seem vast,
stretching out in all directions
and limitless, 
in depth and possibility,
and yet
it becomes only
what we
take along
for the journey.  

pack well.  

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Let Your Masculine Self Go

As men, we build our lives around the idea of normalcy.   Essential masculine normalcy. 
  We strive for it..  contort our emotion and our essence to fit inside its suffocating constraints..  we starve ourselves relationally and physically, so that through our average-ness, we may join the ranks of mediocre male photocopies..  abridged, expected, and socially tolerable.        We file down our teeth so that the bridle of contemporary, media-saturated masculinity can be worn without much struggle.  The method of this masculine equivocation... is our agreement..   our agreement to obey, assert and adhere to the rules of masculinity that we were born into.  And because we were born into these rules... we seldom question if the experience of masculine normalcy might actually be a fraud!   I say it is. 

    From most of what I've seen, the capacity of the average man for living: for love.. for greatness..  for goodness..  for thought.. for intuition.. for creativity... for communication..  for eloquence... for strength..  is dictated by the capacity which we have been led to believe is socially adequate.    This tolerance of a lesser male-self, for the sake of normalcy, is an abandonment of our birthright as godly (god-like), unequivocally masculine entities - capable of absolute [enchantment] and absolute [illumination].       Living beneath our capacity as men, we not only lessen our effect on our universe..  but we negatively affect our female counterparts as well.  If we are not accepting and pursuing our own greatness..  then we are abandoning our challenge to women to evolve right along with us.  

There are essential qualities, from my father and my grandfather which I admire greatly, and which I aspire to embody.   And yet...  deep inside of me..  I know that true masculinity is still evolving.   I do not believe for a moment that our capacity as males..  NOW, TODAY,  IN THIS MOMENT..  exists as a static element, or has achieved a state of refined mediocrity!     I am certain that the "normal masculine persona" driven by our culture, which we impose upon ourselves..  socially, sexually, ethically.. is one that castrates our capacity within greatness.

Open the gate.. let it run, let it escape itself... let it rush away and become unrecognizable - so that when it returns to you, you must re-introduce yourself. 
Unleash your capacity for eloquence, ferocity, and goodness.  

I mean this..   for myself..  my ambition is this:  to dissolve the rituals of masculine normalcy in my mind.   I do not wish to see capacity in terms of my "expectations" as a man -   I want to reinvent masculine expectation.   I want to stretch and press into my capacity as a masculine being...  and unblinkingly, unapologetically, redefine my purpose(s) inside this presence on earth.   

I feel that we DO have a capacity beyond what we have come to expect from ourselves.   Letting our masculine selves go..  is the freedom to walk straight into our essence as men... and begin to vanish.   Not abandoning our masculinity..  but unleashing its metamorphosis.      

Long live the pursuit of goodness..

Andrew Tipton

Monday, June 16, 2014

I'm in Love with Your Honor

I love the way
 you speak
life.  and then
the way you live
vividly.  movingly. expressive. revealing. 
as if
there were never a space
the speaking of it,
the man.      

Andrew Tipton

Monday, June 9, 2014

Folds the Page Under

I'm sprawled along the length of a kayak..  jeans rolled up, my legs dangling to either side,  ankles drifting in the lake.  The June air is wet and there are drops of perspiration on my chest.   The juice of a sweet red plum is staining my mouth.   I'm holding a copy of On the Road,  its pinned between my first and third finger,  spread open and shading my face as I squint up at the text.  I keep losing my place and re-reading sentences..  Sal and Dean Moriarty are heading back to San Francisco.    I love reading old paperbacks.   I love the way the book feels in your hands, the way the pages turn brown and smell like travel.  I love that  I can toss one into a backpack right along with a couple of beers.   I love the way the covers get tattered and stained.    A paperback lacks pretentiousness; I like its simplicity and effortless honest square edges.    When you pick up a copy of Whitman's Leaves of Grass..  you know it is what it is... its not trying to be anything else.   I like that.  

  As I read ,  I have the habit of turning my pages under.   A page clipped at the top means this is the last page I read;  On bottom means there is something in that I find intriguing or inspiring.     A double fold -  these are pages I revisit often.  
 Sometimes I get stuck in a book..  when I keep coming back to a "folded page", ,and not reading ahead.   I'll literally re-read the same chapter again and again,   simply because its one I like.     But I have to keep telling myself at times, that there is more to the book.  

People say that life is like a book..  we're always writing our story.   I believe we fold pages under in our "life story" too.   Keeping track of our most beloved plot lines and returning to our favorite chapters.   There is a balance though, I think, between re-telling the lines we have enjoyed...  and remembering to continue reading.    For life to maintain its purpose and flow and direction,  although we might revisit old "marks", we must make an agreement to continue folding new pages under.  

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Sacredness of Repeating Life

Consistently I find myself shaking my head and laughing, surprised by the teaching and the goodness that I find waiting on me in ordinary places.   I'm finding it nestled within seemingly monotonous morning conversations.. on the porches of coffee shops, during traffic stalled on the interstate, even while clinging to boulders while rock-climbing.  Time after time,  I am discovering that simply because we have experienced an event once, and learned from it once..  that event should not dictate our perception of repeating it.      I am discovering, that whenever we turn down an offer to "engage" life, be it physically or metaphorically, we are usually doing so because we assume a certain outcome - we are placing parameters on the possibility of the experience..  and in essence, robbing ourselves of any further revelations.

This is how we learned to experience life as children...  we act, we feel, we decided if we liked it or if we disliked it, and then we move on.  But I don't believe this is truly how our life was meant to be lived -  decided and finished.  Now that we have grown a little, perhaps we should broaden our expectation -  maybe there is more to learn than we often suppose.
 There is this undulating sacredness to repeating life..  rippling through even the most common things.  It is sacred because nothing is ever the same..  everything is in a constant state of motion and renewal, and cyclical rejuvenation.  We are actuality never "repeating" an experience..  because it is always reborn into the moment.  Re-entering the experiences that the universe offers to us, from friends, from strangers, from our intuition, (even the ones we find uncomfortable, or awkward)  this repetition is a revelation dressed in ordinary clothes.    

My petition to the universe tonight, is to claim open-ness in circumstances that I believe I have already perfected.
  Not decided.   Not determined.  Not knowing.   Simply open... and expectant of goodness. 

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


"If we are convinced that the ones controlling the measure of goodness and safety in our lives are our rational human selves, we are sadly underestimating the level of conspiracy abounding in the universe."      

Andrew Tipton

Friday, May 16, 2014

to feel as a thousand lions

420 Polaroid Land Camera / expired film.   Rural Alabama.   

Andrew Tipton

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

By Thou a Catalyst

This past weekend was the 41st Annual Appalachian Dulcimer Festival in rural Alabama.     The festival is one of my favorite events to attend when I am fortunate enough to spend spring in the South!   There are gorgeous hand-built instruments, talented folk musicians, homemade Southern cookin', and best of all... genuine, beautifully simple people.    If you want to truly experience the feel and effortless, backwoods romanticism of Alabama..  this is the place to invest a few days of your time.  You will receive joy. 

I am probably the youngest participant in the event..  by a long shot.  I get stares, I get inquisitive eyebrow raises..  and people always seem to think I just accidentally wandered up.    In a group of mainly Southerners in their mid-seventies..  I am a social anomaly.    And I prefer it that way.    I have learned that looking different from the majority here is actually a very powerful asset..  it means people seek me out, they ask me questions,  they tell me their stories, they are eager to listen to my music, as well as my thoughts... and I to theirs. 

For me, there are two reasons why I come here.  The first, is to be taught.   This is a slice of old-Southern culture that will not last much longer, and I am grateful to be able to experience it first hand.   From learning traditional methods of strumming, to the history of dulcimer designs,  to the gospel songs that have become woven through generations.  It is a gift to be with these people.. to watch and to listen and absorb their muchness.    They have taught me gentleness and respect for my birthplace. 

The second reason I attend the festival is very intentional..  I see myself as a catalyst for the method and expression of this style of music.   I desire to intentionally cause a commotion.   Offering songs that scratch at the the predictable diaphragm of the culture... and demonstrate the malleability of an instrument that is commonly stereotyped.    Since I first picked up a mountain dulcimer,  I have never wanted to "master" the way it is usually played..    instead I have a vision for a way it might evolve.    It is one thing to become a great musician and effectively play an instrument..  it is another entirely to attempt to undermine the way an instrument is perceived -  and perhaps open people's minds to the next chapter in its evolution.  
I believe that if a person who has experienced the dulcimer in a specific way their entire life can suddenly hear it played in a "new light",  it might just allow them to see themselves in a "new light" as well.   Often times when an experience has become so common.. we do not imagine that it was ever a different way.. or that it could ever become a different way.    But all it takes is one person showing us something contrary.. then our perception of "what is possible" is forever expanded.    
After a finishing a song this weekend..  a elderly man came over and touched my shoulder..  "I never knew the dulcimer could be played like that..."  he said grinning..  "..well done."  
The man's words stuck in my head..  and got me thinking about the prophet Jesus.  Recently, as I have read through verses in the Bible, I am beginning to see Jesus as a person who fundamentally questioned what tradition had "set in stone"  - A catalyst if you will...  for the evolution of the human experience in relation to god.    I respect that very much.   He was a person who took traditional, cliché thought.. and flipped it upside down - allowing people to see life from a radically different perspective.  Repetitively blowing minds.. is a way to describe his lifestyle...   as men we should want the same.   

 "Be thou a Catalyst."    

Andrew Tipton

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


"Re-examine all that you have been taught... dismiss that which insults your soul."  
- Whitman 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Walk with Scars

Much of men's lives have been spent living under the assumption that we should fear our own weakness;  that we should avoid and escape even the suggestion of our own insufficiency - knowledge, function, intellect..  whatever it is, we treat weakness with contempt.  By escaping weakness, we have imagined this insane thought that we will somehow literally be stronger...  after all, strength by definition is the absence of weakness.  In our minds, we moved our self to be in conflict with weakness, as if we were in opposition with each other.   And we have practiced this mantra over and over -  defying, denying ourselves the experience of absolute vulnerability.
   Somewhere in our past we built an agreement with weakness that said:  "Weakness is a negative thing.  I will not allow myself to be weak; I will avoid appearing weak, I will not tolerate it within myself."     This agreement is one that I think many men build within themselves..  we want to be strong, we want to be so hard and fierce that we cannot be harmed physically or emotionally.  Yet as we build this intolerance towards weakness within ourselves, we are in reality denying ourselves an essential element of our masculinity - the unadulterated flow of freedom and the undiminished ferocity of true fearlessness.   It is not weakness that is actually our problem.. it is a chronic fear and overt avoidance of facing up to our soft spots.

I have scars on my forearms and on my right hip from crashing on my motorcycle.  Though the pain from those wrecks is long gone, each time I notice those wounds I am reminded of two things:  I am weak (as a human, as a man, as a supernatural being),  and I am absolutely more powerful because of my weakness.   My scars expose the vulnerability of my body, they show me that I am mortal.. that my body was not made to live forever and that I should respect it.   My scars expose the vulnerability of my mind, that I am reckless that I am brash and impulsive - they remind me to use my intuition my intellect, my sharpness.  These scars expose my weaknesses..  weaknesses that are elements of my nature.. yet do not define me as a man.   As I become aware of them I may choose to change -  this change is what makes me a stronger man.  Weakness is the "truth" of self..  it is the truth about us..   it is the blueprint to our faults and to areas in our life where we need more practice and less fear.

There is a quote that says, "What doesn't kill  you, makes you stronger."   Essentially that is a very abridged version of:  "What weaknesses we discover in ourselves and yet overcome with great will, makes us stronger."    I believe many of us have misinterpreted the message of that quote.  We try to avoid weakness and jump straight to the "stronger" part!   Yet by doing so we never actually learn how to be strong.

Freedom is what every single man fights for at the root of his being.   Weakness is an intimate part of that freedom.  
 To be free men, we must be comfortable with our weakness..  not the toleration of weakness, but the unapologetic acknowledgement of our inadequacies.  To be strong men, we must stare unblinkingly into the heart of our weaknesses and choose to be rise above them.        
Weakness is the root of understanding and owning strength -  No man becomes strong without first walking through his weakness.  

Andrew Tipton