Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

33°02'01.2"N 86°47'29.2"W

The only way to see myself clearly now..  is too turn and look at the places that built me.   My 'coordinates'... my birth marks on the map.     The outlines of what I adore, and the fear, and the ambition..   they were all there from the beginning.     Like threads heading backwards into old photographs..    I can feel where they touch, somehow, the story of my past..   where I agreed to them.    
I think there is a place, or many, like that in all of us..   place / places that lends as much of itself as it can to our becoming..  to our muchness, or our weakness, or our grace or our apathy.      It isn't a clever thought..   but more like a recollection and a acknowledgement of those spaces...
I am thinking about my identity,   the WHO, that I feel.. deep down.. at the bottom of all of myself.   There is a great deal of who I am, born in ordinary rooms, or while paddling a lake, or in a treehouse...   And what is it that makes those spaces great?     The walls and between them..   the seemingly empty... that gives birth to THIS NOW.   

Andrew Tipton  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mountain Dulcimer Lessons

I remember the first time I listened to my mother strum her mountain dulcimer.
   I remember the way she held it gently in her lap,  her hands cradling its scratches and its worn-down imperfections..   I remember the glow of the sound,  the soft resonance..   simple, droning and melodic.   The strings vibrating along the cedar frets..  the lonesomeness of it..   the earthy, essential honesty of it.  
I remember feeling the blood pumping from my heart to my ears..   standing there, lightheaded, entranced..  not daring to breathe. 
 And I remember knowing instinctually, that sound and I were destined for a relationship..   that we were invented for each other... 

Somewhere in the roaming out of life, I feel that I stumble upon pieces of my essential self,  reflections and fragments of my innermost person.      
Hearing my mother play her dulcimer.. 
Focusing a camera lens..
My first time riding a motorcycle.. 
Feeling the weight of my first leather journal.. 
The smell of my dad's tractor.. 
Wandering through the Redwoods of northern California.. 
My feet in the stirrups of a horse..  
The scent of saw-dust..

There are times when I feel no distance at all from myself...  nor from the clarity of my identity.  

To be in the place that we are most our essential selves,  is to be closest to wholeness.   
Following a life that revolves around this identity..   seems to me the only life worth pursuing.

Andrew Tipton

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Simple Death.

Our hooves,
kicking up golden splinters.
Slowing the world till it cracks, and
announcing every trembling grain.
We are.
Chipping sparks, ripping embers.
We are
waking the shoreline,
bringing the growl to the wolf
the grin to the wayfarer. 
Stand aside, bow.
Heed. Steed.  The chant and cinch
of leather straps, the sweat
of windswept mane,
the heels turned inward, the eyes and heart
Of both of us.   Even.
Stirring the gods'
envious of the tides lapping at our stride. 
I would live here. 
Sip champagne from the rooftop porches,
stare eloquently westward,
as the horizon melts... 
fade as it does.  Too in turn. 
I am.  imagining it.  
And to those who belong to the ghost of the river,
or to the grayness and forests
of Santa Cruz,
this is an ordinary dream.   A simple death. 
But to us.  But two us.
We reach out with young and eagerness.
Cradling its sacred edges,
its delicate, faltering
And marvel greatly. 

Andrew Tipton