Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Deer are Like Ghosts

Habit.  Those abiding actions and responses in us that are so commonplace and repetitive, that they quietly slip by unnoticed.     From something as simple as shifting gears on a motorcycle,  to the most intimate instincts that become the method of our interaction.   Habits are the movements and thoughts that time and repetition have cultivated in us..   perhaps our truest version of self.

 When I was young, my mom used to feed me the same line again and again every time I accidentally did something wrong.   She would look me straight in the eyes, and tell me,  "Its not enough that you didn't mean to...  you have to mean not to."      That line always frustrated me.   I imagined that she was being overly poetic.      But now I am beginning to understand what she was getting at.     She was teaching me in a way,  the intolerance of apathy; the value of intentional behavior, an intolerance of building arbitrary habits.    She was conveying the idea, that whenever I respond or act..   my response ultimately becomes my habit - it becomes my agreement with life and my accustomed way of living.    What I am doing is becoming me.      
Now that I am older,  I get a glimpse every once and awhile of certain habits.   I see the positive ones,  I see the pain-causing ones,  I see the ones that are remarkable and strong,  and I see the ones that often drag me through the dirt.       Whenever I uncover a habit,   its fascinating to try and figure out "where did this come from"?   Nearly always, after some contemplation, I can track a pattern..  track a path back to the inception.  This particular way of being "Andrew" didn't just happen spontaneously!    Not at all!   
I am the culmination of the things I have been "repeating".   Days, months, years..    They are all adding up.    Every honorable action,  every empty choice,  every compromise, every steadfast decision..  every lie, every truth, every positive roar.     They are becoming my routine.  
The subconscious, true me.  


Andrew Tipton

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Riding Motorcycles With God in a Desert

What about the awe and humble questioning?
The rambling drives across the mountains of America.
Should we forget those?
Should we forget the desires that challenge our minds,
or the ache
and sincere quality of our own empathy? 
Swept away.  Out to sea.  Dust.
I'm ill.  Of the dull quivering. 
the selfish throb of voices spilling inarticulate thoughts.
The shy pleading. 
The timid groping and shrieking emptiness of masturbation.
Aren't you thirsty though
my love?
For your deeper succulent self.
For your knotted heart and lungs to unfurl themselves.
Clawing North.
Abandoning the coughing, sputtering, trivialness,
the fat dream of the dead.     Fuck you. 
So long. 
WE are remembering our Godness now.
WE are building cabins on the edges of mountains
and licking the morning's juice from the necks of horses.
Hello my favorite part of everything.
Hello deadly loving muchness.
Kind friend.
Ambitious whisperer.
Wakeful morning preacher.
Rising. Speaking. Proclaiming. 

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Avocados and Food Stamps

 I just picked out two of the ripest, most succulent avocados in all of Piggly Wiggly. 
 Perfectly soft, each with a rich, deep green skin and subtle marks of blacked ripeness..  utterly mouthwatering.             I'm in line, waiting to check out, standing behind a Hispanic woman and her two small children.    I lay my perfect avocados on the rubber checkout belt, and watch them tumble around gently for a moment.     I pull my eyes away from my purchase, and look at the woman in front of me.   Her shoulders are hunched, her body language anxious and intimidated, her eyes gaze quietly down at the floor while the cashier scans her groceries..   bleep... milk...   bleep... tortillas..   bleep...  tomatillos.    There are no words exchanged between her or the cashier..   only the repetitive bleeping of the register.      My eyes wander to her two kids;  one peeks out from behind her mom's shopping cart,  the other lays asleep in a tiny basket, nestled between bags of groceries. 
In a raw, gritty, smoker's voice the cashier reads the total to the Hispanic woman:   "One hundred and seven dollars,  and... nine cents."    She has the thickest Southern accent I've ever heard..  and I immediately like her.       The Hispanic woman see's the neon numbers illuminated on the register, and abruptly fumbles in her little purse for a few moments.    She pulls out a handful of food stamps and timidly hands them over the counter..  I can tell she is embarrassed.     The cashier pauses..  grunts.. takes them from the woman, and begins inserting each individual one into her cash register...   I'm guessing to validate the coupons.    

I stand there next to my two perfect avocados..  watching both women...  watching the cashier slowly and methodically shove the food stamps into her register.  Watching the Hispanic woman avert her eyes from the people around her... fully accepting her own embarrassment and her discomfort.     I felt like she believed everyone around her was judging her..   resenting her for some reason.  

Suddenly, out of nowhere,  I felt this rage for the absurdity and joke of the moment.    The practical numbness and tolerance for those feelings of embarrassment and judgment.   How dare another human feel that way!    How dare US to tolerate those sensations in each other..  or play the game of existence in a way, that it undermines the joy and hope of another person!   In my mind,  there was this bitter realization that this woman felt alone and unfriended..   her embarrassment from using food stamps and feeling judged by those around her.. was completely unnecessary.   
 I looked for her eyes..  to find them with mine..  and through softness and a genuine smile..  reassure her that this moment was just a silly, trivial passing thing.        

After paying for my avocados..   I sat in my jeep for a long few minutes thinking.     
I think we get caught up in our tangled beliefs of life sometimes..   we tolerate the ideas of status, and personal-worth... and we forget that those are inventions..  NOT TRUTHS.   At times, we have these sensations of being unfriended, or embarrassed,  or forgotten, or shameful, or hopeless...  and those feelings are absolutely not worthy of our time!      We should remember to offer kindness and grace to ourselves... and ALSO, to those people around us.    Reminding each other of our muchness and reminding each other than the entire universe is absolutely head-over-heals about us.    
This experience of being human is not a shameful or embarrassing one...  it is a gorgeous, delicious rapture of events... that can all be summarized with: perfection.  

Eating ripe avocados... is just perfect. 
Paying for groceries with food stamps... is just perfect.

Andrew Tipton

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Was the Sex Great

Don't perish among the niceties,   comfortable and underwhelmed.  
Do not tolerate your own lies.   Do not compromise your essential muchness.  
Don't erode away, attempting to muffle the scorched and brutal scream of your longing.
Hunger for everything!    And seek out what improves your soul.

Andrew Tipton  

Monday, August 3, 2015