Eve picked the forbidden fruit and ate it. Adam was with her and he ate it, too. Their eyes were opened and their innocence, lost. They ran from God and His presence soon after, and were expelled from the garden, paradise lost Creators may be primary and secondary.
At the same time, there is no negative connotation in the word ‘secondary’: just the material for the secondary creator (as opposed to the primary one, who works directly with the ‘flesh of the world’) is culture and literature, that is, other people’s texts absorbed, processed, creatively rethought and ‘mastered’.
It is very easy to distinguish between these two types of creators: when reading secondary ones (among which there are great poets: the concepts of ‘genius’ and ‘primary creator’ are not overlapping, the scale of personality and talent may be different, genius may be a secondary creator, and vice versa). You see cultural layers and layers, techniques and brilliant passages, bright, fresh, sharp images, neologisms, incredible paths … writer’s workshop, priestly temple, tribune, tower made of ivory and ebony, study or library …
When you read the works by a primary creator, you don’t notice anything of this. The living flesh of the world literally sticks out of his text; smells and colors, sounds and sensations — the sand rustles, the clay springs, the earth turns over in fat layers, breasts of the seas and rivers breathe calmly moving masses of water and air, the winds blow …
Primary creators are extremely few, they write just ‘with objects’, like the Swift’s sages who carried all the things necessary for a conversation in their shoulder bags almost bypassing literature, working directly with matter.
They have no mediator between the word and the world, the connection is not triple like word = culture = object, but is double: word = object.
Alla Lipnitskaya is the primary creator.
Like Adam once, the original artist gives names to things – for the first time. As if no one has named objects yet, they are nameless, they have only sound or color, aroma or weight, warmth or roughness, pungency or taste:
…Помню кушаний свежеприправленных
Новизну в недрах старого дома,
Чую запах таинственный брома
Из запасов лекарственных маминых.
Не могу перечислить и малости
Всех травинок, улыбок и запахов.
Клавиш стертых и встроенных клапанов,
Всех буфетов и книжек растрепанных,
Тьму альбомов, роскошных картин…
(«Я тоскую по Грише Островскому…»)
The most abstract concepts are clothed in flesh – they are tangible, felt, palpable, audible and visible:
Сыпучесть отсыпана с горкой,
Текучесть сполна налита.
И рана, покрытая коркой,
Давно никому не видна.
Живительна живость живого,
Смертельна сырая тоска.
И мощной корзиной улова
Порог отделен от песка.
Раскроется слабость соцветий
Под пыткой стеклянной ума.
И сильный порывистый ветер
Себя исчерпает до дна.
Everything grows, has roots, interwines and reincarnates:
Everything breathes, branches, climbs, runs and lives, interacting and gazing intently at a different form of life in search of similarities: Flowers climb like acrobats / Like lizards on the ledges of mountains, and the mountains have swelled like melons, and Swallowtail is life and immortality, / Transformation from speckled wings – into skin, / And from skin – into a flower called immortelle, and A ray of the sun is a jumpy pet, like a squirrel, / And the sun itself is like a welcome nut. / Flower clock is the multicolored сlock hand / Equally and lightly it points to everyone:
Из недр кустов
Надежность слов —
Из их живого взгляда.
И светлый тон небес
В нагромождение ветвей пролез.
Тепло и нереально
И, отпуская вожжи
Времени, по коже
Мороз огромной жизни пробежал.
А ближний куст на цыпочки привстал,
Чтоб дотянуться до меня и рассмотреть,
Легко ль мне жить, самой кусту на треть.
(«Из недр кустов…»)
Paradise is not lost, it is tangible and solid, vegetative and not locked:
Я даже не знала, что рай — он в лесу,
Так близко — и рай расположен у Цфата.
И что, как попытка прожить на весу,
Дорога бежит мимо рая покато.
Весь рай — это сосны, склоненные вверх,
Ползучие травы — большие участки,
И полностью сверху отпущенный грех,
И только друг к другу растений участье.
Такая сквозная, совместная связь,
И свет так упорен, кусты огибая,
Что можно нырнуть в него, тоже светясь,
У Цфата, у врат незатворенных рая.
It is embodied, fixed in memory, given in feelings, in these continuous transitions of everything into everything, in the literal sense of the word reincarnations – transitions from flesh to flesh, rolled on the tongue, turned over by fingers, leafed like paper shits, intermixed and experienced (poured from life to life: from different wonderfully incompatible, but perfectly combined moments, spaces, lands, eras, forms and bodies):
Прошу, войди в забытый дом,
В тот дом, душистый, сочный, свежий,
Большой, как ком цветочно-снежный,
Разрезанный впотьмах ножом.
Ножом из памяти стальной,
Как нержавейка, беспристрастной,
С дразнящим зло в разрезе красном
Вишневым вкусом жизни той.
Ты там отыщешь по углам
Проекции от глаз открытых
И множество, плющом увитых,
Из прошлых жизней телеграмм.
Возьми их в руки и читай,
Там, где обрывки слов и листьев,
Где память переходит в рай,
Где дом и сад живут, как мысли.
И слезы, как плоды, повисли.
(«Прошу, войди в забытый дом…»)
House and garden are like a locus and projection of the paradise-world, a form of its growth, and are also Heaven:
А еще — небеса. И деревьев толпа,
И песка беззаботного целая куча.
Птицы песни поют, ну почти что у лба, —
Мир, который влюбленности больше и лучше.
Heaven, trees, birds – the world is at the very forehead, the transition point from memory to paradise. It is elusive, there’s not the slightest seam or gap between the world and the word: the word is equal to memory, memory is equal to love, love is equal to the world, the world is equal to the word, and the word is to the world:
Светятся стрелки конкретных минут:
Песня звучит, и деревья растут,
Дети, играя, сбивают коленки,
Дерзко ползет, извиваясь по стенке,
Ящериц двух безрассудный детеныш, —
Разве увидишь всё, разве упомнишь?
Слово мое — это только попытка
Быть, как они, и всеядной, и прыткой:
Сходу учуять свободу движенья,
Общего замысла дать отраженье,
Расположиться в намеченной нише,
В заданном месте, не ниже, не выше.
This is simple arithmetic, simple geometry, simple algebra with harmony – everything which is outside is equal to what is inside, and vice versa:
Сначала казалось: у берега птицы,
Потом показалось — невинные крысы,
А как оказалось — бесстрашные крабы…
За нами — кафе, рестораны и пабы,
А перед — чуть звездные темные выси,
И море, и море шумящее длится.
And the sea doesn’t care who will be here on weekdays,
Не важно ни время, ни место, ни дата.
Уютно и страшно! И сердце, как ходики,
Внутри отмеряет, что видит снаружи.
…Полоску, где крабов спешат луноходики,
Вода заливает, то шире, то уже.
(«Сначала казалось: у берега птицы…»)
And all the heavenly sweetness of the world is tasted, manifested in the word, trembles on the tongue and in the language.
Genuine poetry is myrrh-streaming.
In the old Russian, the word ‘directly’ meant ‘opposite’: Adam, expelled from the divine garden, wept at its closed gates, turning his eyes to the lost paradise.
Alla Lipnitskaya carries her entire paradise with her, more precisely, in herself: not even in her shoulder bag but in her heart bag, without spilling a drop, without forgetting the slightest bit. And its dimensions exactly coincide with the contours of a loving and remembering heart: not wider, not narrower than the world, not away from it. Paradise is just in its center: neither lower, nor higher.
Preface to the poetry collection And Light is in Every Face by Alla Lipnitskaya
Borisova Tamara, a philologist, a writer.
ABOUT ALLA LIPNITSKAYA’S PAINTING AND POETRY
I don’t know how Alla Lipnitskaya managed to become a painter without any special education (except for communication with artists), without fear of a blank canvas, without the slightest doubt in her ability to work with a brush, Alla bravely went into painting, subordinating the material to the expression of her color visions. She always loved Van Gogh and in her youth she used his art as a yardstick for assessing a person: whether he is close to her or not. Only now I understand the movement of her soul: if you have not experienced it yourself and not accumulated life material, you cannot create bright paintings addressed to the world. And the point here is not in academic ABC, the wisdom of anatomy, but in the content of an individual. When there is something to tell, any boundaries between what you want to say and what you get on the canvas are not scary: you will overcome everything, like Van Gogh. I think that Alla Lipnitskaya does not feel the boundaries of her creative possibilities, easily moving from poetry to painting and back. After all, the matter of creativity is one, it only takes different forms, remaining the line of the master’s fate. Emotional and sometimes even enthusiastic Lipnitskaya has the gift of perceiving the world around her as divinely beautiful. I cannot say that such a vision was given to the poetess easily, but she formulated it as a creative and moral principle:
Я буду бережно ходить по берегам;
Спускаться в невеселые овраги
И, дань отдав любимым и врагам,
Останусь с пустотой листа бумаги.
Нет ничего! Лишь белый лист сухой,
Лишь влажные овраги и тропинки
Сошлись неразличимою гурьбой
На светлые осенние поминки.
Да неба холодящая эмаль,
Да солнца продырявленное сито…
И поле, открывающее даль,
Где, может быть, еще хоть что-то скрыто.
In Lipnitskaya’s poetry, you rarely see the border between the author herself and her lyrical hero. Perhaps this is why the thematic space of Alla’s poems is wide, and the time chronotope of events and poetic conversations is immense. Quiet landscape lyrics, a meeting with the Infanta Margarita by Velazquez or with an artist of the Ch’an dynasty, a declaration of love for friends, harsh assessments of time, a tragic picture of personal losses, all this that has been experienced and considered, is summed up in philosophical lines:
Законы жизни можно соблюсти:
Прожить, как все; отшельником; поэтом;
Природу жизни чувствуя при этом
Как шаровую молнию в горсти.
Comprehending the external and personal internal world with equal interest, Alla Lipnitskaya at some point came to painting as a means of harmonizing relations between these two abysses. The artist fixed fleetingness, as the essence of feeling, its unsteady boundaries in picturesque landscapes. They, depicting the past in the small Ukrainian town of Sumy, have formed an imaginative canvas for the fabric of the present, in which she meets everlasting ‘khamsin’ and lights named Bnei Brak leading to the lanterns of Bnei Aisha.
In the baroque-magical mysteries of the artist, forms flow down, flow over with flowers of joy, intoxicating delight before the beauty of the visible. The ascent to it, as to the goal of creativity, is transformed into Cosmos, where all times converge, where the interiors of the present and the outlines of the past coexist side by side like in a fairy tale or like in Chagall’s paintings. The figures of the moon-eyed maidens rush into the near-earth space, like rockets. Heaven and Earth merge in ecstasy of love for the Creator, the surface of the painting resembles an ocean shaken by a Great Wind.
Indifferent to the gray everyday life with its intrusive objectivity and vanity, Lipnitskaya is open to the miraculous. In her painting, the cosmic wind carries angels, they sweep over the Ukrainian hut, flap their wings over the green meadows and the river from childhood, sanctifying and protecting the past. Many of the artist’s works are like dreams, a recording of what happens only in a dream, when we gain the desired opportunity to soar above the ground. Then the horizon disappears, the sky, the sea, the earth become one endless space. Then understanding that the elements of nature and the elements of creativity are related acquires special clarity. Lipnitskaya has a keen and passionate interest in the elements of nature. Her poetic and pictorial metaphors are reflected in each other and continue one another. A poetic phrase like a rose bush on a melted ice floe of course, could be born by the penetrating gaze of an artist who could see the blooming bush searchlight.
Expanding and retaining the image of the eternally elusive natural beauty is the main task of Lipnitskaya as an artist. Therefore, a joyful perception of Being reigns in her painting as a condition for comprehending its essence. From this perspective of feeling the Hasidic traditions, Chagall’s painting, the art of the Far East, and much more had been rethought and gave birth to her unique art:
Жизнь великая и простая
Вошла в меня понемногу.
Небо как море. Дорога в тумане.
Живу умирая. Умру оживая.
В космической жажде Ван-Гога,
Под взглядом людей Модильяни,
На гребне волны Хокусая.
The world in Alla Lipnitskaya’s poetry and painting is integral, indivisible, it is not characterized by binarity, separation into good and evil, life and death, past and present. The birds that had flown away have settled in my room. But in reality there are no birds. But instead of real objects and faces, the poplar makes noise at the krinitsa. And there is no krinitsa. But you can touch the forest behind the distant river with your hand.
Once D. Merezhkovsky, discussing the poetry of decadents, wrote: … they contribute to the expansion of artistic impressionability. How much time has passed since then! But the task of art – to expand artistic impressionability still remains the duty and destiny of the artist. Alla Lipnitskaya belongs to this rare sort of people.
ABOUT ALLA LIPNITSKAYA’s POETRY AND PAINTING
Behind each text of a poet Alla Lipnitskaya there is a shadow of Alla Lipnitskaya – an artist, a landscape painter. If you carefully read her poems, then almost each of them is, actually, a landscape, regardless of the content put into it by the author. These are not ordinary landscapes, when a fragment of the world, captured by the master’s gaze, is brought into balance by the junction of all perspectives and framed. She sees these landscapes rather in the manner of Chinese or Japanese masters, for whom the picture begins with the first drop of ink thrown on a blank sheet of paper, and from this drop an image develops. And it does not want to be limited by the frame of the painting, but remains open even after the completion of the work. Perhaps the many years Alla spent in the department of oriental painting of the Sumy Art Museum, tuned the optics of her worldview to a “Zen” way, but most likely such openness of the changeability of the world is the original property of her soul:
Глаз наведен на правильную резкость
И видит точно линию и цвет,
В длину и вширь охватывая местность,
В которой места для изъяна нет.
Как только на земле наступят холода,
В небесном доме сразу потеплеет…
Тень мечтает о высоком,
Лёжа на боку в низине…
В горячем бархане, в английском тумане
Снуют голоса голосов…
Konstantin Kikoin, a Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, a poet, an essayist, a philosopher.
A fragment from the speech at Alla Lipnitskaya’s anniversary presentation
Rishon Lezion, 2014
A PARROT THAT HAS FLOWN FROM THE CAGE
How to assess the fact of the sudden passion of a mature (and recognized!) Poet for painting? A hobby that prompts him, forgetting about poetry, to create a picture after a picture, causing either bewilderment and ridicule of some graduated art critics and even close acquaintances or full accord with people who are sometimes far from art? Let’s leave all these definitions to ordinary consciousness. After all, in fact, a miracle is nothing but a reality, inaccessible to our imperfect cognitive abilities.
Alla Lipnitskaya was born and lived in Sumy until 1995. From childhood, her dreams were full of events and colors, they seemed to represent another life. They always had an expectation of news from heaven. Later, dreams, and more broadly, the entire sphere of the subconscious and unconscious, provided sources for both poetry and painting.
The second source of Alla Lipnitskaya’s creativity is nature in its pure form, filtered from everything that is violent and external. This dream of nature was embodied in real places like Green Guy near Sumy, the Caucasus Mountains …
Since 1995, Alla has been living in Israel, and here she also has her favorite places – Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea. However, there is a suspicion that her house is the Earth, and in any corner of it she will find inspiration for her work.
The third component is an incredible, active and compassionate interest in people.
And one more source was culture and art (poetry in particular, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, world mythology, religion, philosophy).
Alla began to publish her poetry in 1965, when she was still a schoolgirl. For many years she worked at the Sumy Art Museum, where she studied the art of the Far East.
The tragic death of her son in 1988 became the turning point in the life and work of the poetess. The dreams became even more intense and vivid. Visual images usually associated with complex divisions of space overwhelmed consciousness.
The first poetry collection We are Just Travelers was published at the expense of the author in 1991 in Sumy. In July 1991, the first large-sized painting in the gouache technique The Body in the River of Life was created, previously there had been only small sketches. During the year A. Lipnitskaya performed more than 300 gouache paintings.
At the end of 1992, her first art exhibition took place in Kiev. At the same time, a new collection of poetry White Lilac which also included prose works was prepared for publication. In early 1993, while continuing to work in the gouache technique, she began to master oil painting on canvas, creating several dozen canvases in six months as well as new gouaches.
In the Israeli period of creativity, canvas and oil became Alla’s favorite technique, which contributed to the achievement of greater materiality and illusionism of images. The feeling itself became more condensed and luminous, and this was directly reflected in the painting.
It has become the life canvas on which the creation of Alla Lipnitskaya is presented.
The determining factor for her work is the seemingly contradictory combination of a thirst for knowledge with an agnostic philosophical credo. I will live until / until I know / what it was, she admits in one of her poems. We also meet the sign of this thirst in the painting Adam and Eve, where it is no coincidence that an apple from the tree of knowledge appears in the geometric and semantic center of the composition. At the same time, Alla likes to quote an excerpt from
A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda: The world is immense. We can never understand it. We will never solve its secret. Therefore, we must accept it as it is – a wonderful enigma.
However, this contradiction is in many respects an apparent one, because, when realizing the impossibility of cognition by reason, we are talking, first of all, about the sensory cognition. Alla assigns a service role to the rational in her personality: to use the maximum of the little that is allotted to me. In this sense, she often speaks of the ecological niche of the individual.
Sensual cognition presupposes, as it were, two stages: ecstatic (going beyond oneself) and empathy (sense of other beings). many poems of the poetess are about this, for example, the following:
И я вошла туда, где кожура
Шершавых и больших живых деревьев
Вся исцарапана следами птичьих перьев…
Cognition for her does not end with ‘sense’ – it continues in such eternal and great, truly feminine feelings as sympathy, pity, love for everything living and, finally, finds its logical expression in the praying of a woman and a poet for everything that lives in the field of vision of cosmic forces. She prays to God for a flower chilled in the wind, for a homeless dog, for a God’s birdie:
Небесная горечь, пролейся под ноги тому,
Кто утратил надежду
In this prayer … before the fleeting ray of the supermundane consciousness, / to which the mortal door is locked, we find inherent in Alla irony and rebellion mixed with bitterness.
Мой инопланетянин! Сделай дудку
Из тучи, из травинки, слов моих,
Пусть птичка Божья, надрывая грудку,
Пред Богом прощебечет малый стих
– Ну, как там, козявки босые, пичуги?
Ваши мокрые лапки готовы к зиме?
Ваши горлышки стынут в предзимнюю слякоть?
Неужели когда-то вот так обо мне
Разум более сложный способен заплакать?
So, the femininity of her poetry is not in weakness, but in the power of intercession for all living.
Skipping the analysis of A. Lipnitskaya’s poetry and prose (which was not part of our task), let us move on to her painting. Her gouaches and canvases are amazing at first. Many, for lack of other comparisons, put them on a par with children’s drawings (Great skill is like inability, as Chuang Tzu said). But the truth, that one suffered and realized, differs from the unconscious truth. In the merciless time of midday maturity, the eternal stars can only be seen from a deep well.
The painting technique of A. Lipnitskaya is either shimmering or splashing with light, laughing and crying at the same time. Paints are applied either widely – with a brush or fractionally with the fingers. She does not seek to achieve plausibility in the transfer of forms, moreover, she deliberately avoids it. Like a Chinese or Japanese artist, she paints not a fragment of the world, but her own feeling, which encloses the whole world. In addition, Alla conveys a rather astral than physical world with higher plans of being, in which, with the growth of luminosity, the concretization of forms and images gradually decreases.
Emptiness and purity of the heart as a necessary condition for creativity are especially important for Lipnitskaya. Emptiness is detachment from everything selfish and momentary, and at the same time, openness to the Highest. So everything burned out in the heart, / That opened in all directions / Empty clean space – 1985. These lines echo Tsvetaeva’s: … I am black soil and white paper. The whiteness of a writing sheet or a painter’s canvas is a real gewel for Alla. This whiteness and emptiness is the embodiment of the harmony and perfection of the divine unmanifest principle, which can be easily disturbed by indifferent or inattentive intervention. According to Alla, the canvas for her is a living being, she strokes and caresses it, applying paint with her hands. The process of creating a picture is akin to a love experience.
The whiteness of the canvas is always present in Lipnitskaya’s paintings: to a greater extent in her ‘quick’ works created in the alla prima technique, to a lesser extent in multi-layered long-term works, to which she returns repeatedly. However, even in the ‘fastest’ pictures of Alla, there is a hint of the complexity and translucent layering of the world. The paint itself becomes translucent and vibrating. This is due to the uneven pushing of a thin layer of raw paint by the bristles of the brush already at the moment of its application. In addition, the pictorial fabric is permeated with luminous reflections, threads and contours – in places with the use of whitewash, often – due to pressing raw colorful dough with a brush handle to the ground. With this luminosity, her paintings are partly reminiscent of icons on glass (if viewed against the light).
One of the main means of expression in A. Lipnitskaya’s painting is color, which is never accidental. Built on muted, then complementary bright, then on close tense colors – it can express subtle shades of feeling: tranquility, ecstatic joy, anxiety or sadness.
The connection with dreams in painting is more direct, more visible than in poetry. Sometimes it is just a depiction of dreams ( Footprints in the Desert, Birds), created in scores of minutes. In painting, for Alla, there is no painful overcoming of verbal material, and in this sense, painting for her is pure joy, true relaxation. Subconscious sensations, as a rule, are transferred to cardboard or canvas without preliminary comprehension. The speed, unintentionally and, as it were, randomness of the creation of most of her paintings are deceptive: after all, the soul is not accidental, and it conveys the true colors and shapes that she has seen in other worlds.
The artist’s painting style is extremely free, impulsive to the mischief, to the challenge. But through it, the harmony of other shores and worlds can be seen, and also a nagging feeling of the inexpressible beauty and brevity of human life in the face of eternity. In this feeling, it seems to me, is the source of the contrast between the unrestrainedly cheerful, at first glance, grotesque figure of the eternal Charon and the barely noticeable fragile boat dissolving in the waters of the Styx (Carrier Charon, 1992).
In the poetry of Alla Lipnitskaya we also meet with the attempts to describe space:
Глаз мой встречает космический глаз.
Изображенье выходит за рамки.
However, in painting, space is much more concrete and visible. The worlds do not mix, but they are closely intertwined, they are in complex interaction. A common example of a breakthrough from one space to another is a bluish oval against the backdrop of a rapidly growing suburban world. Sometimes it is a cosmic eye or a cosmic messenger – a ball, but more often it is a tunnel, a mother’s womb, a place of birth in an incomprehensible heavenly world.
Sometimes, as in the painting Mary Magdalene Mourning for Christ – 1993, it is the earthly world, trembling with vegetation, that appears in the oval. This is a view from another world, in which the Magdalene bowed over Christ, who had turned into the world’s ocean. Let us compare the same plot, embodied by a powerful imaginative series of natural forms in verse:
На небе солнце предзакатное распято.
К его последним золотым лучам,
Как Магдалина, припадает мята,
Чтоб холодеть от скорби по ночам
The birth in one world means the death in the other one:
Жизнь великая и простая
Вошла в меня понемногу.
Живу умирая. Умру, оживая
The artist, as the hypostasis of the ‘cultural hero’ of mythology, is a mediator between the worlds. Many times dying and being born, transported from one world to another, she supports their mutual existence and interaction. The nude female figure, often present in the paintings, is a kind of the author’s vis-a-vis. It is at the same time an anthropomorphic personification of nature, then she appears in the natural world, entwined with stems and branches like in Woman in the City and other works. And at the same time it is the embodiment of the artist-mediator, soaring between the worlds. I saw from above how beautiful and fragile this world is, I was infinitely sorry for it and the people, I constantly want to tell them this, to warn them, says Alla.
In the painting Dance in Space 1993, hair scattered in a whirl – the wings of an angel, a woman or a bird – create mountains, rivers, vegetation, that is an earthly relief in the transparency of the sky.
Sometimes the image is a complex system of mirages, reflected in each other. (Trinity, or Vision in the Window, Near and Far Forests, Window. Green Guy).
The biblical theme occupies a certain place in the work of Alla Lipnitskaya. Her red-haired acquaintance can turn into the Jewish King David (King David, 1992). In Alla’s work, the motive of Trinity often appears. Many New Testament subjects are represented in her painting (Annunciation, Life of Christ, Golgotha, Resurrection, Ascension…).
Golgotha is an almost monochrome image of the Crucifixion on a yellow background, with the All-Seeing Eye at the top. The crossbeams of the cross and the hands of Christ resemble hey sheaves sprinkling with blood.
Death passes into life. Life is alive with the joyous sacrifice of love.
The Publicans of Light refused to collect gold; unbodied and surreal, they are busy accumulating light – an elusive ethereal treasure.
In Joyous Meeting the good, invisibly created by tiny human figures on earth, is multiplied in heaven in the jubilation of the angels. Man is not so insignificant and powerless.
In the poetry and painting of A. Lipnitskaya, there are frequent reminiscences from Taoism and Ch’an Buddhism. This is not the result of a borrowing, but a coincidence in sound quality.
A. Lipnitskaya refers directly to Taoism in the painting Tao – 1992, but the Taoist spirit permeates her many landscapes and spaces, deployed from individual creatures or objects (a bird, a flower, a tree). These images bring to mind the revelations and maxims of Chuang Tzu (III century BC).
The consonance with the complex spatial division of Buddhist painting (thangka) is guessed in the painting The Mistress of the Garden. Her poem To an Unknown Ch’an Master is imbued with the Chan spirit, – I admit that Alla wrote this about herself.
But the main thing in common with Buddhism is that she has endless compassion for all living things.
Belief in reincarnation, which is natural for Alla’s perception of the world, is associated with Taoist and especially Buddhist traditions. This conviction resounds in many poems and paintings by A. Lipnitskaya (We are only travelers …; We lived. But we could not understand …). Hence the feeling of spiritual kinship with people who lived in the distant past (From the poems dedicated to Li Qingzhao). Reincarnation is understood not as an endless prolongation of existence, but as an extension of the soul’s experience, its endless improvement (We stand, enveloped in light smoke / Our common share is circular, / In a unique golden garden, / In no other randomness …).
If one side of A. Lipnitskaya’s work is turned towards the cosmic and unknown, then the other is open to contemporaries. In many of her poems, one can hear pain and reproach against those, who are engaged in active destructive activity in a state of deep sleep of the soul (What are we worrying about – aren’t we poets …).
In many respects, governors, military men and scientists are responsible for this destruction, for the sake of their own selfish interests, irresponsibly, with feigned optimism they promise a bright future for humanity. The poetess is merciless to them: And all of humanity on a super-powerful rocket / Strives to a foreign happy planet (Machaon).
The painting The Parrot That Has Flown From the Cage – 2002 provides a metaphor for the liberation of a person from delusions and conventions that impede love and true communication between people.
Being an inexhaustible optimist, A. Lipnitskaya clearly understands the need to search for like-minded people, their joint efforts. They are travelers, seekers, messengers. In a metaphorical description of the wandering of birds, she confesses her love to those who “rush around, walk in circles, / Who is full of small discoveries / On wild wandering trajectories …” (“When all are birds, how many there are …”).
The spaces created by Alla Lipnitskaya cannot exist without paths and travelers, without farewells and meetings. Travelers are both messengers-angels and the souls of people both living and dead. In a passionate desire to combine worlds, the artist makes angels walk on the earth (more precisely, on scorching deserts and snows), and human souls – to fly across the sky. The poem is about this:
Ангел, утопающий в снегу,
Колют ноги белые иголки?.. –
Заканчивается оно строками:
Господи! Зачем ты этот путь
На снегу так четко обозначил?
Angel Resting on the Way – 1993. Exhausted, but full of love for life and living, he has leaned against the tree that rises up to heaven, paradise. His wings mingle with the leaves. Defeated Angel – 1993 exploded turning into a spray of energy and light at the intersection of a trampled road and a twice reflected tree. And at last there is the angel who completed earthly affairs and leaves the earth Farewell – 1993 The picture that was written in 20 minutes as well as other works like Walking in the Wind and Rain, Night Road convey similar ideas…
Travelers on Alla’s paintings are crucified in space: their bodies are on the long horizontal earthly path, and their souls are on the vertical of the world tree – the path of ascent to God. They are also crucified in time: between regret about the past and expectation of the future (diptych Self-Portrait of Twenty Years Ago, Future – 1992).
I see light not only at the end, but now, every minute. Even in the dark, says Alla.
Analysis of A. Lipnitskaya’s creativity allows us to draw two important conclusions. Firstly, for Alla, love is the unconditional and highest quality of man and the cosmos. Secondly, her consciousness is clearly cramped within the framework of one or even several religious denominations or artistic concepts.
These two sides of Alla’s creativity make it possible to consider her work as the new paradigm of modern consciousness. New Age (New Era) is associated with the entry of the solar system into the era of Aquarius (By the way, one of A. Lipnitskaya’s paintings, dated 1991, is called New Consciousness) Here I consider the New Age phenomenon in its broadest sense, precisely as a paradigm characterized by a number of repetitive beliefs in the field of cosmogony, religion and ethics in various not related to each other individuals.
The art of A. Lipnitskaya is based on her own experience of supersensible knowledge of the world, which, combined with her gift of love and undeniable talent, makes it a unique phenomenon both in ‘new age’ and in traditional culture. Over time, understanding of such kind of art by others will increase, and the future belongs to it.
Tsitovich Vladimir, an art critic, a restorer of the highest restoration category, painting expert. The author of works on the examination and restoration of painting of the 16-20 centuries and articles about the work of Ukrainian and Russian artists of the XX century.
I AM A GREEN SCARF
I am reading the book “A Green Scarf” by Alla Lipnitskaya and feel that I am not just learning new poems – the first, the second, the third, the tenth, but I am immersed in a special world, which is not only reflected in these verses, but opens by itself …
And this is no coincidence.
The poetic word, writes Alla Lipnitskaya in the preface to the book, sweeps away the boundaries between consciousness and subconsciousness, between limitation and freedom, between life and death.
I think this is not a theoretical declaration. This is the experience of working with the word for decades. A Green Scarf has absorbed 45 years of creativity, the first poems that were placed under its cover, date back to 1973, and the last appeared in 2018.
Each poem is like a small step up and dive into the depth, this is comprehension of oneself and the world, in life moments.
* * *
Even the first miniature that opens the book is filled with sensuality, picturesqueness and subtle psychologism. From all this, the mood and the unique charm of the verse are formed:
Песок горячий шелестит.
Я погружаю в него руку —
Пять пальцев, жаждущих прикосновений.
О, желтый звук песка, созвучный плеску ветра
В ночном окне осеннею порой.
В который погружаю сердце,
Так жаждущее смыть следы прикосновений!
The poet’s quivering, caring gaze is turned not only into herself. She has a gift to see the world around her not in general, but in the smallest details. And both feel it and sympathize with it. At the bus stop – an old dog, which stands with everyone over the overturned trash bin, waiting for something …
А вот уже мы смотрим высоко и далеко:
Если бы облака были бессмертны,
Или если б они умирали в мученьях.
Как метался бы дух человека.
Не изведав тающей мощи…
* * *
The deeper I go into reading, the more this book reminds me, a multi-storey building-tower, in hundreds of its windows some kind of original life opens up, projected through the personality and soul of the poet. In me, like on a pleasing screen, / The old days are sweeping by, writes, for example, A.L. in the poem House-Museum. And how can we, eternal ones, find justification / Before the brevity of our earthly fate? she asks with youthful audacity asserting her status as an artist in the broadest sense of the word: What are we worrying about – are we not poets?
She worries about barefoot boogers, birdies asking what they are doing there after a long rain, and this is not a pretense, not a whim. But she has something to say to Infanta Margarita by Velazquez: Be indulgent to the transitory!
The poet, and this is not always noticeable from the outside, lives in her own special world of passions, experiences, feelings. A.L. knows how to convey this state deeply and sincerely. There is a place on earth, she writes, where the world is scary, hopeless. Sometimes it seems to me that it is in me … And such a conclusion is tragic and piercing:
* * *
What attracts attention even with a cursory acquaintance with the poetry of Alla Lipnitskaya is a sense of inner dignity, a sense of her own destiny. It is characterized by the weight of judgments, aphorisms, the capacity of the content.
I take a poem about a green scarf, which may have inspired the title of the entire book. Let’s read it, think about it:
Законы жизни можно соблюсти:
Прожить как все; отшельником; поэтом;
Природу жизни чувствуя при этом
Как шаровую молнию в горсти.
What attracts attention even with a cursory acquaintance with the poetry of Alla Lipnitskaya is a sense of inner dignity, a sense of one’s own destiny. It is characterized by the weight of judgments, aphorism, the capacity of the content. I open the poem about a green scarf, which may have inspired the title of the entire book. Let’s read it, think about it:
Освободись от времени, от места,
Купи себе зеленый длинный шарф!
Пускай к груди прильнет легко и тесно,
Как к дому полыхающий пожар.
В пожаре все сгорит — и будет больно
Бродить среди обугленных углов,
Но новизна чернеющая вольно
Затопит светом твой сгоревший кров.
Твой длинный шарф, зеленый и воздушный,
Взовьется над печалью пепелищ.
Купи скорей! И станешь равнодушней,
И, может быть, от света устоишь
Although this poem is dated April 30, 1990 and coincides or closely correlates with Alla’s birthday, I will not affirm that it reflects thoughts and feelings evoked by overcoming a certain age limit.
It may be so, but it may be different. Personally, I see in the above lines a dramatic and passionate clash of some inner forces, a break with the past and the bitterness of this break, discord, disappointment, and an attempt to overcome.
Free yourself from time, from place – what does it mean? It means to break with something (or someone?) Something that was in the past did not work. It hurts. And we feel it in the intonation of the verse, it hints: change the present, try to start everything in a new different way. What can you do to get started? Well, at least buy a green long scarf. That is, something gentle, airy, changing the image, the perception of life.
But nothing happens. This very scarf, light and airy, does not help. On the contrary, it provokes and aggravates the sense of fire. Metaphors, opposite in meaning, collide, one seems self-destructs itself for a while, and the other unfolds into a deep dramatic picture.
What has been experienced, what has passed through the soul, cannot be turned into dust. We cannot forget it forever, present it as nothingness. Something remains. The scarf turns into a symbol of renewal and is about to soar over the sorrow of the ashes.
* * *
In the poems of the following years, the comprehension of reality, the poet’s place in this reality, and her attitude to it, continues. The chaotic, turning-point 90s are coming with their hopes and disappointments, insights and cynicism, lawlessness, fears and punishments …
I surrender immediately and without a fight! says Alla Lipnitskaya.
But does she really surrender? And what does she mean by ‘surrender’? To whom she surrenders? And what does she want to get in return?
«Я уступаю сразу! Кем угодно
Войду в траву, цветенье, водоем,
Чтоб жить и говорить совсем свободно
На человечьем языке своем».
This is how subtle, fragile lyrics are refracted into an attitude, into a position and search of the meaning of some foundations of life.
«Я обращаюсь к Богу, к людям, к Музе,
Я слышу, как трещат основы царств….»
Alas. The epoch in which we live and which in this respect is not unique, raises piles of unanswered questions:
«На дне ли мы бездонного колодца
Или всю жизнь стремимся мы к нему?»
Who knows, indeed …
* * *
In the same years, the Land of Israel became the ‘lyrical hero’ of many of Alla’s poems. She attempts to comprehend its history and the present day. At the same time, the eternal themes of the fast flowing time, the past, love, losses, personal tragedies, experiences remain the leitmotif of her work. Alla’s poetry acquires classical harmony and plasticity, imagery becomes even more transparent and expressive.
Всё, что ушло, приобретает облик мифа:
И волосы, уложенные лихо,
По зыбкой моде тех далеких лет,
Прохожих перепутанные лица,
Родных и близких групповой портрет…
И собственное тело молодое, —
Под занавес распущенных волос, —
Голодное, проворное, живое,
В снегу, в воде, в земле отцветших роз…
I personally did not really like the land of faded roses, but this memory of her own young, hungry body makes the poem reliable, trembling, alive …
* * *
I always want to quote Alla Lipnitskaya, and I can hardly overcome the temptation to start rewriting the book at least one page at a time. And I also think about whether it is necessary to fully identify the personality of the lyric hero of her poems and the author herself, to look for biographical discrepancies and coincidences, to project poetry and reality.
The answer, in my opinion, is only one: a sense of proportion is necessary in everything, and with all the sincerity and the nakedness of the tremulous poetic word, only the poet can know what really is behind it.
Nostalgia for the past, the enduring pain of memory, the eternal feeling of dissatisfaction – all this is presented in Alla’s poems and evokes a feeling of empathy.
«Хочу домой! В далекую провинцию,
Которой и в помине больше нет»…
«И надо же — таким вот серым днем,
С дождем и ветром подводить итоги»…
* * *
Pictures that arise and are reconstructed in memory turn into precisely written details and images thanks to the poet’s hand, guided by the artist’s gaze (or vice versa?), Everything finds its exact place in the poetic composition:
«Такая вот идиллия с утра:
Тьму затопили солнечные блики;
Вдали, у дома, младшая сестра
Тарелку держит, полную клубники»
Here, a living picture unfolds in front of you with its own details, sounds, sensations:
«Не буду спать, когда гроза придет
И прямо с крыши в душу упадет.
Что долгожданней может быть и краше
Простого омовения души…»
Can you imagine that a thunderstorm will fall right from the roof into your soul? But Alla Lipnitskaya was able to find very precise words for this.
At the same time, I should note that here you are not even bothered by the presence of simple verbal rhymes or the conjugation of monosyllabic words, as if not requiring an intense search. We forget about such things when real poetry sounds. There is a master’s technique. And this is a technique by the poet Alla Lipnitskaya.
* * *
In her poems there are no notes of hysteria, exaltation, which we can sometimes find in the women’s poetry. The rhythm and sound are commensurate with thoughts and feelings. In her poetry, there is no pretentiousness, posture, mannerism. Actually, these are good-quality philosophical lyrics, often avoiding abstract speculation, rationality, which kills the poems of enlightened people, but not endowed with a poetic gift.
«Овраг лесной, река, обрыв…
Как перевертыш, мир зеленый
Вдруг синим стал. И вкус соленый
Волна хранит, простор накрыв.
И есть другой облом, обрыв,
И чаще прочих слово «взрыв»
Теперь звучит под небесами.
Какого цвета, чей же флаг
Теперь в ответе за овраг?
И враг врага — и мне он враг?
И что стряслось со всеми нами?»
Questions, questions, questions … and an attempt to understand both the present time and the course of history.
«За чередой свиданий, карнавалов,
За молодостью в рост высоких трав
Настало время разбирать завалы
Там, где никто не виноват, не прав»
* * *
And about something extremely important, not fading in time, enduring and, perhaps, not always accessible to understanding from the outside I want to say so simply, writes A.L. in her poem dedicated to K. Kikoin.
This is how it begins:
«А хочется сказать так просто:
— Не уходи, не покидай!
По всей длине земного роста
Душа сочится через край.
Благоуханная в свободе,
Рывками в памяти чужой,
Душа в свободном переводе
Звучит написанной строкой…»
* * *
It seems to me that Alla Lipnitskaya’s poetic insight has become not only more intent, but also broader over the years. It is directed both deep into itself, and into history, and into the past, and over long distances. The same childhood memories become more substantive and concrete, rich in details. As, for example, in the very recent cycle Like Leaves and Flowers, 2017
«… Игрушки потихоньку исчезали.
И взрослые, скрывавшие обман,
Меня держали в танцевальном зале
Всемирных сказок. Только по углам
Шептались непонятно про поездку.
Я говорила: «Куклу не отдам!»
И не желала спать идти в отместку»
«Звучала музыка Шопена и Массне.
Тропинок за окном разъехались полозья,
Поскольку дело шло от февраля к весне…»
Look at this wonderful image: the skids of the paths have parted. It gives an immediate effect of recognition, presence, everything is so vivid and clear.
* * *
We can talk a lot about the poems by Alla Lipnitskaya, to look for just good and very good lines, to reflect on their meaning, sometimes we can make a right guess and sometimes we may be wrong. This is an endless process when it comes to such a fruitfully working and creatively tireless poet.
More than that, I have another book of hers at hand And Light on Every Face, which contains the poems written in 2010. Some of them also entered the collection The Green Scarf, but collected together in a separate edition and almost in chronological order, they represent a kind of poetic diary with meetings, addresses, memories, judgments, reflections. The book is sad and light, in general, fits into the poetic world of Alla Lipnitskaya.
«Я думаю о тебе,
Как о воде,
«Это мог быть чертеж
Уцелевшего в памяти мая.
Этот день так чертовски хорош,
Как душа, что, друзей вспоминая,
Превращается в поле, в цветенье и цвет,
В светлый образ давно обозначенных лет»…
But there is a selection in this collection, which in the same form can hardly be found in other books by Alla Lipnitskaya. These are the so-called Ten Poems by L. A. All of them are tender, moving, light, sad, utterly revealing the soul, not ashamed of pain. They are all about love – big, irresistible, unquenchable …
She says in one of them
«Любить тебя невозможно,
Поэтому я и люблю»,
She admits in the second
«Я всё сказала, даже попрощалась —
Под музыку, под море, под закат.
Пережила надежду и откат
К истокам, то к рождению, то к смерти,
И боль сверкала в этой круговерти…»,
She reminisces in the third.
With all her frankness and emotional tension, the poet Alla Lipnitskaya retains both the dignity inherent in her poetry and the culture of verse she has acquired.
* * *
As for the Green Scarf, in the poems of recent years presented here, cultural themes, history, specific memories of childhood, youth, old and departed friends often prevail. Shomron’s Notebook concludes the lyrical section of the book, but not the book itself. It brings us back to the work of Alla Lipnitskaya in 2010-2011, and, I think, has a direct spiritual and temporary connection with the aforementioned collection of ten poems.
And this part of the book is also about love, as it remains not only in living memory, but also in the memories of the body, it is a spiritual concentration of something that happened in life, maybe only once, that you cannot pronounce in prose, but only in poetry.
«Никто не знал, что есть во мне
Пласты, дошедшие до магмы,
И что жила я — словно, как бы,
Укрывшись в страшной глубине…»
And finally, the great miracle of recognition, meeting, crossing of destinies happens:
«… И ты пришел — внезапно, просто
Твой взгляд был словно льдинка, острым:
Меня один ты разгадал…»
However, everything is changing in this world, the count goes to moments – these small coins of time. Yesterday it was like that, but today …
«И чувство неприкаянной любви
Уткнулось, как щенок, в потоки света
И благостыню каменной земли».
The Shomron notebook is perceived as a notebook in the truest sense of the word, the pages of which are filled with diary entries about climbing mountain peaks, and about the enduring joy and pain of gains and losses.
«Когда мы добрались до снежных вершин
И стали скользить по ним вдоль,
Весь мир с высоты нам открылся большим,
И в том числе радость и боль…
… И не было времени, не было сил
Подумать о чем-то другом,
Когда предо мной ты, ныряя, скользил
И в связке мы были вдвоем»…
We can still talk a lot about different things, but I will cite only one poem, in my opinion, one of
the most penetrating and sincere creations of Alla Lipnitskaya:
«Не называй меня чужими именами!
Я высота твоя с горами безымянными,
И облака над нами и под нами
Проходят небольшими караванами.
Нет имени у сложенного вчетверо
Листа морей с просоленными волнами:
Письмо летит и исчезает. Ветрено
Между сердцами, чуткой жизни полными.
И безрассудна встреча запоздалая
Двух восхищенных и горячих тел.
Забудь, что Алла, Алла, Алла — алая.
Прощанья звук беспамятен и бел…»
A Subtle and sensitive lyricist, Alla Lipnitskaya remains true to herself even in relatively large genres. Her poems Machaon, Requiem, The Way are small in volume, they do not contain any epic events, the external action is hardly guessed, but the internal psychologism is compressed to the limit, like a spring moving a poetic monologue through the labyrinths of the suffering and lonely soul. This primarily refers to the poem Requiem about a personal tragedy, one of those that never cool down in the heart of a person. They do not fade. They are reinterpreted and rethought in general and in detail. in dreams, and in the endlessly terrible hours of insomnia …
«Себя не тешу тем, что убиваюсь
Сильней, чем кто-то из земных людей:
Как и другие ночью просыпаюсь
От тихих стонов у входных дверей.
Как и другие, вижу сны такие,
Что никому не дай Господь их знать…»
But this is not a cry, not a complaint, this is again a poetic self-expression full of dignity of a person who has passed and is still passing the test of loss …
* * *
And finally, prose. And here too, there is not a dry description of some events, but a depiction by
word, meaningful in its own way. As a result, we have before us not a kind of short or long story in the usual sense of this genre, but something unique, not always understandable and, at the same time, leaving no doubt about its right to exist. For example, White Lilac a miniature that resembles a fragment from a diary. Green Color is a longer story, written a little in the Kafka spirit, without beginning and ending of a plot but with a ‘talking insect’ and a nice description of the shower, I present here an excerpt, as it were, in the form of free verse:
«Некоторые несли себя прямо — дождю и всем Богам.
Струи лепили их фигуры под исчезнувшими одеждами,
и они были похожи на размякших глиняных домашних божков
с прилипшими кусочками ткани»…
Wandering Light is a creation that is even more intricate and bigger in size. I just tried to run through it with my eyes, the time was late, but immediately began to slow down, stumble. Then I even praised myself a little: I realised that this prose is not for a hack reader and unoiled brains.
It’s about death, clinical and real. What could be more serious? Well, at first sight, it is tricky, ironic, straining, frank, chaotic, and realistic prose, all the time making you fear not to be left out in the cold. That is, not to understand anything, but at the same time not to give away. This is the prose of hints, allegories, fantasies, riddles, sorrowful remarks …
Seven times in my life I had a state of clinical death. Perhaps more. It is difficult for me to vouch for this, since I cannot vouch for anything at all.
And then there is what we call a free flight or fall with its secret meaning.
A fantastic, or maybe not a fantastic story about the wandering of the soul in circles, steps, periods of clinical death or some significant events in life, the interweaving of the real, naturalistic, mystical creates a strange effect of the psychological reliability of the text. At some point, you begin to believe that yes, it was so with Alla Lipnitskaya herself or with the lyrical hero of her story:
… Seven clinical deaths, one inside the other, flashed before my eyes. They were like a suitcase in a suitcase, episodes of life, even the content of dreams … The dark corridor of loss and the infinity of return … And with weak feet I get up on the ground and again, like for the first time, I walk with curiosity and hope.
The novella ends with a selection of poems, some of them I remember from lyric notebooks. Others, I read for the first time. However, what does it matter when the poet’s prose organically flows into poetry. I’m not afraid to repeat myself:
«Есть место на земле,
Где мир устроен страшно, безысходно,
Подчас мне кажется, оно — во мне,
Подчас — перемещается свободно.
Есть место в облаках,
Наполненное мудростью, покоем…
Подчас мне кажется, что все у нас в руках,
Но связанных с рожденья за спиною»…
* * *
And I also do not exclude that the very number of clinical deaths in this novel is also not accidental. The number seven carries a special functional load in the Torah. Let us recall at least seven days of creation, seven laws of Noach, seven fat and seven skinny cows that the Pharaoh of Egypt dreamed of. This number has a very deep meaning as seven Sefirot in the Kabbalistic tradition …
* * *
A charming, magical, sad, meaningful fairy tale-parable – this is how I see the last tale-parable Anka, which tells how, while carrying the picture one naked woman separated herself from the thicket of a blossoming garden and jumped out of the depths of the picture right into a snowdrift near the porch.
And she survived! She dressed up, began to learn life and even enjoy some of its moments …
However, this is not an adventurous story, but a philosophical one as well as the whole book by Alla Lipnitskaya – a talented person who has managed to find piercing and sincere poetic words in her soul for decades.
Not everyone and not always succeeds in this.
Yakov Kapalan, a poet, a journalist
Rishon Lezion, 2019