Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Short blooming seasons for the finest and most fragrant flowers surely make my list of things to take up with God every spring. Luckily, this shortcoming creates a need for more beauty, and there are still many humans creatively filling it (some of us can't help ourselves). One of the coolest of these is my friend Toinette Lippe. She sees deeply into the nature of beauty and manages to communicate it with grace. For the times when the lilacs and sweet woodruff are over and gone (and all the other times, too), you can do no better than to have a stack of her Chinese brush paintings somewhere under the pile on your desk. Something happens to me when I sit down to write a note on one of her cards that reminds me to take care with whatever I write on the inside. People always thank me for these cards, but I thank Toinette.
There is much delicate strength in her work with flowers, fruit, vegetables, and birds, and we are invited in to really see. Some of the original paintings are available, also (at very reasonable prices). You are probably already acquainted with Toinette through her work in publishing. It's a safe bet she's edited some of the books on our shelves (Do any of these sound familiar: The Zen of Seeing, How Can I Help?, 100 Graces, A Year to Live, and Ten Poems to Change Your Life?. In 1989 she founded Bell Tower, and as editorial director, published so many good books I can't list them all. She is also the author of two fine books: Nothing Left Over: A Plain and Simple Life; and Caught in the Act: Reflections on Being, Knowing, and Doing.
Enjoy the lotus bud on the left, and then take the short trip to her website and you'll see what I mean. Click on the title at the top of this post and you're there. You'll be thrilled, and you'll be supporting one of the most creative people around. This is one trip that will fill you up.