15 May / Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa
Although I’ve been devoutly agnostic most of my adult life, I will admit that I get the occasional, random message from the higher-powers-that-be: understanding doesn’t always come with these missives, more like nudges that I need to listen better. I keep trying …
For now, the best handbooks on divine communication seem to be found in books (of course!) … and Yumi Sakugawa is surely notable as an imaginative messenger of simple clarity. That her art is so marvelously creative certainly makes her titles delightfully inviting.
In my old age, some of the most basic actions in life can become increasingly neglected … mainly because we old folks tend to become creatures of (not-so-good to downright-rotten) habits of distraction. Breathing and listening are two crucial activities for our very survival and sanity, and yet we need reminders like this Guide before we pass out or get cast out!
Sakugawa is determined to slow you down, bring you back together, reconnect you with yourself and beyond – in nine gentle lessons. Straightforward, yes, but not necessarily easy. “Hello earthling,” she begins. “Welcome to a beginning of an exciting journey where you will reconnect with the universe … No matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing right this moment … you can consciously reclaim your oneness with the universe … and experience pure joy.” Who wouldn’t want that?
The nine-step journey begins easily enough: “Tonight lie down under the open sky.” We can all do that, right? “Send a telepathic message out into the night sky, the stars, distant galaxies, faraway planets, and everything around you. Sooner or later you will receive a response back.” Lesson 2 is necessary to achieve Lesson 1: “pay attention and listen.” Lesson 3 is just to “breathe in, breathe out. Let us get reacquainted with the miracle that is your breath.” Lesson 4 explores the unknown: “Plant strange seeds and let strange things grow.” You’ll soon appreciate the logic in that …
Lessons 5 through 9 become exponentially more challenging, including “explore your inner cosmos” “have cake with your demons,” and the final “create a new space-time continuum of transcendence that will bring peace and joy to all sentient beings.”
To get to such an end-that’s-really-a-renewed-beginning, lucky lesson #7 is our best hope: “Set on fire the things you no longer need,” which includes “small things” like letting go of your annoyances, stress, grudges, and peeves, and the “bigger things” like painful childhood memories, grief, heartbreak, self-hatred and anger.
Just reading Sakugawa’s step-by-compassionate-step pages provides a few minutes of tranquility. Linger longer with her artful beings, demons, shapes, landscapes, and enjoy the peaceful haven… temporary it may be, but you know you’ll always be welcome back.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult