Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe by Yumi Sakugawa

I’m a big fan of StoryGraph/Goodreads and I also love reserving books at my local library. It’s fun to figure out new books to read and plan ahead. That being said, I think there’s also a lot of joy to be found in just browsing the stacks. Sometimes you’ll stumble across a cover that raises your eyebrows or a title that you remember a friend of a friend mention at some party years ago. It’s fun to find those kinds of books and I think everyone should leave a percentage of their reading life to chance. That’s how I found this little gem of a book. I love space, and both the title art and the cover immediately attracted my attention at my library. I grabbed the short book and decided to spend time with it. The time paid off! 

Sakugawa’s book contains her own illustrations and nine spiritual/metaphysical lessons. I won’t list them all here, but they’re probably all things that you’ve heard before. As an example, one of them is about how just as we’re one with the universe, there’s also a universe within each person. The read is invited to explore the geography of one’s inner self (snowy mountains, underwater rivers, that kind of thing) and figure out what it has to say. I’m a Bible belt Christian, so this was something outside of what I’d normally do, but I gave it a go. I fell asleep trying it out, but woke up with these two thoughts on my mind:

First,the snowy stormy mountaintops taught me that you can find cozyness anywhere, and it means the most in hard places. Second, looking down at dirt in a forest taught me we take “the ground” for granted as something dirty and dead, but when you look closely you’ll find it teeming with life and with processes that nurture us.

It’s a fun and provocative book. The art is whimsical and sweet without getting near twee territory.