Mayumi’s most recent book, and maybe her lovliest. Mayumi Oda’s work graced Yellow Silk’s very first issue, and then was featured in Issues 8, 31 and 40 as well. While her new book tells a personal story of, as it says on the cover, “the power of spiritual practice, creative expression, and true self-acceptance,” for me the graphics tell an equally powerful story: what joy in the world, what could be more fruitful, more fruited, than fruits, vegetables, and women! Goddesses!

Alice Walker says of this book, “I Opened the Gate Laughing is a song of a sweet woman. Sweetness gives us hope above all.” Mayumi herself has talked about the healing power of art. Just take it into your life and it will heal you.

Featuring bits of verse along with the creative and spiritual autobiography, and the art, Mayumi gives us a gift with this book. Give yourself the gift. Order: I Opened the Gate Laughing.

An important, lovely, and moving book that started in Yellow Silk, in Issue 18, then went on to fulfill its own glory, The Ink Dark Moon brings us fresh and stirring translations of the love poems of Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, women of the ancient court of Japan.

In this world
love has no color —
yet how deeply
my body is stained by you.

           — Izumi Shikibu

Order: The Ink Dark Moon.

Few people write about Eros with the earthiness, the vulnerability, and the sheer erotic intensity as does Sharon Olds, and in her newest collection of poems,The Unswept Room, she does not disappoint.

Then, when we were joined, I became
shyer. I became completed, joyful
and shyer...

     He takes me into
ending after ending like another world at the
center of this one

            —from The Shyness by Sharon Olds

Order:  The Unswept Room.

The best of the selections in this genre, this book encourages and nurtures spiritual partnership: harmony through discussion and exercises, meditatively-based and fully with an open heart.

“The Great Desire teaches us to play
with lesser leanings.
Its priority is a letting go
of all that limits letting go.
And eventually dissolves happily
into the heart.”
— Stephen Levine

Order: Embracing the Beloved.


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