Every Color of Light: A Stunning Japanese Illustrated Celebration of Change, the Sky, and the Fulness of Life

And then, easily, the storm passes, leaving a glittering light-filled sky in its wake, leaving the dark colors not simply restored however imbued with a new vibrancy as the setting sun blankets everything with its golden light.

Illustrations courtesy of Enchanted Lion Books. Photos by Maria Popova.

The story traces the symphonic movements of a storm. The pitter-patter of a rainy day crescendoes into whipping wind and slanting rain as the blues grow darker and the greens much deeper, all of a sudden disrupted by the electrical kaleidoscope of lightning.

The shadows grow longer, the birds go to roost, the Moon rises ancient and huge versus the clear star-salted sky, and the time for sleep comes like birdsong, like a moonrise, like a whispered poem.

The life-affirming elegance of the spectrum within and without is what Japanese poet and picture-book author Hiroshi Osada and artist Ryoji Arai commemorate in Every Color of Light: A Book about the Sky (public library), translated by David Boyd– a tender serenade to the components that unspools into a lullaby, welcoming thrilled wakefulness to the fulness of life, inviting a peaceful surrender to rest.

Born in Fukushima simply as World War II was breaking out, Osada composed this spare, lyrical book upon turning eighty, having actually endured inconceivable storms. I cant help however read it in consonance with Pico Iyers soulful meditation on fall light and finding appeal in impermanence, drawn from his several years in Japan. Arais almost synesthetic art– radiating more than color, radiating sound, a sort of buzzing aliveness– only amplifies this sense of consolation in the drama of the components, this sense of change as a website not to horror but to transcendent tranquility.

We forget, too, just how much of lifes miraculousness resides in the latitude of the spectrum of experience and our dance throughout it, how much of lifes vibrancy radiates from the contrast in between the different hues, between the light and the darkness. There is, after all, something eminently dull about a perpetually blue sky. Van Gogh knew this when he contemplated “the drama of a storm in nature, the drama of grief in life” as essential fuel for art and life. Coleridge understood it as he gathered in a hollow to behold “the power and eternal link of energy” in his transcendent encounter with a violent storm.

One of the most bewildering things about life is how ever-shifting the inner weather condition systems are, yet how wholly each storm consumes us when it comes, how completely suffering not just darkens the inner firmament however dims the prospective imagination itself, so that we stop being able to envision the return of the light. “We forget that nature itself is one vast wonder going beyond the reality of night and nothingness,” Loren Eiseley composed in one of the greatest essays ever written. “We forget that each one of us in his personal life repeats that wonder.”

One of the most bewildering things about life is how ever-shifting the inner weather systems are, yet how wholly each storm consumes us when it comes, how totally suffering not only darkens the inner sky however dims the prospective creativity itself, so that we stop being able to imagine the return of the light. “We forget that nature itself is one large miracle transcending the reality of night and nothingness,” Loren Eiseley wrote in one of the biggest essays ever composed.

Complement the subtle and staggeringly stunning Every Color of Light with science-inspired artist Lauren Rednisss wondrous Thunder & & Lightning and artist Maira Kalmans charming MoMA cooperation with author Daniel Handler, Weather, Weather, then review Little Tree– Japanese graphic designer and book artist Katsumi Komagatas unusually wonderful pop-up celebration fo the cycle of life– and Georgia OKeeffes serenade to the sky.