I am so happy to announce the official release of my fourth book, HAIKU to be free (enlightenment is always free!) love, Selena Sage :)! I include the full title of the book because it was purposefully written as a (non-standard 5-8-5) haiku too! ;)
HAIKU to be free is available FOR FREE! All you must do to get this ebook is simply subscribe (at the bottom of any page) at ZENTAO BOOKS.
I decided to make this ebook free because in these uncertain times, I believe that art provides the greatest inspiration and opportunity to peacefully reflect on the nature of life and freedom. Since all of the books I write reflect a kind of passionate pursuit of freedom, I wanted to provide a free way to help support that journey in others.
HAIKU to be free contains over 300 haiku that I wrote this year, in the midst of creating the first season of my podcast, Live Free with Selena Sage (thanks to all who listen to the podcast!). The book spans four different writing sessions that I had in some of my favorite areas in Santo Antao, Cabo Verde — the beautiful beaches and caves of Singagoga, and the beautifully green inland of Vale de Paul.
The peace and nature of these areas inspired contemplative reflection about both nature and freedom. HAIKU to be free is a collection of haiku (written in chronological order of creation) which reflects various thoughts about these topics in beautifully direct poems.
I believe that haiku, the 5-7-5 syllable poetry that originated in Japan, is magical. While my book contains haiku to be free…I chose the title as additional encouragement for you to try writing haiku, as I believe that creating these poems also leads to freedom. While the mind is occupied with counting syllables, somehow the voice of spirit is a bit louder. Being forced to keep thoughts simple forces the poet to get to the heart of the matter. And that’s all that freedom really is about ;)
I hope that you will enjoy the book! And I thank you for your kind support, encouraging words, and beams of love—from both near and far! I truly appreciate you!
P.S> A note about the cover art for HAIKU to be free. It was really easy for me to decide to go with another beautiful Japanese woodblock print by the great Hokusai for the cover! Hokusai is both my favorite artist, and also the perfect artist to give homage to the beautiful Japanese style of haiku poetry that became really popular around the time that this classic print was published (1830-1831).
The Great Wave is Hokusai’s most famous piece of art…and it is even the art that was used as the basis to create the wave emoji on our cell phones! It is an enduring, and beautiful, classic that evokes so many emotions.
For me, the turbulence of the sea (crashing the boats in its midst) is balanced by the calm and steady Mt Fuji that is in the distance (this print was the first of the very famous 36 Views of Mt Fuji series by Hokusai). I choose to make the mountain the focal point, and center of the cover because, to me, it represents freedom. When everything is turbulent around us, our freedom lies in the steady, detached observation that Mt Fuji represents.
The original woodblock print is multi-colored, and though it is beautiful, I felt that the colors would have distracted from the title. I feel so fortunate that I was able to find and buy rights to this edit in indigo blue…my favorite! Blue, for me, is the color of freedom. And this blue edit of the classic print allowed HAIKU to be free to be a seamless edition to my other works, for which blue and water are a major part ;)
As with my other books, I have used the intro pages and back cover to focus on distinct parts of the front cover. In particular, I really loved how to leading part of the great wave looked a bit like a bird to me! I used the front pages to focus on this detail a bit more, as birds are also a symbol of freedom to me. I hope that you enjoy the art too! ;)