Garden Yoga – Memoirs of a Goya by Sherrill Layton

GY_PDF_Cover_2014-04-16_09-36-31-page-001In this skip down the beds of her past and present gardens, Sherrill Layton offers us a humorous glimpse of her lives spent as child, sister, wife, mother, and, finally, herself. The birth of Sherrill’s voice never had a forum until grief forced her to speak. 
Garden Yoga is a philosophical take on the seasons of our lives and our elemental evolution. Comedy and tragedy, frogs, and the incompetence of the Israeli justice system mix with earth and one woman’s truth to ring out among the chrysanthemums! 
And the reviews here:
5.0 out of 5 stars So much energy! May 3, 2014
By C. R.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Creative use of language and rare vocabulary range make this wild roller-coaster ride of an autobiographical sketch both fun to read (sometimes out loud laughter and sometimes bittersweet smiles) and deeply moving. And then there are quiet thoughtful moments, delicately poised. Smatterings of gardening + astrology + family dynamics are tossed together in a delicious loquacious offering. Never boring, often provocative, always sharp and witty. I loved it.
4.0 out of 5 stars a unique declaration of a life April 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first few sections of the book I had to read with a dictionary at my side. Ms Layton has an admirable knowledge
of intelligent English and uses that gift all thru her story along with astrological references in her descriptions. By the middle
of the book I found it easier to tie the sections together and to recognize the strength, courage and sensitivity of this woman
to overcome the obstacles life presents her with. I felt after reading it, that there is more than one book in this autobiography.
Each section by itself would make an interesting book.
  • Essentially, the book is a comedy written in a state of grief. So a come-tragedy, if you like. It’s philosophical slant takes the reader through the seasons of the year through the prism of gardening as a metaphor for life.
  • As a memoir, readers will benefit from the humor applied to life’s “gate-keepers.” Many readers will understand they are not alone in their subjectivity. On Grief, middle age, capitalism, parenthood, etc.—we can all agree experientially.
  • The book is primarily for adult gardeners, and there’s the pun in the title—one, I’m a “goya’ in Israel. Two, “goya” is Japanese for pumpkin, which is in keeping with the translated Japanese poetry that begins each “season of the book,” and three, it is a spoof on a book about a geisha…
  • The inspiration for the book came from a garden accident that allowed my grief at that time to tumble out of me at 3AM every morning. It bled out of me in three months’ time. The cover of the book reflects the intricacy of branch overlap when trees are not pruned properly—prepare for many a’ metaphor! I suppose that was the most difficult part of writing the book, the painful yet necessary “pruning” I experienced during that period.
  • Research played only a small role in this book, as it is a memoir. If an inner search can be considered re-search, and I think it can, then the whole thing was researched down to the last dirt ball. 🙂 Self-observation is the greatest teaching.
  • What do I want to say to my readers? Hmn… I love you.

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