About the BookAfter Kyomi O'Connor lost her husband, Patrick, to metastatic melanoma in the brain, she was overcome with grief and at a loss for how to cope--until she began writing. Already a devoted Buddhist practitioner, O'Connor found that writing was a new kind of spiritual practice--one that uncovered old wounds, brought light to the dark places inside her, and helped her reach a place of peace and healing.
Book SynopsisFrom an early age, Kyomi's life was filled with emotional difficulties--an adulterous father, an overreliant mother, and a dismissive extended family. In an effort to escape the darkness of her existence in Japan, Kyomi moved to the States in February 1990 to start a new life as a researcher working at NIH in Bethesda, MD. Soon, she fell in love with her husband-to-be: Patrick, a warm, charismatic British cancer researcher whose unconditional love and support helped her begin to heal the traumas of her past. Eventually, their journey together led them to change their careers and move to San Diego, CA, where they dedicated themselves to a Buddhism practice that changed both their lives--aiding them in their spiritual growth and in realizing their desire to help others.
Then Patrick was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma in the brain--and, after a fierce, three-year-long battle against his cancer, died on July 4, 2016. Devastated, Kyomi spent a year lost in grief. But when she one day began to write, she discovered that doing so allowed her to uncover truths about herself, her life history, and her relationship with Patrick. In the process, she surfaced many old, unhealed wounds--but ultimately writing became her daily spiritual practice, and many truths emerged out of the darkness. After many years of struggle and searching, Kyomi finally found the love and light that had existed within her all along.
" . . . a beautiful sense of introspection . . . . [O'Connor's] prose effortlessly encourages readers to invest emotionally in the author's life, and there are many lessons imparted throughout the journey that readers can - and should - take away and implement in their own lives. Overall, A Sky of Infinite Blue is a book written with no small degree of bravery . . . . I cannot imagine someone reading it from cover to cover without feeling moved and enlightened by the experience."--Readers' Favorite
"Quiet, meditative, and graceful, A Sky of Infinite Blue intertwines a spiritual journey with the personal pursuit of freedom."
--Foreword Reviews, 5/5 stars
"An engaging and poignant immigrant account with sharp, sincere, and tenderly insightful writing."
"Kyomi O'Connor deftly weaves personal narrative with spiritual guidance in her unforgettable memoir. Powerful and heartrending, A Sky of Infinite Blue is a soaring account of self-examination and resilience in the face of overwhelming grief, a lantern of spirituality illuminating the darkness."
--Ly Tran, the author of the highly acclaimed memoir House of Sticks"A remarkable account of a life filled with trials, ultimately leading to spiritual growth, love, and warm-hearted wisdom. I had trouble putting this book down. Kudos to Kyomi O'Connor for a well-told tale of forgiveness, strength, and staying in the moment. I highly recommend A Sky of Infinite Blue."
--Lindsey Salatka, award-winning author of Fish Heads and Duck Skin"Kyomi's poetic and beautiful memoir is a deeply authentic story of her journey to become whole, to claim herself. Her story invites us all to go into the core of our Being and find the spiritual truths that guide us through dark nights of the soul, allow us to see the light."
--Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, author of Don't Call Me Mother and Song of the Plains, and two books on the craft of memoir"A Sky of Infinite Blue is like a beautiful piece of music, complex in its harmonies as she peels back the layers of her psyche and her relationship to her beloved husband. Her writing is courageous; she never shies away from telling the truth about her personal struggles and the difficulties of her marriage."
--Cindy Rasicot Author of Finding Venerable Mother
--Gail Warner, author of Weaving Myself Awake, therapist, and founder of Pine Manor Retreat Center"A Sky of Infinite Blue is poignant and moving. You will be inspired, impressed, and amazed at Kyomi's resilience and devotion to not only the men in her life but to her family and herself."
--Leslie Johansen Nack, author of multiple award-winning memoir Fourteen and novel The Blue Butterfly"Kyomi O'Connor has boldly and bravely written a compelling book. It is full of life, with all its sorrows, joys, moments, thoughts, conflicts, trials, and emotions. Real wisdom lives here, infused with the Buddhist teachings that guide Kyomi. I urge you to read this book and accompany Kyomi on her journey through life. Its richness is guaranteed to inform your own life journey."
--Michael D. Burg, MD, Consultant, Freelancer, Writer"Kyomi O'Connor shares her struggle in finding meaning and purpose that many of us fail to realize. Her story is a modern day telling of Siddhartha's intellectual and spiritual journey to find peace in a selfless life. This may help us all find a little more light and blue sky within the darkness and pressures of modern society."
--Gregory Daniels MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine"This story dramatically begins with the end: the loss of a best friend, lover, and husband. A fascinating page-turner; many lessons can be learned in this tale of passion, friendship, and determination where a bright side to sadness is found. A joy to read and a compelling memoir I didn't want to end."
--Marian Young, Senior Investigator at the National Institutes of Health"Kyomi's memoir grips your heart from the first words of the prologue and doesn't let go. It is a love story between Kyomi and her partner, her faith, her very essence of self, and the broader human experience. While deeply personal, it shares truths of the human spirit that are so universal, one cannot help but feel a connection to her paradoxically unique and yet fundamentally common humanity. She fearlessly and genuinely shares her courage and her pain, inspiring all of us to "turn our scars and wounds into treasures."
--Dr. Donna L. Roberts, Fellow of the Royal Arts Society, professor at ERAU, and author of a dozen of the anthology books, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Psych Pstuff, and others, and four academic books"A deeply personal journey filled with moments of intense pain, absolute joy, and, ultimately,
--Lori Shein, editor of Young Adult Nonfiction Books"A reminder to all of us how life is an ever-unfolding river from which the events of childhood, adulthood, and tragedy can continuously be interpreted, reinterpreted, and altered by new understanding. These can and should be looked at as areas of growth and fodder
--Bonnie Szumski, owner of Bow Editorial Services"A Sky of Infinite Blue is a compelling tale of love and loss, rich in wonder, feeling, and surprise. O'Connor will invite you in, serve you tea, and disarm you with her simple warmth, goodwill, and honesty. Your tea, though, may grow cold, forgotten, by the time you turn the final page."
--Ed Robson, poet, writer, PhD, MFA"An absorbing story. Kyomi explores life through the lens of childhood, teachings, and especially, the flowering of her spirituality. In its fierce quest for meaning, Kyomi's book reveals her amazing, indomitable spirit."
--Sally W. Buffington, author of A Place Like This: Finding Myself in a Cape Cod Cottage"A love story with many twists and turns. This book will shed light on the tragedy of living a life of feeling 'less' yet ultimately rising above all hardship to ultimately love oneself as much as you love others."
--Laura L. Engel, author of You'll Forget This Ever Happened
--Mehmet Yildiz, Editor-in-Chief, Illumination Integrated Publications