Prosperity Pie – Sark

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 Sark burst into my chaotic life with Inspiration Sandwich, her initial effort in 1992 that matched handpainted, childlike art with scraps of stories and words of wisdom from her own experience and that of a few self-help gurus. A Sark book is full of unexpected moments: a clock that stretches time by repeating one hour over and over, exhortations to choose “succulence” over predictable and dry activities, observations about self-acceptance and tricks to stay open to new ideas. Painting the whole thing together are the line drawings and color washes that characterize her work as exuberant and playful.

Prosperity Pie: How to Relax about Money and Everything Else takes a tricky topic and makes it manageable. Sark shares her own money foibles and sprinkles the stories with thought balloons for you to fill in like a lighthearted workbook. She quotes Rumi—Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder–in painted hand-printing and highlights the whole quote with oil pastel (or maybe crayon) streaks of red, yellow, blue, and green. She harks back to Louise Hay, the octogenarian publisher of Hay House who preaches self-approval and an attitude of openness to life. She talks about all the ways we deify money or turn it into an ogre. “If money was on the table, I was under it” reads one cartoon with a picture of a crouched woman under a small table. She gives chatty advice and lists plenty of other books about how to relax and accept abundance, offer our true work in exchange for abundance, shift our consciousness to encourage abundance.

Prosperity Pie cooks up a cheerful repast to counter the gloomy indigestible buffet of scarcity and bitterness of this wrecked economy. We can change our own world, Sark claims, and fix what’s around us at the same time. Can’t argue with that unless you are a determined pessimist. Try a slice of Sark’s pie to liven up a dull meal. It has all the flavor and cockeyed optimism of childhood to cheer you up and cheer you on to that dreamscape of possibility that just might turn out to be real.

Prosperity Pie : How to Relax About Money and Everything Else    Sark | Simon & Schuster  2002

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