A Stone’s Throw

A Stone’s Throw begins as Ross A. Laird hikes with his father up a remote B.C. mountain in search of a mythic stone. He finds it in an icy river, packs it home, and spends a year sculpting it in his shop. As he works, Laird discovers why stones have always been viewed as foundations of community, symbols of the self, and embodiments of sacred wisdom. He examines the persistence of this powerful symbolism as his hands shape the stone. And he discovers that despite our general ignorance of mythological history, the fables of our ancestors are still imbued with great power. Recounting archaic myths and tales from his own family, linking together the essential religions of the West – all with stones at their core – Laird illuminates the deep unity among spiritual traditions that are, in the contemporary world, perpetually at war.

A Stone’s Throw is about the weaving together of stories by which we construct our lives, individually and collectively. Laird explores the forces that lead both Jews and Muslims to revere the foundation stone of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Taliban to destroy stone carvings of Buddha, terrorists to attack the World Trade Center. As he crafts a volcanic rock into a piece of sculpture, Laird peels back the facade of the present to reveal the contemporary world as a place where the past is forever working out its unfinished dreams.

I finished reading Ross A. Laird‘s A Stone’s Throw: The Enduring Nature of Myth in the early hours this morning. It’s been a facinating read from cover to cover. Laird presented his own story of craftsmanship woven with myth and history, for history, myth and life are inseparable. I’ve learned quite a lot about Kem, Jewish, Arab and Islamic mythologies and their interwoven histories. It was facinating to discover many of the facts Mr. Laird presented.

One of the most interesting facts presented in the book was that the World Trade Center’s design was based very closely upon the Kaaba, one of the most sacred sites to Islamic people. Did the Islamic terrorists realize they were destroying a tribute to their own sacred site? Was that somehow part of their plan, even unconsciously?

This book is certainly multi-layered, as it explores many aspects of craftsmanship, family, and history becoming myth. Laird’s own family history was as facinating as the older myths he explored. One of his ancestors was accused of being a witch and burned at the stake, while his wife’s ancestor had been an inquisitor who accused witches. Parallels and contradictions in all our histories help to define who we are, no matter how we might try to deny it.

Give this book a read, for it’s undoubtably worth your time! If you have any asparation of being an artist this is doubily valuable. It may be the key to making you discover your own histories.

2 comments on “A Stone’s Throw

  1. Ross Laird says:

    Thanks for the nice review of my book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've posted your comments to the forum on my site (I trust that's OK with you), and I wonder if you'd be willing to add my site to your links (http://www.rosslaird.com).


    Ross Laird

  2. Jan Cieloha says:

    I'm anxious to get “Stone's Throw” and start reading. I was so fortunate to stumble upon his first book “Grain of Truth”…it was an unexpected feast for my mind, heart and creative spirit. I hope to sometime make it to one of Ross Laird's conferences. Thanks for your review.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.