I have written about illness and injury and the spiritualities to be found in those experiences. I have written about my hands, my joints, my belly, my skin, my bones. I try not to conclude that this is simple narcissism. Instead, I imagine that I am like those ancient Taoists who perceived the universe to be within themselves. For them, the body was a replica, in miniature, of all of creation.
When Ross moved on to the importance of psychological development I felt a spark of kindredness. It often seems that proponents of genuine development and of our responsibility to foster awareness and growth are precious few. But here we have a defender of clarity and health who speaks with authority.
My work as a writer is almost entirely devoted to the themes of self-awareness, so I am naturally biased toward a view that endorses the usefulness of psychological health. I do not believe that a troubled mind sees clearly; and for me, clarity of vision is the essence of creative work.
Ross Laird has been a favourite writer of mine for a few years now. I bought A Stone’s Throw: The Enduring Nature of Myth on impulse and discovered one of the finest wordsmiths I’ve known. Later he was kind enough to send me a copy of his first book Grain of Truth: The Ancient Lessons of Craft. Ross writes with a keen eye for the profound in the simple and with a fluid style that brings each story, each philosophic twist and every piece of meaning into a rare flow of words. He is, without a doubt, a gem of writing world.
Be sure to read the full texts of his “Presentation at the Writers’ Union of Canada,” as it’s a real treat. Grain of Truth and A Stone’s Throw come with my highest recommendation and I’m eagerly awaiting his next offering, High Life: The Shadow Paths of Addiction. You can find more of Ross’ writings at RossLaird.info.
Mostly we fail at this task. But once in a while, when we get out of our own way, when we circumvent both our insecurities and our arrogance, we get it right: the bodymind speaks through the veil of our scattered consciousness, the words flow onto the page, and we approach something akin to truthfulness.