A Stone’s Throw begins as I hike with my father up a remote B.C.mountain in search of a mythic stone. I find it in an icy river, pack it home, and spend a year sculpting it in my shop. As I work, I discover why stones have always been viewed as foundations of community, symbols of the self, and embodiments of sacred wisdom. I examine the persistence of this powerful symbolism as my hands shape the stone. And I discover 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 my own family, linking together the essential religions of the West — all with stones at their core — I 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. I explore 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 I craft a volcanic rock into a piece of sculpture, I peel back the facade of the present to reveal the contemporary world as a place where the past is forever working out its unfinished dreams.
A Stone’s Throw was lauded for its thought-provoking nature and deft weaving of mythologies. Said The Globe and Mail, “Laird’s knowledge of ancient mythologies is both wide-ranging and impressive, and he makes a compelling case for how such myths have crept unbeknownst into our consciousness.” Writing in The Toronto Star, Robert Wiersema said ”it is useful to be reminded that there is another manner in which to live, a life more in tune with the rhythms of nature and the people around us, and yet responsive to the oldest of songs…” Quill and Quire praised A Stone’s Throw as both “technically accurate and beautifully poetic.”
The ideas and topics explored in A Stone’s Throw are also explored in the university courses I teach. You can find out more about these here.