Grain of Truth: The Ancient Lessons of Craft

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Sep 1, 2002 - Crafts & Hobbies - 200 pages
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On the surface, Grain of Truth is a brief, simple book in which the author makes objects out of wood – a hand plane for himself, a marimba for his children, a box to hold the cremated remains of his grandmother-in-law. It's not a how-to book, not a description of technique so much as an exploration of craft as a contemplative and spiritual practice. It shows how one's hands can serve as guides in the unfolding of awareness.The book is organized into eight chapters, based on the essential symbols of ancient Taoism (wind, earth, thunder, deep water, mountain, shallows, fire, and the unfathomable). Each chapter deals with a particular craft project – its inspiration, the materials it requires, the rewards it offers. Using sharp tools and a delicate touch, Laird uses the creative process to discover his essence.Grain of Truth is lyrical and mesmerizing. Like Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery, it explores physical discipline as a path to spiritual awakening. Like Thoreau's Walden, it places the unadorned self in nature, simple experience opening a door to unforeseen depths. Like Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, it evokes the mystical through keen observation of the natural world. It's a book to cherish.

 

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Grain of truth: the ancient lessons of craft

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A poet by profession and a woodworker by avocation, Laird has, well, crafted a pretty little first book of meditations on the creative process. Split into eight sections based on Taoist imagery ... Read full review

Contents

EARTH
17
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
41
DEEP WATER
69
MOUNTAIN
97
SHALLOWS
121
FIRE
157
THE UNFATHOMABLE
173
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About the author (2002)

Ross Laird holds and M.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in creative process. A poet and craftsman, he currently teaches creativity, counseling, and psychology. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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