Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest 1 Share on Fark! 1 Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend (5 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   6 comments

Life Arts

Building a New World: The Work of Handyman-Visionary Ross Laird

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 1/17/14

Become a Fan
  (38 fans)

A Stone's Throw begins as Ross hikes with his father up a remote British Columbian mountain in search of a mythic stone. There, he comes to find his stone in an icy river.  Ross then takes it home and spends a year sculpting it in his shop. In doing the work, Ross then has an epiphany: He discovers why stones have always been viewed as foundations of community, symbols of the self, and embodiments of sacred wisdom.

As his hands shaped the stone, the persistence of this powerful symbolism continued.  He ultimately discovers that despite general ignorance regarding mythological history, the fables of our ancestors are still imbued with great power. He then reconsiders archaic myths and tales from his own family, linking together the essential religions of the West -- all with stones at their core.  Ross thus 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.  Ross also 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, and terrorists to attack the World Trade Center. Uniting contemporary art with spirituality, Ross then crafts a volcanic rock into a piece of sculpture.  In so doing, he 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.

Pause for a moment.  What unfinished dreams is the past trying to work out through you today?  What longings in your heart do your family, community, and the very earth on which you live share?  What lies within the material that you are attracted to work with that can teach you where beauty, truth, and purpose lie for you and yours?  In what way do you belong to something greater than yourself?  To what fulfillment are those voices calling you?  What would our ancestors, human and nonhuman, from 4 to 6,000 years ago say to us today?  If you asked them, "What would you have done differently?" how would they answer you?  Is that message a key to what you need to do today?

Ross is currently vested in co-creating an alternative educational program together with his fellow teachers and students. They are asking together, " How would we build the educational enterprise from scratch? If we removed our legacies and biases, if we dismantled our assumptions and judgments, what would education look like? What would the forms of teaching and learning be if we did not try to build them atop crumbling structures that embody the values and norms of a diminishing age?"  Based on the foundation of commitment to the whole person, Ross and his colleagues are building "educational environments that support integrative, purposeful development for individuals and groups."  Now that will be a work of art worthy of so great a spirit.

Ultimately, Ross believes we can do better by imagining a different life and retelling our own story.  The story that we tell ourselves today needs to be changed.  Thus, creative works are needed.  Healing is equal to creativity in Ross' mind.  We must also look towards future and envision a different style of life. 

To listen to an interview with Ross with Envision This!, visit:

Ross's website is at:

Grain of Truth
(image by Ross Laird)


Wood Work
(image by Ross Laird)

This is Your Classroom
(image by Ross Laird)

Next Page  1  |  2


Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Physicist Tom Campbell's Big TOE or Theory of Everything

What's in a Seed?

Beyond Monsanto: Rekindling a Healthy Earth in the Face of Corporate Farming

Farmers File Suit Against Monsanto

Sex as Natural Process: A Primary Step to Healing Alienation?

The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

To build a new life is more than just thinking and... by Burl Hall on Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:02:40 AM
The earth, wood, stone, are energy, and are US.&n... by Cynthia Piano on Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 6:09:07 AM
Its interesting, Cynthia".as I read your response... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 6:27:55 AM
Yes, the Kogis understood that to preserve their ... by Cynthia Piano on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 8:50:01 AM
Beautifully stated.  I learned of the Kogis i... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:08:24 PM
We are the ancient Kogis, Hawaiians, Maya, Do... by Cynthia Piano on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 at 5:44:11 AM