Synopses & Reviews
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. Its 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 ones 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 Herrigels Zen in the Art of Archery, it explores physical discipline as a path to spiritual awakening. Like Thoreaus Walden, it places the unadorned self in nature, simple experience opening a door to unforeseen depths. Like Annie Dillards Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, it evokes the mystical through keen observation of the natural world. Its a book to cherish.
On the surface, "Grain of Truth" is a simple book in which Laird describes, with eloquence and precision, the practical process by which he makes objects out of wood. Organized into eight chapters based on the ancient Taoist symbols of life energy, "Grain of Truth" describes each project: its inspiration, the materials and physical labor it requires, and the rewards it offers.