The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

by Martin Prechtel


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Inspiring hope, solace, and courage in living through our losses, author Martín Prechtel, trained in the Tzutujil Maya shamanic tradition, shares profound insights on the relationship between grief and praise in our culture—how the inability that many of us have to grieve and weep properly for the dead is deeply linked with the inability to give praise for living. In modern society, grief is something that we usually experience in private, alone, and without the support of a community. Yet, as Prechtel says, "Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses."

Prechtel explains that the unexpressed grief prevalent in our society today is the reason for many of the social, cultural, and individual maladies that we are currently experiencing. According to Prechtel, "When you have two centuries of people who have not properly grieved the things that they have lost, the grief shows up as ghosts that inhabit their grandchildren." These "ghosts," he says, can also manifest as disease in the form of tumors, which the Maya refer to as "solidified tears," or in the form of behavioral issues and depression. He goes on to show how this collective, unexpressed energy is the long-held grief of our ancestors manifesting itself, and the work that can be done to liberate this energy so we can heal from the trauma of loss, war, and suffering.

At base, this "little book," as the author calls it, can be seen as a companion of encouragement, a little extra light for those deep and noble parts in all of us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583949399
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 188,968
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

A leading thinker, writer and teacher in the search for the indigenous soul in all people, Martín Prechtel is a dedicated student of eloquence, history, language and an ongoing fresh approach. In his native New Mexico Martín teaches at his international school Bolad’s Kitchen: a hands-on historical and spiritual immersion into language, music, ritual, farming, cooking, smithing, natural colors, architecture, animal raising, clothing, tools, story, grief, and humor to help people from many lands, cultures, and backgrounds to remember and retain the majesty of their diverse origins while cultivating the flowering of integral culture in the present to grow a time of hope beyond our own.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Little Extra Light for the Bottom of the River ix

1 Grief Is a Shameless Dreamer 1

2 Normal Grief: Our First Song Is Grief 7

3 Swimming in the Grief of Longing for Aeyla 21

4 Grief Is Praise 29

5 The Tribe of the Sea and the Designated Non-Grievers 45

6 Paddles of Tears, Canoes Made Out of Old Songs 61

7 Revenge 77

8 Too Big, Too Sour, Too Hard, Too Old: The Black Hole of Ungrieved War 89

9 Money Eats the World 103

10 Animals: Grief Orphans Are the Doctors 117

11 Loss of Limb: Never Interrupt a Blessing 133

12 One Small Road 151

13 The Smell of Rain on Dust 161

Acknowledgments 169

About the Author 171

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