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THE SMELL OF RAIN ON DUST: Grief and
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.
"Martin Prechtel’s genius takes many forms: painting, music, a continuously evolving learning community, and thank God, books like this one. I get so excited reading it, I cannot stay in one place. I sit reading on my porch…then back to my living room to make a fire and watch Martin’s gorgeously alive prose burn inside me. His ideas and language are so enlivening my impulse is to quote great sections of it. I’ll just touch on a few of his brilliant insights around how animals help us to grieve, and to make our way out of grief into the beauty of praising. As he says, animals help us grieve our loss of naturalness. And we have mostly forgotten ‘the very old worldwide tribal custom of having a “grief relative” from the wild living together with us in our houses.’ Caring for animals is a sacred responsibility. To truly grieve and to weep deeply is something the animals really do help us with. And O they help us praise too, to accomplish that most marvelous art of turning the grief into praising. Martin tells us, ‘Let the world jump up and live again,’ and he makes that happen with his delicious sentences. Read this necessary, very beautiful book, and then read it again."
—Coleman Barks, author of Rumi: Soul
"Alchemy, by definition, metabolizes and transmutes. A reading of The Smell of Rain on Dust is alchemical. If the shredding of the glorious web of life has you sinking into a depth of despair, read this book; your grief can metabolize and transmute such wrongness. Deep and delightful, The Smell of Rain on Dust is also instructive. It will charm you into wanting to live life more fully, to walk in beauty even amongst modernity’s polarized spiritual failures."
—Randy Hayes, Director of Foundation
"Once again, Martin Prechtel is up to his old tricks… “Making medicine out of poison.” Taking grief, pain, strife and other elements of a society in distress and concocting a potion that actually heals those who have ears to listen. The Smell of Rain on Dust does exactly that. In a world that needs to grieve its wrongdoings but has lost its ability or forgotten its ancient wisdom, Mr. Prechtel has been selected as a spokesman to reunite modern man with ancient wisdom. Not an enviable position!"
—H. Bruce Coslor, Vietnam Vet,
"I love Martín’s book. It was amazing reading it aloud to the Ocean. At one point I moved up the coast assuming the listening birds, seals and whales would stay, but they moved with me. The waves listened and the wind. Read this magical book as it takes you into the courtyard of the heart.”
—M. Bacon, International Award winning
"This wonderful book, The Smell of Rain on Dust, not only addresses this culture’s lack of grief but it discusses in poignant ways how our inability to grieve has created many of our culture’s delirious, fast paced, toxic, constant state of emergency symptoms where depression, addiction and mediocrity reign. As a mother, daughter, teacher, and farmer I found this book to stir up a deep prayer, that as a people we might one day through being with the depths of our grief find so much love and deliciousness in being alive that we praise this life so genuinely nothing is left unloved.”
—Melanie MacKinnon, teacher,
"I held my personal grief for decades
until, with the help of the author, I
ceremonially metabolized my grief into a
thing of beauty. Like a magic genie, I
popped out of the bottle I had crawled
into with a renewed love of life.
—Wick Fisher, retired
"Many Veterans are now banding into “Warrior Societies” but do not know what direction to go. In my work, I see on a daily basis many new patients (veterans) coming in for help: some with traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance abuse treatment (mainly alcohol), post traumatic disorders, and the all too often “suicidal attempt” where a new generation of warriors kick off the repressed memories of Vietnam era warriors remembering what was suppressed for so many years, their minds desperately making an often failed attempt to resolve an un-grieved, ghost ridden past. The Smell of Rain on Dust beautifully addresses the possibility of a “Society of Warriors” so changed by having killed that they become a society of healers to heal those wounded in war, both old and new..”
—John Ishmael, RN BSN,
Inpatient Medicine, Nurse Physician
Liaison and Discharge planner;
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