The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-01-31
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
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Mart n Prechtel’s experiences growing up on a Pueblo Indian reservation, his years of apprenticing to a Guatemalan shaman, and his flight from Guatemala’s brutal civil war inform this lyrical blend of memoir, cultural mythology, and spiritual call to arms. The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquicis both an epic story and a cry to the heart of humanity based on the author’s realization that human survival depends on keeping alive the seeds of our “original forgotten spiritual excellence.” Prechtel relates the current eco-crisis to the rapid disappearance of biodiversity, indigenous cultures, and shared human values. He demonstrates how real human culture is exterminated when real (not genetically modified) seeds are lost. Like plants that become extinct once their required conditions are no longer met, authentic, unmonetized human cultures can no longer survive in the modern world. To “keep the seeds alive”-both literally and metaphorically-they must be planted, harvested, and replanted, just as human culture must become truly engaging and meaningful to the soul, as necessary as food is to the body. The viable seeds of spirituality and culture that lie dormant within us need to “sprout” into broad daylight to create real sets of cultures welcome on Earth.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
A Note on Writing with Native Wordsp. xxi
The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquicp. 1
Always a Place at the Tablep. 3
Star Arches, the Lurching Earth, and the Seed-eyed Godp. 12
The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquicp. 35
The Life of People as Plantsp. 67
In the Shade of the Fire Flowerp. 69
The Fiery Speech of Seeds as Timep. 86
The Miraculous Return of the Tree of Timep. 109
The Frenchman Gets "Everything"p. 126
Checkmated by My Lovep. 140
People as Seeds, Their Youth as Chocolate, the Dead Echoing Back to Lifep. 149
Keeping the Seeds Alivep. 173
Burning Up the Memoryp. 175
The Seeds Come Back Riding "Little Bald Gourd"p. 188
Swimming Past the Dogs of Amnesia, the Seeds Disappear into the Redwoodsp. 206
The Six Donancianasp. 227
Tunneling Past Centuries, Red Corn in Their Cheeks, the Old Ladies Scurry into Viewp. 257
"Here's Your Damned Corn"p. 268
From Their Motley Hands, the Motley Seeds Surprise the People into Beautyp. 287
Seeds of Birth and Seeds of Death Return, Carrying the Whole Worldp. 298
Our Agreement with the Holy in Naturep. 305
Our Ancient Seed Jarp. 307
The Marriage Contract with the Wildp. 316
Keeping Our Agreement with the Wild:p. 323
Our Ancient Seed Jars: Finding an Agreement to Keepp. 323
There Has to Be Wild Land, Air, and Seap. 324
The Veld-Sacred Feral Landp. 327
All Origins Must Be Known-Where the Seeds Go, So the Agreement Must Gop. 330
When the People Marry, the Seeds Marryp. 341
Kneel at the Feet of the Mother of the Food You Eat and Ask Her to Adopt Youp. 348
Beautiful Farmingp. 354
A Temple Called a Fieldp. 360
The Majesty of Decayp. 364
The Body of the Plants Cityp. 369
Offerings-Farmers as the Jewelers of Vitalityp. 375
Kiss Your Pumpkins-Sacred Pantry Templesp. 381
Learning to Live Beyond Our Time-The Dead Must Feed the Livingp. 391
The House of Originsp. 398
The Famous Story of One Eyep. 415
Glossary of Non-English Wordsp. 423
New Words and Redefined Words as Understood in This Bookp. 431
About the Authorp. 445
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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