Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Men and Spirituality > A Review of “The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic” by Martín Prechtel

A Review of “The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic” by Martín Prechtel

I recently finished reading Martín Prechtel’s latest book having preordered it and received it on its publication date. My long anticipation of the work and excitement to devour it in wholly massive gulps was only tempered by its importance and my savoring each bite as I moved through the elegant prose poem word by precious word treating each one as a seed for growth and understanding. This is a giant of a book unlike anything else out there. This work is itself an instruction manual for humanity to find an “unlikely peace” in this post-modern, post-everything chaotic world we are waking up to.

In the interest of full disclosure I first met Martín in 2002 at the Minnesota Men’s Conference. I had at that point read his first book, Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, published in 1998. I have since read everything he has written multiple times and will continue to read his books for the rest of my life. Each is built of many layers of information, knowledge and wisdom. And I am currently a participant in his school, Bolad’s Kitchen, in his third group known as the New Sprouts.

That said, The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic is Martín’s most important work yet. It offers me many additional readings as I absorb each layer of the stories and the wisdom much like an archeologist peeling back the compost heap levels of ancient communities to reveal the underlying meaning and cultures that instruct us in ways to build a new community and a new culture in order to keep the seeds alive! These seeds are our seeds if we can find them. In fact these seeds are us. And they are vital to the very survival of humanity.

At first blush the part of the subtitle: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants, sounded a bit strange to me, and intriguing. Martín explains his meaning here very clearly, again in the extraordinarily multivalent way he has of bringing together complex thoughts and concepts into juxtaposition to deepen the understanding of his meaning. Read the book to discover for yourself how true this exploration of people as plants is!

As I read this book I found myself chuckling at the humor in the stories and anecdotes from his time in Guatemala. More often the tears would come as I went through both grief and inspiration as the words sank slowly into my psyche, almost at once plunging me into the depths of despair and rising to the heights of confidence and optimism as I with Martín consider the human condition and our future.

If you have had the privilege of meeting Martín you will hear him, see him and sense his very presence as you read his words. It is so good to have him close, just here on my shelf! And if you have not yet met him this is a wonderful opportunity to begin your journey toward an “unlikely peace” with yourself and your fellow humans! You will meet Martín on this journey.

The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic ended much too soon for me. The work is totally satisfying and certainly complete meeting all the promises of the delicious title and the enticing Part and Chapter titles. I just wasn’t ready to let Martín go; I wanted to keep his voice in my head. So, I went back to his earlier book: The Toe Bone and the Tooth (now published as Stealing Benefacio’s Roses) to again savor that sumptuous feast and retain his voice echoing through my whole body down to the very core, that seed within!

If you have any sense that the indigenous cultures of humanity have something to teach us, if you are interested at all in how we can resuscitate a culture from the mess we are now in, if you have ever prayed for peace, if you love stories, if you are intrigued by the title, if you find yourself wondering where the human family is going, then read this book. It is important. It is powerful. It will make you cry – and laugh. And you will love yourself just a little bit more for having read it!

  1. Jess
    September 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Richard,
    I just returned from my first session of Shoots and Tendrils and came across your review. I’m in the middle of the book and just felt the juicy warmth of meeting yet another one who loves what I love.
    Thank you for your beautiful words,

    • September 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Jess; and welcome to Gavilan!!

  2. Lisa Rush
    August 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Hello Richard,
    I am waiting for the arrival of Martins latest book. And thinking of your group, Sending prayers and blessings to you all on this eve of your next session. I am there in Spirit, my hope is one day to join in this beautiful gathering of souls coming together to be together.
    May an incredible Divine Flowering be yours and all be fed through your beauty. Long Life, Honey in the Heart, No Evil, Thirteen Thank Yous. Lisa

    • August 22, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for the kind words. I am certain you will enjoy “The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic” – it is an incredible read! And I wish for you the opportunity to join a Bolad’s Kitchen group; it is another incredible experience waiting for you out there!

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