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Rescuing the Light


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Rescuing the Light: Quotes from the Oral Teachings of Martín Prechtel

Renowned author Martín Prechtel’s newest work, Rescuing the Light, carries his inspiring and unique vision to the world in an entirely new form with this powerful collection of quotes gathered from over fifteen years of teaching at his school in Northern New Mexico. Famous for his sentences that can fill a whole page if not an entire chapter, here Prechtel offers some of his most dynamic teachings yet in the distilled form of sayings and quotes that have proven especially impactful, provocative and transformative to his rapt audiences over the years.

Prechtel’s sayings are at once hilarious, deeply thought-provoking, at times heart-wrenching, full of poetry and wonders, incisive and farsighted in the ways he sizes up the world’s complex present, storied and mottled pasts, and potential futures, all while remaining enduringly hopeful and encouraging to the reader or listener “to jump up and live again!”

Organized into chapters by topic as far-ranging as the subjects he teaches, Prechtel’s refreshing, insightful perspectives touch on all aspects of human culture from language, music, farming, animals, tools, spirituality, ritual, and world religions, to the current state of technology-dependent human culture and its historical roots, while returning often and unerringly to the main ‘job’ of humans, which Prechtel says must be a constant attempt to make the kind of beauty that feeds the Holy in Nature, and thus helps keep the world alive.

Whether the reader picks just one quote at a time to chew slowly on until the full majesty contained therein is revealed, or buckles themselves in and charges all the way through, letting the immensity of this thousand-part symphony crash over them all at once, no reader or listener will escape being endlessly moved, inspired, educated, and forever changed by this book.

Excerpted Sayings

“I want the best things of all people to flood one another and drown them in a mutual admiration that causes all of them to sing to each in their own way the praises of what gives these differences life.”


“The land, language and stories are not lost. The people don’t lose them. They’re there. It’s the people who get lost.”


“Instead of killing the enemy, outgrow your hate.”


“What can no longer be seen can still be remembered and if it was food then, it is medicine now. If it was hard then it is soft grief now. Grief unstiffens life and gives a river-like liquidity to the Holy who courts life into beauty. Anything else is all eternal warfare.”


“You have to work hard to hold on to ignorance – it doesn’t occur naturally.”


Listen Here to Martín’s Interview with Tiokasin Ghosthorse on First Voices Indigenous Radio
Discussing Martín’s new book Rescuing the Light: Quotes from the Oral Teachings of Martín Prechtel
June 9th, 2021

Listen Here to Martín’s Interview with Ross McKeachie on theBanyen Books: In Conversation Podcast
 on Martín’s new book Rescuing the Light: Quotes from the Oral Teachings of Martín Prechtel.
September 21, 2021 or search for ‘Banyen Books Martín Prechtel’ wherever you listen to podcasts

Listen Here to Martín’s Interview with Eric LeMay of ‘New Books Network’
on Rescuing the Light: Quotes from the Oral Teachings of Martín Prechtel.
August 4th, 2021

“This is a very powerful soul-growth book, one of the most powerful in recent years. The ideas are so fresh and new that they quicken the taste buds and put an expectant readiness in the legs!”

“In a time of immense cultural insanity, Martín’s inimitable spirit echoes out through the words on these pages. As an Indigenous woman, his words have had a profound healing impact on the generations in my bloodlines. Rescuing the Light will reverberate across the grand loom of time, a true gift for the transformative times we find ourselves in. This book helps us remember how to be good future ancestors and responsible descendants. Kí:ken iewennahnotáhkhwa. Ionkwaienawá:se aonsaionkwehiahráhkwen oh ní:ioht ahonnonkwe’tiióhake tsi nén:we ne ionkhihsothokón:’a akénhake tánon aionkhiniáhese tsi nikionkwathwatsirí:non.”

“Each little seed of eloquence that came before me bloomed off the page with such riotous exuberance that it couldn’t be contained, and how do you turn the page from that? It’s like looking out the window to see a dragon eating your car and turning to finish the dishes.… This is truly a miraculous text, like a hatful of magical castles and horses! Please be warned: This is not a book of wise sayings designed to make you feel better, to make your life better, or feed your soul. It’s really not even a book at all—it’s more like a bag of holes to throw onto the wall of the box you have been trained to think was your life, and if you dare let the light in, and maybe even summon up the courage to peek out, you may just find a path to becoming a useful being, capable of feeding something far grander than yourself.…”

“Through savoring and digesting so many sparks of wisdom, perhaps you will discover that Rescuing the Light is in essence about beauty—that is, about the light that resides inside all things and all people, visible to those who dare to look. En el proceso de saborear y digerir tantos destellos de sabiduría atesorados en estas páginas, descubrirás quizás que Rescuing the Light trata en esencia sobre la belleza, sobre la luz que reside dentro de todos y todo, visible para quienes se atreven a mirar.”

Additional information

Weight .725 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .625 in
Purchase Options

Paperback – with autograph, Paperback – no autograph

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