The Lost City Of The Incas

March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013

I felt closest to the last short story in my book, about an old man with a passionate mission. He lives in a remote high-altitude Inca village and believes he remembers a time in his childhood when he visited the so-called “Lost City of the Incas.” Is his memory valid? As a boy did he really accompany his father and other local people to help uncover the sacred Inca emperor’s greatly overgrown Machu Picchu?

Hacking Into The Incas’ Lost City

To anyone willing to listen, the old man tells his favorite stories, of hacking out vines and trees that grew out of Machu Picchu’s ancient rooms and sacred spaces. In old age, the old man is determined to return to the place of his memory, to make the treacherous journey of his dreams—accompanied by his magical llamas and his grandson. Does his quest, which involves struggling down into the cloud forest and jungle, fit into the realm of possibility?

Machu Picchu Llamas In The Mountains. Phototo and copyright David Van Buskirk, 2013


My stories and the accompanying paintings by the award-winning Inca painter, Angel Callañaupa Alvarez, relate to the Latin American literary tradition of Magic Realism. It’s hard to write of the Inca culture without reference to the society’s magical thinking, different from our own magic which we too have in abundance. Actually “the other’s” belief systems and practices can be based on useful social methods of dealing with the struggles of the human race. What group has found welcome ways to solve the problems of being human? Maybe others have ideas to contribute. A good reason to be world-thinkers.