Sue McGhee writes about her view of the world--politics, history, the Arts, family and opinion. See her new novel entitled "When the Eagle Flies with the Condor" and her collection of short stories "Voices" at www.suemcghee.com and www.amazon.com.
Copyright (c) 2011 by G. Sue McGhee
Saturday, July 9, 2011
When the Eagle Flies with the Condor: a novel of the sixties
When the Eagle flies with the Condor, there will be peace and brotherhood among nations. This is a two thousand year old prophecy which goes something like this: the eagle represents North America today (and by extension other western, highly civilized and wealthy nations) and its emphasis on the intellect, science and wealth to the exclusion of the spirit. By contrast, the condor embodies a powerful spiritual connection to earth and our fellow creatures and represents not only the natives of Latin America, but the indigenous people from around the globe. It is the underlying theme of the novel, but the novel is about more than that. It is a story of brotherhood and love, revolution and war, survival and friendship, and begins with two coddled American youngsters whose father builds roads in an attempt to bring commerce to the natives of the backward and poverty stricken country of Bolivia. Their mother, uncomfortable and plagued with anxieties generated by constant political unrest, fills her days with trivialities and alcohol. The children's care-free lives are disrupted when they must return to the U.S. for reasons unknown to them at the time. What follows is the boy’s anti-social response to what he ultimately deems a godless universe and his sister’s painful withdrawal caused by fears of abandonment by her family. As the children move into adulthood, their reactions to these inimical forces result in his joining the army and deploying to Vietnam, and her returning to South America as a sort of apprentice shaman ministering to the needs of the natives by adhering to the teachings of the Kallawaya, the traveling medicine men who roam the cordilleras of the Andes. Their lives are played out against the backdrop of the 1960s and everything that volatile decade represents. They are players, yes, but they are astute observers as well, recognizing the similarities among the indigenous people of the world with their knowledge, latent power and untapped potential for good. Thus, the prophecy of The Eagle and the Condor comes into play with its message that at the beginning of the fifth Pachacuti, (the year 2000) the balance of power will shift and the indigenous peoples of the world will begin to resume their rightful place among nations.