The debris and the metaphors
And the scarcity of miracles he'd
Valverde and the battle lines and
everything it undermines
And the scarcity of miracles we'd
Those are from the lyrics of the song "A Scarcity of Miracles" written by Jakko M. Jakszyk of the King Crimson Projekct.
Pizzaro is Francisco Pizzaro, the conquistador of Peru. Valverde is Friar Vicente de Valverde. Valverde accompanied Pizzaro as a missionary to Peru.
Prior to the Battle of Caxamarca, Valverde tried to obtain the peaceful submission of the Great Inca Atahaullpa. When the Atahaulpa rejected a pact of friendship with Pizarro, Friar Vicente joined in the conversation: “He came forward holding a crucifix in his right hand and a breviary in his left and introduced himself as another envoy of the Spanish ruler . . . Friar Vicente called upon the Inca to renounce all other gods as being a mockery of the truth.”[*] Atahualpa simply replied that he could not change his beliefs in the all powerful and ever living Sun and other divinities.
This brief telling of the event hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. The Incan ruler believed that his god was The Sun. The Sun was a visible daily presence. His people made sacrifices to the Sun so that it would continue to rise, and for plentiful harvests. To the Inca, the Sun was a visible present God. They were being presented with an invisible foreign god for which there was no proof of existence. When each side viewed the others' gods, they saw a scarcity of miracles.
© 2015 Marc S. McCune
* Carson, Margaret (2008). Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance. U of Michigan: Ann Arbor.