Friday, August 25, 2017

Immersing in the Mystery of Dakota

Time is the medium by which life unravels itself. We can understand ourselves better and get to know what right means by looking at the centuries of years behind us. A trip to Dakota sparks that consciousness in us which makes us question why we are what we are. A visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial triggers waves of emotions which are hard to explain. The questions of why, how, continued to plunge us down more and more into repentance, one which could do nothing about.

The days were spent equally amazing at the same time, understanding the undying spirit of Crazy Horse, Sleepy Eye, Little Crow, it just showed how we could not adjust with our fellow neighbors and how systems fell apart again and again. The struggle for existence deserves heroic mentions for each and every tribe, to preserve the individuality and trying to ensure a prosperous future for their future generations. Until gradually their population thinned, and they had to be in the run in the cold, hungry and without basic amenities.

A trip to Dakota is never complete without understanding the history of the tribes and their years of struggle. If reading the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee has not given you goosebumps, it is sure to give goosebumps once we visit Dakota after reading the book. All the names that are so much familiar with us after reading the book comes almost alive in front of us with all the artifacts preserved in details. We get to see their way of life, the tools and techniques that were used, why they did what they did during hunting, fishing, cooking, and all other aspects of life.

The meaning of trust got lost again and again with so many treaties of peace broken over the years. It is single most unfortunate trait of us when we want to take away from others for our own benefit, by betrayal. There is no doubt why warriors were worshiped when talks failed, since the only way one could stand up against untrustworthy negotiators is by taking up arms. Statues of Crazy Horse is found everywhere and the superhero stature transcends time, and has resoundingly found a place in the hearts of all. It was my wish if only the mountain carving could have been completed beyond the arm and the face when I went, as evident in the adjacent picture. The white statue is what the mountain carving in the background would have looked like had it been completed, it's still in progress currently, and it started in 1948.

The conquest of lands by the people who could not (or did not want to) believe all of us could stay together did not destroy the culture of the tribes. They continued to carry forward their traditions in whichever way they could, and we were lucky to witness a show of their celebratory entertaining dance. The simple things of life made so much meaning for them, starting from animals to weather, colors to shapes, the smallest of the small things has become a part of their life which is really soothing to see from our WiFi centric vision.

There are things which we so so wish we could undo, but we cannot today. Even if we wish what it would have been if this and that would not have happened. There's always another way, it is sad that we seldom put in the effort to find the better way, even if it maybe painful and difficult at the start. And this applies to every aspect of our life, where often the easy option becomes the solution that ultimately may not be helpful at all in the long run. The essence of Dakota thus lingers on even after coming back. Someone asked me today, why bother after the trip is over, it was just another weekend getaway. I only wished I could explain how this getaway changed everything.


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