If the future is to remain open and free, we need people who can tolerate the unknown, who will not need the support of completely worked-out systems or traditional blueprints from the past. – Margaret Mead
Many people have shared their opinions about visiting Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Some have shared their thoughts on the environmental implications of sculpting mountains and some have talked about whether or not the trip into the Black Hills of South Dakota is worth it.
For us, spending time in both places, left us with an overwhelming sense of the power of vision. Gutzon Borglum worked on Mount Rushmore for 14 years and managed every angle of the “Shrine to Democracy.” Managed by the National Park Service, the paths around the faces give you endless vistas and perspectives to take in this artistic feat amidst a stunning landscape.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is privately funded and pulsing with education and a sense of community on a different scale. The vision of the Korczak family was and is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians. We were told by Sitting Bull’s grandson that during the 14th Century there were 60 million North American Indians and today there are only one million. Our children made dream catchers, watched Native American dancing demonstrations, and sat in awe of the largest mountain carving in the world with tummies full of Tatanka stew. Hours passed and we could not pull ourselves away.
Both artists died before their work was complete. In both cases, the next generation took the torch and it still burns in palatable ways.
In a culture that talks a great deal about finishing what you start and getting the job done, these monuments are a testament to the beauty of a work in progress, the power of a dream, and how the momentum of a clear vision can literally move mountains.