These fists. These fists have known such discord as I cannot begin to recount. In times before men lived upon this land, I rode across it, aimless. I knew neither form nor consciousness, yet I was. I remember those times, but I do not remember being. And then the first men crossed the ice bridge in the north and spread down, adapting, changing, learning to live in this hostile, giving land. And they told stories of the wind and the night and the lightning and the thunder. They told stories of the great tusked beasts that roamed the land, of the fire that burnt the forests, of the place they went when they died. They sought to make sense of so many things they knew nothing about, so they used what they knew—the animals, the birds, the seasons, the plants. Each little group of these men created a web of stories, of belief, about the genesis of this place. They created symbols to explain the inexplicable. They gave names to the things and places and moments and stars that had no names, never knew they needed to be named. It was then that I took form, though I was and am known by many different names to many different people. As the years progress, I am known less and less. My form has become a blending of so many cultures and traditions and ideas, the sum of so many thoughts, that I have become hard to recognize to all except the most attune to the natural world. The modernization of the world has drained my once vibrant colors. So few still believe, but I shall never cease to be for deep within them they know I am there. To some, I am a benefactor, bringing with me change and growth and development. To others, I am a malefactor, ushering in the end of an age, the death of what they had always known. To be fair, I have never been either of these things. My role is subject to their interpretation, to the context of the situation. I only am. I will only be. I will continue to ride as long as the sun rises and sets.
And though I am impartial, my time amongst the people has imbued me with something like what they call emotion. I have found myself taking part in their struggles, often against my better judgment. When I have had time to stop and think about it—such a strange thing thinking—I recognized that my role is only to lead the change, not to fight for or against it. Yet that is what I do. I take sides. While so many people thought I was preventing change from taking place, I knew that change would happen regardless. Nothing can stop the change once it begins.
And here, again, I embarked on this cycle of change and rebirth, the cycle of death and destruction, leading the vanguard of discord to welcome an era of concord in my wake. But on whose side shall I fight? Whose blood shall I spill? What shape shall the future take when my role, for the moment, is done?