They say it happened so slowly that nobody even registered a shift in pitch. But such is the nature of change: each moment bleeds into the next like an infinite skein of black silk. It’s no wonder that the human project was to pinpoint when exactly waxing becomes waning, when a pile of sand becomes a mountain, or when a motive cuts a sharp angle to become suddenly nefarious. It is in this exact moment, bristling with comfort and certainty, that Truth has its home. There was, of course, a time before these considerations. We don’t call them ‘simpler times’ anymore because to do so would be to eschew the complexity of the Native peoples, thereby revealing our own failure to cognitively model an interior logic that differs from our own.
We do know this much: They hunted for fish in the nearby streams and they taught their children to differentiate between the dull promise of Black Bass and the iridescent scales of a plastic bag. They were suspicious of modernity and curious about outsiders. They lived a largely subsistence lifestyle and read the laws of the land as though their minds were proto-satellite navigation devices. They were rarely violent, but when they were it was almost always a gesture of submission. This somehow terrified the few visitors they had even more than had it been a symptom of individual madness.
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