Today, it is a stunner outside. On such a day it easy to survey the swamp from above with a greater sense of appreciation for its aesthetics – if only for a moment or two while the coffee is hot.
For some random reason, my thoughts travel to Kathmandu and from there to the base of Mt. Everest. It’s a glorious day out there as well and the view well, even my imagination makes it breathtaking. I take a sip of my coffee and now I’m thinking about climbers.
Climbers to Mt. Everest are an elite, special bunch. All they think about is a magnificent ascent.
Now there’s a word —ascent. It is not a roll off the tongue word. When I say it, I emphasize the short “a” and the short “t” sounds. Honestly, it almost sounds like an expletive: a spitball word. Ascent feels like the wrong word to use when thinking of climbing Mt. Everest. Of course, on a bad day with avalanches, blizzards, and other kinds of life-threatening situations, ascent might very well be the right word. The word makes the climb feel like a struggle, at least to me.
Another sip of coffee and now, I’m back in the swamp reality, pondering the word, ascent.
Now, ascending is a softer sounding word. It suggests a more pleasant purpose. I mean, if I use the word to describe climbing out of a strata clusterf@#ck in the swamp, I just get the sense of a positive outcome. On the other hand, if someone were to suggest making an ascent from the murky swamp depths, it feels like a huge, strenuous effort that will more than likely go nowhere —a slog with a steep grade. Who wants to slog? Not me at the best of times, but I guess if the prevailing word is ascent I have to be prepared to slog and hork spitballs while I live in the swamp.
Why does ascent seem to prevail in my swamp? It appears my swamp council likes the word ascent. Ascent gets used a lot when the council communicates with the swampers. When the council wants to communicate with me – swamp-ogre – they rely on the word ascent which of course, in my mind,suggests something unpleasant. It would seem my council has picked up on my distaste for the word and uses it as some sort of weapon. Perhaps it is the whole idea that words can wound – like a pitchfork -that appeals to my council.
Perhaps the council considers the word ascension when it uses the word ascent. Considering the characters that make up my council, I can see why they might make the word ascension appear pithy. For some reason though, when I think of ascension, I hear angelic choirs and see the sky opening to accept a deity. Of course, that’s what the council is probably thinking too albeit for the wrong reason.
Either way, I don’t like the word ascent
From my higher vista this morning, I look down into the swamp as if I were at the summit of Mt. Everest. It’s still a stunner of a morning. My coffee cup is empty. I feel something phlegmy making the ascent up the back of my throat and when it seems to get stuck, I hork out a huge spitball and watch it descend into the gloomy abyss of the swamp.