The dark descent, and up to reascend…

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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Communicating with others is my idea of both heaven and hell.

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“Solitude sometimes is best society.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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It is something I long for and love to do, I am empathetically synchronised with its synonyms… yet also feel otherwise inclined about about it, sympathetically antagonised by its antonyms.

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Tell someone what they want and are expecting to hear and they will endow you with wings and perhaps even a halo, but make an error of understanding what it is that they want from you in the way of words (or no words), disappoint their expectation, fail to meet their need and it will bear down on you and you may be behorned, behooved, betailed, cast into purgatory awaiting your ride into hell (the road paved with your own good intentions). Most of the time though, you’re in limbo, uncertain if your words have been ingested at all, and if they have been whether they taste sweet or bitter to the one who has tasted them.

More often than not I find it a hellish endeavour to communicate, because of all the pitfalls which lie along the path of a conversation, the most common one being words and how they are being used, defined. It seems as though every word has multiple meanings and what one person means when they use a word may not be what you would mean if you were to use it and therefore you hear it differently from the way it was intended by someone else, and they do the same with you, your words.

That’s not what I meant… being a popular cry as you plummet from the pedestal which you briefly inhabited but always knew was a precarious perching place to be.

The word – Descent – according to my dictionary has five different meanings. For this week’s photo challenge I have endeavoured to use an image to express each separate definition… however, it is still my interpretation of those definitions of the definition of the word ‘descent’ which may not be someone else’s version of the same thing. Just as my experience of Hartwell House, a place which I visited and during that visit took these photos is different from all those others who have visited this place and taken their own photos there.

I’ve added quotes from John Milton’s Paradise Lost… because it seemed fitting somehow, someone else may feel differently about it. Such is life, and its ups and downs.

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descent – coming down, drop, fall, plunge, swoop.

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Descent - drop.

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“Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. ” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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descent – declination, declivity, dip, drop, incline, slant, slope.

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Descent - incline.

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“…into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look’d a while,
Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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descent – ancestry, extraction, family tree, genealogy, heredity, lineage, origin, parentage.

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Descent - ancestry

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“Thou art my father, thou my author, thou my being gav’st me; whom should I obey but thee, whom follow?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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descent – debasement, decadence, decline, degradation, deterioration.

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Descent - decadence

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“I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
Taught by the heav’nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend…” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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descent – assault, attack, foray, incursion, invasion, pounce, swoop.

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Descent - swoop

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“But first whom shall we send
In search of this new world, whom shall we find
Sufficient? Who shall tempt, with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottomed infinite abyss
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight
Upborne with indefatigable wings
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy isle?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

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Communication, just as the word ‘descent’, takes many forms… and each form it takes means many meanings, to those who are communicating and to those receiving the communication.

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“For so I created them free and free they must remain.” ― John Milton, Paradise Los

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Free… what does that mean?

To descend and/or ascend at will…?

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What does ‘descent’ mean to you?