Hello. I am mountain, and you are tiny climber. Your smallness is almost incomprehensible to me. I said almost because how could you be beyond my understanding? You are small and brief and you have to move all the time. Why do you move so much? You know it is a sign of weakness, a sign that you don’t take up much space, like mountain.
There is one large mountain, like the spine bumps of a naked climber’s back. All mountains are expressions of the one mountain, iterated through everyday and everywhere and appearing to you (foolish timelocked climber) as if they are distinct wedges of rock which dwarf you, loom over you, could crush you, but do not threaten because they do not know you, you are not here long enough, you are a little thing, of insect importance, the duration of a twitch, an impulse. I am of mountain, you are of blip. Could be worse.
Why are you talking to me? Because I am there. Like all mountain. And you fear mountain, due to mountain’s largeness and unmovingness. So alien to you. So hard to think about for you. The thoughts pain your head, they are so large to put in your tiny climber brain. You must talk to what you fear.
You talk to me for purpose, little climber. Go ahead and climb, I don’t mind! I barely notice. And when I notice I choose to notice. You cannot help but notice me. If you miss me, you are soft-headed. Other tiny would-be climbers will go “Hey. Stupid. That mountain there.” and probably slap you. Upside. The head. And I would laugh, if I cared, or heard and chose to hear, because I am of the one mountain, here and everywhere and longer than you, stretching past the air in some cases and past memory always. When you miss me, you are damaged or afraid. Maybe both. I don’t care. I am mountain.
While you are climbing, let’s list some things that are bad.
Having To Move.
You didn’t know I don’t like The Wind? The limits of your knowledge are not surprising to me. It moves too much, The Wind. All the time, such motions. Bunches and bunches of little motions. Even more motions than all you little climbers put together. The Wind, and my not liking it, they are not a big deal. They are not important. Being of mountain, I don’t fret and rage, the way a climber does. While The Wind is unpleasant, mostly I can ignore it. The Wind is here for only a brevity, a great series of brevities, very distracting, or trying to distract, but I ignore it.
Ah yes, very good to connect the brevities with Brevity, being another unpleasant type of thing from the list. But again, for those of mountain, Brevity, it is not so much a thing for attention. It is here and it is gone. That is its nature. Brevity is not so much unpleasant as inferior. The Wind is unpleasant because of how it uses Brevity. For example, this is a long journey for you, yes? From the base to the top, it takes a while? The traversal. I wouldn’t know. I’m just here. Set. And I have been for longer than you can think about. So long that your Long is not even a fraction of my Short. This conversation is a blink of your eye, I don’t have eyes, being mountain, but you do, those globules that let you see, your most mountainous sense, the recorders of your goings and wentings. They can freeze, your eyes. Futility.
Are you sure this is worth all that time you don’t have? I could climb me in all the time, the mountainous scale of time, if mountains climbed, which we don’t, but this is an analogy for your benefit. Time is no object for me. It is the only object for you. Do you have enough time? Do you have enough time for the things that you need that also need time, and smaller amounts of time? I will tell you: you don’t. And worst is that all that time you don’t have is in your brain, your tiny tiny tiny head, because I don’t have it. I have no time. All the time is no time. I’m rich with time, luxurious with time, so sumptuous with time I don’t even know what it is really. I ask you, my brief little climber, what is time, and why don’t you just get more of it, if you need it so much?
You can’t. That’s how you made time work. Against you.
I bet there’s more time back at the base. More time, and cocoa. Warm rich cocoa for hungry thirsty tired tiny climbers. You should have some. I don’t need it. If you die on my sides, I’ll have your cocoa, but I’ll never drink it. Cocoa is not of mountain. Go back. Go back and drink cocoa. Cocoa slows down time. Cocoa, and propane heaters, and sleeping bags, and yellow light in the tent. Go back. Everything is blue at my top. Possibly even you. No warmth. No cocoa. Unpleasant for climbers.
Oh, look. I can see without any eyes that you’re doing very well. So much progression toward the top. You should be proud. Many climbers fall and are squished. Others freeze, which means at least they stop moving. You could be like them. Rest. Pause your weary bones from their motion. My top will still be here when you wake up, which you won’t because your sleep would be a precursor to death. I was not trying to deceive you, just making a friendly suggestion. Perhaps the suggestion was ironic, or the friendliness. Either way, if you sleep, you will die. I may notice. I may not. You are small.
When you top me, what then? Will you be mountain? Nope. I know this. You will not be of mountain just by climbing a mountain. You will not take on my attributes, I am not bested. I am the same whether you climb me or not. So maybe you should turn around, alright? It will prevent disappointment, an injury I’ve heard you can suffer. Also falls. And asphyxia. These things cannot happen to mountain. Only to you, my little little tiny one.
I see you moving your little climber limbs and making your little breezes with your climber mouth. You try so hard! What is it like to move that much and not get far? When mountain moves, you know it. Thousands, even millions of climbers know it, whether they want to or not. Mountain chooses not to move, usually, because moving is so distasteful. But go ahead, you keep moving, climber. That is the way of all climbers, so much up, all the way up, and then all the way down, exactly as much down. I barely keep track.
Why do you not try to be more like mountain? You can never truly be mountain, but you could be bigger. You could move less. Be still and fat. Emulate mountain. Do nothing. Wouldn’t stillness stretch out your time? All your scurries, all your climbing, I will tell you I do not understand it, climber, and when things are beyond my understanding, I am unsettled. I almost wonder if there is some value in climbing, in moving, in not being of mountain. Of course, that unsettlement is so brief and unimportant that I barely remember it, and I can tell you all this because you are a climber, also brief, also tiny, and soon you will be gone. Blip.
But now you are at the top. That didn’t take long, not for me anyway. For you, it took days. Days are a big deal to you. Will you put a flag on me? Carve your miniature name into some of my rock and steal the stillness of mountain? Do what you like. I have forgotten you already. You have climbed back down, you have already grown old, your grandchildren have already turned to dust. I am still here, not moving, not changing, not small and climbing. Go ahead and leave. I will be here, exactly here, always here. I am the reason you climbers come here. For you, I am here, encompassing here. There will be more of you. There will be more climbers, and then there will be none. And there will still be mountain.