Your Catfish Friend If I were to live my life in catfish forms in scaffolds of skin and whiskers at the bottom of a pond and you were to come by one evening when the moon was shining down into my dark home and stand there at the edge of my affection and think, "It's beautiful here by this pond. I wish somebody loved me," I'd love you and be your catfish friend and drive such lonely thoughts from your mind and suddenly you would be at peace, and ask yourself, "I wonder if there are any catfish in this pond? It seems like a perfect place for them.
Tonight I walked around the pond scaring frogs; a couple of them jumped off, going, in effect, eek, and most grunted, and the pond was still. But one big frog, bright green like a poster-paint frog, didn't jump, so I waved my arm and stamped to scare it, and it jumped suddenly, and I jumped, and then everything in the pond jumped, and I laughed and laughed.
I had become so quiet and so small in the grass by the pond that I was barely noticeable, hardly there. I sat there watching their living room shining out of the dark beside the pond. It looked like a fairy-tale functioning happily in the post-World War II gothic of America before television crippled the imagination and turned people indoors and away from living out their own fantasies with dignity. Anyway, I just kept getting smaller and smaller beside the pond, more and more unnoticed in the darkening summer grass until I disappeared into the 32 years that have passed since then.
If you throw a stone in a pond... the waves which strike against the shores are thrown back towards the spot where the stone struck; and on meeting other waves they never intercept each other's course... In a small pond one and the same stroke gives birth to many motions of advance and recoil.
Leonardo da Vinci
Beyond the terrace, a light breeze stirred the reeds at the edge of the pond. Looking out at this intimate vista, one could see the reeds and a stone lantern and the brightest of the evening's stars floating on the gloaming mirror of the pond. Then the breeze came again to crack the water's surface, and the picture was flooded.
John Burnham Schwartz
Stop fishing for deep sea perch in a pond, because when you reel in gold fish, you'll only end up disappointed. In time the thrill of catching will wear off, and then you'll realise it's not the deep sea dwelling creature you were truly after. See when your own depths match that of the ocean, you will eventually need to accept that no pond can fill you.
In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well stocked fish pond... If we don't give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked... As artists, we must learn to be self nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them - to re-stock the trout pond, so to speak.
At Blackwater Pond At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled after a night of rain. I dip my cupped hands. I drink a long time. It tastes like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold into my body, waking the bones. I hear them deep inside me, whispering oh what is that beautiful thing that just happened?
When the mind is turbulent, uncontrolled and restless, it is like a pond of water that is filled with mud. Therefore when we look within ourselves, all we perceive is the mud of our material conceptions of life. But when the mind is still through discipline, and through yoga, it is like a pond that has no waves and no turbulence. Then we can perceive through that crystal clear water the eternal nature of our soul.
And suddenly, in the place of the woman-shape made of shadow, there was something else. Something huge, something ugly. Linay flung up both hands. The thing screamed like a hawk and opened to wings: one white as a death cap, one clotted in shadow. The wings came together and the whole pond shuddered. Something hit Kate's ear and shoulder and smashed to the deck by her feet. It was a swallow, dead. She could hear them falling all over the pond.
I often think that we are like the carp swimming contentedly in that pond. We live out our lives in our own "pond," confident that our universe consists of only the familiar and the visible. We smugly refuse to admit that parallel universes or dimensions can exist next to ours, just beyond our grasp. If our scientists invent concepts like forces, it is only because they cannot visualize the invisible vibrations that fill the empty space around us. Some scientists sneer at the mention of higher dimensions because they cannot be conveniently measured in the laboratory.
Mornings at Blackwater" For years, every morning, I drank from Blackwater Pond. It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt, the feet of ducks. And always it assuaged me from the dry bowl of the very far past. What I want to say is that the past is the past, and the present is what your life is, and you are capable of choosing what that will be, darling citizen. So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination, or the harbor of your longing, and put your lips to the world. And live your life.
I hear voices. A shout. A laugh. Clay's laugh. I strained to see through the night. Fog had rolled in from Lake Ontario, but I could hear him laughing. The concrete turned to grass. The fog wasn't from the lake, but from a pond. Our pond. I was at Stonehaven, bounding through the back acres. Clay was running ahead of me.
Without thinking, I knelt in the grass, like someone meaning to pray. When I tried to stand again, I couldn't move, my legs were utterly rigid. Does grief change you like that? Through the birches, I could see the pond. The sun was cutting small white holes in the water. I got up finally; I walked down to the pond. I stood there, brushing the grass from my skirt, watching myself, like a girl after her first lover turning slowly at the bathroom mirror, naked, looking for a sign. But nakedness in women is always a pose. I was not transfigured. I would never be free.
Does a caterpillar sit on the same leaf when it's a butterfly? No! It goes for a little fly and sees something of the world. Does the tadpole stay in the same pond once it's a frog? No! It stretches its legs, goes for a jump, explores other waters. Did Cinderella go back cleaning hearths once she married the prince?... Transformation means moving forward. If a butterfly stays on the same leaf and a frog stays in the same pond, then they may as well have stayed a caterpillar or a tadpole. There was no point in metamorphosing.
I remember when we found the first population of living Cerion agassizi in central Eleuthera. Our hypothesis of Cerion's general pattern required that two predictions be affirmed (or else we were in trouble): this population must disappear by hybridization with mottled shells toward bank-interior coasts and with ribby snails toward the bank-edge. We hiked west toward the bank-interior and easily found hybrids right on the verge of the airport road. We then moved east toward the bank-edge along a disused road with vegetation rising to five feet in the center between the tire paths. We should have found our hybrids but we did not. The Cerion agassizi simply stopped about two hundred yards north of our first ribby Cerion. Then we realized that a pond lay just to our east and that ribby forms, with their coastal preferences, might not favor the western side of the pond. We forded the pond and found a classic hybrid zone between Cerion agassizi and ribby Cerions. (Ribby Cerion had just managed to round the south end of the pond, but had not moved sufficiently north along the west side to establish contact with C. agassizi populations.) I wanted to shout for joy. Then I thought, "But who can I tell; who cares?" And I answered myself, "I don't have to tell anyone. We have just seen and understood something that no one has ever seen and understood before. What more does a man need?
Stephen Jay Gould