David Wiley: Do you mind if I ask you a question or two? You cover quite a bit of ground, and you have considerable volume, yet you are thought to be a small body of water. How do you regard your larger cousins, the seas and lakes and wide rivers?
Farm Pond: I know of them and appreciate them. We are all of the same substance. We have our similarities and our differences. We all respect each other. But for the most part they do their thing and I do mine.
DW: In what way is your thing different from theirs?
FP: Their immensity makes it impossible for them to know themselves and all their inhabitants. Oceans especially have a certain feeling of powerful emptiness, a very different experience from my own. If I have any sense of power it is equally distributed among all my inhabitants. And it isn't so much a feeling of power as it is a sense of unity and common purpose.
DW: How can you speak of unity when you have a large variety of creatures eating each other?
FP: Life consists of an infinite number of organisms all chewing each other up. The sun takes a bite out of me every day, and time is always nibbling away on you. But to elucidate a little on your question, my creatures are largely unable to reflect on themselves. They live from moment to moment, and if they don't get to grow to maturity it gives them no regret. They understand that the possibility of being eaten is all part of the way things work around here. Every living thing in my confines, including the reeds, the grasses, the mosses and algae, understands in some way that it must be what it is, and accept that, or else its world will become too chaotic. It's not so much what you call a balance of nature as it is a great variety of beings trying to create something together, something beyond their understanding, perhaps, but still something wonderful. You do think I'm wonderful, don't you?
DW: Of course. Quite wonderful. Would it be fair to say, then, that there are no parts of yourself that you favor over others?
FP: Well that's a little like asking a painting if there are any parts of itself that it favors. We are more than a community here, we are an organism. Which makes the joy of living together all the greater. We are a collection of disparate species, working to make our home as perfect as possible.
DW: I guess what I am trying to ask you is whether or not there are certain things that delight you more than others. What do you feel, for example, when the geese are swimming on your surface?
FP: Yes, naturally there are things that cause special delight. We are always happy to see the geese floating in the sunlight. Moving boats and swimmers cause excitement. A summer storm is always a thrill. I am delighted by many such things.
DW: I notice that you sometimes use the first person plural when describing yourself. Do you not feel in some way independent from your parts?
FP: Do you feel greater than the sum of your parts?
DW: So you are saying that you and I have much in common? That we are both organisms who cannot be complete without our parts?
FP: Yes, I am saying that. Of course we have many dissimilarities. Most of my parts are independent living things as well as essential members of the community. Your parts are not so much entities unto themselves.
DW: I see what you mean. To change the subject a bit, the sounds you make fascinate me. Are you all trying to make music together?
FP: We love our evening choruses. It isn't only music, it's our way of speaking to each other, and we feel especially close during these moments.
DW: Another thing that fascinates me is your great variety of greens. In your water alone there are countless forms of green. But you are surrounded by many shades of green as well, especially since you are bordered on one side by a forest.
FP: We are all very aware of our greenness. We like to think of it as a silent symphony that accompanies our evening choruses.
DW: Yes, the greens are especially beautiful in the evening. Did you know that the painter, Paul Klee, made small squares of various shades of green, and other colors, to create a kind of color music, a "silent music" as you said yourself, but music nevertheless.
FP: No, I am not familiar with Paul Klee, however I do find this extremely interesting and I will try to communicate it to as many of my inhabitants as I can.
DW: How will you do that?
FP: Ah! there you go, asking me the impossible again. As a modern man, you should know that there are an infinite number of unseen and mostly unknown forces at work in our lives. color is one way to communicate, perhaps. There are many other, more subtle ways. You see that in my case everything is clearly connected. It is connected in your world too, only not so clearly.
DW: But if you are able to communicate to your inhabitants Paul Klee's color theory, does this not imply some ability to understand, which requires intelligence?
FP: It is intelligence. I think we've already discussed this. It's just a different kind of intelligence. The name Paul Klee would mean nothing to them, but they would, if I can approach them in the right way, understand in their fashion what he was trying to do.
DW: All of them?
FP: Look. . . it's probably too complicated for you to understand. Let us just say that I am in fact full of mysteries, all of which you are welcome to try to solve. But I can only help you up to a point, because I see no sense in speaking to you in a language you don't understand.
DW: Well, it all sounds very mysterious to me. Maybe it has to do with the way you always seem so placid and serene, yet you are full of life. This seems like a good way to be. Would you agree?
FP: Yes, it's probably a good way to be, in any case, it's the way I am. The Earth itself is like that. From a distance it appears to be a solid ball, with no moving parts. As we know, however, it is swarming with almost infinite varieties of life.
DW: It would seem that there are many mysteries hidden in the depths. There are also mysteries hidden in the sunlight. Where are most of your mysteries hidden?
FP: I harbor no mysteries, really. And I question if they exist. There is your inability to see and understand. It gladdens me, though, to think that I may inspire intrigue and curiosity. Humans need these things in order to discover the nature of their planet. And themselves. And now. . . it's been a pleasure talking with you, but I have something to attend to. You would call it a nap, but for me it's a lot more complicated than that.
DW: I don't suppose you would like to expand on this a little?
FP: Maybe some other time. You know where to find me.
DW: Okay, thanks. Have a good nap.