I have an abiding fascination for Mr. Pond. For one thing, he’s a storyteller. He finds, somehow, a way to use his words to reveal something absurd, tragic, consequential about life, the universe, and everything. Through his stories, Mr. Pond displays truth to his hearers, turning their understanding of the world inside out and on its head.
For another thing, I find I identify with him perhaps more than I should. When I described this odd Civil Servant to a group of fellow rebels and artists, they thought I was describing myself. The quiet, boring presence, the tugging on the beard, the absurd and incomprehensible statements uttered without apparent incongruity–talk to me sometime, you’ll see what I mean.
Mr. Pond lives in a world haunted with meaning. Beneath every placid pond lurk monsters waiting to roil to the surface and upset our presuppositions, our ideas, our creeds. It’s a world where goblins burst through basements and moonlight shines from the attic, where trees can walk and love, where the lines between waking and dreaming are blurred. It’s a world infused with wonder, where flannel shirts and six-shooters are hosts of grace.
That’s the world I want to write about. That’s the world I think fantasy literature can, should, and does explore. The words of Mr. Pond may seem like paradoxes to the sensible, methodical thinkers of this dimension. But stand them on their heads–or better yet, stand on your own head. We are irrational, they are right.
The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond attempts to realign our hearing, to reorder our sight. In the world of Mr. Pond, the loudest voice is silence and the ascent to heaven is descent into depths we’ve never dared imagine. It is a world of co-suffering and solidarity, of welcome to the stranger and bustle in the desert. Living looks strangely like dying, and dying looks strangely like living.
May this site and these words be for you a place of silence, a beckoning to the downward way. As Camus said, ‘The point is to live.’
–John Patrick Pazdziora