Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catherine Ingram tells a story...

in her book Passionate Presence

about a young friend of hers who said, "Pretend you are surrounded by a thousand hungry tigers. What would you do? Catherine said, "Wow, I don't know what I would do. What would you do?" Her young friend said, "I'd stop pretending!"

____Passionate Presence: Excerpt_______
She was walking on a path by the river when she heard a plop. Looking in the direction of the sound, which came from the vicinity of her feet, she saw a frog just a few inches from her, hopping in her direction. They went on together for a few steps like this when she deliberately slowed her pace. The frog slowed as well. She walked faster, and the frog hopped faster, too. She began to laugh so hard that she soon had to sit down. And the frog also sat.

As delightful as the frog was, she knew that her delight came from a deeper well, an innate delight that was not bound to a particular experience. It was as if it was always there, a current of joy flowing through her, waiting for an excuse to spring out. Feelings and memories from childhood flooded her awareness like a multitude of fireflies as she basked in the amusement with the frog, her current of joy particularly strong. She felt, once again, an inexplicable excitement about being alive, and simple things were enormously interesting, pleasurable, and funny.

She reflected on the sadness of existence as well, to see if the current of joy could withstand it. But there it was, a quiet inner happiness, despite everything. She was in love with life, with the very fact of it, the incomprehensible event of existence. She felt as if she were quietly celebrating the day, her delight being the natural response to the gift of life. She knew that nothing was needed for this celebration, not even the frog. Meanwhile, he had perhaps grown impatient with her musings. As she continued to sit, the frog hopped slowly toward the river.

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