Welcome to the Manuscript Mentor Blog. This week we have a fanciful piece by Nol Putnam called “Cat”. Sleep is often where our worlds collide; where reality and fancy dance us into our musings. An inanimate object like a piece of sculpture or your grandmother’s antique teacup stained with her many years of Darjeeling can pull you toward the page. Where do you find your afflatus, your spark, your impetus to express yourself?
When the cat bit me behind the ear, I jumped, leapt forward. Who was this cat predator cat – black cat – goddess Osiris cat – great black cat leaping into my dreams – into my here and now. Screaming cat – wild cat – wild like a cat – gorgeous cat – reaching cat – purring cat – wet cat – biting cat – not sweet cat – in love cat.
Cats from my past – Touissant L’Overture cat – a gorgeous, huge, regal black cat and TomCat, barn cat, who I tried to teach to swim in a rain barrel. Mad cat.
Still I think it the cat goddess – the one I carved years ago that sits on my bureau come live – cat goddess of Egypt guarding her treasures through the years. Or maybe just the Goddess.
The Goddess in me – for a month now – since the last full moon – the Goddess – or someone’s Goddess – or someone in the Goddess has been waking me at three in the morning. I get up and walk through the house. The color of the nights vary as the days of the week differ. I come back to stand at the large, curved window beside my bed, look down across the greensward toward the pond. I open my eyes wide to take in the landscape — first the ash tree and then the walnut beyond, the rocks, the gardens. I stare, trying to see, looking for sprites and fairies dancing in the moonlight,
to watch the fireflies rising from grass to treetops in their mating search; to receive some message; to know why I am here – or there – or awake – or lost – or questioning.
Cat – Osiris – Goddess – why have you called me now?
Nol Putnam has been an Artist-Blacksmith since 1973. He was born in Boston, MA in 1934 and garnered an education in various places: Trinity, Harvard, UMass, School of Ed as well as 3 years of active service in the US Army. Before smithing, Nol was a Senior High history teacher, 1959-1972 and director/advisor to First Americans Scholarship Program, under A Better Chance, Boston, MA, 1962-1972. Nol resides in Virginia with his dog, Jack.