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The Day’s Delight: Black Cats

Naming all the Fears. Like the First Woman in her garden. Like a child lining up toys. Like a poet calling out constellations. Like a musician making chords.

They’re all the same, or very, very close. All the same black cat trying to rub against my ankles not to curse me but because my path is her path: we came here together.

In His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, everyone has a dæmon: the physical, tangible form of their spirit, their inner, animal self. In other worlds (there are many, and they begin to cross over and intersect), everyone has a Death, a skeleton who accompanies them all their lives and then, at the right time, takes them by the hand and says, “come along o’ me,” and walks them to the next world.

I wonder, now, if Fear is the same kind of companion; the same archetypal, highly personal, integral part of Self.

My Fear always wants to know will this be our fault? And if it is, who will leave and how alone will we be?

If I shift metaphors, it’s like this is my landscape, just the way Lake Superior and the boreal forest and the 10,000 lakes are my landscape: I came here for this.

I think I came here to know this black cat, too– maybe most of all.


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