His Name May Not Be George

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 30, 2016

Tomorrow marks the end of another July. I've been outside for just over an hour enjoying my dinner, a wander and watering session in my garden, and one last hour reading over one of the essays in a volume of essays by E.B. White for the first time. I'm two hours away from the place where I started reading this book and only a few miles from the little bookstore where I bought it several summers ago while on vacation. 

I came home from that vacation and put the book on the shelf because I wanted to save it for winter reading. Ever since that winter, I pick it up when the mood is right and read an essay or two. More often than not, I take the little book out to the bench that sat outside of our other house and now sits outside of The Queen's Cottage. Sometimes the weather is the perfect temperature - like tonight - and other times I'm pushing things. On those days, I bring something hot out to drink, pull my hood on, and wrap a blanket around every bit of me that I can. 

Even though I firmly believe in writing in books, this is one book that I haven't made a single mark in. Well, other than the short note I jotted on the title page to remind me of when and where I bought it. I haven't marked up this book, not because the words aren't worthy of interacting with, but because I almost always end up interacting with them in other ways. I stop and pause and savor and laugh and reread when I read E.B. White. After I'm done, I sit in silence thinking over what I've read a little while longer and then, more often than not, I head to my desk and write something of my own. Sometimes - like tonight - I write about what I've read. Other times, I write a piece on a topic that reading his words inspired me to tackle. When I'm done with all of that, I read snippets of White's piece to whoever happens to be around.  

It is fitting that this last essay by a man I adore should be about a place I adore, namely, Massachusetts. To make matters even sweeter, it's an ode to a writer he admired. E.B. White had  a way of seeing past things. In this case, he looked past the fact that one of his most treasured and well-read books was titled "Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England States" and that it dealt with a past-time that neither he nor I have taken up (though I have always thought it interesting). 
He observed, enjoyed, and learned from the skill of the author, one Edward Howe Forbush, especially when it came to the "rambling essays" that he wrote on each bird. Like White before me, I have found a writer whose work means more to me than it probably should. When I read "Charlotte's Web" back in second grade and then the other two of his books for children in fourth and fifth grades, I thought that was "it". I looked and looked for more stories by White and came back empty. I had no idea that he wrote pages and pages of words for the New Yorker or that volumes of these and other pieces existed. 

I own two volumes now and am always watching for others to add to my collection. Reading White at 7 and then again at 9 and 10 was just as sweet as reading his essays has been since I first discovered them when I was 23. I expect it always will be. 

His name may not be George, but he can write and I love him for it.

Another post White inspired me to write.

P.S. Please excuse the weird spacing...
Blogger isn't cooperating with me tonight.


  1. I love this. You have such a way with words. I've never read any of White's works but I feel like I must now!

  2. I haven't explored White beyond Charlotte's Web, I'm sorry to say. But now I surely must! I have a book of poetry by my favorite poet, Christina Rossetti, that I pull out and slowly mull over whenever I want inspiration!

  3. Your writing is beautiful, and the blogging world is so lucky you blog :) Keeping with the theme of my being the most illiterate English major to ever matriculate, I don't think I've ever read EB White! I'll add him to my list :)


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