The sighting of a constellation does not happen on one's first look through the telescope. One cannot, at first, tell a star from a planet; an asteroid from a comet. Maybe this is not YOUR first look, and you will now be able to see the constellation clearly. Maybe it is.
My coming to read the works of E.B. White (EBW)(1899-1985) must have been ordained by the stars! The EBW constellation developed slowly and recently. I became aware of him when I heard a selection('Letter To The IRS") from an audiobook("White On White") of his essays. The audiobook won the award for 'Best Spoken Word Recording' from AFIM (Association For Independent Music)in the late 1990s. Though the selection I heard was hilarious, I was not moved to seek out the writings of EBW.
The seed of intrigue was, however, planted and several new stars have been sighted.
Some time later I read a review which recommended the recording and in which it was mentioned that EBW had written "Charlotte's Web". I don't remember having read "Charlotte's Web", and still haven't read it though I now have it, but I had heard of it as being a 'classic' childrens' book. The review stated that EBW's son, Joel, had been the reader for the recording. Joel, the review stated, was a boatbuilder and boatyard owner in Southwest Harbor, Maine, near where my daughter obtained her bachelor's degree.(College Of The Atlantic,Class Of '94, Bar Harbor, ME.) Also, my family and I had enjoyed camping in Maine for several years prior to, and subsequent to, these events. Despite these promising 'arm's reach' connections I was not yet been moved to seek out EBW.
The seed of intrigue has sprouted and more new stars appear.
After 9 years, and prodded time and again by references to EBW in the books of another writer living in Maine, Caskie Stinnett("One Man's Island;Reflections on Maine Life From Slightly Offshore", "Slightly Offshore;More Reflections on Contemporary Life.....", and his 'column', Room With A View" in 'Down East;The Magazine Of Maine') I am moved to act! From the library I obtained "The Letters Of E.B. White". After a few dozen pages, I'm hooked. Obsessed. Addicted.
The writer of letters like these, I concluded, MUST, when writing in a different format, have something to say, and, even better, say it in a way that captivates the attention unlike that of anyone else I have ever read.
I bought "Essays Of E.B. White". I read some of it. I'm stunned; enchanted; captivated. I bought "One Man's Meat", but I haven't read it, yet. I read more of "Essays..".
I know many of the places about which he writes;I've been there. I know about the demise of the passenger train on the railroads in Maine;I read about it in the local paper during one of our many journeys there. I know about the vagaries of Maine weather;in a tent you hear and feel everything! I know about the moose in Maine; I've seen them. I know about the work of preparing for winter; I too have cut, split, moved and stacked firewood (I live on 42 acres and heat with wood).I know about the clam flats;we once gathered 10 dozen "steamer" clams, before breakfast, on a clam flat at Cobscook Bay State Park in Dennysville, ME(site #101). (We put them in a loosely covered plastic box filled with salt water, drove them around as we went sightseeing on a rainy day, exchanging the clam's water occasionally as we came upon convenient access to the sea.) That evening,after dark, we steamed the clams and, with melted butter, boiled potatoes, and corn on the cob, ate them; all 10 dozen!
The entire constellation is visible now, it looks like, no, IT IS, a long haired dacshound!!! Named Fred, Damn it!
That's it. I've planted the seed! Will you water it? Tend it? Pass along the seeds when they mature? Let me know how your vine grows? Point the constellation out to someone else? Thanks.