Doug Bruns

E. B. White in Maine

In Happiness, Writers on July 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm
E.B. White in Maine

E.B. White in Maine

From E.B. White‘s collection of essays about his sojourn in Maine, One Man’s Meat:

“Once in everyone’s life there is apt to be a period when he is fully awake, instead of asleep. I think of those five years in Maine as the time when this happened to me.”

And just before that passage, this sentence:

“I was a man in search of the first person singular…”


I was at a gallery opening this evening. I was asked what brought me to Maine. “My muse,” I said. “My muse lives here.”

  1. How beautiful! My Irish Muse brought me to Maine. I first visited Maine (from my home in Ft. Lauderdale) in June, 1977, by accident. Our white-water raft trip down the Colorado River was cancelled last minute due to a drought. An office-mate offered his “camp” on Westport Island as a substitute. The morning after our arrival, waking to fog horns and seagulls, I knew I had to live here.
    In July of 1981, my husband and I moved here…complete with kids, cat, mother, furniture, but without jobs…and have been “awake” ever since. When Harry and I visited Ireland in 1999, I knew that the feel of fog and rain and craggy cliffs was in my bones from my Irish ancestors who emigrated during the potato famine. My son visited Ireland for the first time last week. He felt he channelled his Irish ancestors while he was there, though he never met the ones I knew. On July 4th I had texted him wishes for enjoying Maine on that day. His text back to me said, “thx 4 finding it and bringing us here…happy 4th 2 u 2.”

    • Susan, What a lovely story–and nice addition to E.B. White’s words. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you found your muse as well. They can be terribly illusive, you know. I supposedly have Northern European blood in me–Scandinavian DNA traces on my twisted helix–and suspect, like you, Maine to be a place which pleases my lingering ancestors. Thanks for visiting. D

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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