E. B. White: Little Miracles
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Ann: Mr. White?
E. B. White*: Yes. Call me Andy, I always liked the name. I wasn’t sure you could hear me or want to open the channel if you did. Let’s face it, I have little in common with the heavy hitters on your channel. I never did take up much space.
Ann: But lasting space it was.
Mr. White: Thank you, Ann that is very kind of you. I have something to say on your blog if you will allow me that indulgence, but want first to offer a personal message to your readers. Sometimes I see your sine waves engulfing you a bit. May I suggest that you simply wait, wait as Cathy and Richard have encouraged on the emergence of a new day with new breezes and inclinations. As Fern and Wilbur, and yes, Charlotte, waited. As I did and each of you also.
There was sorrow in my life of course. Yet I was given the means of coping, even creating something worthwhile - at least to me - from some of those downturns. Through them I began to see that all of us become ill and die. Radical acceptance is called for.
Ann: Thank you, Andy, that helps a lot. What else?
Mr. White: Nothing very important, Ann, but pretty basic, and that’s what seems to sometimes be missing in these times of turbulence and fear. As you all return to the world after a life-taking and life giving pandemic, one which has not yet shown the last of its teeth – or its gifts, might I suggest that you concentrate upon the smallest miracles in your lives, ones that would not readily rise to your notice under normal circumstances?
I refer to the little joys, the computer working and connecting you to others of like mind, the taste of morning muesli on your tongue, the blessings of cloudy days and life giving rain. There is beauty in all of the minute little building blocks in each and every life.
As you focus your attention on these, the gratitude in your hearts will expand. Yes, there is much wrong with the world, but much right also, and these little building blocks can be stacked up in such a way as to create a bulwark against the disruptive discourses that seems to be holding sway in the media today.
Not, however, to idolize previous times, for much that we heard of those days gone by, tales of harmonious and homogeneous lives, were the product of a filtered society, a society where only the white middle class, Leave-It-To-Beaver voices were broadcast.
We were thereby taught to see our world as idyllic, and a very dangerous mistake that was. It continues to have severe consequences today as many long to return to an ideal that never was and are prepared to fight to facilitate their idea of its existence.
So as you look at your world today, start with the myriad of miracles in every moment and set these against those clanging voices as you try to listen in ways which will facilitate the emergence of what has long been hidden, allow it to be considered, and then wrapped into a more truthful story of our people.
Stay with the miracles as you watch these voices unravel their many illusions and truths. And to those miracles that you find in every minute of every day of your lives, add your voice to those so that, among the others, there is a voice that has seen those miracles and can testify to their truth.
In this way, we will all begin to learn to love the world.
May 30, 2021
*Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985) was an American writer who worked for the New Yorker for much of his career. He was the author of several highly popular books for children, including Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Wikipedia
Illustration: Cover, Charlotte's Web, Memoria Press