Thursday, May 3, 2012

It Is What It Is, And It Ain't What It's Not

That title is actually a favorite saying of the main characters in my retelling of Snow White. I like the saying. A lot. Mostly because it's true, but also because although my grandmother (mother's mom) never said it, it's something I can *hear* her saying in my mind. She was hollow-born, up in the mountains, in a place where they said things like pohickery and neighbors helped neighbors because if they didn't no one else would, where five kids rode a borrowed mule to the neighbor's house to stay over when their own family ran out of food. That sort of thing. She came from rough stock. Practical stock. The kind of people who didn't waste time worrying about things that might be, or could be. They were people that left possibilities lying until they matured into something real, and meanwhile focused on what they had in front of them.

But I digress. The point is, some things are not about pondering what could be but dealing with what is. But dealing with what is, doesn't mean standing there staring at it, lamenting the fact that it is what it is, and not what you wanted or expected. Dealing with it means making the best of it. Like sneaking a read of Bitterblue while waiting for a vet who's late (can you tell what it did today:) or relishing the goosebumps a thunderstorm gives you, not because goosebumps are sexy, but because it's the thrill of something primeval out there, connecting with something primeval inside you that causes the goosebumps.

Of course, it isn't easy to simplify things like that when you're already upset, or had your hopes up, or are on your period (hey, you know I'm right. When else are you ready to run into traffic just because you dropped a glob of butter on the floor or burnt the toast?) but I think it's permissible to have an occasional whineburger and frenchcries so long as you remember the big picture, and that within that big picture, this one disappointing moment (or hour, or day, even) is just a very small fraction things.

So deal with that moment and go on. Because it is what it is, and it ain't what it's not.

And because I couldn't resist, I'll put up one of my favorite poems ever, one that I've loved even before it became so well known because of G.I. Jane.

Self Pity      By D.H. Lawrence

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.


  1. Well said.

    Never give up. Keep trying.

    Christi Corbett

  2. I gotta have a little whine every day. Mostly I keep it to myself or kick the dog. Nice to have pets.

    *I don't really kick the dog*

    Keep on keeping on.