Not long ago, I was waxing on about something, likely mundane, and uttered the oft-repeated phrase “it is what it is.” The nine-year-old, in one of those moments of satori nine-year-olds often show, responded “and it isn’t what it isn’t.” Fair point, I conceded. We ought not make more out of something that it is.
Today, I stumbled across this wisdom from an American balladeer, and it drives the point home equally.
Dear Abby, Dear Abby…
My feet are too long
My hair’s falling out and my rights are all wrong
My friends they all tell me that I’ve no friends at all
Won’t you write me a letter, Won’t you give me a call?
Bewildered, Bewildered…You have no complaint
You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood.
— “Dear Abby”, John Prine