That’s the Beauty of It!

I’m working on my NaNoWriMo “novel” about being a cripple. Suddenly, I felt the need for a

POETIC INTERLUDE. The title of the poem comes from something we Hollands used to say when we were growing up. I believe my Mom was the first one to use it, but whoever started it — the Holland kids kept it going!

A few weeks ago, a neurologist discovered that I had a serious B12 deficiency. Frankly, I was delighted to hear that I had something that could be so easily (and cheaply) corrected. Then I found out this week that I’m allergic to B12. I can’t take it in any form. The doc thinks it’s genetic in origin, linked to an x-chromosome thingie.

I’ve spent a few days now mulling over these amazing revelations, turning them over in my mind like one would a rare and beautiful stone in one’s hands. Whether the White Coats are right or not really doesn’t matter; in my experience, after all, they’ve been wrong before.

The point is, I do not have, nor have I ever had, control over my future. The doctor’s mournful phrase, “There’s nothing we can do” is music to my ears. Perhaps this poem will explain what I mean better than my prose. 

“That’s the beauty of it!”

I wish you could see this

from where I’m standing.

I’m free!

The Universe

the Tao

the way of things–

could it be more lovely?

The far shore closes in

covered in kitten-soft clouds

shrouded in Kinsale capes

of misty mystery;

I’m delighted I can still see it

though I can walk but a few steps toward it unaided.

Haven’t I always been the incurable romantic?

Now, I’m just incurable.

Isn’t that great? Think of it:

I did not wish to be poked and probed

searched and stitched

told I must do this and I must take that

if I were to continue existence.

Haven’t I always had a Bohemian spirit?

Haven’t I always hated authority? Or rather,

hated following, blindly, what some power-mad person

wanted me to do?

Now I may just be blind; I may just be more mad

than ever (in the insane sense of the word, mind you).

If I had to have a disability

(I said)

If I really had to go that route

(I affirmed)

let me have a disease that required

no surgery

no drugs

no poking and prodding.

I have my wish!

I’m glad I wished that wish.

I wish you would realize

that there’s nothing wrong with me.

“All’s right with the world”!

though whether there is a god in that heaven, I don’t know for sure;

I enjoy believing so.

Don’t you see?

I’m free!

Nothing can be done.

It doesn’t matter what I eat

or what I do

or what…what…what…

Why are you crying?

We none of us know the day nor hour

of our departure.

None of us.

We have never known.

We have no control whatsoever over life and death,

though most of us dearly believe we do,

spending our lives trying to control

the uncontrollable.

Such a waste of energy!

Perhaps that’s why, now, I have so little of that precious commodity.

Now, the remaining stores of energy will not be spent sitting in White Coats’ offices


will not be wasted in pharmacies


will just be spent


the rest of the film,


for an end that was always coming,

is always nearing,

for all of us.

I still may outlive you all! Stranger things have happened.

But just in case,

these are my wisdoms for you:

You cannot make a mistake.

Every decision you make is the correct one.

You couldn’t be better.

When you realize fully that you have no control over anything (particularly the future),

you control the present moment—which is all you have anyway.

You cannot “be there” for me (or anyone) if you are busy trying to change God’s mind (if you believe in God), or you think you can change one iota of reality.

I LOVE my reality; please don’t waste time trying to change it.

Love is the only reality; the entire universe hangs by its tender thread.

And my wish for you?

That you will love your reality as much as I love mine.

Reality: “That’s the beauty of it!”

            Written in Salt Lake City, Utah

            November 10, 2012

4 thoughts on “That’s the Beauty of It!”

  1. Wonderful Poem Jen! I can just hear you saying it all in my mind.
    I’m so glad I came out to see you this summer. I miss you terribly
    and hope to see you here in DeKalb next year.

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