Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Musing Wordle words

I am terrible at Scrabble, I can never come up with words within my set of tiles. I can’t do crossword puzzles either, though my mother loved them.

And then along came Wordle.

The latest storm of the century happened here this week.

In case you’ve been living in total isolation (in which case you’re not reading this anyway) you’ve seen the game, or read articles about the phenomenon it’s become.

People around the world are figuring out the 5 letter word of the day, through a process of guesses and elimination. There are any number of ‘best’ strategies, most centered on how to choose your first word, from which you will, hopefully, discover the final word.

Hanging on for spring.

I haven’t read any of the articles; I think doing so would take the fun out of the experience. But I will tell you why playing Wordle is fun for me.

It’s fun because there’s no time pressure, nobody else is waiting for me to make my move. I can take my time and methodically work through all the available letters. I can consider different combinations at my leisure, ponder on it for half a day if I want to. Consider my next move. And when I am successful I get to share my success (but not the word) with all my friends. For me the sharing is the icing on the game.

Focused on something.

And there’s something interesting about knowing that thousands of people are all looking for words along with you. All kinds of people are taking time off from their regular life to discover one word. Across this country and around the world people are focused, for a few minutes, on something as simple as a word

The same word. We’re all thinking about, stratigizing over, smiling or frowning over the same word. It kind of makes me feel connected, and in these lingering times of isolation, that’s a good thing.

Not looking for words,lady, but I could use some lunch please.

But I swear there’s a novel waiting to be written based on the way this game has spread, in the way someone is manipulating us all to find a single word each day. Somewhere, in the far reaches of my brain, I wonder how it could be used in a story of suspense, if the one word each day could begin to change people’s opinions, or thought processes, or even behaviors. Or maybe the daily words are a series of hints to some horrible event that will end the world unless someone figures it all out and saves us all.

It can stop snowing now.

The thing about this game that I like the most, that everybody’s headed for the same word, is the thing that makes me feel a little creepy once in awhile. Especially if it’s a weird word that might have several meanings or connotations. I imagine some guy in a dark lab somewhere chortling over his choice of words, anticipating a whole society gasping in shock when they figure it out.

Oh, but all this is ridiculous. People would have to be addicted to playing the game. The game would have to be run by some huge mastermind. There would have to be sinister intent not readily visible to the regular folks playing the harmless game.

Waiting his turn at the breakfast bar.

Since I’m not into conspiracy theories, I’m going to just enjoy finding the word each morning and cheering my friends on when they find it in fewer guesses than me. And when the New York Times starts charging for the game I’ll move on to the next craze.

But for now I think it’s kind of cool that people are focused on words.

Looking for patterns.

How about you? Are you playing or have you resisted the temptation?


Memorial Weekend Musings

I recognize that not everyone has a National Cemetery close at hand to visit. And I know I just shared with you the one near me.

It’s a new day.

But that was before volunteers placed flags on the graves of our veterans. Flags that glow when the sun is just rising on the Sunday before Memorial Day.

Adding color to the memories.

And because you couldn’t all get there I decided to go for you, and for me, to see those glowing flags and reflect for a moment or two what it all means.

Our local version of Arlington.

What does it mean, on this Memorial Day weekend, that so many people are on opposite sides of so many issues leaving no middle ground to talk?

Row upon row of lifetimes.

Yet, both sides profess to love this country, a country that allows for differences of opinions. Just, apparently, not those opinions so different than our own.

Nature’s flyover.

When you walk among the white headstones in the early morning light, alone with no sound but the birds and a distant train, you have to wonder if we’re all so very different. If maybe, rather than different, we’re just stubborn.

Quiet company.

Still. I know it’s complicated, I have strong opinions too. Things that seem so obvious to me. But, it turns out, things seem obvious to the other side too.

Talking louder doesn’t make you right. Or wrong for that matter. Just louder.

Expressing an opinion.

In this quiet place, on this quiet morning louder seems obscene. Even the birds and animals that roam here at night are quietly moving to the outskirts as the sun comes up, willing to give the place back to the humans for their special day. We might learn from them how to share the world.

Live and let live. Both sides. Everyone.

Time to move on.

It’s easier to listen in the quiet, and it’s quiet out here. So many people, so many families represented. So many stories to be told if we care to listen.

Missed every day.

The folks out here cared enough to give a part, or the whole, of their lives to keep this country safe. And strong. We should care enough not to harm it now. We need to stop yelling, trying to make our point, and quiet ourselves the better to listen.

Sometimes it’s hard to let the light in.

So many people are missed this holiday weekend. So many families bear the burden and deserve our respect and understanding.

Dreams, achieved or not, make the world worth living.

Both sides must move toward the middle in order to preserve what these families gave to us.

Both sides.

Life is made of shadows and light together.

It’s a choice we each have to make within ourselves. Find a quiet place this weekend and think about what it all means to you.

The light will always shine.

And if your family is missing someone today…know that we’re all out here sending you hugs.