Showing posts from March, 2022

"Success" in the Grey Squares

My husband and I play Wordle together. He doesn't have a phone, so I "drive" the tap-tap-tapping of letters. Sometimes three, often four, sometimes more. He's really good at (and interested in) anagrams. Stale, least, taser, etc. * I remain at some level surprised that words, which in my mind are units unto themselves, are malleable in this way. I mean, beyond root words, prefixes, suffixes, and declensions. Even if you add a bunch of those, you're working with the original concept. But letters? Huh.  In playing together, I keep bumping up against thoughts of "success." We always have fun playing, even (especially?) when it's a squeaker. So the process of playing is always successful.  But beyond fun, I am continually reminded that "success" isn't always about the green squares, or even the yellow ones.  With every play, we know more. And what you know is important, even if it’s knowledge that comes from an "unsuccessful" atte


I'm not sure why or when I imagined I was supposed to know things or have a "valuable perspective" to offer. Or, you know, some kind of wisdom. Ha. Maybe that's what I thought it meant to "be a grownup." Maybe, too, that's a big reason I never wanted to teach or raise children--what on earth could I ever tell them that they'd find valuable? Especially because I'm still figuring out the world myself, as I go along. Speaking of which, today I find myself in a pickle.  Things are changing, and by "things" I mean people, places, rules, markets, weather, and other things I cannot control. And I find myself feeling all colours of uncomfortable--sad, frustrated, apprehensive, angry, afraid.  And also, things are NOT changing, and by "things" I AGAIN mean people, places, rules, markets, weather and other things I cannot control. Still feeling all the things. Specifically, today I find myself thinking wistfully of six or so weeks ago,


I posted the below over on Instagram. You're welcome to follow me there; I'm @marionagnew.  Sometimes I just post stuff I see from the window, but lately I've been "more thoughtful," which is to say, "procrastinating work on our taxes."   Patterns from yesterday and today. Patterns from yesterday and today.  Patterns in me, too. Every year I put our tax info together. It’s one of those accordion projects: more complicated than I anticipated at some points in the process, and less complicated at others. More. Less. More. Less. Every year. I’m grateful for the resources to deal with it: physical and emotional energy and time, plus (eventually) money. On the “more complicated” days, I try to remember the pattern, and keep moving till it’s less complicated again. And, eventually, done. I wonder if Earth feels that way about the changing seasons. All she can do is keep turning, and some days she must feel that nothing is really happening. Yet here we are: mel

Miss Me

The photo below shows my Aunt Marion, my father, and my mother. Mom's pregnant with me. gone but never forgotten   My aunt died this week. For a long time, she was the only other "Marion with an O" I knew.  At a job in Arkansas where I worked between university degrees, one of my coworkers said "Oh, I have an uncle who spells it that way." She paused. "He wears overalls without a shirt and goes by Scooter." My grandmother named me "Marion" after her favourite older sister, the name she'd also given my aunt, her youngest daughter. My parents wanted to honour my grandmother but didn't want to name me "Agnes," so they asked Gran to choose. Though Agnes is a perfectly lovely name, I'm grateful. As I said on Facebook, Aunt Marion got a degree in political science in the 1940s. She married a farmer, and she spent her days cooking for him and the field hands. She told me once she made a pie every single day for their noon meal.

What I'm Taking Into March 2022

I looked back at the list I made at the beginning of February, and I had to laugh. Greater selectivity in paying attention to news? Such an innocent child I was a few weeks back. But much of the rest of what I thought about holds true.  Treats, for example. I’m loving the music I’ve picked out during the past couple of months. It's been a great way to pull me from endless doomscrolling or the vacant staring front of “news” TV, where they're quite canny about maintaining breathlessness of actual BREAKING news while showing the same interviews hour after hour. Family: especially my sister, who drew me this monster and sent it in an envelope! That I got from a mailbox! How can I resist smiling? Look at all its tools!! And these general signs of hope. Sign of hope: the bulb I got on sale and forgot about and planted anyway isn’t dead after all. Neither is my second novel draft. Sure, it’s got some throat-clearing, but I have a delete key, and I have some revision chops. Sign of h