Zen On Dirt

Life as Bananagrams

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There’s a really fun spin-off of Scrabble that I love playing called Banagrams. You basically take Scrabble letters, place them face down, everyone takes 7, or 21, or however many, and you have to put all your letters into interconnected words in front of you. When someone uses up all their letters, everyone ‘peels’ and draws another letter and the game continues.


This is fun because a lot of difference scenarios can happen within any game. You can be the one constantly using up all your letters with a beautiful grid of unique and fun words, you can be the person who has an endless buildup of unused letters that become so overwhelming that while there could be hundreds of combinations of words, there are too many options to choose from so nothing happens, you can always be a letter or two behind the person calling ‘peel’ and then sneak in at the end to win, or, what tends to happen to me a lot, you get a pretty good grid of words going, using all sorts of good two letter words, and you build yourself into a tight spot that you can’t add to, can’t escape from, can’t rearrange at all.


Completely stuck…and then the letters start piling up. There’s one thing to do at times like these: Take your whole damn pile of letters, as organized and perfect as they may seem, leave behind everything you’ve been working on, and start fresh. Or, if you have a couple of good words in there to use as a good foundation, keep those and get rid of the rest.



A fresh slate. Infinite possibilities. A better sense of the big pictures of where to place the vowels and consonants. If there’s a pesky Z or Q to deal with, they can be built in using grace instead of scrunching them into a ZA or QI.


I had to take a complete clean slate to life last fall and start building the words back up. It was wicked scary but I focused on the foundation.


I’d nearly caught up to where I wanted to be when spring rolled around when I got stuck again. Broken body, suffering spirit. A part of me was tempted to sweep it all clean again, but then I remembered how good those foundations were. Instead, I carefully picked out the pieces that I didn’t like, the doubled up words, the dumb two letter words that were inhibiting more growth and spread them out.

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Keep what you like. Get rid of the rest.


Get rid of what does not serve you, as they say in yoga.


Wanna fly, you’ve got to get rid of the shit that weighs you down, as Toni Morrison said.


You are never completely stuck.

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I’m back to building. Outwards. Upwards.

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My imagination is the only limit of the words I can come up with. An I’ve got a pretty good imagination.



One thought on “Life as Bananagrams

  1. Those wild flowers are just delightful. Lovely post!

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