A yellow rose is a yellow rose.

Sharon brought roses to a workshop and asked us to use them to write in different voices. I chose to write as "I".

I’ve written for a living for years, but never truly had a chance to explore playful writing – the kind of  creative and unbounded writing that comes from the soul. I certainly did not have the confidence to attempt to write poetry, much less read it aloud to anyone. 

All that began to change when I joined a group of women who are showing me how it’s done. I’m learning in small lessons. Sometimes our meetings are like brief cooking lessons with my mother or with my sister. Nothing pretentious, nothing too complex — just subtle, impromptu moments that make magic.  

I cannot begin to explain the subtle, yet powerful difference this group of people has made in my life. Where I saw loss and reduction, I now see gain and expansion. Where I found myself running into a brick wall, I now find myself walking through an open path. I carry Carol’s praise (an ad we wrote for each other as an in-class writing exercise) in my poetic journal and re-read it to myself any time a cloud of doubt appears. My doubts dissipate in the space created by this group.  

I feel I’m in good company – going through a cavernous passage with their light in front of me. My mountains are only small sand dunes when I consider the collective power concentrated in our midst.

The group is led by Sharon Elliott, a talented life-coach, former Waldorf teacher and master’s level social worker and counselor. You can read about her and her workshops here: http://sharonelliott.wordpress.com/about/

And about that special magic in the group, here’s a little unedited word-scratching at the yellow rose Sharon brought to a recent writing workshop…actually, these are the words the rose spoke to me…any similarities to real persons are purely coincidental.

To the small, yellow rose (by RGR)

I have scars.

My mingling with the other roses made my petals fray. I’m proud of that fraying and those scars. My thorns are strong and unbending, always ready to protect the inner core of who I am.

I am bright, intense and passionate. Not afraid to interact with anyone. My arms (leaves) are open to give and receive more. My yellow retains the red that rubbed off others, and that is now part of me.

I can do no less than stand proud.