My friend plays a game she calls Rose and Thorn. It is, inherently, a game to be played at night, just before the late shows start. Though, you could play it at any point, evenings are undoubtedly the best. It’s called Rose and Thorn. It’s a simple game. No winners. No losers. Just a reflection back upon the day.

The premise: You ask your friend/partner/significant other/family member the following questions:

What was your Rose of the day?

What was your Thorn of the day?

At first, you think, oh, that’s easy. The best part of my day (the Rose) was ______. And, obviously, the worst part of my day (the Thorn) was ______. But then you get thinking about it. Was that really the worst part of your day? Or the best? What about that other thing you forgot about, that got you all riled up at the time, but now seems so insignificant. In the end, you settle on the best and worst parts of your day, and then you get to extricate them from your mind. A release, if you will.

Problem is, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a Rose. Usually, the Thorn is the easiest part. But geeze, sometimes that Rose is dying, or dead, or shriveled and gray, refusing to blossom. Those are the hard days. In the end, though, there’s always something.

For example: Yesterday, the Thorn of my day was some negative feedback I received on a project I was working on (outside Verity, of course). I thought I put everything I had into it. I went out of my way to be helpful and accommodating. And still, this person was unhappy with the results, though the reasons for unhappiness were not my doing. Very frustrating. And I certainly won’t be making the mistake of helping that person out in the future. THORN!

The Rose, however, was being able to read A Clash of Kings all evening while drinking coffee and listening to George Harrison on vinyl. Wonderful way to cap off a Thursday evening. That one wasn’t so difficult to come up with. Plus, have you read George R. R. Martin’s books (called A Song of Ice and Fire), or see the HBO show? I’m a sucker for story, and boy howdy, that is one engrossing story. I read all the time. I write most of the time. And I’m often able to pull together facts during the reading to at least have a general idea of where the plot will (or can) go, and perhaps what the ending might look like (generally). But after reading the first book in the series, A Game of Throne , I have stopped trying to predict what will happen and simply let the story surround me. I think I even dream of being in the Seven Kingdoms, though what I’m doing there I have not the foggiest of ideas. Ah, reading. ROSE!

But, back to Roses and Thorns. Of course, there are always more Roses and Thorns throughout a day, or a week, or a month, or a year. But this simple game forces you to focus on one moment as the Rosiest of Roses and Thorniest of Thorns.

So, what’s your Rose? What’s your Thorn?

Matthew Kingston

No biography available for this author.

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