Potholes, Pitfalls and Wrong Way Streets

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2020

My blog today is inspired by the following poem which is an excerpt from a book written in 1977 by the multi-talented and versatile Portia Nelson.

Born in 1920, the youngest of nine children of a poor farming family in Utah, Portia became trailblazer and celebrated cabaret singer, recording artist, composer, actress, and director. She performed with and coached some big names in entertainment.

Portia started her career from scratch, and without formal training, built on her talents and strengths. She did not allow societal norms to define who she was and what she was allowed to accomplish as a woman in her time.

Portia Nelson is one of my SHEroes!

Her book is entitled “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery”, and more than forty years after its publication, this is still a powerful summary of the journey of transformation.

I have spent many years searching for answers to the question “Who Am I Now” and repeatedly, walking down wrong streets.

I have fallen in more than a few holes before choosing a new path to personal growth and fulfillment.

I have often described myself as a ‘Woman-under-Construction’, so I suppose it is no irony that I have been drawn to holes in sidewalks and other proverbial pitfalls in life.

Fortunately, I have the desire and resilience to pick myself up, dust myself off, and rebuild stronger each time.

I hope you enjoy this short poem that is very long on wisdom.

 

 Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

One

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost.

I am helpless.

It isn't my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

 

Two

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I still don't see it.

I fall in again.

I can't believe I am in the same place.

It isn't my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

 

Three

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it there, I still fall in.

It's habit.

It's my fault.

I know where I am.

I get out immediately.

 

Four

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

 

Five

 I walk down a different street.

 

© 1977 Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

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