Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Street are You on?

Autobiography in Five Short
Chapters

By Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I feel helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't ee it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.


This was handed out to us in my class tonight. Five of us read a part of it out loud. I read the second part. As I was reading it I wanted to cry. I can't tell you how many times I have walked that stupid street with the hole in it just to fall down the hole. I am sitting her tonight wondering if I have ever really gone down that other street or if I am stuck in part IV and I am just walking around the hole out of comfort that it is there. Does that make sense? Afraid to move on to the other street because it will be new and unfamiliar to me. I would have to learn something new and I don't know anyone on that street and I don't know my way. I worry that there will be other holes to fall in and I will have to find a way out of them.

I think I have started on that new street a few times but I get scared or lonely and I go back to what I know on the old street. Wow I am scaring myself with my deep thoughts over here. Actually the more I sit and think about it I think I have made it down the new street and I some how I just take a wrong turn and end back up on the old street. Not that I like the old street ... it's more of a comfort thing in knowing what to expect and do in life.

I shouldn't think so much this late at night ...


How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you - you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences - like rags and shreds of your very life. ~Katherine Mansfield





1 comment:

T said...

I so totally get this. You know the new street is better for you but.... the pain of falling into that hole seems familiar and comfortable.

But what's empowering, Shannon? Is knowing that YOU are the one with the power to end the pain.

Mwah! Big hugs girl.