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There is a hole in my sidewalk

The following poem was written by Portia Nelson (May 27, 1920 – March 6, 2001). Portia was an American popular singer, songwriter, actress, and author. She was best known for her appearances in the most prestigious 1950s cabarets, where she sang an elegant repertoire in a soprano noted for its silvery tone, perfect diction, intimacy, and meticulous attention to words. Although not a yogi by trade, her poem, “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: the romance of self discovery,” taps into the ancient teachings. It speaks on patterning, present moment awareness and the ego. Clear, concise, and brilliant.

 

Chapter One. I walk down the street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in.
I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It still takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two. I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place! But it isn’t my fault. And it still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three. I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it 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.

Chapter Four. I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter Five. I walk down a different street.

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