Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

May 20, 2007

Chapter 1

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.

Chapter 2

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

Chapter 3

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 … but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

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

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.


This poem is taken from Portia Nelson’s “There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk – a wonderful collection of insights into love and life. The hole in the sidewalk provides a metaphor of life. Life is like a stroll down a somewhat hazardous sidewalk. The story identifies the key feature required to safely navigate life’s sidewalk.

“I don’t know what I want sometimes, but I know that I want to know what I want.”                                                                                                               – Portia Nelson –

27 Responses to “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”

  1. ben Says:

    quite true what portia said` if you want to find out what you want` then you’ll never find out` 😀

    *io ka chng away from the hole*

    *puzzled by Ben’s comment*

  2. ben Says:

    oopS! wad was i talking` i mean, if you dun want to find out what you want, then you’ll never discover what you really want`

    there, that’s more like it. lols`

    Hehe.. That’s definitely more like it, Ben. 😉

  3. Lex Says:

    I love this poem, I read it when I was in pre-teen… it really helped me to grow. 🙂

    Lex, I think it is a great poem for everyone – regardless of age. 🙂

  4. Kyels Says:

    Hmmm … Nice one.


    Thanks, Kyels. 🙂

  5. moz monster Says:

    First time I came across this poet. It’s a great piece of work, though.

    Funny how something like a poem about falling into a hole in the sidewalk can help folks grow throught their difficult periods.

    Moz, that’s the magic of metaphors. Can you remember the movie “Forrest Gump”? Another great lesson from his simple movie quote. 😉

  6. Wennn Says:

    Hmmm very meaningful… guess all ppl are the same.. They dun fall they dun learn… but if fall also hv to make sure know how to get up lor!!!

    That’s right, Wennnn. 🙂

  7. may Says:

    I’ve read this one before, somewhere. quite insightful. I wonder which chapter I’m in right now… *sigh*

    Only you know, May.. *hugs*

  8. Gallivanter Says:

    “There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk” reminds me of that Harry Belafonte song, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket”. Yes, I see music in most of everything. 😛

    Hehe.. Dan, at least you don’t see Bon Jovi in everything. 😛

  9. Cocka Doodle Says:

    Likw May I’m sure I read this quote somewhere before…hmmm…let me see…
    yes yes, I recall now! It was at the JKR’s office!!


    Now this quote has also been adopted in our parliament…”There’s a hole in the roof” Kakakakakaka!!!

    CD, I’m sure their version has more than 5 chapters la.. 😆

  10. sengkor Says:

    sometimes it’s tht same deep hole in the sidewalk tht help us to be stronger..

    I supposed it all depends on the situation within the hole, SK.

  11. shanobyl Says:

    It’s about learning from mistakes, and at some point of time, you blame yourself for the predicament you’re in 🙂

    It sure is, Sha. 🙂
    In reality, that’s what most of us do.

  12. winn Says:

    i dunno wat i want but i know what i dont want..

    nice poem..:)

    Knowing what you don’t want is a good start, Winn. 🙂
    I’m glad you like the poem, too.

  13. Man, local council must be pretty lax not to fix that friggin’ hole in the sidewalk. Possibly it’s all Portia Nelsons fault as she never let council know about it to fill it in! 🙂
    Now others are falling in the same hole. 🙂

    Hehe.. do you have to blame her, Dabs? 😛

  14. Yvy Says:

    Ooooo…for a minute there I thought it was u. SO dahsyat lar ur poem..but to find it also means something. 🙂 THanks for sharing….hugs

    Hehe.. I can only wish that I can write such a nice poem, Yvy. 🙂
    Glad to know you like it, too. *hugs back*

  15. tihtahpah Says:

    nice one there…i’m guessing after that street, he/she takes on another town? haha

    Hehe.. That’s a great idea, Ttpah. 😛

  16. alison Says:

    we go thru “holes” in our lives, we learn and grow, to make us “whole” again. 🙂

    Nice comment, Alison.
    Thanks. 🙂

  17. Cocka Doodle Says:

    sengkor sounds like samy vellu.

    *no comment*

  18. _butt Says:

    hey, interesting! sounds pretty apt when it comes to relationship. we knew we shouldn’t fall for it and yet we still fell.. lol.

    Relationship is a very complex matter, _butt. 😉

  19. sengkor Says:

    craps la uncle.. samy says ‘whatever hole also not my fault, ok..’

  20. misti Says:

    lol at sengkor and cocka!!

    fall into hole until not scared when see hole. because by then you don’t want that hole already. hope the pants all not torn by then from all that climbing out.

    LOL.. You’ve got a good imagination, Misti. 😛

  21. kenzielee Says:

    That is a very interesting poem. I like it. I like the writing and the structure, and the meaning is especially nice.

    Thanks, Kenzie. 🙂
    I’m happy to know that you like it, too.

  22. Alex Says:

    every road has its hols; question is are you tall enough to climb out

    Welcome, Alex. 🙂

    Answer: One’s height won’t be the problem. It is one’s will & determination.

  23. ruth bragg Says:

    Chapter 6: I walk down that othwr street.
    There is a fissure,
    or maybe its black ice.
    I step on it anyway.
    I’ve never heard of black ice.
    So its not my fault.
    I fall and crack my skull…
    After that its all hazy for a long while.
    I sue the keepers of the sidewalk where I fell.
    They say that it IS my fault
    and they won’t pay one red cent towards my recovery.
    The judge agrees
    so I hire another lawyer
    who has pictures taken of the sidewalk and my skull.
    The second judge agrees with the first.
    So I hire aa third lawyer who presents my school recrds, going back to kindergarten to prove that I was never taught about black ice.
    The 3rd judge agrees with the first.
    My 4th lawyer has all of my teachers, going back to kindergarten put under surveillance and then tried for deriliction of duty.
    The 5th judge agrees with the first judge.
    All of my teachers then get together and hire Clarence Darrow’s grandson who then proceeds to sue me for defamation of character of all of thee 59 them and the keeper of the sidewalk.
    They win.
    I now have an overwhelming fear of sidewalks, teachers, black ice, fissures, judges…my therapist says I’ll get over it in 10-20 years and that I should bee sure to make another appointment for next Monday.

    On my hands aand knees I crawl down the sidewalk…

  24. […] what I want sometimes, but I know that I want to know what I want.” – Portia Nelson – sursa: This entry was posted in Articole. Bookmark the permalink. ← Sonia Choquette | How to […]

  25. Dustin Says:

    I believe it is about the fact that if you keep doing things the same way, you will always get the same results. Thus, if you are unhappy with the results, you need to do things differently to get a new result. It can be, but is not limited to, people in recovery from addiction. If they continue living their lives the same as when they were actively using after quitting use, they will most likely end up relapsing. In order to live a quality sober life they must make big lifestyle changes.

  26. […] “I don’t know what I want sometimes, but I know that I want to know what I want.” – Portia Nelson – sursa: […]

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