Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 211: On "Autobiography in Five Chapters"

So... today, yes I practiced. But yesterday, a wash. It's day 211, and really, I still don't feel like I've made practice into the automaton wake-up-and-smell-the-reed habit I had hoped to establish by this point. (The jury is out on whether the goal is realistic or not, of course.) The solution came to me (again) last night as I was falling asleep: If you don't do it first thing in the morning, it ain't gonna happen. Armed with that (re)discovery, I woke up, made tea, watched the weather, then went straight to the practice room. That worked. For today.

Infallible, I am not. But apparently, none of us are, as Portia Nelson so beautifully philosophizes in her poem "Autobiography in Five Chapters" (Presented in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, p. 32:


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

2) I walk down the same street.
There is 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.
It still takes a long time to get out.

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.
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is MY fault.
I get out immediately.

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

5) I walk down another street.

3 comments:

kerry dexter said...

Susan,
are you familiar with the work of singer and songwriter Carrie Newcomer? she has a new album out later this month with a song on it called I Meant to Do My Work Today. I think you might like it.

Susan Gedutis Lindsay said...

Hi Kerry. I have a couple of her albums... from about ten years ago! Haven't followed her since, but this sounds like just the song for the journey of which I'm writing.

Susan Gedutis Lindsay said...

Hi Kerry. I have a couple of her albums... from about ten years ago! Haven't followed her since, but this sounds like just the song for the journey of which I'm writing.