Stories from Dr. Yukari, Story #19-1, There is a hole in my sidewalk

[ Stories from Dr. Yukari ]

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society. Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Stories from Dr. Yukari


Portia Nelson:



Past midnight, on a stage in a nightclub in Manhattan, a female singer sat on the edge of a stool wearing a black dress accompanied by a single long pearl necklace. The middle-aged singer gave a cue to her pianist with one hand, while the other held a microphone. Her velvety voice sang, 


“Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars.”


The singer previously sang soprano, but now her voice aged along with her silver hair. She had a huskiness to her voice that came as she got older. Portia Nelson, is a singer songwriter who quit college and later traveled to Los Angeles from her hometown in Utah in hopes of becoming a famous actress and singer.


As the daughter of immigrants from Denmark, young Portia found her first job as a typist and slowly worked her way to Hollywood to become a singer. While she never became the famous actress or singer that she had hoped to become, she worked in Hollywood by writing a few songs for Marlene Dietrich, gave voice lessons to actor Rock Hudson, and later played a small role on the Sound of Music.


While Portia never smoked, spending many nights in smoky night clubs was to blame for later being diagnosed for breast cancer in her 50’s. Unfortunately, her cancer eventually metastasized all over her body leading to both laryngeal and tongue cancers ultimately taking her life.


From her unflashy career, she left behind a poem titled There is a Hole in my Sidewalk. After her breast cancer surgery, she published a short book. The poem can be found in a book with the same title under a subtitle called Self-Discovering Romance. 


There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

― Portia Nelson,

“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.

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 am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

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.

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

I walk down another street.”



(To be continued)