Nyoshul Khenpo: Autobiography in Five Chapters

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.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in agan.
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.

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.

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

I walk down another street.

2 thoughts on “Nyoshul Khenpo: Autobiography in Five Chapters

  1. I am interested in the word ‘hopeless’ in the Dutch translation I have been given it is translated as ‘desperate’. Was the poem written in English or in French or in an Asian language? What would have been Khenpo’s intention?


  2. I don’t know the origins of the poem, my brief internet search gave no clue as to it’s original language. I think even if the translation gave the same word in Dutch and English I think we may have different understandings of what hopeless/desperate means.

    My understanding of it is that it points to the quality of ‘poor me’, the self-pity that is associated with making those kinds of mistakes before one’s eyes are opened. All these bad things are happening to me it’s not my fault, there is nothing I can do about it.

    Later in the poem the ‘victim’ recognises that it’s his behaviour that he is in this predicament then he can take more appropriate action. So for me it is a transition from helpless victim to free agent.

    That’s my understanding of it. What Khenpo had in mind, I don’t know. What’s your understanding of the word hopeless/desparate?

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