climbing a burning rope

Memoir of an Abandoned Child

“The beauty of climbing a burning rope is that it can also give you hope and cause a sense of urgency unlike any other in that it forces you to climb up or drop off.”


Climbing a Burning Rope is a story of rediscovering hope that had never died for a child of the sixties lost in the turmoil of the Baby Boomer Generation


In 1965 my sister and I rode with our mom and first stepdad in an AMC Rambler to California. We stopped in the middle of the night at a motel in blazing hot Needles, California.

There were a ka-billion grasshoppers in the water with the same idea to cool down. It was a plague of locusts! I didn’t care as I jumped right into the shallow end after Gene sloshed aside the offending invaders. It was heaven soaking in that pool under the desert stars listening to the grasshoppers in the fiery night. In the morning I looked with awe at the needles as we drove on to our new home in Los Angeles. I was hoping for a new start. I thought the move might stop mom from being mad at Laura and me all the time. I was never sure what we did that would make her angry enough to hit us.

But the troubles were only beginning in my life, there were many twists and turns on the road ahead. It would be many years before I would find redemption through discovering faith in God. My recovery from addiction and PTSD from a childhood of abandonment coupled with a dysfunctional adulthood would allow me to find peace and renewed hope.

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Listen to a Sample Now:

Alarm Clocks and Butcher Knives

~ from Climbing a Burning Rope 


Performed by David Johnson