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Today's lesson: short of tipping over into Disorderland, you can't be too obsessive-compulsive about important things.
Yesterday I was a wreck, anticipating a sound session at the home of Gandhi's grandson. Today I'm breathing easy. The job is done and I think the sound quality is as good as it gets. I remembered to bring an extension cord, which was good because the outlet was on the other side of the room. Yes, my machine has a battery, but the fewer things I have to monitor, the better.
Right before I got into the car, in a last spasm of compulsiveness, I rechecked my folder of notes and emails. Holy moly, I'd gotten the wrong address!! I thought he lived at 116 but he was at 160. Horror rippled through me as I imagined myself ringing the doorbell at 116 and finding myself in the Twilight Zone. And if I got the address wrong, what other simpleminded element had I also screwed up???
I arrived 5 minutes early, which I hope was not annoying. But it gave me plenty of time to set up and to have a little conversation with Mr. Gandhi.
Once my recorder was rolling, I could relax and realize I was in the presence of a wonderful man, who had learned the philosophy of non-violence at the side of his famous grandfather. Arun was born in South Africa and was an angry teenager, suffering from the indignities of color prejudice. In 1946, his parents sent him to India to live with his grandfather, who was already an icon of history. For 18 months his grandfather set aside an hour a day to systematically (through stories and exercises) teach Arun how to channel his anger into non-violent paths.
On my way out, he gave me his memoir Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence. Needless to say, I floated home on a cloud of inspiration.
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