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Gandhi Runs

Dreamed 1997/8/1 by Chris Wayan

Line drawing of a Gandhi-like figure running across a desert.

I'm hiding in the shade of crags at the edge of a vast playing field. Miles across and waterless, it's dangerous to cross, and many who make it alive are too drained to find water in the hills on the far side.

Yet this is just one stage in the journey. We passed worse ordeals, down in the chasm behind us.

I say we because I have a guide, named Gandhi.

Yes, that Gandhi.

He strips to an Indian runner's loincloth and sets out across the field, barefoot as the rules require. Best to keep moving, so your feet make little contact with the hot ground.

I'm confident he'll make it--he's an ascetic, used to tough marches and fasts and hunger strikes. The question is, will he have enough extra energy to find water on the far side? If he does, all I have to do is make it to the hills and he'll be waiting to lead me to it.

There's a little water here, but no bottles to carry it in. I get a clever idea: there ARE some rags lying around. I can soak them and carry them along, either to wring and drink, or to cool me by evaporation so I sweat less, for a net savings of water. My confidence grows.

I prepare and set out. But a hundred yards onto the plain, I feel for the cloths and... I forgot them! Typical. Plan so cleverly, then waste all my preparation. Action's always my weak point.

I decide to keep going; I'd hate to cover this ground three times.

Of course, if I'm wrong, this ground will end up covering me.


This dream warns that backing out on commitments really costs me! Not only do I lose the benefits of the action itself, but... I lose confidence, self-trust. If I can't rely on myself...

LISTS AND LINKS: Gandhi - quests - anorexia - austerity and asceticism - sabotage and resistance - social advice - perseverance furthers

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