It’s not what it sounds like. I do not live at the North Pole. I live in Southern California where I see the sun almost each and every day.
I waited almost 9 months for a large gong named after the Sun. The best gong manufacturer is a German company named Paiste. About 30 years ago they started making gongs associated with the planets. The Sun is one of the largest (and most spectacular) gongs they make.
I started training with a gongmaster in Orange County a couple of years ago. The Sun is the very first gong I ever played. I fell in love with it right then and right there. After about a year I played it safe and ordered the much smaller and more reasonable Venus gong. But I wasn’t satisfied. As I was waiting for Venus I kept telling a friend of mine how much I really wanted the Sun. Finally, he said,
Are you going to spend the rest of your life settling for second best? If the Sun is what you want then get the Sun.
His comment stunned me. He was right. I thought about the ways I settle for second best in my life. There are so many situations where I just compromise because it’s easier or it’s cheaper or I don’t want to have to explain myself.
So I decided that this time I would do exactly what I really wanted to do. I ordered the Sun. I ordered through my teacher because it seemed like the respectful thing to do. Even though the Sun was in stock online (at 20% off with free shipping) I decided that my life isn’t just about searching for the best deal. My teacher suggested I order through him so I did. He told me to practice patience.
I waited. Month after month I pictured the brothers in Germany who make these gongs chanting mantras and hand hammering my gong. I practiced patience. I got irritated and then angry and then I practiced patience again. I set up the stand for it in my living room, a daily reminder that this time I was not settling for second best. I was willing to wait for what I really wanted.
Every once in awhile when I saw my gong teacher I’d cautiously and optimistically ask about the Sun. Every time there was a calm rational explanation. Gongs are becoming so popular. Each and every one is hand made. It takes time. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ship into Los Angeles harbor; they may have the ship to the east coast and put it on a train.
Then one day, the news came. The Sun was in California. After waiting for almost 9 months the Sun was mine at last.
Finally, I sat in front of it in my living room and prepared to play. I wondered if it could possibly meet the expectations that had built up in the months that I’d been waiting. In our culture of instant gratification I realize that I haven’t waited for something like this in a really long time.
I wanted the Sun. I went after the Sun. I waited and waited and waited and I got the Sun. At any step of the way I could have changed my mind, I could have said that it was taking too long, I could have demanded my money back, I could have tried to switch to a smaller gong that may have been easier to get. I could have settled for second best. I didn’t. I held out for what I really wanted.
The moment I finally played it I knew for sure, some things are absolutely worth waiting for.