Cow Dung Walls
Manhattan, New York
The Big Apple is also getting baked. The heat wave persists. This wasn’t going to deter me though from walking a stretch. I borrowed a “sun-brella” and took to the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn. I feel both inspired and challenged at the same time whenever I cross this bridge. Taking the pedestrian route gives the sensation that you’re really moving. There’s motorist traffic a level above you and subway trains mobilized next to you. The Brooklyn Bridge is in the near distance. I can see it also being a dynamic mobility of humans.
Once I reached Manhattan and made a right at The Bowery, I took a few city blocks to finally turn at Houston eventually to 1st Avenue. I met a man with a cane and I asked him about the location of the Bhakti Centre. He wasn’t sure as he wasn’t from the area but he did volunteer to say what was troubling him. “I just came from the clinic and found out that I’ve got diabetes.”
I told him that walking would help substantially. “Yah know, you’re about the third person to tell me that today.” I told him of my cross-country walking. It inspired him. He certainly made me think of Mom who struggled with the disease but who seemed to lack the willpower to combat it. Since diabetes can be hereditary, I found my way to keep it at bay. Walk and pray. That’s how I parted on that message, “Walk! God bless!” I said to the man.
When entering the Bhakti Centre and, in particular, the 3rd floor where you find the temple, you no longer feel you’re in New York City. There are beautiful deities of Krishna. The walls have been smartly plastered by a mixture of cow dung. The colour looks great. It’s earthy, without scent and possesses a texture that looks so natural.
It was in this room that our Krishna Culture Festival group performed our first show. I was skeptical, admittedly so, with our inexperienced group. Much to my surprise, whatever time invested in the practices simply paid off. The audience loved it: the kirtan, the dance and our drama, “the Jagannatha Story”.