Update from Gopinatha Dham
Well we’re nearly half way through this year, and so far we're survived: although sometimes it's been quite a struggle!
We've come quite a way...
Back in 2003, we started work on the gallery here, hoping to finish within a year or two.But many things happened. Not only that, but as time passed the magnitude of the project expanded. Now, it sometimes seems almost beyond our capacity.
Here’s how we’re doing this year:
I arrived back from India, carrying the PancaTattwa and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, both meant to be placed in the Mayapura section of the gallery, which had not yet begun to evolve.
Palika remained in Mayapura, studying. She's doing her Bhakti Sastri and learning a great deal. While she is away I’m responsible to cover her duties. Keeps me quite busy.
Sangita Vani teaches MIHET
Meanwhile, Sri Radha Raman requires to undergo major surgery, so Palika returns a little early, to assist with the load.
Linda, Palika and I, try to catch up on the massive amount of property maintenance now well overdue. Weeds need pulling, grass needs mowing, while gum leaves and gumnuts lie scattered here and there on the driveway.
Sri Radha Raman has a relapse. He’s returned to hospital for two weeks.
Meanwhile the gallery is our main concern. Work is going on slowly. Rob, our friend, and work assistant, has been a bit busy these past few months. We turn attention to other aspects of the project to keep up momentum. I’m faced with working out the graphics for the 50 panels of images and information that are required. Without some help from a graphic designer, I ‘m really struggling.
Rob comes, and builds the display area for Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. [Early this year I tried to remodel and repaint his facial features, without being completely happy with the result. Now he is scheduled to travel with me to Melbourne in July where an artist - devotee - friend has agreed to make the necessary corrections.]
Our old swimming pool, now almost filled with sand, is becoming an attraction. Linda and I planted some vegetables. Although we didn’t expect them to grow, now we have beets, lettuce, zucinnini, spinach and tomatoes to offer Gopinath. I just put in some broccoli and beans as well. The vastu’s better now it's a garden rather than a pool.
Travel to Melbourne for two weeks with my husband. Yearly Retreat and classes, as well as visits to local museums for inspiration in graphic presentation.
Ekendra, our web maker, kindly took time to upgrade this website. Temporarily our journal writing stopped, which gave my husband impetus to remind me that the unfinished the gallery remains the first priority .He kindly keeps the pressure on….“place large sheets of paper on each panel with the captions, to “connect” the themes of the various panels.”
He’s helping us work through the processes involved in finalizing the design concepts for the five different sections.
Radha Raman's now slowly recovering. His first "assignment" is completing the finishing touches on the archway into Puri, while Marrick, our artist friend, continues painting the stone work.
We’ve also had some welcome guests. Partha and her young daughter Sangita visited from Aukland, then, Lalita Manjari, my daughter from Melbourne.
Good news!!! Rob rang with two free days. He's eager to complete the Mayapura hut. For two days he battles with the thatched panels we had made in Mayapura, until they fit nicely into the metal framework.
Now we are all involved in making the roof.Using Balinese thatching, we take it apart in bundles, to try and create a Bengali-hut looking roof effect.
Now my husband’s travelled to Christ Church, New Zealand, for another retreat, and ten day visit, so I’m quietly sitting here before the computer trying to write.
Waiting to see what our Gopinatha has in store for us next. Trying to remain determined and steady.
Jaya Srila Prabhupada.