So Many Stories


So many stories have been told, so many stories being written. A neighborhood library in Trinidad, Cuba, 2016.

This post is a response to The Daily Post – Photo Challenge of the week. The instructions are to post a photo that tells a story.

Doors & Windows of Cuba



I did a lot of walking in Trinidad and was intrigued by the grandeur of the architecture, indicating the wealth that once was. I have a hard time admiring people with enormous wealth because I believe that in most cases it was made at the expense of someone else – in 1700 and 1800 Cuba it was slaves. It produces a cognitive dissonance because I do admire the beauty and craftsmanship that this wealth can purchase. I am intrigued by the skill that produced the doors within huge doors.


And windows, within windows that are big enough to be really big doors. We were told that the metal cages around the windows were built to keep pirates from breaking in.


The really big windows are functional, allowing maximum air circulation in the tropical climate, with very hot and humid summers. They also give people a place to be, to watch and interact with the people on the street. But that’s another post.


View from Atop: Trinidad


This week’s photography prompt from Cheri is “Atop” and I started thinking about photos I had taken from up high here in southern Florida. And then I laughed because the highest places in my neighborhood are the interstate overpasses. There is a city ordinance that buildings can only be three stories tall. I don’t have access to these “tall” buildings so all my photos from Florida are taken with my feet firmly planted on the ground and that ground is very flat.

Then I remembered some of my favorite photos from Cuba – taken from the second story balcony of the Architecture Museum in Trinidad. There are mountains not far from Trinidad, and a second story balcony pales when compared to a mountain-top view. I’m not going to knock my view from over a balcony, however, because my aging body has no desire to hike up a mountain.


We drove to this view from a higher elevation.

And I love looking out a second story window – I have since I was a child. There is a peace that comes from being above the busy streets below, of seeing the upper branches of trees at eye level, of hearing bird songs on ear level. On the other hand, the second story still seems close to the action. I can still converse with people standing below.


Walking through the museum with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide informed us of the colonial architecture used during the 1700’s and 1800’s when Cuba was prospering from the slave trade. I felt conflicted between the beauty of this city that was built on such a deplorable source of money. I had a hard time denying my joy of seeing and photographing the beautiful colonial buildings and I refuse to deny that the kidnapping, selling and purchasing of people are so very wrong – so I am forced to hold both as true.

But this post isn’t about the beauty of the architecture but is about what I saw from atop the second-story balcony. I love seeing the tops of other buildings – a view that is hidden from the street. A “roofscape” of sorts.


And a felt a little naughty spying on people dining – far above the lack of privacy at street level. Or so they thought.


My greatest joy came from photographing students walking home for lunch. In a land that felt so different and exotic, this felt familiar. All around the world, children interact in similar ways as they go about accomplishing their social developmental needs.

I couldn’t hear their interaction but I knew what the dialog could be because I’ve been there myself as a child and observed children interacting in many settings as I was raising my own children.

To learn about the tour company we used and our travel experience, read this previous post: Cuba: Traveling on the Edge

A Good Match: Cuban Friends


I never met these women – didn’t even get closer than across the street, looking down from my hotel window. But I know they are a good match – close friends. Look how they are talking, how relaxed they are. And the biggest clue that they are a good match, is that they are humble enough to give and receive a pedicure from each other. I don’t know if they are religious, living here in Havana, but I know that the Holy Spirit I believe in is sharing this beautiful moment with them. After all, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

As I am growing older, I am less sure of some of my beliefs – and at the same time I am more sure of other beliefs. I am less sure of the breadth and width and depth of God because of the limitation of my comprehension, but more sure of his central message of love. I have grown to believe that the God I worship is bigger in her acceptance and forgiveness than I ever thought possible and thus maybe calls me to be more accepting and forgiving of those around me. Maybe I am being called to see God wherever I see love. Another benefit of aging is that I am better able to recognize when love is present, when things come together in a good match. A good match is respectful and allows one to be all it is meant to be, like when a plant or animal or person is well matched with its environment.

This photograph and my reflections are in response to The Daily Post: A Good Match.