Thursday photo prompt: Setting #writephoto

Jagged edges

a perfect silhouette

Darkness please wait

I’m not done looking yet

The suns rays flattering

the irregular landscape

The sun is setting

darkness arrives, no escape

The horizon changes

from orange to black

the sun disappears

It whispers

I will be back


My minds waterfall

Thursday photo prompt: Fall #writephoto


Close my eyes

Take me somewhere

Peaceful and serene

A journey in my mind

Somewhere I’ve never been


Eyes are closed

My mind is open

I travel a never-ending hallway

On each side of me

Door after door

How do I pick the right one

to go somewhere I’ve never been before


I stop, I stare

I open, I dare

My guide in brilliant light

Welcoming, beckoning

I’m drawn to this ethereal sight


He lays his gentle hand on mine

My source, my light

So pure, divine


I am standing at the water’s edge

He is gone, but somehow I know he is still watching

The gentle rhythm of the water

It tickles my toes

Drawing me in

Away from life’s shadows

Submerged below this watery inland sea

I see myself from above being led away

Gliding, floating


I breathe, closed eyes open, my heart is at play


Tranquil in my heady space

I surface, the water barely ripples

I arrive at my landing place

Appreciation fills my closed eyes

Somehow I see everything

The cascading water, the rocky formation

Somehow I hear every little sound

The falling water, splattering

As it hits the lake with a splash

Falling pebbles pat pat

Leaves crackle

Somehow l feel everything

Velvety water cleansing

My heart, my soul

I feel so small

Standing beneath my minds waterfall


I am lost within my imagination

My mind engaged in a rapt contemplation

I return, I open my eyes

I have now completed with a happy heart

Today’s meditation


Challenge – All time favorite experiences. Photographed

Vrindavan the holy city

A group of 12 women, not all friends, but fastly becoming so, from Australia travelled to India to experience yoga, spirituality and culture. We loved it, were all deeply moved by it and affected by it, for ever.

These photos depict only a small part of our journey, but one still so clear in my mind. A little village called Vrindavan, it is said to be where Krishna spent his childhood, a holy town.

We were blessed as we sat at the river. We couldn’t understand a word he said as he anointed us all with mud and a red smudge on our foreheads, but it was special. Then it was somewhat funny at the end when he asked for a donation for the ceremony he just provided for us. Money well donated.

This little holy village is also known as the shelter city for widows. In Hindu tradition, widows may not remarry. We were to walk the streets to meet these magnificent, but forgotten women. We went armed with small gifts and small denominations of Indian rupee to give. This was soul crushing for me. Actually a lot of India was soul crushing, yet I still found a lot of beauty there.

The walk around this little village was hard, also scary at times. We started at a quieter side, my heart opened as the widows started walking towards us. I was not prepared for what was to come. They are mostly older, but they can be young, very young, not yet teenagers sadly.

We were all giving, hugging, taking photos and talking, not Hindu, not English, but that universal language of no words needed, the eyes and actions speak a thousand words.

Then the crowd grew, and it grew, they descended upon us like bees to honey. Grabbing at us, taking all we had, till there was nothing left to give. Some got angry when we had nothing left, some were thankful for what they received, some were grateful even though they received nothing, grateful that strangers had come to offer help anyway. I walked away eyes downcast this day. How could I help? What can we do? We 12 women. Not a lot more than what we did. They are fed by the town, given a few coins, but hope for the kindness and donations of visitors.

Vrindavan also home to FFLV (Food for Life Vrindavan) For every 100 girls in rural India only a one finishes school. A lot are lost to Child Marriage. FFLV aims to keep the girls in school until she is 18 to prevent early marriage. A wonderful organization dependent on donations and sponsorships.

We were most fortunate to visit this school that educates these poor girls who live in or around Vrindavan. What a day, what an experience. What divine young girls they were. We watched them in the classes, we watched them dance and they invited us to participate in this dance with them, we presented them with awards and the best part, we all sponsored a child.

India was an experience and journey I will never forget. After leaving Vrindavan, our next stop was the Taj Mahal. Once I set my eyes upon this magnificence, I cried, it was surreal. It was grand, opulent and beautiful. It was an unforgettable moment.

That was over 3 years ago. This was a small part of the experience I had in India. I could write so much more about that wonderful, colorful, heart breaking country, what I learned, what I took away with me on a soul level and most of all, the people I met. Those people are forever etched into my heart.”>Place in the World

Place in the World

Trinidad Cuba and my love affair

The drive to Trinidad was long. 9.5 hours to be exact. 

The drive itself is not too diverse in scenery. It reminds me of driving through an Asian country. Tropical, paddocks, little shacks.  Cubans sitting on their verandahs. In their rocking chairs passing time, smoking, drinking coffee or rum. What’s the hurry anyway. Everything manana. Everything can be done tomorrow. 

Enter Trinidad. My head turns right, left, side to side in excitement. Once again I am captivated. 

Our casa is typically Cuban style. Orange walls, gold bedspreads and gold sheer polka dot curtains. It is a feast for the eyes to enjoy. 50s Retro, Art Deco, eclectic all rolled into one. 

The streets remind me of little towns in Spain. Perhaps not as near or tidy, but as quaint and cute all the same. Cobblestone roads with the cobbliest cobbles you have ever seen, look fabulous but are hard to walk on. Colourful houses one after another all offering their houses as casas, for extra income. 

Casa, restaurant, maybe a private home, bar, casa, shop, souvenir shop, followed by another restaurant and so it goes. Shops selling paintings of Fidel and Che. Amazing artists, you will see the sitting at their windows painting and subsequently selling the finished masterpiece, trinkets of this and that, beautiful hand made (by co-operatives(groups)  of local women) crocheted scarves, tops and dresses. Hand made linen shirts, doilies, table clothes, pretty embroidered tops. Not cheap in Cuban terms, but certainly cheap for us westerners. 

Street dogs continue to break my heart. Some seem to fare okay, some are a little worse for wear.  They bark, they chase horses and bikes, they make me laugh. They are having fun. They are friendly if people gave them a chance, always looking for a feed or a pat. People are scared to touch them. This is sad for me to grasp. 

Trinidad has certainly geared itself towards tourism and why not.  There are so many restaurants. You wonder how they fill them, then buses,  full of tourists arrive and the streets are swarming. Walking tours, horse riding tours and so on. Trinidad is reaping the tourism benefits. 

This little town does seem to be a little bit more finically comfortable than what we have seen to date. As you walk past each house you see in to their living quarters. How? They only have shutters over their one front window which is covered by bars, think Spanish architecture late 1800s, they leave their shutters wide open and stand a greet people as they walk past. Hola, com esta, hello how are you?  Again friends congregate at these windows, on footpaths In the town centre. 

We walked the streets until we reached where the real Trinidad begins. Cobblestone roads turned into rocky roads turned into complete rabble. We see the poorer side once again. The people still beautiful, hola, can we please take a photo we ask? Si si, they are so accommodating. Like they are posing for a magazine,they stand, they smile. 

The textures, the colours, the unevenness all add to its appeal. This is the trinidadian life. Men walking around selling garlic and onions strung together, thrown over their shoulders. Yelling out to the locals. Every one is yelling, always yelling. 

Bike ridden carts selling fruits, horses tied up in front of houses, men in cowboy hats. Women wanting to swap clothes with me, children playing soccer in the street or small park, people with their doors wide open, barred in or not,  watching tv, which is so loud. Everything is loud in this what we thought was a quiet town. Old women sitting at their barred windows, that is their tv, never moving, when you look closer, you can see their beds tucked in behind them. This is their life. Watching the modern world develop before their old eyes. A different life to what they once knew. They always say hola. 

They stand at the front doors and smile. We ask again, may we take photo. Some say so si yes yes and pose, some are shy and wave and finger no no no.  Always giving a smile though. 

As I think back to the street dogs around the city square, I take in a whole different perspective here in this more traditional, poorer area. Dogs are house dogs, sitting well fed and protected in doors, at the barred windows. It’s quite contradictory in my thinking. 

We find a gelato store. Yum. We had to eat quickly as it drips down our hands. 

Teenagers stop and watch as we pass, they talk amongst themselves. I wonder what they are saying. 

Trinidad like Havana is a photographers delight. Every way you look. Photo opportunity. Another too good to miss. 

The number one attraction here is a history museum. Not particularly for what it has on show, but for the rickety old spiral stairs that you climb to reach the tower. I climbed them, and it was worth it for the view. Just as I was told. I could see the whole city, the mountains and glimpses of the sea. The sea is about 12km from town. 

The same opportunity was rewarded to us in a convent as in the history museum, climb the rather volatile looking staircase to the bell tower to again look over this magic city. From this view it almost took on a Moroccan feel. The colours of blues, terracotta’s and sand with shattered brick roof tops. I love this little place. 

Old cars still around in the city, probably in more disrepair than those seen in Havana. 

Shut your eyes and just listen. They chat incessantly,  they have real conversations. With passion, they yell, talk over one another, they laugh. It’s wonderful to hear. I wish I knew what they were saying! 

Dinners and drinks in roof top restaurants, offering food so cheap it seems unfair. You pay for a main meal and for example you get, bread and dips, fried plantain (banana) that is so good, soup, salad, white and black rice, black beans, croquette made from rice and vegetables, then your main meal, whatever you order and fruits to finish. Yes we eat every last bite! All for about 8-12 Australian dollars. My mojito or daiquiri around 3-4 dollars. 

Walking the dark streets at 10.30pm, it’s hard to see. Arriving at our casa just in time, the heavens opened like tomorrow was never coming. We made it. Then the electricity went off. Total blackness, feeling our way around unfamiliar surroundings. We find our room. It rained all night. Loud rain pelting, dogs crying, cats meowing, sounds I’ve never heard before. So so hot. Pillows that felt like bricks. Not much sleep was had, but I am in Cuba and that is the best thing. 

Morning, overcast, rain has stopped, still humid, the streets are slowly drying up

Everyone sits in one of the two city squares to get there internet access which you pay around 1-2 dollars per hour. 

Simple needs = simple life. 

Around 1pm daily the streets quieten down, its siesta time for those who are happy with their lot, for those still wanting to reap those touristic benefits,  you will still hear taxi? You want best cigars in town? Drink? Eat? Coffee? 

Dinner at the most amazing, you must visit restaurant called La Redaccion. The building, the food, the service, out of this world. Look out for Yardier, the best waiter, who will make you happy with just his personality. Give him a big tip. A must do is please visit the toilets in this place. Grand does not describe it. 

The last 3 nights we noticed the streets quiet early at night. A contradiction to what we have been told about the music scene and dancing. 10.30pm everything has been quiet, no dancing, just quiet. Speaking to a local this evening, we were educated to the whys of the lack of music and dancing. The country had been mourning in the loss of 119 lives in the devastating airplane accident recently. A nation united.  These people continue to warm my heart. They are probably some of the nicest, kindest, compassionate people I have met in a foreign country. 

Red Wine


Sitting at an airport bar

Heading to a destination abroad 

a new land afar

Sipping on an airport drink

Cheers to our next adventure 

I say with a wink

Red wine for me 

A beer for you

No duty free shopping

We needed something to do

It’s tastes so fine

This red wine o mine 

Now a situation arises

An Unlikely event 

My flight is called

Finish my wine, they will not prevent 

That I do not finish this wine o mine

I will, I’ll finish it, it tastes so divine

This glass of wine I will most likely finish 

The level of the wine in this glass

Will most definitely diminish 

Cheers to me

For when it comes tomorrow 

A brand new place I will be 

Janette Bendle may 4 2018


Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening Are You Awake



Eyes closed
Must I
I am definitely opposed

One eye open
Must I really
I’m lying here just a hopin
Is it time
Are you sure
Give me some allure

Both eyes open
Is it morning?
I’m barely copin

Ruffy is still sleeping
Shall I wake him?
I see one eye peeping

Eyes wide open
It’s a new day
Hip hip hooray
A new day to play
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Waking is fun on any day
Ruffy are you coming
Or do you plan to stay

Are you awake
The day is here to take
Fun and mess we must make
Wake up, for goodness sake

Our day is just beginning
Let’s start it grinning
We are rescue dogs
We are already winning

This is just the beginning
Our joy is here, just living

Are you listening
Are you ready?
This is our awakening

Our humans gave us a new beginning
The other life is past
Welcome to the awakening

We are forever home