February 2009

Magenta  orchids in AOS greenhouse

Magnolias in Dallas Arboretum

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Orchids from the American Orchid Society greenhouse and Magnolias from the Dallas Arboretum

The Story
Life has been rich and full with amazing, transformational courses and, even more importantly, with visits and time spent with family and friends.

The top orchid photo was taken when I was sharing my beloved AOS gardens and greenhouse with cousins from NJ and their two sons, one of whom lives in San Francisco and the other, in Vienna. What a delight it was to spend the day with them sharing my local Nature paradises.

Back to the orchids – I had been drawn to the image, not sure why, when I downloaded it into my computer. I was “testing” it out for use in Picture to Ponder and set it aside. Then yesterday, it popped up on my MacIntosh monitor, seemingly out of nowhere, while I was working on my Windows laptop. So, I’m trusting that there is a reason it wants to be with you.

The lower photo, magnolias, opening and reaching out, was taken in the Dallas Museum during a tour with Rebecca, my wonderful and generous hostess and friend. The flowers themselves seem to happily be welcoming Spring, officially here in three weeks and a couple of days.

Both photos work together compositionally in colors and opposing directions of the linear patterns.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Recently, I have been coming more aware of my intuition, a somewhat alien field for me since I’ve always said I wasn’t very intuitive. Despite that, throughout the years of publishing Picture to Ponder and selecting photos for it, I’ve often said that particular photos “wanted to be with you,” a form of intuition, I’m sure.

Experience and hearing from you has me know that a photo or photos, and sometimes the writing, in each issue will have a profound impact on at least one of you. So I started trusting that if something “pops” out at me, it is meant to be here for you. I therefore am especially curious if today’s orchid photo has a elicited a particular response in any of you.

In querying myself, I decided to print out the photo, to move away from the computer and use it as a journaling, writing prompt. I invite you to do the same. I will point out that, for me, the experience of the photo was quite different when printed out, so I wrote also from memory.

Not wanting to “color” your response, should you choose to take on the journaling exercise, I will not discuss the photo further and should you wish to blog on it, I’d be glad to share some of my writing experience in follow up comments.

All of this is evidently coming from my intuition. Are you tuned into yours? If you think not, I invite you to pause from time-to-time today in whatever you are doing and notice if your thoughts suggest a particular action… could be something very small, such as pick up something, move across the room, or any one of hundreds of things. If so, pay attention in a way you might not have done before and have fun with it.

Moving on to, perhaps, a totally different conversation – In the last issue I mentioned “gratitude.” Once again I am very present to it, after a week away consisting of two days with like-minded businesswomen and five days with friends and family, then visits with more who have traveled here to Florida.

I invite you to express gratitude for that for which you are currently most appreciative. Sometimes it may not always be so easy. If for some reason you are in that space, I invite you to look around you, find a color, a shape, something which attracts your eye. Be with that for a minute or two and find the gratitude that you can pull from it.

As always, when you’re finished, I invite you to share your experience in the COMMENTS section of this blog. And, remember to have fun, or if this got “heavy” at the end, to find peace.


Green Stems in a Vase – Money Query

by Sheila Finkelstein on February 20, 2009

green stems in a glass vase on the table

Aside from Picture to Ponder, it’s been sometime since I posted photographs here on a regular basis. After being away for a full week of an intense course, then friends and family visits I’m decluttering my computer so I can get to the new photos. As I was checking already saved photos in my external disk, I saw this photo. I love the lines and shapes, including the reflections and decided to use it to start posting again.

This particular photo was in a folder labeled “Money Queries” from a couple of months ago. I recalled that a friend had suggested I use my camera to explore what I had termed “my hang-ups around money” and often-stated “lack of it.”

There are several other interesting photos also in that folder, some with dead and curvaceous leaves. I do remember having isolated thoughts as I took the pictures. Unfortunately I did not write them down. And, perhaps it’s just as well.

Sometimes art and photographs are meant to simply be enjoyed, without words, however they appear to us. I will thus stop the writing here today and perhaps for the next few days, so you can respond however you do.

Perhaps, I’ll use them as writing prompts on money, at some point in the near future. If the theme, calls to you and you wish to write on this or any other that I post, I invite you to so do.


Close up of a peachy yellow rose in Mable Ringling Rose Garden

Yellow orange rose in Mable Ringling Rose garden on the Ringling Museum grounds

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Sunlit Roses in Ringling Museum Rose Garden in Sarasota, Florida

Last week, the day before the coldest day in six years in Sarasota, roses were in full bloom in Mable Ringling’s Rose Garden. I include them here to bring sunshine and brightness to you wherever you reside, whatever your weather conditions are.

The top photo, close-up view, gives us the opportunity to explore more of the rhythm of the inner beauty of this particular rose. The bottom one greets us with its full blown richness. Unfortunately, the strong, mid-day light, creates somewhat of a “fight” for attention between the bright background and the flower.

The Story
Once again, I’m on the move. This time, it’s a trip to Dallas, TX for a workshop and then to visit friends and family. I expect that during my visit with one of my friends, I will get some tips that would have me better to control lighting in situations such as the one in the lower photo, using Photoshop and/or settings on my camera, preferably the latter.

With all that’s been happening, I’m feeling quite blessed and thankful for the loving and supportive people in my life.

Given what I’ve yet to do in preparation, I had the thought to simply skip this week’s Picture to Ponder. Then I reminded myself of my commitment to myself and to you to publish an issue a week, so I am striving for brevity and efficiency.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Is there a place in your life right now where everything is so full, as with the lower rose, that you’re not sure where you want to start? If so, I invite you to pause and look closely at certain segments of your life and your activities.

Spend time individually with the components. Perhaps use the framing of the rose in the top photo as a guide. As a warmup, you might use the second rose. Create a small opening in a piece of paper or index card and slowly move around the photo on your computer monitor. Make note of anything new that shows up. Do the same for your own life segments.

Then, given I mentioned, above, gratitude for my family, friends and travel, I invite you to express gratitude for that for which you are currently most appreciative.

As always, when you’re finished, I invite you to share your experience on the blog. See instructions below if you need help.

And, remember to have fun.

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Moon and Clouds 1

Moon and Clouds 2

Moon, Clouds and Parking Lot Lamp

Lamplight and Moonlight

Moon, Clouds and House Light

Leaving Green Cay Wetlands last night I got excited when I finally saw the full moon from the parking lot.  I had the moon rise time – almost the same as sunset – and I was hoping to catch it on my walk through Green Cay.  It did not happen, so it was an unexpected thrill to look up and see the moon.

I was fascinated with the cloud patterns also and continued to take photographs from my car as I kept looping around the lot.  Once downloaded I liked the play of the light from the street lamp and, once home, the play of the light from my neighbor’s house across the street. (last photo)

It’s all about play for me!


sunlit reeds in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photo
Late afternoon Sunlight on Reeds in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

The Story
There is not much of a story today. As I was looking through photos of the day downloaded last week, this one caught my eye. It called to me to be a featured photo and when I found it again today, I agreed.

I’ve just returned from a three-day trip to the west coast of Florida to visit visiting friends from New Jersey. It was very cold for us Floridians, the “coldest night in six years.” It was very cold for us Floridians, the “coldest night in six years.” Below freezing; how easy to get spoiled after 6 years. I am originally from the Northeast in the USA and should be used to cold weather!