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garlic on year-at-a-glance calendar 2011Today’s issue of Picture to Ponder brings my wishes for us all to have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year, with the riches of love and joy and fulfillment of whatever intentions you may be setting for 2011.

There is also a mixture of seemingly disparate photos and a photo/drawing. Not exactly sure why these choices, I decided to simply go with what showed up for me as I prepared this issue.

These two garlic segments evidently have some special meaning for me. I think this is the third time I am featuring them in Picture to Ponder. Perhaps there is meaning for one of more of you. (If you missed the earlier posts you can catch them by scrolling down the page that comes up for “Garlic” in the search here on this blog)

For the next 5 photos and the Self-Reflecting Queries click on [click to continue…]


Today’s photo, for me, has a beauty, power and majesty, in and of itself. Yesterday we used it for a writing prompt n the writers’ group of which I am a member. Unique and powerful writing developed in four minutes. The caption in the title here “Pungent Power” came out of one of the member’s writing.

In the Picture to Ponder mailing of this issue I did not include further words about the photo other than explain that it was garlic.

I thus wrote:

Today’s Featured Photo

Probably obvious to you, two segments of a garlic bulb.

Today’s Photo Story
Again, I do not want to affect your experience of the image, so I’m adding nothing here in the ezine regarding the photo, other than what’s above.

I am posting other views with comments on possibilities of differing responses to changes in perspectives. You can check that out on the BLOG.  More photos are after the Queries.

Self-Reflecting Queries
If this photo evoked a particular response or responses to you, I invite you to explore, in writing, whatever that was.

And, if you did notice something are there other places in your life where that shows up?

Does whatever you saw empower you?

If not, can you reframe it so it does?

OTHER VIEWS of the same image –

Very elegant and by “herself”, the “Garlic Lady”.

Seeming to be the Yin and the Yang of oneself, below are the same as the initial image shown from different angles.

Does this angle evoke a different response in you?  If so, remember this at other times… the power of changing perspective.

The above is the original angle from which I shot the photo.  I turned it to be vertical for the presentation I wanted to make.  Does it have a different feel for you?

The garlic skin honors and applauds your participation  The “feelings” were important here, so the fact that there is no “head” in this image, matters not.

As always, you are invited to share your responses in the COMMENTS section below.


You may be wondering, “Why onion photos again?” I had intended to go back to birds, or other nature photos, for this issue, and then these photographs kept popping out whenever I opened my photo files. A few weeks ago, for the last session of the June Through and From the Lens course, I purchased a new red onion. While at the supermarket the red garlic caught my eye, along with the white garlic which I needed for cooking; so I bought all three.

After photographing them separately and together from many angles and holding them in my hands, I became so attached to the “personalities” and “feel” of the three above that I bought new ones with which to work during the teleclass.

I’m following my instincts in continuing sharing them here, recognizing that there is something “calling” to me with these particular vegetables and hope they will thus resonate in some way with you. One thing I know for sure, is I’m delighted with how long they last in the original state, with no change or deterioration, from the time I purchase them.

For those who missed it, earlier this month I wrote on Onion #4, which you can see on the BLOG – Looking at the Old Newly


I am not what it is in the top photo of the garlic bulb in my hand that “grabs” me each time I look at it. The image is seemingly making a strong statement.

As you can see I grouped the three together, on my white kitchen counter, and then on the underside of a black styrofoam tray to get the contrast. I was only going to include one of these two photos here since they are so similar. Then when I looked again, I saw the feel was different, beyond the lighting contrasts.

In the third photograph the onion seems to be looking at the red garlic very protectively, as the latter nestles up to it. And, I’m wondering, in addition to the focus being slightly closer, if the fact that the white garlic’s position is altered, ever so slightly, is what makes the difference. Perhaps it’s that the latter is extra bright here and the other “needs” protection (in the imaginary sense).

I’ve included the fourth photo of the red garlic alone, slightly altered in color by Photoshop Elements, because now it looks like a piece of art. In addition to the colors, I love the rhythm and swirl in the whole shape.

By altering positions, “points of view”, in the onion and garlic bulbs above, we get a different feeling or communication.

Relating this now to you and going to one of my favorite Self-Reflecting Queries, I invite you to look into your own life. Are there places where you are facing challenges, places where a slight alteration of perspective might give you a whole new take on the matter? If a particular challenge surfaces for you, I invite you to “hold” it in your hand, if not literally, then figuratively. See if and how you can become friends with it. What opens up for you now?

Furthering my own Self-Reflections – For me, right now, I am looking at what it is in the red onion and, now, the added garlic that has me so intrigued and moved.

I’m realizing there is a passion in here for the “stories” I see in them. Last night, I wrote in Facebook, that I am open to finding a collaborator (a children’s writer, educator or idea person) who would enjoy co-creating with me products that would make an empowering difference in how children (and adults) see their worlds. This is a new opening and stepping out for me.

Lastly, if you have gotten this far in viewing and reading, and you have any strong emotional reaction one way or another to my featuring onions and garlic, I invite you to look at what’s coming up for you in terms of your own life in relation to your response.

As always, put fun into it. Where will you find faces and smiles today?

ATTENTION – WRITERS, or WANNA-BE WRITERS – If you are interested in doing more exploration in writing for yourself, my friend and mentor Julie Jordan Scott is Introducing the Summer Writing Intensive Creativity Camp (at Home or wherever you happen to be) See SUMMER WRITING CAMP for details.

MORE OF MY WRITING – If you appreciate my writing, you might find interesting what I’ve been posting on my WRITING FOR HEALING blog.

I don’t know if the following fits for you, and I thought I would pass it on in the event that you are one who has been wanting to set up your own blog, but have gotten frustrated with the technical stuff. My friend Traci Knoppe has put together a very easy to understand and use 4-week ecourse, with simple step-by-step procedures. You can learn more at BEGINNER TO BLOGGER.

Start-Up Business Owners
If you are a start-up business, or know of one, I also have a website, listing and describing other helpful businesses I know, use and recommend. See SOURCES FOR BUSINESS SUPPORT.


This weekend I went searching through files for an earlier issue of Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now that featured food photographs. I had an article due for my SEEing Beyond column in my community newsletter.

When queried about a theme they’d like, one of the editors said she always enjoys when the articles evolve from photos of food. I found an issue from July 6, 2011 – Declaration: Celebration, Love and Laughter that featured the photos I’m using today, plus one of a quarter piece of cantaloupe.

Since I shifted the context for this issue, a new version and interpretations, it will be necessary to click on the latter link if you wish to see the cantaloupe and are curious as to what I wrote then.

Please continue reading after the photos, for my sharing on a couple of other important things I am up to.

Today’s Photos

dried lemon peel

I would suspect you might be challenged guessing what the above photo is.  If you’ve never kept the cut top of a juiced lemon, you might not guess at all. [click to continue…]


 avocado pit with peelAVOCADO PIT

Aged, Solid,
Rock Hard,
Rich in color, texture, patterns
And oh so much more.

On its own, it splits in two
Peel the parchment skin
Find the heart lines, textures,
Ying and Yang?

Is there a message here, or do we simply accept it for what it is?

Beauty contained in the ordinary, often overlooked,
Sometimes never seen at all. [click to continue…]


This week’s Picture to Ponder’s featured photos are a result of two different experiences I had this past week. Although the photographs are not particularly beautiful. nor are the imaginary images that clear, they do represent an important message.

pink moon just starting to rise over the oceanThe thumbnail photo on the left is a piece of a live oak tree root which grew around one of the sprinkler heads in our community. The root needed cutting and, the portion close to the house, dug up. It took Issaac, one of our grounds maintenance men, over an hour to remove it. Feeling triumphant, he brought it into the office to share.

Gini, the admin assistant, somewhat attuned to my finding imagery in natural objects, [click to continue…]


If you read the last Picture to Ponder post, you’ll most like recall my fascination with the unfolding of two interlocked, wood-like, seed pods that got totally flat after soaking in water.

One of the photos showed the pods starting to curl up. I put them back in water until my grandsons came, so together we could watch changes that might come.

The bottom line end result is that the two pods, with one ultimately placed on top of the other, became intertwined and totally circled back onto themselves into one unit.

The whole process took less than a half a day. I’ve posted the photographs below and seven others on a Pods Circling page for you to see the changes. If you are a writer, there are some interesting images on the latter page that I think would be great for journaling or creative story writing.

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos –

 Wood pod and avocado [click to continue…]


My older son and two grandsons are visiting this week, so today’s Picture to Ponder is late and will mainly be the photographs and story documenting discovering and transformation. The Queries are brief and might be profound for some of you.

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos –

 Curled Wood Pod 1 [click to continue…]


Pictures to Ponder: Inspired Journaling – Flowers Book 1 is now available on iBooks for download on iPads and iPhones. I got notification of this from Lulu Books just after I made the commitment to create and publish another book on Kindle by July 30th. Amazing synchronicity!

The book consists of flower photos from early issues of Picture to Ponder, plus Self-Reflecting Queries, with spaces to journal on each, if you so wish. The photos are larger than you see them in the ezine and online, giving you more of an opportunity for a fuller experience with each. For more details and links for the iBooks and/or the PDF on Lulu, see BOOK.

Now on to
Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos –

canteloupe with knife [click to continue…]


Creativity, Focus, Walls in Picture to Ponder – v7-issue1

by Sheila Finkelstein on January 6, 2011

I am ecstatic about the start of my New Year and hope yours is starting off well also. A few times in past issues of Picture to Ponder I’ve mentioned Dewitt Jones, a top National Geographic photographer, keynote speaker and more. Last year, I randomly clicked on a link in one of the ezines to which I subscribe and was treated to his 3-minute JUICE video.

I was super-excited with the uniqueness of the story, Dewitt’s response to the little boy “hero” and the passion for life and photography that was shared. I went on to watch the other four previews of his training videos. They include “Focus Your Vision”, “For the Love of It”, “Everyday Creativity” and “Celebrate What’s Right In Your Life.” If you have been a following the blog posts for a while, you can see from the titles alone what drew me in.

I so resonated with what I heard! Almost everything that Dewitt speaks throughout all the videos, in his philosophy on life, on creativity and being present in our worlds, and so much more, are the underpinnings of what I’ve been a stand for in my years of teaching and now in Picture to Ponder, my courses and my coaching. [For Today’s Photos and rest of the story – [click to continue…]


© 2017 Sheila Finkelstein - All Rights Reserved - Photography and Writing are by Sheila Finkelstein unless otherwise noted. For information contact Sheila[at]